Wood Works crafts kitchen from 200-year-old oak | Bespoke joinery details

*In partnership with Wood Works Brighton*

Brighton-based kitchen makers Wood Works have used reclaimed vintage veneer and stainless steel to create a beautiful made-to-order design. 

The homeowners, having been impressed by some of the past projects by Wood Works, commissioned the Sussex-based company to create an entirely unique kitchen for their remodelled 1960s house. Combining joinery expertise and high-level craftsmanship, the finished look has an interesting story behind it…

Within the open-plan living scheme designed by Edgley Design Architects, Wood Works were tasked with handcrafting a one-of-a-kind kitchen that sits harmoniously alongside the contemporary architecture. “The design and testing phase took several months while the Surrey house was being refurbished,” explained Wood Works co-founder Francois Damseaux. 

“We made quite an early and fixed decision for the layout design, with the idea to showcase the large stainless steel aperture surrounded by oak. This would lead on to the island having a waterfall design also which seamlessly ties into a seating area. With its ultra thin leg base you can hardly see it.”

One of the original design concepts included an 8mm stainless steel worktop, however this decision was changed to ensure more of a streamlined finish. “Due to the way it is made in the factory and the sheer weight of it, we opted for a much sleeker 4mm surface. All the joins are seamless and as square edge as possible for an ultra crisp look,” added Francois Damseaux. 

Justifiably unique, the 200-year-old vintage oak used for the cabinetry fronts was always going to be used as a contrasting material to the stainless steel. The naturally beautiful oak has been reclaimed from French barns dating back hundreds of years, and its grain and character creates an eye-catching effect. Commenting on this distinctive quality, Francois explained: “It is much different to new oak, which in my opinion would be too similar or “perfect” to work alongside the stainless steel.”

The extensive kitchen island with its waterfall design offers a place to sit, eat, and converse, whilst enjoying the garden views

Of course, no project comes without its challenges, and for Wood Works this came in the form of working with the solid stainless steel. When it came to the design of the focal aperture, the design team needed to add extra reinforcement around the oak cabinets to cope with the weight of the stainless steel, especially the splash back. 

“Another design challenge was making sure the handles all followed the same lines and became part of the design,” they explain. “In order to do this, we inlayed the front of the cabinets with the same vintage oak to minimise contrast.”

Alongside the kitchen, a bespoke utility room features a floor-to-ceiling pantry which spans the full-length of a wall. The handcrafted detail on this fitted cabinet ensures that the essential storage space isn’t unsightly, and instead makes an attractive addition to the kitchen area. Its three-metre-wide sliding doors are crafted from the same reclaimed vintage oak as the kitchen cabinetry, and the pantry has capacity for a multitude of food and household items. 

The complementary aesthetic was a key design idea, as it continues the flow of the space which has an unobstructed line of sight between the kitchen and the utility room. This functional part of the house also hosts an integrated washer and dryer, as well as an additional stainless steel work surface. 

Project details: 

Kitchen design: Wood Works Brighton

Design and project management: Fewer Better Design

Architect: Edgley Design

Cabinet fronts: Vintage oak from Decospan (Belgium)

Drawers: Solid oak with box joint detailing

Worktop and splashback: Solid 4mm stainless steel from Cavendish Equipment

Appliances (oven, fridge, and hob): Gaggenau 

Polished floors: Lazenby

Photography: Bee Holmes Photography

Floor-to-ceiling windows draw natural light into the open-plan kitchen-living space and maximise views out to the surrounding garden

See more kitchen projects and design inspiration by Wood Works Brighton online and get a free design consultation.

Discover more design news and beautiful interiors on enki.

Looking for Something?