Custom furniture can fill special places in your home - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

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Custom furniture can fill special places in your home

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Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013 2:45 pm

Consider custom furniture pieces next time you need to fill a special place in your home, instead of settling for limited choices or production furniture. Our lifestyles and furniture needs are ever changing as we add, subtract and replace those pieces that started with us when we had our first place. As the children come along we need to expand storage places for the clothes, collections, sports equipment, trophies, games, etc. into functional furniture pieces that can be customized to fit their needs. And when the children move out furniture again changes as we consolidate and compress to suit individual preferences.

Have a unique custom creation made especially for you where you can choose the materials, finishes, style and proportions to suit your tastes in a specific location in your home. Will it be a unique free-standing entertainment system that is so much more than a wall unit that the TV sits in?

Customized entertainment/storage furniture could have classic architectural details with beautiful polished hardware. Specifications could include places to display decorative books and collections on wood or glass shelves and drawers to hide paperback books, store DVDs, CDs and games. Multiple speakers from large to small could be concealed behind, above or on the sides for a saturated sound experience. It could have a secret “James Bond” panel that slides over and covers a wall safe. Decorative lighting could outline the top or the interior spaces for that all important mood lighting while watching romantic movies. And when the Super Bowl comes in February, you would be proud to show off your tailor designed piece of furniture customized to your specifications.

The dining room is perfect for custom designed pieces of furniture such as the ultimate expandable dining table with exotic woods, inlaid banding, memorable legs or pedestals and comfortable chairs. Finishing chairs in more than one fabric and trim creates interesting viewing from many vantage points in the room.

Built-in buffets beg to be customized with specialty drawers that serve different purposes. One or two shallow drawers could hold linen napkins, napkin rings, elegant silk, damask or lace place mats and decorative salt and pepper holders. Candles holders and candles whether tapered, round, votive or square could be stored on glass shelves so there’s no waxy leftover mark from sitting a long time on a shelf. Flat silver trays and small silver serving pieces could be enclosed in air tight drawers so that they need less polishing. The expensive silver table settings could be secretly locked in a slot divided, felt-lined drawer. Very deep drawers would hold the taller serving pieces, chaffing dishes, large bowls, urns, etc. A customized buffet is a very important functional piece of furniture for entertaining elegantly, easily and effortlessly.

Perhaps something customized in a smaller piece of furniture would suit the room and budget better. It could be a gorgeous sculptured coffee table, end table or desk finished in an elegant way in an unusual wood or a contemporary piece of art glass.

Some years ago, I won a national award for the best designed custom night stand. It was a contemporary style using the lower half of a circle and it was wall hung. I used an ebony dark wood for the single drawer and top surface. It was trimmed in a polished chrome, 2-inch banding that curved around the face of the half circle. It not only served a practical and functional purpose but it was a piece of art and made the client very happy.

Custom furniture gives your home character and originality and transforms the expected interior into a personalized dream home.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Carol Sampson is an award-winning interior designer and author of 35 years. Reach her at (480) 759-6763 or visit

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing

For more information, visit

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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