When it comes to beautiful and functional furniture for your home entertainment and storage needs, BDI's Interval™ collection expertly melds modern design and old-world craftsmanship to create a uniquely handcrafted collection of cabinets.

The collection features a striking grid-based hardwood door design, backed with fabric-covered perforated metal, that helps to promote natural airflow, conceal the contents when the door is closed, and enable remote control signals and clear audio to pass through easily, along with a host of other user-friendly features.  

But the genesis (and genius) of Interval's design runs even deeper – and with more history. While traditional Japanese shoji screens partly inspire the overall design, the construction utilizes interlocking wood joints – referred to as half-lap joints – which increase the strength and longevity of each console. 

Here is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the inspiration and thoughtful design that went into the creation of Interval.

Interval Old World

Old-World Craftsmanship

Using a shoji-screen-inspired design, the interlocking joints, called half-lap joints, add durability, strength, and longevity to each Interval product.

A Handmade Tale

Every Interval product is handcrafted, designed, and assembled with a personal touch. The shoji-screen-inspired design utilizes interlocking joints that have been used in traditional fine furniture making for centuries and are also the cornerstone of this collection.

A notch is cut halfway through a piece of wood with laser precision to create the lock. Two similarly-notched pieces of wood then are fit together perpendicularly, which makes the half-lap joint.

"Precision engineering results in a cross-lap joint with the matching parts neatly interlocked," said BDI Product Development Engineer George Petta. "In most cases, the joint is strong enough on its own and doesn't need nails, screws, or glue to hold them together."

BDI, however, reinforces the joints with additional glue around the notch creating a bond on three sides for an incredibly strong hold.

To ensure precision, BDI uses a computer numerical control (CNC) router to make the cuts, ensuring notches descend halfway through each piece of wood and guarantee a snug, stable fit. The operators repeat this process hundreds of times for each piece of furniture.

For example, the Interval 7249 cabinet has seven horizontal slats and 33 vertical slats, which adds up to 231 precision joints.

Interval 78 Media Cabinet BDI 7249 BDI walnut open door av features
Interval raises the bar for beauty and functionality, incorporating the quality materials and innovative design needed to optimally house and operate home theater components and other electronics.

Kickin’ It Old School

We use the half-lap design detail for the Interval collection for several reasons. It’s a tried and true, well-tested wood joinery technique that lends more stability and longevity to each piece than other joining techniques, and it’s been at the heart of iconic Japanese designs for centuries, partly for that reason.

It’s also a classic and elegant look used across multiple applications, including house designs and fine furniture.

“We love how this technique shows off the beauty of walnut on Interval,” said BDI Product Development Manager Jeff Bare. “It shows the natural variations in the wood and creates a unique centerpiece for any living space.”

The orientation of the wood pieces can change the look of the finished design, showcasing a striking range of natural colors and the distinctive grain in each piece of wood.

Precision Handling

The half-lap design of the Interval door ensures that each piece of wood fits snugly with the intersecting wood slats to create a deceptively strong lattice design that supports the entire door structure.

However, since Interval uses natural wood, the design team also had to account for its tendency to absorb and release moisture over time while retaining the overall integrity. This was vital since humidity and temperature changes are known to cause an occasional expansion in natural wood doors, causing cabinet doors not to fit and close properly.

BDI offset this issue by using precision cutting techniques and glue at each joint and running the wood grain in perpendicular directions. This means the vertical slat grains run one direction and the horizontal slat grains run the other way, which creates more natural structural support while negating expansion problems.

To further the durability of this design, we put Interval through the gamut of testing, including:

Humidity Testing

We sent pieces to the lab to determine if the doors would expand in heat or contract in the cold and to observe how they hold up to temperature changes over time.

We checked to be sure that the glue and joints didn't weaken and that the wood didn't bend, warp, or crack.

Handling Tests

Since we designed the door frame to fit precisely with our half-lap walnut doors, we wanted to be sure that the doors and frame would hold up over time with continued use.

We reinforced the frame with aluminum and tested not only for a seamless fit but for buttery smooth opening and closing using a premium cable glide system.

IR & Sound Tests

When testing for IR compatibility, many furniture manufacturers use a remote and sensor and then test in a grid pattern to check for angle and distance functionality.

With Interval, we went beyond and even tested several screen perforation sizes to determine which provided the best sound and IR functionality.

Ultimately, these design considerations have created a collection built to last, providing highly functional, durable, and beautiful furniture for many years to come. 

Interval is available in two media cabinet sizes and a tall-frame console cabinet, making it the perfect addition for all your entertainment or storage needs. 

Click here to explore the entire Interval Collection.