Do I need a Carpenter, Joiner or Cabinet Maker?


Whilst the three terms have, in the modern age, become more interchangeable, there are historical differences between the three roles.

The historical hierarchy of woodworkers was Carpenter – Joiner –  Cabinet Maker

These definitions have been drawn from various historical sources and updated to help understand how the roles are defined today.  The division between the three roles is less clear than it was in the 17th and 18th Century but it is useful to understand the basic differences when looking for skilled tradesmen to undertake different aspects of working with wood.



Carpentry means the art of cutting, framing, and putting together timber in the construction of buildings, or an assemblage of pieces of timber connected by being framed together, as the pieces of a roof, partition, floor, etc.



Joinery is the art or work of a joiner; and a joiner is a mechanic who does the woodwork in the covering and finishing of buildings, or whose occupation it is to construct things by joining pieces of wood together. This includes windows, doors and staircases.


Cabinet Maker

The artisan who makes furniture of a more elaborate description is usually called a cabinetmaker, the term “cabinet” being applied to a piece of furniture consisting of a case or box furnished with doors and drawers. Basically, a cabinetmaker is a woodworker who makes cabinets and the finer kind of joiner’s work.

Today, cabinetmakers will work in solid wood, typically hardwoods and sheet materials, though Veneers of highly prized wood may be used for decorative purposes. In choosing over another, the cabinetmaker has to consider ease of construction, appearance, cost, weight, strength and durability.

At Alresford Interiors, we employ a team of highly skilled cabinet makers who take immense pride in the work they do.  They delight in working with clients to make their projects a reality.

For any more help and advice, or if you’re ready to start designing your cabinetry project, please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your kitchen project off the ground today! 


Design Ideas For Small Kitchens

Planning a kitchen that fulfills all of your requirements can present many problems when you only have a small space to work with. Standard off the shelf designs, no matter how visually appealing they are in design, are often not suitable for the space you have available in your home. These cabinets will be standard in their measurements, often with shelf configurations which would better suit if constructed in a different way.

This is where the beauty of bespoke comes into its own! Bespoke designs give you many solutions for small rooms, enabling the area to be used to its maximum potential. When beginning the design process, we like to come to your home, get a feel for the area and have a chat with you firsthand about what is most important for you in the kitchen. We find it incredibly useful to making a wish list with your most important factors at the top and working down, for example is it more important to have more storage, or more space? Or perhaps a complete reconfiguration to make the best use of any natural light available. Whatever it is you require, we can work together to bring your ideas alive. Bespoke provides the freedom for something quite unique, even in a tiny kitchen.

When considering a kitchen layout and design, it is best not to fill every single available wall space, floor to ceiling, with cabinetry, as we find this can make the room feel particularly small and claustrophobic. Instead, we should rely on clever storage solutions, such as making the most of the interior of the cabinetry below your work surfaces, or using a combination of overhead cabinets and/or wall shelving to add some variety. With regards to the interior of your kitchen cabinets, there are many handy solutions which can be inbuilt to create a multitude of space, including pull out corner cabinet accessories and internal shelves on rollers adding functionality and practicality – gone are the days of having to climb into your cupboards!

Choose your colour scheme carefully, a light palette with encourage light to bounce around the room whereas a dark palette will draw the room in and make it appear smaller. Why not consider a timeless oak block or stone worktop or breakfast bar with a light colour of your choosing on the cabinetry and walls? The results of this combination really are striking.

And last of all, let us get onto clutter. Every kitchen has it, whether it’s on display or not! Those bits and bobs that have their purpose and come in handy once in a blue moon. We suggest organising it into seasonal use and store accordingly, for example the turkey tray can be stored up high, and those halloween cookie cutters and other accessories that are only needed once a year can be stored away thoughtfully too. Kitchen appliances that are seldom used can be put out of site to provide you with more valuable workspace for preparing food – it also looks a lot neater! Drawer inserts are invaluable for organising cutlery, kitchen utensils, food bags, elastic bands and other bits you may have.

For any more help and advice, or if you’re ready to start designing a dream kitchen of your own, please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your kitchen project off the ground today! 


Our 2017 Top 5 Kitchen Trends

Our 2017 Top 5 Kitchen Trends

With 2018 only around the corner we thought we would have a look back over 2017 at our top 5 kitchen trends we’ve seen this year and give you our thoughts as to whether they’ll be joining us next year!

  1. Quartz worktops

We have noticed a rise in people opting for Quartz countertops over other materials, and we envision this to continue well into next year! Especially as manufacturers are now providing a vast array of colours, stone patterns, and finishes to choose from. The current trend of having softer and neutral colours within the kitchen is readily achievable with Quartz and lends itself perfectly towards the cleaner kitchen styles we have seen. It is an extremely hard-wearing material which is antimicrobial and easier to maintain than Granite, it’s main competitor.

Alresford Interiors 2017 Top 5 Kitchen Trends

2. Shaker style cabinetry

This style of cabinetry is still our most popular by far and continues to be so. The cabinetry is characterised with a five-piece door with a recessed center panel and can be clean and simple with straight lines, or have decorative edging incorporated. The design options really are limitless, from a traditional country cottage look, through to a ultra-modern apartment, shaker style cabinetry can be suited to any home. The beauty, of course, with bespoke kitchen cabinets, is that we can construct to whatever specification you have in mind.

Alresford Interiors 2017 Top 5 Kitchen Trends

3. Feature items

There has been an increase in designing kitchens around a feature item, such as a large range cooker or American fridge for example. The feature item is often made the focal point of the kitchen and, as such, needs to referred back to when considering other design ideas for the room. Using the range cooker as an example, what colour will the cooker be? And what style? Will the paint colour of the cabinets blend in, or provide a striking contrast? How will the positioning of the cabinetry best emphasise your feature item? Whatever your thoughts/ideas/plans, we can help you each step of the way and maybe throw a spanner in the works (excuse the pun) to approach your design from a different angle or two.

4. Faux Chimney Breasts

A popular request has been to construct a faux chimney breast above the cooker in lieu of a standard cooker hood. This adds grandeur to the kitchen and really does look super when done properly! The extractor fan is still there, but is hidden underneath. An oak mantle piece is often added to the front of the chimney providing a surface for decorative pieces. Combined with a focal cooker, this overall appearance is spectacular.

5. Copper Detailing

The main colour trend for 2017 has undoubtedly been the grey and earthy tones which work fabulously with neutral coloured kitchen designs. This year we have seen them teamed with copper handles on the cabinetry, along with copper accessories and other kitchen appliances. The copper detailing has been providing a warm and sophisticated alternative to the industrial stainless steel and blacks. We can see this design trend carrying on into 2018 due to its increasing popularity and huge affordability, we also envision brass and rose-gold to join copper in its increasingly popularity going into the new year.

For any more help and advice please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your kitchen project off the ground today! 

What defines a galley style kitchen?

What defines a galley style kitchen?

Traditional Kitchens

There are many ways to maximise a small area with a galley style kitchen layout, so we have endeavored to discuss them in some detail to best clarify what defines a galley style kitchen for you. A galley style kitchen typically features a long, narrow passage situated between two parallel walls. In normal circumstances, all the components such as the stove, oven, fridge and storage are along one wall, and the opposite wall houses the sink, further storage and perhaps a dishwasher and washing machine. This style of layout is commonly found in small kitchens, or in a kitchen where space is compromised such as a professional restaurants.

The galley style can also be found in wider kitchens where an area is separated by a window or french doors. Many designers choose to keep the layout of the room as a galley rather than creating a U bend with cabinetry. This keeps the space open and airy and allows room for a small breakfast table if desired, or in the case of french doors, allows light to flood through. Similarly, if room allows, an island come breakfast bar can be used to create additional storage and a seating area.

Sticking with the subject of light, it is important in narrow galley kitchens to try and generate as much light as possible. This makes the room feel and appear larger than it actually is. If natural light is limited, opt for a lighter colour palette within the kitchen which will encourage light to bounce around the room. Dark colours, although cosy and warming, have a tendency to make a room close in on itself and appear smaller.

Some useful design tips that can be incorporated to maximise the space within a galley style kitchen are:

1. Integrate or conceal your appliances to make the space appear tidier.

2. Use handless drawers for a sleek finish and more room.

3. Make use of the space available within your cabinetry by adding cabinet door organisers and incorporating tall pantry storage. Everything will be close to hand but neatly hidden behind closed doors.

If you would like any further information on whether a galley style kitchen could be the design for you, or on our kitchen design process, then feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to help.

For any more help and advice please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your kitchen project off the ground today! 

How much does it cost to sand a floor?

How much does it cost to sand a floor?

How much does it cost to sand a floor?


Domestic Floor SandingSo here is the million dollar question: how much does it cost to sand a floor? To help you get an idea of what you should be expecting, I have listed some examples of recent floor sanding work we have completed, along with the associated costs involved. There are several factors to take into account when costing a job, such as how long it is expected to take, if there are gaps to fill and the quantity of materials we may need. Therefore, the following information should be used as a guide only.



Recent jobs:

(1) Hallway of 9 square metres of finger block parquet (basket weave) straight sanding, no repairs, resin filled with a clear matt lacquer finish. £498 including vat

(2) Hallway of 16 square metres, engineered oak, straight sanding with no repairs and finished with ultra matt lacquer £498 including vat.

(3) Open plan lounge and dining room area of 20 square metres of engineered oak with no repairs, straight sanding with no repairs and finished with matt lacquer £576 including vat.

Again please note the above prices are only a guide and should not be taken as indicative for your own floor sanding requirements. Prices do vary from job to job.

Our basic charge is £25 plus VAT per square meter for sanding and finishing (staining will be more expensive). Most of the time we work in a team of 2, with a minimum daily rate, including all sanding and finishing products, is £415 plus VAT. It’s worth bearing in mind that the smaller the area, the more expensive the job works out per square metre. For example small hallways or bathrooms will be the most expensive areas to sand and finish.

To give some context to these prices, hiring a low range belt and edge sander for a day is likely to cost approximately £100. These two machines on their own won’t give a great finish as they lack the finesse and control that professional machines have. Ideally you’ll need to go around the edges with a lighter weight machine to remove all the scratches, as well as getting into the tight corners. If you simply use a belt sander for the main floor area, you’ll end up with a very poor quality surface. It’s also worth considering what you want to finish the floor with. For up to 16 square meters of floor, a 5 litre tub of lacquer finish should be sufficient, which will cost around £60.

One person, with limited (or no) experience in floor sanding is likely to be able to sand around 16 square meters of floor in one day with standard hire tools and the quality of these tools means that they’re also likely to create a significant amount of dust in the process. So after one day, you’ll have spent £160 in sander hire and materials at a minimum (depending on whether you needed to invest in hiring a corner sander or buying dust sheets as well). Your back hurts, the quality isn’t great, your house is full of dust and you quite possibly wish you had never started! In a worst case scenario, you might even have to call a professional to fix any damage that’s been caused. We’ve seen all too many floors that end up looking terrible because someone has “had a go” and sanded it themselves. In my experience, it really is worth the investment to get a professional in to finish your floors as this can make a significant difference to the quality of the room.

It really does come down to what your time is worth and how good you want your floors to look and how much time, effort and hassle you are prepared to go through.

If you would like any further information on our floor sanding process, or would like to book in for a free quote, then feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to help.

For any more help and advice please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your flooring project off the ground today!