BEST AFFORDABLE OPTION:
Founder & Director Ben Fletcher says: We always listen to the customer to get a feeling for the material and the space – our aim is to bridge the gap between traditional craft and a fine, modern finishes. We specialise in a small but perfectly formed range of classic designs for bedrooms and living rooms, which we make and finish in our workshop specifically to your requirements, including decoratively panelled Victorian, plain panelled shaker and flat fronted minimal. Ultimately, we're all about storage solutions that are designed to fit your home and your life.
BEST FOR FUNCTIONAL DESIGN:
Richard Cullinan Joinery
Katie Cullinan says: Functionality is the most important factor when it comes to designing joinery, followed closely by the look and style. Everything should be specifically tailored to what the client needs; so, it’s essential to understand how they live and what they want from their joinery – that’s why all our joinery is bespoke. The style of the joinery is also incredibly important – the exterior needs to work with the rest of the room or house, whether it’s clean modern lines or a more traditional look. We specialise in creating joinery that’s both aesthetically pleasing and practical. It’s also important to future-proof the joinery by building in extra flexibility because then, as the client’s needs change, joinery can be adapted to suit those new circumstances. We make wardrobes, bookcases, alcove cabinets, vanity units, under stairs storage – all types of internal joinery, except kitchens. It’s a considerable investment that takes time to plan and produce, and each of our projects is managed by a small team. We work with private clients directly, but also interior designers, building contractors and architects.
BEST FOR DETAILS:
Director Shayne Freebury says: When it comes to joinery, function should come before balance, then aesthetics should follow from there. That said, you don’t need to sacrifice one to have the other. There are so many new products and materials on the market, you don’t need to be limited – it is possible to have beautiful joinery that’s also practical. As a team, we enjoy taking on interesting and challenging projects that feel innovative – it’s about working closely with clients to find out exactly what they want and bringing these ideas to life. A recent design was an intricate, black, high-gloss, floor-to-ceiling panelled cinema room with jib doors, large moulded skirting, and snack bar. The challenging part was the lacquered black finish – it’s the hardest colour to work with. We also made a fluted, curved, high-gloss his-and-hers vanity unit designed by @Fabrik_Life. It had walnut drawers with brass inlays as pull handles. It was a very unique design.
BEST FOR EXPERT KNOWLEDGE:
Lead designer Magnus Nilsson says: The secret to well-designed joinery is proportions. When you walk into a space, it shouldn’t be obvious why one space feels calmer and more relaxing than another. But a trained eye will know it comes down to the proportions of the joinery, and it will be clear it’s been designed by interior designers and architects who understand space, light and functionality. They will have taken into account the architectural nuances of the building such as the ceiling heights, doorway frames, cornicing, architraves and windows styles, as well as how light travels around a room. Our speciality is designing genuinely bespoke joinery, not custom joinery packaged as bespoke joinery. There is a difference. Our team is made up of trained architects, interior and product designers and each of our designs starts from a blank page.
BEST FOR CREATIVITY & INTELLIGENCE:
Designer Eamonn Agha says: Intelligent design is paramount in the planning of any bespoke joinery. We offer a collaborative process where we strive to truly understand the client's wants and needs. Our creativity isn’t limited by a template, and all of our materials are of the highest quality – from the stained wood panels down to the door handles. We specialise in bedroom wardrobes, living room storage (alcove and TV units) and kitchens (including pantries and larders). All of our joinery is built in our state-of-the-art workshop in west London. We also have extensive experience in dealing with a range of London properties – from apartments in red brick mansion blocks to large Georgian townhouses. We’re adept at handling all aspects of the joinery design and manufacture to maximise the potential and value of these spaces. Our proximity to clients means we can react quickly, ensuring good communication and short lead times. As part of a recent renovation of a mews house in Notting Hill, we were tasked with quite an extensive joinery package. This involved a new kitchen, wardrobes in the bedrooms, living room pieces and utility room cabinetry. The style was very eclectic, and all the pieces varied quite significantly throughout.
BEST FOR BOLD DESIGNS:
Founder Tom Corbett-Winder says: It takes us a long time to get pieces of our joinery into production, as I like to make sure everything is accounted for. We also love pushing the boundaries in the design (if the client lets us) with bold colours, high-gloss finishes and unique designs. We specialise in full-house refurbs with lots of joinery throughout – we design for every room in the house but the kitchen is fast becoming one of our favourite spaces to work on. The most interesting and fun job I can think of recently was installing a massive high-gloss playroom. It was really unusual.
BEST FOR THE FINISHING TOUCHES:
Head of design Chelsea Smith says: The first step is to to understand your own space and what you want the joinery to achieve. We strive to understand our client’s needs and help them come up with innovative ideas they may not be aware exist. We specialise in bespoke kitchens – however, we’ve always received fantastic feedback on our joinery. Working out of our workshop in south London, our local tradesmen and cabinetmakers combine their expert technical knowledge with a passion for good design, and clients love dropping by to feel part of the process. We work with hardwoods, stone, soft wood, glass and other decretive elements, including metal. Clients that are open to incorporating this into their projects will find they have so many options.