Developing Design Ideas

Developing Design Ideas

Interior design is something that takes skill, experience, imagination and the ability to visualise what the client wants. Fine furniture making is about having the expertise and skill to translate that vision into a solid piece that meets those expectations. This partnership is important and how we work together to develop design ideas is a critical element of the process.

Developing Designs Together

The designers use their skill to develop a concept in consultation with their clients that meets their aspirations. To make this concept a reality needs productive communication that evolves through the building of a strong relationship with the designer. Our aim is to support them through every stage of bringing the concept to life. We work directly with clients, architects, designers and contractors to ensure that we have a true understanding of the brief and full requirements. Using this information, we develop and further explain all options or opportunities in consultation with others on the project. All design detailing, materials and finishes are explored, considered and recommendations made.

Developing Design Ideas

Developing Design Ideas

Samples and Materials

At this stage of the development this is where our technical expertise comes into play in terms of materials and how they work together. This is also about having the knowledge to combine different materials such as what is technically possible within budgets. For example, a client may feel that they want solid wood for their piece, but it takes them over their budget. Our years of experience and expertise enable us to suggest alternatives that help to keep costs down such as veneered composite wood. We also generate samples for sign off so that clients can see first-hand how something will look before the piece is made. Having an idea may not translate exactly how it was imagined and we appreciate that, so we know how important it is to provide samples for our clients.

Developing Design Ideas

Ashton Bespoke Sample
Developing Design Ideas

Drawings and Practical Installation

Each project is assigned a project manager who, with the assistance of our technicians, conducts a full site survey to ascertain the precise space and tolerances required for the fitted or free-standing furniture. At this stage we can pre-empt any issues of access, integration or installation. Detailed technical drawings are produced, specifying all dimensions, materials and finishes. Our team will also receive their own production drawing which really shows in practical terms how all of it will come together.

developing design ideas

Unique Understanding

It’s fair to say then that the concept being drawn is only the first stage of design. The real development comes after this and is part of an understanding that exists between the designer and the furniture maker. It’s this relationship that brings about the development of the design and an ability to communicate with one another in a productive way. As furniture makers it is a privilege to be able to breathe life into the designer’s ideas and as a team realise the client’s vision.

Click here to read more about our process

Developing Design Ideas


Becoming a Cabinet Maker

Becoming a Cabinet Maker

The cabinet maker is one of the oldest professions in the UK and there is evidence of this dating back to the 16th century. To understand what being a cabinet maker is, let’s look at some definitions of this trade:

A cabinet maker is a person who makes high-quality woodenfurniture.

A skilled joiner who makes architectural joinery or similar high-quality woodwork.

Both definitions include the phrase high quality, so this is very much distinct from being a carpenter. There is more to cabinetmaking than just joining wood. It can be intricate and complex hence the need for skilled training. To become a cabinet maker takes years of dedication, it’s not necessarily a job that one just walks into. For many cabinetmakers, it takes years to learn about wood and to hone their making skills

becoming a cabinet maker  - Ashton Bespoke

College route into cabinetmaking

Many cabinetmakers find their apprentices through colleges and the CITB Construction Industry Training Board which set out over a three-year period where certain skills must be learnt, acquired and be tested on. This assessment takes place not just on practical skills but also the theory behind cabinetmaking. A standard apprenticeship would encompass time at a college and learning based experience within a workshop. The college part of an apprenticeship teaches the student the fundamentals and core knowledge needed for this profession and how this translates in practical terms is learned in the workplace. Respected and recognised colleges such as Rycotewood, Chichester, Burnley, Moulton and Cornwall have a good reputation in producing fine cabinet makers.

Privately run courses

There are alternatives to college such as privately run courses by highly skilled cabinet makers. These are carried out under the guidance of craftsmen renowned within the industry. The most reputable of these is the Edwards Barnsley Workshop, Robinson House Studio and the Rowden Atelier Woodworking School established by the late and truly remarkable David Savage.

Qualities of a good cabinet maker

There are many different qualities that come together to make a fine cabinet maker, but we have listed the ones that we believe stand out to us:

1. Attention to detail – It is the artisan eye within the cabinet maker that really captures incredible detail in their craft.

2. Understanding of timber – A knowledge on reading timber, understanding its mechanics and how to work a piece to achieving the best result.

3. Good time management – A quality that is necessary in all trades, the cabinet maker must adhere to project deadlines to ensure the furniture is completed.

4. Skilled use of tools – The cabinet maker must have an inherent knowledge of which tools to use to craft their piece to the highest standard and understand how to care for them, as they are their livelihood.

5. Commitment – A total dedication to producing excellence in their work

Not just a job

To learn your true skill as a cabinet maker carries on for many years. Many apprentices are taught that they will never stop learning as there are always alternative ways in accomplishing the same thing. One thing is for certain, it really does take a lot of skill, dedication and love to be part of the cabinetmaking industry. Cabinetmakers really live and breathe wood. It is not just a job; it is their vocation.

Click here to read more about cabinet making heritage


Becoming a Cabinet Maker