Building Connections (+ Stylish Kitchens) With John McDonald of Semihandmade

This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is John McDonald, Founder and CEO of Semihandmade.

If you’ve recently embarked on the terrifying journey of installing new kitchen cabinets, you’ve likely stumbled upon the work of John McDonald, whose semihandmade creates the ultimate IKEA hack: stylish doors for customizing (and improving) IKEA cabinets. “I’m joking it’s a love-hate relationship [with IKEA] – I love them and they hate me, “says John. “But that’s not entirely true. It’s been a complicated relationship for the past decade, and the fact is, without it, we wouldn’t exist. You are building a system that has allowed this incredible ecosystem to evolve around it. McDonald’s new addition to this endeavor is Semihandmade’s BOXI, “America’s first direct-to-consumer cabinet line for the whole house”; This enables customers to purchase US-made kitchen, bathroom, and other cabinets online for delivery in three to four weeks.

In this issue of Milkshake, McDonald’s first walked us through the ABC of cabinet ordering: “It’s not something to jump into,” he says. “Depending on how big the project is, you can to a certain extent spend the price on a small, medium or large car. It is not a purchase that you will make many times in your life. “He also shares his detour to cabinet entrepreneurship that began when he arrived in Los Angeles at age 21 to find his fortune in Hollywood. “I want to be rich and famous – it didn’t matter which came first – but none happened,” says McDonald, who started woodworking in his early 30s, and expanded his brand through skillful collaboration, networking and a skillful social media presence. Do other craftsmen and woodworkers need to develop their social media game? Tune in to find out.

Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.

Milkshake, the first regular series from DMTV (Design Milk TV), shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to randomly select interview questions from their favorite bowl or container. During their open discussions, you will not only get an insight into their personal housewares collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.

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