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! 


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! 

Kitchen Storage Solutions

Kitchens can become quickly one of the most cluttered places in your home. Nowadays, your kitchen is required to hold a mass range of different appliances and utensils. The perfect kitchen is a clean one, free of clutter. By hiding appliances such as microwaves, it does prevent cluttered work tops and gives the feel of a larger, open space a popular choice in modern kitchens. Larders/pantries are commonly fitted with power points for this purpose.

Built in handmade wine racks are a brilliant way to store drinks neatly, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of room but is effective and a handy addition to your kitchen. It also adds a lot of sophistication to the appearance of a room.

The best way to utilise your space is making use of different depth, width and height drawers/cupboards for different products. For example – storing jars in a drawer big enough for pans isn’t efficient and wastes valuable space, switch it out. Deeps drawers are perfect for hiding those irritating, bulky pots. Using deep drawers instead of cupboards makes it easier to see the content and adds more depth to the kitchens design. Adding hidden drawers into larger drawers or cupboards can double up the storage for smaller items. Corner drawers and cupboards are a brilliant way to make the most of awkward spaces and provide you with more storage.

Overhead cabinets are a brilliant way to maximise storage in your kitchen. Storing products you don’t use regularly up above will help provide room for products you use frequently in an easy accessible location. Like those Halloween cookie cutters or that turkey tray you only pull out at Christmas. They don’t need to be easily accessible all year round. Tuck them away!

Plate racks are also a brilliant addition to a kitchen, displaying your pretty plates instead of dirty pots and pans. This adds a nice feature to a room and also frees up hidden space for the less aesthetically pleasing items.

Larder units are a brilliant way of bringing in a whole new piece of storage to your kitchen space whilst also being able to be designed to fit in with the current scheme running through your kitchen. Plus they look gorgeous. Larder units are increasingly popular and for good reason. Bespoke larders can be design specifically for you. This can help free up room for new goodies or just give you a clear, clean environment.

Islands are another popular addition. They offer extra storage, worktops and a socialising area. If you have the room available, adding an island to your kitchens design is something you won’t regret.

The beauty with a bespoke kitchen is that all these elements can be incorporated into your design and built to suit your needs. The freedom that comes with designing a bespoke kitchen beats an “off the shelf” one, giving you the chance to build that kitchen you have your heart set on – whilst also providing lots of storage!

For more information about our uniquely crafted kitchens please visit our workshop, call 01962 733016 or visit today.

Top tips to make your kitchen look bigger

Not everyone has the luxury of having a large kitchen, but this does not mean your kitchen space should feel cramped and suffocating.  Some simple measures will help make your kitchen look bigger, making everyday life a little bit easier.

Cabinet Units

Using light colours in your kitchen will make your entire space seem much larger. This can be achieved in several ways; from furnishing your kitchen with lighter coloured units, to using a high gloss finish or incorporating stainless steel to reflect the light.

Another ways to make your room feel more spacious is to incorporate a low contrast of colours into your kitchens with cabinets and appliances, which helps to blend everything together and into the walls. In addition, replacing solid cabinet doors with glass draws the eye through to the back of the room, making the kitchen space look more expansive.

Handles in kitchen are something that regularly get overlooked in the design process, however, opting for handless units will reducing the clutter in your kitchen, contributing to the larger feel.


Keeping your appliances hidden helps keep your work tops clear, which will give the room a larger, cleaner look. Having your microwave built into cabinets, larders or other cupboards helps maintain a clutter-free work space.

Avoiding crowding counters, shelves and cabinets with unnecessary clutter will help emphasize those few standout items. This helps reduce the claustrophobic feel of a small overcrowded kitchen bursting at the seams with junk and replaces it with a minimalistic, well designed, pleasant area. Having too much on display will cause the kitchen to look much smaller. Having less visual clutter, not just keeping things clean, but keeping wires and mess tucked away will help make your room look more open and fuss free.


Flooding the room with light; whether the kitchen is painted light or dark, lots of light beaming in will help the room feel as big as possible. Reducing the use of blinds and objects blocking the windows will help ensure as much light as possible gets in. Using smaller lights dotted around the kitchen rather than one harsh light will spread the light more evenly. This will draw the eye around the room. Popular lighting in kitchens is LED under cupboard lights or an LED contour strip. They are an effective form of lighting to light up work surfaces and add depth to a room.


Going for open shelving is a brilliant way to declutter your kitchen and accessorise without compromising valuable space on your work tops. It’s been trend that’s been around for a few years, and is a good way to inject some fresh modern vibes into your space, as well as extra storage of course. It’s a handy method of filling those odd spaces, for example – around the frame of your door, as well as being a neat way to store your kitchen must-haves, those random homeless ornaments and photo frames.

One of the best things about open shelving is that it’s extremely budget friendly, shelves are super affordable and are an easy ‘do it yourself’ job.

Bespoke Kitchen

Finally, our last tip, which we believe to be the most effective – a bespoke kitchen. Having a bespoke, custom-built kitchen is the best way to utilise the space available to you, as you can design the kitchen specifically for your room’s size and shape. This gives you complete freedom over which additional features you want in your kitchen.

Making the most of a smaller kitchen will stop it feeling like a cupboard, but instead a part of your home you can be proud of. We can provide a kitchen with space maximising solutions, such as integrated appliances- the best way to physically maximise a room’s limited space and neatly store appliances out of sight.

If you want to learn more about bespoke kitchens and how they can add to your home. Be sure to check out our one of our previous blog post – Why a bespoke kitchen will make all the difference in your home 

For more information about our uniquely crafted kitchens please visit our workshop, call 01962 733016 or visit today.