St. Charles Closets finds
inspiration in an antique boat to
create a one of a kind closet.
18-foot-long, 1948 Chris Craft
sport boat was found in
in Wisconsin approximately three
years ago and restored to its
Inspiration for a truly unique closet
can come from anywhere. Designers might
look to nature, emerging trends,
cultural themes or any number of other
muses. When asked by a builder to create
the closets for a house that was part of
a local homeshow, Dan Lynch of
St. Charles Closets, St. Charles,
IL, found inspiration for the master
bedroom closet in an antique sport boat.
"The particular house involved is a
theme house" says Lynch.
"Everything about that house, every
room, has a different theme to it that
coincides with the house".
In addition to the main garage, the home
has a detached garage. Originally, the
builder wanted to put a sports car in
it, Lynch says.
"That didn't seem to fit with the
house," he adds. "I offered up the
With the detached garage serving as a
'boathouse,' Lynch says he had to
carry the nautical theme into part of
the house. Thus, the idea for the boat
closet was conceived.
"We had to do something with the
closet to coincide with the boat in the
garage, and so that's why I decided to
make it out of the same material as the
boat," he remarks.
Not only did St. Charles Closets make the closet out
of the same material as the boat, they
took steps to make sure the closet was
as exact a match as possible. The doors
and drawer fronts are made from
Philippine mahogany, the same material
as the boat decking, and stained with a
red mahogany stain. The cabinetry is
done in chocolate pear.
"What we tried to do is actually match
the color of the boat, so the color of
the boat itself and the closet are
identical," Lynch says.
After the doors and drawer fronts were
cut out and stained, the grooves in the
doors and drawer fronts were put in
using a kerf saw and then filled with
caulk. On a boat, the grooves allow the
wood to bend and follow the curve of the
deck, Lynch explains, and the caulk
gives the lines the yellowish/whitish
effect. Then, the doors and drawer
fronts were given eight coats of Valspar,
a marine varnish. After each coat, the
varnish took approximately eight hours
to dry and had to be sanded before the
next coat was applied.
"It took three weeks of 10- to 12-hour
days to do the doors and drawer
fronts," he adds.
To accent the doors, Lynch used
authentic brass boat cleats, or rope
cleats, for the door and drawer pulls. A
brass porthole with an inlaid mirror
adorns one of the unit's doors.
"I don't think it's something that
would be commercially feasible," Lynch
says. "It took an extraordinary amount
of time. The builder was a personal
friend of ours, and I think that was
part of the reason we were able to build
Lynch's boat, (Sporting a
Woody) is a 1948 Chris Craft sports
boat, measuring 18 feet long. The boat
itself was only recently restored, Lynch
says, after being found in a barn in
Wisconsin. He provided the boat for the
duration of the show, but says it is
"back home now, where it belongs."
[The boat] hadn't been reregistered
since the late '50s or early '60s,� he
explains. It had been dormant for
quite a while.
Lynch takes it to boat shows where
'Sporting a Woody' has won several awards,
including Best of Show, Best Transom
Name and Best Finish.
Since the home show, St. Charles Closets
has had several inquiries about the
boat closet, but so far they are just
inquiries. "It was a unique design,
and we just wanted to be able to say we
did it," Lynch remarks.
St. Charles Closets Inc. of St.
Charles, IL, used Philippine
mahogany, marine varnish and
authentic boat ties to create
this nautical-themed closet.
(Right) Dan Lynch, of
St. Charles Closets Inc., used
authentic brass boat ties and a
brass porthole to accentuate