Case study: Colin & Jane's Kitchen Renovation

I was asked by Colin and Jane to have a look at what I could do for them in their renovated farmhouse kitchen. As expected in such an old building, none of the floors and walls were up to scratch and the floor itself was clearly not level. The floor was sloping towards the back door so I suggested using kick plinths instead of framed legs as you can't see the slope on the cabinets as much with a recessed kick plinth.

The walls weren't plumb so I hung the cabinets 20mm from the wall and ran a fillet down the wall and side of the cabinets cut to the profile or scribed to the wall at each side.

We discussed in detail what Colin and Jane envisaged their new kitchen to be like. Jane said she'd always wanted an island but that she wasn't happy with the standard height of those she'd viewed in the past. Because all my work is bespoke, I make every individual unit to the exact measurements needed for the room it'll be in - or in this case - the height Colin and Jane wanted the island to be which wasn't a standard unit height.

The island consists of a bookcase for Jane's cookbooks and plenty of deep drawers for pans and dishes. The drawers are all traditionally made using dovetail joints. The drawer boxes are from Redwood pine with solid oak fronts. The rest of the cabinets required included a Belfast sink housing, and other door and drawer cabinets.

There were a few minor problems along the way that we easily overcame by talking the issues through. I always find that discussing these with the customer and then letting them decide is by far the best way - no just doing the quick and easy fix. After all, it is their kitchen and has to be just perfect for their needs.

The cabinets carcasses are made from solid Redwood pine with American white oak fronts. These are hard-wearing but when painted still have the unique characteristic of oak with a deep grain. I always stain all the insides with a non-toxic, odourless light oak stain. The catches are all magnetic which works well with in-frame doors. I used flush hinges in either Florentine bronze. Once the cabinets were painted and all the Indian handmade square "D" handles and cup handles (on drawers) were put on.

I organised and worked closely with a local tiler and an electrician that I'd previously worked with and had proven to be punctual, reliable, and done great work for me. The clients had already chosen and purchased granite worktops for their new kitchen this from another company I work closely with who came out to template for the worktop surfaces.

Once all the cabinets were fitted, it was time to paint them. This is another part of my job as a cabinet maker that I enjoy as you get to see the finished project. I started off by knotting the Redwood where seen so the knots didn't bleed through then I gave it 2 coats of primer undercoat sanded between coats then 2 top coats of eggshell paint. I'm really happy with the results, and Colin and Jane are delighted with their new kitchen!

Colin and Jane are so happy with their new kitchen that they have already asked me to return to build storage cabinets for their downstairs bathroom!