Jeff Winders has been designing and building custom cabinetry for 30 years. His company, Braxton McKenzie, based in Oregon, specializes in nail-free, handmade, solid wood cabinetry, a favorite of architects, designers and homeowners up and down the West Coast.

“Every house in the world has a kitchen, says Jeff. “What we try to do is create something that reflects each client’s personality, yet still functions in daily life. It becomes artwork in the home.”

This traditional style kitchen was designed for a professional couple who enjoy cooking for family and friends and planned on raising a family in the near future. Their kitchen needed to be suitable for entertaining and be child-friendly. They also wanted the kitchen to be light, bright, and cheery, with white colored surfaces and natural wood.

“A kitchen needs to be functional,” says Jeff. “It cannot be too delicate. The doors need to open and close thousands of times and still be just as solid.” So instead of soft-close hinges, which had been considered early in the design process, Jeff selected finial hinges for their durability and reliability. “They’re straight and tight and fit the home. The homeowners love that.”

To plan for future children, Jeff opted to build drawers instead of doors at the lower levels of the kitchen. Handmade from solid wood, the planks were hand-planed with hand-carved details and hand-cut dove-tail joints. None of the drawers were mounted on drawer glides; instead they fit so perfectly into their housing that nothing but wax is required. “They slide like they’re on runners, but they make no noise, just like an antique piece of furniture,” says Jeff.

Most of the countertops are marble, but a hand-checkered 2.5-inch thick butcher’s block at the end of the island brings more warmth to the mid-level of the kitchen. The butcher’s block is made of walnut sourced from a tree felled outside Lake Oswego. The pot rack hanging above the island is made from the same tree, supplemented with stainless steel components. “We hand source all our wood,” explains Jeff. “We hand-pick our trees, and even fell a lot of them personally.”

“We want our kitchens, cabinetry and custom furniture pieces to last a lifetime and view our work as creating heirlooms.”


KITCHEN DESIGN  Braxton McKenzie Inc.,

CABINETRY  Braxton McKenzie Inc.,


WOOD FLOORING  Emerson Hardwood,

PAINT  Rodda Paint,

Marble Countertop Materials: Oregon Tile & Marble; Kitchen Appliances: BASCO: Sub-Zero, DCS; Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler, Artisan