HANDMADE KITCHENS BLOG
David Head Furniture – 2011-2016 Part 1
So, i find myself in possession of a fairly free afternoon. The lads are busy in the workshop and David is asleep and so i thought i would embark on a fairly large blogging project for the day. Most of my blog posts normally come together in anything between 30 minutes to an hour. I could probably write them quicker but unfortunately the connection between my brain and fingers isn’t as sharp as it could be and i tend to type as i think, one word at a time and very slowly. Being the massive nerd that i am, i realised the other day that i have photographed a lot of the work that we have undertaken over the past five years. HANDMADE KITCHENS BEDFORD – CASE STUDIES | HANDMADE KITCHENS BEDFORD – GALLERY | HANDMADE KITCHENS BEDFORD – REVIEWS | 01525 753737 | firstname.lastname@example.org | CONTACT This has equated to roughly 120 photos! What i would like to do is to split that into say six parts and show you all of the pictures and a small description of each job, primarily the materials that we used and were possible the finishes as well. If nothing else this may just give you a few pretty things to look at whilst your doing more important things like going to the toilet, walking children across a busy road or operating a large piece of industrial machinery. So without further ado…. (god this is going to take me ages!). By the way if the descriptions get shorter and shorter as these posts go on then you know what has happened, I’m either running out of time and just want to go home or I’ve got so bored that i’ve just started writing ‘table’ or ‘wardrobes’ next to the relevant photo. Ok we really are going to go for it now…… Believe it or not but this is actually the office/ showroom we created when we were in Station road, Flitwick, this was made to highlight a few different handmade kitchen ideas. The wall units have solid oak panelled doors and the base units a spray painted finish. The oak worktops are made in a butcher block style with a ceramic sink.
Part of a large shaker handmade kitchen in Ampthill. All of the doors were ‘in frame’ and there were granite tops throughout. If you look closely you can see that the wall panelling and the overmantle were in a different colour.
A white high gloss utility room in Stockgrove. This features handleless rail on the base doors and draws. The wall unit doors overhang the units so that they can be opened from the bottom without handles. I particularly like the contrast between the white high gloss and the dark splashback.
Another inframe handmade kitchen, this time in Emberton. The challenges here were the curved doors and also the fact that the house was a very old property. we had to build up a couple of false walls to be able to fit the wall and larder units level and also had to cut around a few beams.
A very modern handmade kitchen in Maulden. The builder was also the homeowner of this one which made getting sizes and plans much easier! This was a very effective mix of black and white high gloss BA zurfiz doors.
Bespoke Handmade Kitchens- A case study in design
So far i have waxed lyrical about our bespoke handmade kitchens service. I have also written at length about what the term ‘bespoke’ means to us, but what does it mean in practice to you, our customers?
I thought i would take you through the process of having your new bespoke handmade kitchen designed by David Head Furniture.
Step 1 – Meeting Up
Upon contacting David, the first step will always be a face to face meeting between yourself and David. Preferably this would take place in your home at a time of your choosing. This will give David an opportunity to look at the size and layout of your handmade kitchen.
He will discuss with you styles and finishes as well as any design ideas you have yourself to ensure that the end product is exactly how you imagined it.
Are there are any design aspects of the room itself that need to be incorporated into the design, or worked around? Are you looking for something more traditional or something sleek and modern with all the new unit inserts and mod-cons?
Step 2 – Initial design
After this initial meeting David will come back to the office, wheel around on his chair for a bit, drink a lot of tea and start your design (he still tries to convince me that the time spent doing this is to allow the ideas to formulate in his head, I’m not buying it).
He will speak to you on the phone or via email whilst doing this, asking several questions ranging from the exact positioning of the units right through to the make and model of hob you may be looking at.
He does this to ensure that the initial design that you receive gets as a close as possible to what you have in your head.
Recently, a customer from Haynes in Bedfordshire came to us looking for a more traditional handmade kitchen. They already had a beautiful Aga which had been lovingly restored and were now looking for the kitchen to go around it.
The design complications included the Aga itself, curved doorways in fairly inconvenient locations and the fact that the kitchen itself was far from square! After meeting with David and several phone calls David came up with the following design.
You can see from the designs that the handmade kitchen was split into three distinct sets of units. All of these units were to feature a curved open unit at the end of the run, allowing for a neat amount of open storage but also allowing for the kitchen to appear roomy and open, giving more room to get around and making the handmade kitchen feel bigger overall. A traditional ‘shaker’ kitchen was chosen.
All the units would feature front framework, inset doors, cornice and pelmet as well as curved plinths to match the open units. Solid Granite worktops were chosen. These were to mirror the curves of the units and to feature a traditional moulding to the front edge.
Within the units were a clever mix of shelving, Hafele move-it drawers and pull out baskets and larder systems. Above the Arga an overmantle was designed, to encompass the existing low ceiling and to encorporate much of the pipework leading to and from the Arga.
Articad – Handmade Kitchen Design
I still find it hard to believe that it is possible for David to produce such a real look design using his ArtiCad programme. Constant upgrades and improvements are made to the program to make it even more lifelike.
It is incredible to see the difference in designs from three or four years ago to now, allowing us to help you see in more and more detail exactly how your handmade kitchen will look.
Technical Handmade Kitchen Drawings
Along with the pretty pictures we will also provide working technical plans, showing the sizes of all the units and exactly how they will be positioned.
You can see the angles and dimensions of the room more clearly in the top elevation.
You can see how the units were placed to maximise the room available and also note how the open shelving unit wraps around the existing door frame, an idea from David to help open the room up into the lounge beyond, giving a much more open plan feel than would have been achieved by simply stopping the unit square against the edge of the door frame.
The plan view shows the detail on the doors and framework as well as giving all the relevant information about heights and sizes. You can also see the proposed panelling that was to sit between the top of the worktop and the underside of the wall units, cutting neatly underneath the window.
These technical drawings are just as invaluable as the earlier pictures as they make it much easier for any other trades that may be involved in your new handmade kitchen as well as making it very clear to me as Davids workshop manager exactly what is involved and expected from your handmade kitchen.
Handmade Kitchen Cutting Lists
From these plans several cutting lists are then prepared, splitting the job into smaller, more manageable chunks, ensuring that no mistakes are made throughout the manufacturing process.
These cutting lists will take in the units themselves and then all the painted parts of the handmade kitchen. All the doors will be broken down into their component sizes to ensure the right amount of materials are ordered and paid for!
Less Hassle – Organising Other Trades
David will also project manage the whole process from start to finish, contacting and organising any other trades that may need to work on your handmade kitchen.
From plumbers to gas fitters, electricians and even the flooring, David will organise it all to minimize the amount of disruption to you and to make sure your handmade kitchen is fitted as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
Handmade Kitchen Presentation
Once David has finished the designing and pricing of your handmade kitchen you will be given a full presentation packet with all of the plans, designs, pictures, specifications and price to have your kitchen made and fitted.
There are no hidden costs, unless you yourselves change something along the way the price you see is the price you pay.
Hopefully this blog has given you a small insight into how the design process works, and how much effort goes into ensuring all of our designs match perfectly with our customers imaginations.
All of this design process comes completely free of charge, allowing you to know precisely what your kitchen will look like before any work is undertaken.
Thank you for reading.
A large proportion of our work at David Head Furniture involves making furniture to match existing pieces in peoples homes. The ability to do this is something that we take pride in. Not many people are lucky enough to be able to furnish an entire room at once from scratch. If you are anything like me, your furniture collection has been built up over years, slowly adding either a new piece or a nicer piece when the finances allow. Obviously, if and when you buy a new piece, it is normal to want it to fit in with your existing furniture and if your existing pieces are a few years old it can be extremely difficult to accomplish this. Styles will change and manufacturers may go out of business meaning that when you come to buy a coffee table that matches the bookcase you bought two years ago you may find that it is no longer in production.
A recent customer asked us to slightly rearrange the kitchen above (the larder unit you can just see on the left hand side of the picture is something we have added, I’ll get to that later!) They wanted to add some more storage around existing appliances (a fridge freezer and a wine cooler) whilst keeping the impression that the whole kitchen was made and fitted at the same time. This kitchen is a very good example of our furniture matching service as there are so many different elements to it, there is framework, doors, pillars, panels, cornice and pelmet etc etc.
The first job and probably the most important when matching up, as ever lies with David! He will go to the customers home and take time to ensure that we know exactly what we are matching up to. He will take plenty of photos of the existing mouldings for reference and also measure as much as he possibly can, from the width and thickness of the framework to the depth of the panel on the doors. If there are curves on mouldings these will be measured to ensure that we get the right radiuses on our curves.
We have a large amount of different shaped cutters for our router and spindle moulder so most of the time these will be used. For more specialist mouldings we will locate the right shaped cutters from our local supplier and, in some cases, even have cutters specially made. It is so important to take such thorough measurements as having one moulding slightly out of place can mark an entire section of the kitchen as being an add on and not part of the original kitchen.
This is one of the larder units that we added, This was situated effectively just behind the first photo. You will also notice that you have a door frame to the right hand side and the wall returns around the corner on the left hand side, this meant that on top of matching all the styles and mouldings, the unit itself had to be built to bespoke sizes to ensure a nice tight fit with no wasted space. The design of the front framework was also important to ensure that it fit neatly around the wine cooler, making the appliance look completely integrated but also allowing for it to be taken out and accessed easily.
The trickiest thing about this design actually turned out to be the doors, they featured several curves and joints that were at odds with our normal methods for making similar doors. We sourced the right cutters and made sure that all the framework and panelling on all of the doors was exactly the same as the doors to the rest of the kitchen. The open shelving on the left hand side were made from the same materials as were used for the units to the rest of the kitchen, again to ensure that it didn’t look different.
Also wanting to give the existing kitchen a little bit of a facelift, and with it being a handpainted kitchen originally, the customers asked us if we would hand paint not only the new bits of the kitchen but also to put a fresh coat on the original bits. This really helped to draw the whole matching process together. With the attention paid to the details and the mouldings and a fresh coat of paint on everything we think you would be hard pressed to know that half the kitchen was roughly 8 years older than the other half!
You can see here the match of old and new. The larder unit built around the fridge/ freezer is all new, the rest of the picture (including the island which was specifically painted a different colour) is old. Can you tell?!
A completely bespoke furniture matching service is something that most companies can not offer. It will either go against their method of mass producing their own ranges and styles or it is just not cost effective for them (and therefore for you) for them to go through all the processes required to match up to your existing furniture. As a completely bespoke company, this is the sort of work that we feel we really excel at.
HANDMADE KITCHENS BEDFORD
If you are trying to find a piece of furniture to match an existing piece then there are several small but important details that you need to look for. Some of them are-
1. The thickness of the timber used, is the top 20mm thick or 30mm? Are the doors 18mm or 26mm?
2. If it is an inframe piece how wide is the framework? How wide are the outside pieces on the doors?
3. Are there mouldings on the skirting, pelmet and cornice? If so take specific sizes, check the sizes of any curves.
4. What colour is it? This may seem like a silly one but there are hundreds of variations on the colour white alone, it may look the same in the shop but look completely different when the two pieces are next to each other. The same goes for a bare timber look. Different stains and oils will appear to be very similar but could in fact be just different enough to drive you insane in the long run!
5. Hinges, handles and catches. These can usually be sourced to match existing. If this is not possible then it is always worth investigating how much it would cost to buy new handles for your old piece so that they match the new piece, for a fairly small price you can make a huge difference to the overall look.
If you are looking to take advantage of our furniture matching service you can reach David at David@davidhead.co.uk or on 01525 753737.
Thank you for reading