Artists at Home
William Draper Cabinetmaker offers elegant craftsmanship at its very best
by Glori Gayster

A home is a reflection of its owners, filled with personal touches, memories and shared experiences. Investing in a part of the home as a way to create new memories tends to begin with a vision, one best aided by a team of artisans and craftsmen—such as those at William Draper Cabinetmaker—who can shape a homeowner’s dream into reality.


“The key is to listen,” says Robert H. Schultz, lead designer for William Draper Cabinetmaker, a Buckingham-based design firm well known for its expertise in creating “perfect spaces” since 2004. “It’s this attention to clients’ wish lists that makes all the difference. We team with clients, combining their desires and needs with quality materials, artistic touches and skilled expertise.”


William Draper Cabinetmaker is unique in that it specializes in kitchens and baths, along with architectural millwork furnishings for any room in the house. From design and space planning to product selection and installation, William Draper Cabinetmaker assists clients in every phase of the project, whether it’s a newly built home or a renovation. Every first meeting between the full-service firm and each client is all about gathering information, and the firm’s designers are skilled at asking the right questions.


“Ideally, we meet with clients at their home to discuss the project scope,” Schultz says. “We ask how the space is used and by how many [people]. For example, when planning a kitchen space, it is important to know how clients cook and the appliances they use regularly. This provides insight for as to where each element of the room should be placed.


“Clients today really do their homework—bringing pictures, magazine clips and other valuable information to the meeting,” he continues. “By visiting the home, we can capture the style in terms of colors, finishes and theme, as well as view how clients use the space. Together, we have a lot of invaluable details critical to the design process and will outline a plan that combines homeowners’ ideas with our experience.”


With the detailed floor plan and client preferences in hand, designers work with clients in product selection, choosing the right wood, door style, painted pieces, tiles, hardware, etc. The result is a unique space plan and selections, all within the homeowner’s budget. Once the plan is approved, William Draper Cabinetmaker project managers take the helm to ensure that no detail is overlooked. Clients can expect a complete timeline of the installation, which is completed by contractors who have been carefully selected by William Draper Cabinetmaker or one referred by the specific client.


“Today, the trend is best described as ‘timeless design’—nothing tired yet not a passing fad,” Schultz says. “We strive to create long-lasting styles both in our contemporary designs and period styles.”


One such example of this artistry can be seen in the Cranbury, N.J.-based home of William Draper Cabinetmaker clients Sandra and Michael Cargill. The project involved the design of a central gathering space—an enlarged, fully renovated kitchen open to both an eating area and sitting room. The homeowners, who also have a residence in New York City, wanted to incorporate a flow similar to their galley kitchen yet on a much larger scale so the counter area is a peninsula shape with an island-like appearance. 


Within the cottage-style home, William Draper Cabinetmaker used a transitional style to create an open and airy design. The hand-tool sculptured alder-wood cabinetry has a touch of antiquing finish for added character and is adorned with brushed-nickel hardware. Other highlights include a soapstone countertop and hand-carved sink of the same material, as well as a backsplash that blends a herringbone and brick-staggered design made with a combination of travertine and marble.


“Together with general contractor, Sal Golisano, we were able to capture the Cargills’ vision and bring it to life,” Schultz says. “Their words of praise are all the thanks we need.”


Timeless Originality

At William Draper Cabinetmaker, clients are welcomed into a world of options with an extensive line of manufacturers, including its own: DRAPER DBS. Within this custom line, each cabinet and furniture piece is meticulous in detail—uniquely crafted using hand-tooled sculpturing and hand-glazed finishes to create cabinetry for kitchens, baths, libraries and more.  


“Transitional design is our specialty—a look that stands the test of time,” Schultz says. “With a DRAPER DBS design, clients are assured of something original based upon their style, taste and personality.”


In addition to its own artisan designs and other custom cabinetry lines, William Draper Cabinetmaker highlights many high-quality manufacturers, including Sub-Zero, Wolf and Miele. The Buckingham Green showroom features a combination of complete, partial and vignette displays, illustrating the firm’s expertise in design to the finest detail. Visitors will discover kitchens, baths and a conference room designed as a library of sorts, showcasing various door styles and cabinetry options.


“New to our showroom is a completely ‘green’ space using renewable resources for all finishes and construction,” Schultz says. “The display features cabinetry made from eucalyptus wood, a backsplash of recycled glass and hardware crafted with a recycled satin nickel finish. In the construction, no formaldehyde was used. 


“My advice to clients embarking on such a project is to put as much thought as possible into it,” Schultz says. “It is important to note what they like and dislike, what they need and find important in their daily routine. The more we know about their lifestyle really helps, and it’s the teamwork that assures the best possible.”


Schultz believes the company’s unique approach can be best explained by the words of founder William P. Draper, who said, “I create only what I love, believing that to be the truest way to serve others. All work is designed and built one at a time in our studio shop. Sensual warmth, organic beauty to the touch, cries and whispers of delight, electric intimacy—cabinetry as art for your life, about your life. Custom cabinetry and furnishings so you’ll be able to say, ‘That’s me! This is us! … We’re home!’”

William Draper Cabinetmaker is located at Buckingham Green, 4950 York Road in Buckingham. The showroom is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with additional hours available by appointment. For more information or to schedule an in-home consultation, call 215-794-9198 or visit