Chestnut Grove Cabinetry And Design
Chestnut Grove Cabinetry and Design was founded in Vaughan, Ontario five years ago by Francesco Giampietro, a creatively talented young man who has always had a deep passion and fascination for antique furniture.
Giampietro, who is both president and owner, insists that all Chestnut Grove Cabinetry is built to the highest industry standards. It is vitally important to the owner and his staff that the luxury designs reflect the individual personality of the homeowner when they offer their professional services in kitchen designs, bathroom renovations, furniture restoration and customized furniture. Assisting Giampietro with the daily operations of the company are a craftsman, who is a furniture maker, skilled installers, project managers and three in-house designers.
The company always ensures availability of the very best materials to guarantee that each project will maintain the attractive finish and structural soundness as it passes through generations of family use. Much of his inspiration came from an uncle, who owns a prestigious antique shop in Italy.
“When I was there I couldn’t believe how well the antiques were made with a minimal amount of tools and technology. They didn’t have pictures, or magazines or the Internet to guide them. This was pure creativity and engineering in its rawest form,” Giampietro tells us.
Prior to opening the doors to his own business Giampietro spent a number of years as an industrial designer, creating furniture for other companies in the hotel and retail industries, among others. But he always had it in the back of his mind to open a small boutique and restore furniture or make reproductions of pieces that will eventually be lost in time.
“A friend of mine took it a step further and said, ‘why not offer that to the insurance companies’?” Giampietro recalls.
Of immense concern to Giampietro is that so much of the creative craftsmanship is being lost as generations go through these houses and decide to renovate and strip away a great deal of the original detail. Fires also become a natural enemy as the electrical wiring becomes older and deteriorates and plumbing issues, which is also related to deterioration. When the damage occurs a lot of the original materials are not able to be replaced, whether it is baseboard casings, narrow strip flooring or a door.
“You cannot go to a Home Depot and get these parts. This is where it brought in the whole technology aspect of it for me,” Giampietro says. “Some of my formal education is in the automotive industry and we had already been using 3D software to create parts for cars. So I used that knowledge and applied it to this specific problem. We can take a part of a house, let’s say it’s been charred by fire and even with just a small section left, we can scan it in and recreate it in the computer and then with a CNC machine we mill it right back to the original piece. We’ll then give it to someone like Hudson Restoration to install it themselves or I will have my installers put the original pieces back on. It can be done with a door, kitchen cabinetry and the same with furniture.”
At Chestnut Grove Cabinetry and Design they’ve had numerous distraught people come in with some of their prized furniture possessions badly burned in a fire. Giampietro and his team take all the elements they can retrieve from what remains of the artifact and also are able to glean information from family photos. From there they masterfully rebuild the furniture piece exactly the way it was in its original form, which to the customer is priceless.
The combination of technology and expertise in craftsmanship at Chestnut Grove is also a huge benefit to the insurance companies. From a furniture standpoint, the damaged piece often has invaluable sentimental value. No matter what an insurance company offers, it’s never going to be enough to replace that priceless piece of furniture that has been in a family for years.
“We have the ability to give it back,” Giampietro proudly says.
The insurance industry desperately needed someone who had the skilled ability to put these Century old pieces back into their original form, and Chestnut Grove has successfully answered the call. Whether it is kitchen cabinetry or other furniture throughout the home, Giampietro and his staff can return it to its original form. Sometimes half of the item will be burned, but that presents no barrier for the company, just a challenge they are always ready to conquer. They also have the ability to re-paint the furniture item to the exact same colour and even hold the ability to age the paint. Giampietro brought in the technologies of the automotive paints and as a result they are able to do lots of restoration projects for customers.
The entire staff at Chestnut Grove always ensures customer satisfaction comes first. On the one hand, Giampietro has the very best and most recent technologies at his disposal, but he is still very much ‘old school’ in that he’ll often pull out a blank piece of paper and start drawing as the customer watches him unleash the type of creativity that still cannot be matched by any computer. It is still that human intelligence and skill that comes up with the concept and design.
In five short years Giampietro’s company has become the acknowledged leader in this industry. He says it all comes down to basics when gaining that competitive edge.
“The biggest thing for me is the passion,” he says. “I also hate the word custom. We’re not a custom shop, we’re tailors. We design stitched perfectly to the individual’s personality. We take pride in building something that is far superior to anybody else and don’t ever skim on materials or look for shortcuts. We make sure the customer always gets the best materials, the best engineering and the best construction.”
Chestnut Grove is constantly building upon its solid reputation and continues to see its name get bigger throughout the entire Greater Toronto Area. This past year Giampietro and Chestnut Grove participated in the National Home Show in Toronto, where they displayed a hood fan completely designed in steampunk style. It’s completely made with gears and pipes and silver leaf and gold leaf all hand made. A hood fan can be an art piece and that’s Giampietro’s mission – to inspire creativity. It’s about showing people that there are options available for being different.
Giampietro and his staff also held their first Customer Appreciation night where about 60 customers took part in the festivities. The plan at this point is to hold one every two years. It’s all about the ability to share and teach people to be creative again.
“If I can surround myself with these people that would be great,” he says. “They start off as clients but they become friends. I want to enjoy the ride of creating beautiful things and that they will last the test of time and get passed down through generations.”
Whether you want to buy a ready-made original piece or be part of designing an artifact that suits your personality, Chestnut Grove Cabinetry and Design are the ones to make that dream become a reality.