How to commission bespoke joinery for your home

One-of-a-kind wardrobes or storage to fit an awkward space? We guide you through the process of buying custom-made

bespoke joinery
Neville Johnson

Properly fitting storage can transform not just the look of a home, but also how you use it. By making the most of every available bit of space in your home it can make it seem bigger, function better and look sleeker. But how do you go about having something completely unique made if you’re not a carpentry whizz? It’s easy. Trust us, we asked the experts…

What should I think about when commissioning fitted joinery?
First, take the rest of the room into consideration. ‘Look at the furniture you’ve already got and the style of the space,’ advises Charlotte Crosland of Crosland Bespoke. ‘If you want a piece of furniture to house audio equipment in the living room, you need to know exactly what you want to hide, what you want to be on show and if you have the correct depth for everything.’

Don’t worry if you only have a small space – that often means more innovative solutions. ‘Recently, we built a coat cupboard under the stairs for a client and used a slide-out rail for accessibility,’ recalls Stuart Barr, founder of Barr Joinery. ‘We also find that the eaves of vaulted ceilings can often be beautifully maximised by made-to-measure joinery.’

Is there anything specific to consider when installing a fitted wardrobe?
All items of clothing and accessories need to be taken into account when designing built-in wardrobes, from cufflinks to socks. ‘We ask clients detailed questions, from how many handbags and pairs of shoes they own to whether they prefer hanging space over drawers,’ says Bernd Radaschitz, co-founder of Interior-id.

How does the process work?
There is so much choice at every stage that it can be helpful to consult an interior designer or architect to guide you through the whole thing – especially for larger projects. The first step is an on-site survey to measure the space and understand what the exact requirements are before drawings are produced. Budget has a big impact on your choices of material.

When it comes to finishes, are there any rules?
No, anything is possible. Think about the type of timber and finish (gloss or matt, wax or lacquer) required. You don’t just have to stick to wood either, leather or marble wardrobe inlays and metal trims can all be incorporated. ‘The key is to maintain focus on the vision,’ continues Barr.

‘Bringing in other specialists such as metalworkers, upholsterers and stonemasons has helped us create some beautifully individual commissions. Sustainable sourcing is also important. Cedar is a good option for wardrobe internals as it has natural moth deterring properties; similarly, mesh-fronted cabinets are on trend and offer air circulation that’s ideal when housing AV units.’

Five of the best bespoke joinery companies

These experts will help you make the most of your space with functional designs

Best for storage: Barr Joinery
From a dedicated wine cellar to a boot room, Barr Joinery can create nifty solutions for all kinds of storage. It’s part of Barr Group, so construction company Stuart Barr CDR is on-hand for full-scale refits.

bespoke joinery
Barr Joinery

Best for AV units: Crosland Bespoke
Part of Charlotte Crosland Interiors, this dedicated team provides a London-only bespoke service. Work includes libraries, studies and inventive solutions for kids’ beds.

bespoke joinery
Jake Fitzjones

Best for wardrobes: Cast by London Joinery Co.
Experts in residential joinery, cabinet makers at this south London firm can produce anything from bespoke wardrobes and boot rooms to windows and one-off furniture pieces.

bespoke joinery
The London Joinery Company

Best for large-scale projects: Interior-ID
Founded by Bernd and Johann Radaschitz (also behind Lanserring), this firm crafts its joinery in Austria, with its London-based cabinetmakers able to use its vast materials library.

bespoke joinery

Best for bookshelves: Neville Johnson
From a tailor-made office under the stairs to bespoke bookshelves that can line a living room, this company has been producing fitted furniture for more than 30 years.

bespoke joinery
Neville Johnson
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