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Custom Kitchens

Extraordinary Kitchens for Extraordinary Homes

Just For You.

I don’t do a lot of kitchen work, because what most people want in a kitchen – melamine built-ins, stone counter tops, square and maximal storage space at all costs – is not something I’m interested in making.

When I do say yes, it’s because it’s going to be interesting.

Solid wood counter-tops. Curves. Free-standing furniture integral to the kitchen. A plate rack.

The kitchen is the heart of every home. Yet the vast majority of kitchens are soulless, factory-made from cheap materials, designed to be easily installed, as skill-less and as cheap as possible.

Your kitchen should be designed for your needs, and executed to the highest possible standard.

What makes a great kitchen?

Rather than buying from a dreary shop floor (or, God forbid… flatpack…) or buying a made-to-order piece from a design collection, custom furniture means you commission a new design that meets your exacting requirements.

Custom means a piece of furniture that is defined by your character, lifestyle and tastes. I may be somewhat biased, but I sincerely believe having beautiful furniture significantly improves the spaces we inhabit, and vicariously, the way we live.

Read my rules for an extraordinary kitchen below.

Natural Materials

Natural materials develop a patina and become even more beautiful with age. Man-made materials give you cancer and fall apart after a couple of years. 

Real wood changes colour and becomes richer over time as it responds to sunlight. A metal range hood with an acid-wash finish will continue to develop colour as the years pass. Granite countertops reflect and play with light in a way no silica composite can (and granite doesn’t poison the people installing it, which is a bonus…).


A stone or glass backsplash creates a sleek, modern look. However tiles don’t have to be square, and can be used to create a design flourish that transforms any kitchen from ordinary to high-end for almost no additional cost.

The backsplash is the perfect place to inexpensively add character to your kitchen design.


Concealed or “euro” hinges are very useful for cabinet makers creating entire kitchens that won’t be assembled until they’re onsite. They have a huge amount of adjustment so the doors they’re being attached to don’t have to fit perfectly. Traditional hinges demand more skill from the cabinet maker, as the door must be tuned to fit the space perfectly. But they’re harder wearing, last decades instead of a few years, and create a beautiful, timeless and classic look that modern kitchens rarely possess.

Multi-level Islands

Unless you have a tiny space for a kitchen, multiple work zones are a must. This can be as simple as ensuring that appliances aren’t clustered all in one spot, or as complex as an island with multiple height bench areas for different types of work – lower for baking and kneading pasta dough, higher for chopping and food prep.

Wooden Countertops

Wooden countertops are rarely available in factory-churned kitchen, which is a tremendous shame: when used right they add a staggeringly beautiful component to your kitchen. Used as one countertop in a multi height bench, or used as a draining board next to the sink, is the perfect way to add some natural beauty to any kitchen.

Freestanding Kitchen Furniture

We’ve become accustomed to kitchen storage being built-in. The reason for this is not for your benefit: built-in cabinets are easy to manufacture off-site in vast quantities. They are easy to assemble, and the gaps can be covered with trim. They’re often not the most efficient use of space, and have the effect of making rooms feel smaller than they are.

The right use of free-standing furniture in kitchens can be all in takes to utterly transform the feel of the room, while providing the same – if not better – utility.

Antique Desk = Kitchen?

Unique pieces, repurposed – or even modified – antiques and heirlooms can set a modern kitchen apart. They provide warmth, character, charm, and are brilliant conversation starters. There’s something about antique furniture that is just indescribably wonderful. I once – actually, my first kitchen – was modifying an old desk and turning it into kitchen cabinets for a terrace in Melbourne’s albert park.

Plate Rack

Every kitchen needs a plate rack.

Every. Single. Kitchen.

I suppose that really depends on your perspective and values. Furniture that lasts for multiple generations could be called extremely cheap. It will certainly be cheap for your great-grandkids!

The cost of my custom furniture is broken down into three parts:

Materials, Design & Manufacture.

Materials make up 15-25% of the total cost, which often surprises people.

The time it take to design and make the thing takes up the rest. And making custom furniture takes one thing: time.

But the true value of a commissioned piece of furniture extends far beyond materials and time. Here’s what you can expect when you commission custom furniture (from me, at least):

  • A close, personal service throughout and after the commission
  • A limited-edition or one-off design
  • A beautifully crafted piece of furniture tailored to your requirements
  • The opportunity to meet and get to know your craftsman
  • The chance to support a tiny local maker and his ever growing family, and be a patron of a dying art
  • Expert advice during and after the commission
  • Access to a high-quality aftercare service for years to come
  • A future collectable heirloom, that generations will enjoy


But we should not pretend that custom furniture handmade by a solo craftsman does not cost a lot more than going to Ikea.

The dollar cost of custom furniture varies depending on the type of product (chair vs side table), size (6 seater vs 12 seater) and materials used (Victorian Ash vs Gaboon Ebony) but also the design complexity and hours required to make it.

It is this time we dedicate to developing and prototyping that sets a custom piece apart from a made-to-order one of similar specification. Commissioning a bespoke product will always cost more than buying ‘off the shelf’, but you get a great deal more for your money.

Some people don’t see themselves as “off the shelf”.

When commissioning a piece or pieces you will always be given the option: are you OK with me making a limited-run of these for other people, or do you want it to be exclusive to you?

Pricing is quoted with the limited-run in mind.

My first chair took 120 hours over 3 months to prototype. I’m currently working on a very fancy coat rack that has taken, so far, 80 hours*.

By making a limited run it spreads the cost of developing the design and production methods across multiple pieces, making your quote lower.

If you’d like the piece to be truly your own, just for you and you alone, then I will sign a contract with you promising to never make another one. However, this increases the cost to you.

*P.S. This is a speculative piece. Very few commissions take this long!

I understand that budget is a sensitive part of commissioning custom furniture for everyone.

I’m experienced at working to your budget, creating a solution that meets your needs for design as well as cost.

There are no nasty surprises. Once a fixed quotation with the final design is given, it’s just that: fixed. Unless the design changes, the price will never change.


Establishing a budget early on helps set realistic expectations for you and me about what we can achieve with the resources we have available to us. I can provide budget guidance for your piece as we’re working through the process.

An accurate price of a custom piece of furniture is unknown until we have a design with which to accurately cost. The design will be accompanied by a fixed price quote so you are fully aware of the costs before proceeding with manufacturing, and you can be confident that they won’t increase unless the design changes.

I design and make custom furniture in simple, elegant styles all the way to extravagant parquetry and creative veneering. The following is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of the starting point:

  • Beds: from $1400
  • Blanket Chests or Linen Chests: from $4,000
  • Chairs (Dining or Lounge): from $2,000
  • Chests of Drawers: from $6,000
  • Coffee Tables: from $3,500
  • Desks: from $5,000
  • Dining Tables Non-extending: from $4,500
  • Dining Tables Extending: from $7,500
  • TV/Media Cabinets: from $4,000
  • Side and Hall/Console Tables: from $2,000
  • Sideboards: from $5,500