“When possible, my designs build in ample space for storage. You never know what the next, latest-and-greatest technology is going to look like, and I want my clients to be able to accommodate the technology of the future, to the extent that one can predict such things! Storage of any type is a valuable commodity, and I am always trying to maximize it. “ – Mark Dutka
When you have a unique physical space that requires custom cabinetry or custom furniture, Mark Dutka can design exactly what you want. Whether you are setting up a home office in a hallway, planning for a wall unit in your family room to display your books and artwork, or looking for a little more storage space in your bathroom, Mark Dutka will design a beautiful and functional solution to meet your diverse needs.
Mark is widely known for his singular ability to create stunning, yet highly functional rooms and spaces in homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. From “art furniture” that makes a strong visual statement to space-efficient and hidden wall beds for the occasional guest, Mark Dutka’s custom cabinetry and furniture is distinctive, yet practical.
We invite you to view these examples of Mark Dutka’s custom cabinetry and custom furniture design solutions:
If you would like more information about Mark Dutka’s distinctive, custom cabinetry and custom furniture design, please contact InHouse Design Studio at: (415) 824-9266 (San Francisco Studio) or (707) 785-1928 (Sea Ranch Studio).
The Space: A wall across from the kitchen in a new, open-plan condo in San Francisco. The wall is in a narrow area which provides access to the rear of the home where the dining and living spaces (as well as to two secondary bedrooms, a bathroom and laundry area) are found.
Before: Living Room Wall
The Need: The clients wanted InHouse to design a contemporary storage/home office wall of cabinets with one cabinet specifically devoted to a computer station. The solution had to be clean, contemporary and integrate natural walnut. The design could not intrude (visually or practically) into this narrow space which is both part of the kitchen and a “pathway” to the rear of the unit.
The Solution: A new wall of cabinetry, painted to match the rest of the condo, provides a distinguished yet almost invisible solution. Prominently centered amidst the white cabinets is a walnut bookcase with three drawers. The tall cabinet on the extreme right houses the computer station and was designed to house a monitor, a pullout keyboard shelf, and one adjustable shelf. To maintain the desired clean appearance all hardware was hidden. This contemporary Storage/Home Office Wall is framed in walnut, making it look like the cabinets are “wrapped in a walnut box”. The adjacent walnut wall in the living room adds color, warmth, and personality by helping set this space apart from the rest of the condo. The design is simple, functional yet dramatic. The new cabinets compliment the nearby kitchen cabinets and dignify the transition from the front of the front of the condo to the rear.
Photo H78: New Wall of Cabinets as seen from living room
Photo H 79: New Wall of Cabinets as seen from entry
Photo H80: Computer Work Station
The Space: an existing closet in a dining room.
The Need: an attractive cabinet that would allow the Clients to display their glassware, serve drinks and food, and store kitchen items and linens. It was to serve as the focal point of the dining room.
The Solution: InHouse ripped out the entire closet and created a stunning oak and copper bar and storage cabinet which was visually integrated with the wall to its left. The cabinet was designed to take advantage of the fact that it is located next to a hallway and could therefore be seen (and utilized) from the right side as well as from the front. Using two tone rift oak, both solids and veneers, a very linear design evolved with some strong horizontal elements repeated throughout the cabinet. Handmade wooden knobs on the lower drawers and cabinets provided additional drama and “movement”. The solution integrated lighting. The cabinetry, accessed from two directions, maximizes storage capacity and gives the adjacent hallway some “personality”. All lower cabinets had pull out shelves for easy accessibility of stored goods. A pebbled copper backsplash which surrounds the bar area was created to mimic copper accents which existed in other rooms of the home.
The Space: A utilitarian family room fireplace and TV wall in a new home.
The Need: A total redo of the wall with a more traditional aesthetic to give it personality while not sacrificing utility. The function of the wall was to remain the same.
The Solution: The entire family room fireplace and TV wall was redesigned by InHouse. The firebox was lowered and a traditionally inspired brick hearth and mantle was installed. A tongue & groove wall painted a warm cream color defines the overall space. Open shelves and an adjacent storage cabinet with doors that pocket house the flat screen TV and peripherals. A built-in niche for stacked wood (not shown) and crown molding throughout the room completed the new space. Paint consultation, electrical, cabinetry and fireplace improvements were all facilitated by InHouse.
|Photo: E12 Cabinet doors open
|Photo: E12 Cabinet doors closed
The Space: A compact, square, windowless entry space located adjacent to a multi-purpose room. This space initially housed the clients’ home office.
The Need: Cabinetry to house a dry bar, linens, bedding, clothes and other items requiring deep storage in order to make better use of this underutilized space which will serve as the entryway for a newly designed home office and library (see Rift Oak Home Office).
The Solution: The first thing one sees upon entering this entry space is a large built-in Rift Oak cabinet covering the entire wall. This multi-purpose cabinet contains pull-out shelves for deep storage, large drawers for linens and blankets, a full height closet with two clothes rods, and an internally lit dry bar for the occasional entertaining of guests in the adjacent library/guestroom. The new cabinet gives this small space “personality” and a purpose. Its details match that of the cabinetry and wood in the adjacent home office thereby providing an aesthetic cohesiveness to these newly redesigned areas. InHouse also consulted on the lighting design, electrical work and colors.
|Photo: F1 Storage closet and bar closed
||Photo: F1 Storage closet and bar open
The Space: A den in a San Francisco suburban home with a painted brick fire place on one wall and a pair of French doors that face a rear yard on another.
The Need: A library/home office with a warm, traditional design that provides ample space for the clients’ books. Initially the task was to create only a home office on one wall of the room but the scope of services grew to include reworking the fireplace wall as well to give the entire room a unified, warm appearance.
The Solution: The fireplace wall was paneled in Traditional American Quartered walnut. The two windows were covered with flush walnut framed “hammered” glass doors which were designed at the client’s request to minimize the appearance of the windows on this wall. A beautiful custom walnut crown moulding replaced the original crown while the painted brick fireplace surround and hearth was sheathed in marble and surrounded by a new walnut mantle with a horizontal panel of karelian burl. On either side of the new mantle walnut bookshelves were designed to run the length of the room. InHouse designed and facilitated the installation of the cabinetry and electrical work and provided the color consultation for the room.
|Photo: F17 Fireplace Wall After
||Photo: F18 New Mantle
The Space: A recently purchased home less than a year old.
The Need: To design and build a Traditional Cherry Entertainment Room inspired by a comprehensive home office for a retired client incorporating an entertainment area with state-of-the-art equipment in a large lower level space.
The Solution: InHouse worked with the clients on dividing the large space into three distinct areas with one complimentary “look.” One area houses the office while the multimedia equipment is housed in an adjacent niche. Another area provides seating and entertainment centered around the flat screen TV. The TV is also visible from the home office across the room. A large cabinet under the TV hides the speakers and subwoofers while the perimeter walls contain open shelves which house part of the clients’ library. This traditional cherry entertainment room was exactly what the client ordered. InHouse designed the lighting and electrical improvements and consulted on the room color. Electrical, cabinetry and sheetrock improvements were all facilitated by InHouse for this Traditional Cherry Entertainment Room.
|Photo: E8 Seating & TV space
|Photo: E9 Meida cabinet doors closed
||Photo: E9 Media cabinet doors open
The Space: A large, prominently located wall of a recently built “Great Room” with a sloped ceiling.
The Need: A multi-purpose wall unit to house: a large fish tank with a hidden secondary tank and supportive aquarium equipment; a display space for the clients’ china; and shelves for the clients’ extensive collection of books.
The Solution: Utilizing the entire space, InHouse worked with the clients to create a warm, colorful, attractive and functional statement for this important wall. With strong horizontal elements defining the overall look, the lower part of the unit is largely devoted to the large fish tank which was placed at optimal viewing height. The cabinetry above and below the tank is designed to house the secondary overflow tank, aquarium equipment and lighting with ventilation incorporated into the design.
The display area for the china is highlighted/defined by a painted orange accent wall with part of the china housed behind sliding glass doors. The unit has open display shelves which abut a sliding glass door to diffuse the bulk of the cabinetry. The remaining wall space is occupied by adjustable bookshelves with a lighter framework so that they provide a backdrop for the more substantial cabinetry below. The decision was made to paint the unit so as not to compete with another built-in cherry wall unit across the room. InHouse designed and facilitated the installation of the cabinetry and the related electrical work.
|Before: Laying out the Wall Unit
|Photo: F19 Wall Unit During Construction
||Photo: F20 Completed Wall Unit
The Space: A multi-media room
The Need: The Client asked InHouse to design a multimedia cabinet to contain a new flat screenTV, his audio components as well as his CDs and DVDs. A clean contemporary look was requested with a long, low profile.
The Solution: InHouse designed a two tone walnut entertainment center divided into three components: a central TV cabinet with bifolding/pocketing doors (which can be hidden when open) and two side storage compartments for audio equipment. There are three lower storage drawers for DVDs as well. Custom walnut pulls were designed and fabricated to strengthen the design statement. Wire management and ventilation were incorporated throughout the Walnut Entertainment Center.
The Space: The main living room wall in a home located in the coastal community of Sea Ranch California.
Photo: E16 Before
Photo E16: Living Room Wall After
The Need: The client wanted to replace an existing douglas fir wall of bookshelves with an updated design that would complement the style of her home and enhance but not overwhelm the living room. The use for the new wall was to remain essentially the same (for books and display) but she wanted InHouse to integrate a new flat screen TV and supporting components along with her CD and DVD collection. She requested a bit of drama in the design but was not sure what direction that should take.
Photo: E17 Before
Photo: E17 Living Room Wall After
The Solution: InHouse designed the new wall so that it no longer read as one long storage unit. The new symmetric design has two individual cabinets for books and display items surrounding an open central wall for the TV with a component cabinet beneath. The primary wood utilized was maple (a wood common to many Sea Ranch homes). The maple was then selectively accented by a chestnut burl veneer to add “activity” and drama. The central TV wall is all burl, as is most of the lower component cabinet while the burl is used more sparingly on the two bookcases, relegated to the perimeter moulding in a tone-on-tone theme.
The result was exactly what the client wanted since the design complemented her other furnishings and added the requested drama to a wall that was formerly a simple storage solution for her books. InHouse also added dimmable LED uplights which were hidden in the top of the two bookcases. This lighting accented the room’s angled ceiling while adding essential illumination which could be dimmed according to the client’s needs.
Photo: E18 Media Cabinet Chestnut Burl Detail
Photo: E19 Bookcase Chestnut Burl Detail
The Space: A 30 year old condo in Walnut Creek, CA that needed updating
Photo F28: Den Fireplace Before
Photo F28: Den Fireplace After
The Need: The clients wanted to modernize their condo by creating a comfortable den/home office (See “Cherry Home Office With An Industrial Motif” under Home Office in the portfolio) and by undertaking a fireplace renovation which would entail replacing a dated dual-sided fireplace with a new gas firebox and updated mantles. Each side of the fireplace was to get its own “personality” to complement the decor in its respective room.
Photo F29: Living Room Fireplace Before
F29: Living Room Fireplace After
The Solution: Slate was used for the walls on both sides of the dual fireplace with a variation in pattern and color in each room. The design for the living room fireplace mantle incorporated a cabinet for media equipment since the client wanted the TV to remain above the fireplace. The den fireplace design has a bold cherry mantle/shelf set against a slate wall which wraps around the left side of the fireplace. The new fireplace complements the room’s cherry paneling and the home office on the other side of the room which were installed by InHouse’s contractors.
The Space: The entrance wall of a new home in Napa Valley with an open plan entry, kitchen and great room.
The Need: A functional piece of “art furniture” which makes a strong visual statement due to its prominent location by the entrance to the home. This multipurpose mahogany entry cabinet had to accommodate space for housing/charging the client’s cell phones and other electronic items; storage for several games and miscellaneous outdoor clothing.
The Solution: InHouse designed a multi-dimensional wall-hung mahogany entry cabinet consisting of several ganged containers (both cabinets and drawers) of various sizes, depths and textures to create a collage of boxes. A mirror was placed a the top left of the piece for both functional and aesthetic value. InHouse designed and facilitated the installation of the mahogany entry cabinetry and the related electrical work.
|Photo: F21 Mahogany Entry Cabinet
The Space: A recently constructed master bedroom with a large rectangular space off to the side that was left for the eventual construction of cabinetry.
The Need: To follow the clients’ original intent and fill in the available space with a cabinet which would house their sound and media components as well as offer room for books, general storage and display space.
The Solution: The obvious solution called for floor to ceiling cabinets to fill the small rectangular space but InHouse instead decided to “float” a modern mahogany media cabinet and have it extend to the right beyond the available space in order to achieve needed balance. In reality, only a shallow part of the façade of the cabinet extends beyond the space so no additional demolition was required for installation. The modern mahogany media cabinet protrudes several inches from the wall and has built-in lighting to accent some of the clients’ personal possession in a large display area. The inside of the cabinet houses the media equipment as well as several drawers for CDs, DVDs and misc. items. Since the space was originally built with a small access door in the rear to provide access to the back of any new cabinetry, wire management was easily handled. InHouse facilitated the electrical, framing and sheetrock work as well as the cabinetry design and installation.
|Photo: E7 Modern Mahogany Media Cabinet
|Photo: E7 Media Equipment Storage
The Space: A recently constructed great room consisting of two dining areas, a large seating area and a new kitchen.
The Need: To design and build a contemporary entertainment and display cabinet that met several purposes: general open and closed storage, a home for a new flat screen TV with room for various peripherals, CDs and DVDs, lit display for the clients’ pottery and space for serving food when entertaining.
The Solution: InHouse designed a long contemporary entertainment and display cabinet with a solid mahogany base and two rectangular protruding volumes dramatically sheathed in Hot Mottled Makore wood. One horizontal volume houses all the entertainment equipment while a smaller vertical cabinet (partially shown to the left of Photo E5) displays the pottery. The play between the protruding volumes, their active veneer, and the mahogany base (which provides additional storage) offers a welcome rhythm along the formerly bare wall of this rather wide new room. Electrical and wire management needs were addressed as well.
The Space: A kitchen.
The Need: A piece of furniture for a high-end kitchen that was to serve as an occasional desk, a serving piece and a storage unit. The Client did not want the piece to look like a desk but rather like, “a piece of furniture.”
The Solution: InHouse designed an attractive, compact, custom maple sideboard with drawers for files, recipe cards, and miscellaneous utensils. A pullout “bread board” on top serves as an occasional desk surface. Curved feet and top soften the otherwise rectangular cabinet.
The Space: A large second floor hallway in a Victorian home with 10’-0″ ceilings. The space was between two windows, adjacent to the top of the stairs. Any piece of furniture would be viewed on three sides: from the front, adjacent rooms and the top of the stairs.
The Need: The client wanted walnut book and storage cabinet that would give the hallway some personality. The cabinet needed to provide a place to display his books and store some miscellaneous items. He was intrigued by the idea of a library in the hall.
The Solution: InHouse designed a large built-in walnut book and storage cabinet to sit between the two hallway windows. The cabinet is designed to have adjustable open shelves on the sides as well as the front of the unit so it would “read” well from any angle. It is anchored by a large base which protrudes into the room in a bay-like manner which complements the architecture of the home. Other design elements playfully reflect the traditional Victorian elements found elsewhere in the residence.
The Space: A dining room in a large modern home in Portola Valley, California.
Dining Room Before
The Need: The Client, a physician, often works from home. She enjoys working in her light and airy dining room and wanted to continue to do so but she also wanted her new home office to “disappear” when she was not working. The challenge was to create a functional, ergonomic home office that could close up and look “at home” in the dining room. Ample file storage (“that did not look like files”) was requested as well as drawers for misc. items which were needed when entertaining guests.
Photo H64 New Home Office Cabinet Closed
Photo H65: Office Cabinet Open
Photo H66: Printer Cabinet
Photo H67: Files Drawers in Cabinet
The Solution: InHouse wrapped two walls in rift oak cabinetry. A tall cabinet, which complements the verticality of the 16’ H. angled ceilings, houses the home office. In order to reduce the “mass” of this large cabinet and create additional visual interest, the design plays with the direction of the oak veneer of the cabinet doors. When folded back, these doors reveal an internally lit, completely functional home office with articulating keyboard tray, wire management and data/electrical connectivity. The adjacent lower cabinets wrap around and define the dining area, providing both storage for office equipment and much needed serving space for entertaining family and friends. In addition to the cabinetry design, InHouse provided assistance with the lighting and the selection of colors.
The Space: A small secondary space in a two room home office that was used for back-office administrative functions.
The Need: While not sacrificing the utility of the space, the client wanted to turn it into an occasional guest room, showing off the “Zoom-Room” remote controlled wall bed to its maximum advantage. The design solution had to provide ample storage space for files, supplies and bedding. The solution had to complement other recent improvements in the home and was to demonstrate the use of more exotic woods in custom cabinetry work.
The Solution: A wall bed and cabinets of exotic woods was designed by InHouse. A compact and visually stunning solution in Avodire houses a queen size wall bed (activated by remote control), numerous file and storage drawers as well as a wenge cabinet for bedding with a pullout nightstand. An adjacent wall was outfitted with avodire veneer with a rift oak inlay, patterned to complement the book niches in the larger unit to its left. Lighting, electrical and color design services were provided as well.
||Photo: F9 After
|Photo: F10 Wall Bed Opening
||Photo: F11 Wall Bed Open
The Space: A bedroom in a loft containing a bed and makeshift desk area. The room lacked an organized closet and adequate storage for both clothes and files.
The Need: To reorganize the room for a contemporary wall system and home office with adequate space for a computer, general storage, clothes, files and numerous DVDs (the client is in the arts and has numerous footage of his work). The room was not large but had high ceilings. The client did not want the design to look like a library nor did he want large, heavy pieces built in but expressed an interest in a contemporary “tech” look.
The Solution: InHouse designed a “floating” contemporary wall system and home office suspended from iron brackets which span from wall to ceiling. The numerous storage units are of various sizes and depths to accommodate different uses and are placed so that there is a lot of open space between them. The idea was to create an interesting pattern of wall hung storage units; some with doors, some with metal backs, some shallow and some deep in order to create visual “rhythm” on the main wall. White washed Birch cabinetry with brushed steel aluminum accents on drawer and door fronts.