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! 


Why choose curved kitchen cabinets

Over the last few years, we have noticed that more and more customers are choosing curved kitchen cabinets. Stylish, practical and ergonomic, a curvy kitchen is an elegant solution for family homes, overcoming the risk that hard edges can pose to little ones, and ideal for small, awkward spaces, where protruding corners can place restrictions on movement. The soft lines of curved units will open up the room and create the illusion of space.

Open plan

Curves are also well suited to larger kitchen diners, with perhaps a breakfast bar forming an attractive focal point in an open-plan living area. The kitchen’s soft appearance will create a relaxed feel, helping it to blend in with other ‘zones’ and inviting families to spend time there together.


The idea of curves in the kitchen is a relatively new phenomenon and until recently was the preserve of contemporary homes, but there is now a wide choice available to complement period properties, ranging from relaxed country styles to grand classical designs. Both built-in and freestanding configurations are widely available and it is something Alresford Interiors are making more and more of.

Islands with curves are a particular highlight and bring real wow factor to the kitchen; in its simplest form the island may be rectangular with rounded edges to subtly soften the overall appearance, or it may be fully circular. The most impressive islands form a semi-circular work space around the cook, with perhaps a hob at the centre and preparation space on either side.


The downside of curves is that they are more expensive than standard units, due to the extra craftsmanship involved in their manufacture. But they can be more subtly incorporated at a lesser cost, with perhaps just the end of a built-in run being curved, a corner dresser, or if space allows an island, which works well with straight edges elsewhere in the kitchen.


Cabinet door furniture should also be smooth — consider round knobs, curved bar or cup handles or doors with handle grooves designed in. Worktops will need to be custom cut, usually in solid timber, granite or a composite and don’t forget to include curves in other elements, such as sinks to complete the look.

If you are looking to have a curved unit in your kitchen, please feel free to contact us on 01962 733016 for a FREE, no obligation quote.