Materia Millwork

Distinctively Different
Hand Built & Designed with Every Detail.
Manufactured in MA, Shipping World Wide.

Interiors Winner: Best of Luxury Design 2023

Everyone Loves a Sample

November 7, 2023

In this episode of Revealed, I explain why we make full-sized samples of our cabinets to share with the homeowner. And I’ll share a lesson we learned from past mistakes and how it affects our fabricating timeline. Let’s jump right in!    


Whenever we are starting a new custom cabinetry project, we try to make a full-size working sample. This allows us to show the homeowner the door profile, frame, and finishes of what the final product will look like. Trying to describe it without having something for them to see, touch, and envision in their new home just paves the way to confusion. The conversation that ensues gives us an idea of whether or not they love it or hate it. The designer can add their input. The guys in the shop, the ones who will be crafting the final pieces, also get a chance to speak up and offer suggestions. If changes need to be made, this is the time to find out about it. Once we agree on any modifications, we build another sample piece and submit it for approval. It’s critical that we are all on the same page and using samples is an effective way to do that.  

We keep all of our sample items to add to our extensive “library”—which we can check out later to show future clients different profiles, color options, etc.


We all make mistakes—welcome to being a human! How we choose to handle those mistakes and learn from them moving forward makes all the difference. For example, we’ve fabricated our vanity, but we’re going to hit pause before making the drawers. Why? Because we’ve learned from our mistakes in the past—it’s better to wait until all of the plumbing is laid out. That way, we can work around the pipes and accommodate any fit issues that arise versus having to remake the drawers.

— Ken DeCost

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