• Little Jenkins Barn, Jenkins Lane,
    Great Hallingbury, Essex CM22 7QL
    Tel: 01279 506 616

Our Blog

The Handmade Kitchen Company Blog

Built In and Built Under

There is a wide range of styles (and prices) available to you when considering appliances for your kitchen. Free standing, ‘built-in’, ‘built-under’, integrated, and semi integrated options are all available. We will work closely with you in selecting appliance combinations that achieve the functionality you require and add that ‘Wow’ factor to your kitchen design.

Built In and Built Under appliances are designed to fit into kitchen units but remain visible while Integrated appliances require a furniture door to match the kitchen and will be hidden from view (excepting Semi Integrated models where there is a visible control panel).

Built Under appliances are designed to match a standard base unit height and only designed to go under a counter. Built In appliances may go under a counter but equally may be mounted at eye-level. However, there are exceptions, for example;

  • Eye level Built In appliances are not designed with plinth recesses and so should not be fitted under a worktop.

  • There is a range of appliances (e.g. some double ovens, fridges and even wine coolers) that are made to fit under the worktop and may not be fitted at eye-level and conversely some double ovens designed to fit eye-level in tall housings that may not be fitted under counter. Those variations are also reflected in some designs of Built In and Built Under fridges/freezers.

  • Ventilation is also a consideration as varies between the Built In and Built Under variations of similar products.

NB – Given the above, always consult with your designer to confirm that your appliances are appropriate for the installation position selected.

Solid Wooden Kitchens Essex

Solid wooden kitchens are becoming increasingly popular due to their elegance and timeless beauty. Suited to both modern and traditional styles; solid wood is full of character and a natural feature in itself. As well as being environmentally beneficial, solid wood gives your kitchen warmth and a welcoming atmosphere.

At Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we are proud to offer a range of solid wooden kitchens compromising of: wooden carcasses, door fronts and frames, drawers, worktops, dovetail jointed drawer boxes and accessories. We can help you achieve a contemporary, traditional or rustic feel to complete your dream kitchen. We craft your kitchen using painted Tulip wood for doors and frames and high quality Oak or Pine for your kitchen; both offering different pros and cons.


Oak is more durable than pine and is an ideal choice for kitchens with heavy traffic and families. This strong wood is a beautiful feature with its natural grain patterns and radiating warmth. Because of its hard-wearing, long lasting qualities, oak is a practical choice for a long term investment.


Pine is not as strong and hard-wearing as oak but it fits a tighter budget. Pine kitchens are a perfect choice for those who may want to change their kitchen over time or are not looking for a long term investment. Another benefit of pine is that it can be painted to perfection, completely changing the style and giving the wood a smooth, even finish.

There is no clear winner when it comes to comparing pine and oak. Both of them are equally stylish and practical; the choice of which one depends on your needs and requirements.

Solid wooden kitchens have stood their ground for decades and prove to be one of the most popular choices of kitchen materials, they also have many benefits.


Solid wood is not just for traditional or old style kitchens, it has a natural timeless beauty that never goes out of style. There are options to highlight its natural grain for rustic and country vibes or to paint it to match your colour scheme for a contemporary look. Whatever your style, wood has no risk of being outdated.


Solid Wood is very durable and resistant to chipping, peeling and dents. This makes your kitchen have a long shelf life and any damage occurring is very easy to fix with sanding and refinishing. This enables you to keep your kitchen without the costly need of having it replaced.

Warm and Welcoming

Many kitchens made of artificial materials may sometimes appear to be cold and uninviting. A kitchen made of solid wood can give the room a warm ambience which makes you feel a lot more relaxed and homely.

Cheap and Easy to Fix

Unlike stone and synthetic materials, solid wood is very easy and cheap to fix. Dents, chips and scratches can be easily sanded down, oiled or filled in to make your kitchen look like new again. In the unfortunate event of large-scale damage, solid wood replacements are very simple and won’t break the bank.

Low maintenance

Caring for your solid wood kitchen is extremely easy. There are no lengthy routines or high maintenance chores to keep it looking good; a simple varnish once in a while is all that is needed to help maintain its original state and beauty.

Here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we can design and build your solid wooden kitchen with our bespoke design system and skilled craftsmanship. Our aim is to ensure you receive ultimate quality and care from start to completion of your kitchen project.

If you would like any more information about our solid wooden kitchens, then please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex. We also have a fully functioning showroom, where you can view all our solid wooden kitchens in their full beauty. We look forward to hearing from you.

Open Plan Kitchens Essex

An open plan kitchen is a perfect environment for eating, socialising and entertainment at the same time. It becomes a place where most of your time is spent, whether you are relaxing, cooking, entertaining or spending time with family. The beauty of an open plan kitchen is that it can be a huge space saver, smaller kitchens can be opened up to make use of and maximise all of the available space. Creating open plan kitchens can be done by knocking down walls to combine living areas. It is ideal for small houses, flats and those who like to communicate with family and friends in the space of the same room.

Here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we can help you plan and design your perfect open plan kitchen. We will work closely with you to determine your needs, requirements, style preferences and storage options to help you create your ideal kitchen which is practical, stylish and comfortable.


Things to consider when designing an open plan kitchen:*


Open plan kitchens work best when rooms are partially separated into different divisions. The use of partitions, breakfast bars, kitchen islands and counters can all act as a barrier between your kitchen and living room/dining room area. Divisions create two different zones with all benefits of open plan, combining live-in rooms for a light and airy space.

Storage and Space-Saving

When creating space between a kitchen and living room, walls may be removed which is a worry regarding storage; one less wall doesn’t have to mean less storage. There are several options to optimise storage; breakfast bars with cabinets and kitchen islands with under counter storage and built in power sockets are a great solution. A breakfast bar or kitchen island will also act as a great dining area for family and friends to gather round and eat. There are also options to save space by removing radiators on the walls and installing under floor heating

Minimalistic Approach

Keeping your kitchen tidy and minimal will help to avoid any distracting clutter. Too many decorations and appliances will make your open plan kitchen look jumbled and disarranged. The use of handleless cabinets and doors help you to minimise clutter and make your kitchen appear more bright and spacious. There are also clever options to hide your appliances, food and waste bins.

Style Combinations

When designing your open plan kitchen, it is important that you consider the styles of the living room and kitchen. Two different styles may clash and look awful, for example, a sleek stainless steel kitchen won’t work very well with a shabby chic living room. It is important that your styles work together rather than work against each other. This applies to flooring, walls and furniture choices. Two different styles blended into an open plan setting will look tacky and mismatch, therefore you need to experiment or research styles that work.

Lights and Ventilation

Choosing the correct lights for an open plan kitchen is important. You don’t want lights that will overpower the living room or clash. A good option for open plan kitchens is under-counter lights and over-counter task lighting. These are not only visually appealing but they are also great space savers. Appropriate mood lighting is also a great feature as it allows you to convert the atmosphere from cooking into winding down in a relaxing space.

Ventilation is a must have for open plan kitchens, you don’t want excessive smoke and cooking smells entering the living room and seeping into furnishings. Extractor fans are a must to keep doors and smoke controlled and in one place.

Open plan living should be comfortable, practical, fun and suited to your lifestyle. Therefore, consider what you want and need to include in your kitchen and think carefully about space and how it will function. With an open plan kitchen, you have the ability to use your imagination and throw the rule book away. You can create the perfect cooking, entertainment and living environment for you and your family.

Here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we can help you design and build your perfect open plan kitchen with clever storage solutions, space saving options, lighting, flooring, furniture, cabinets, doors, seating, appliances etc. From start to completion we will work with you to help you create space that is practical and stylish so you can have a clever open plan kitchen design that suits you.

If you would like any more information about open plan kitchens then please do not hesitate to contact us here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex. We also have a fully functioning showroom where you can come and view some of our beautiful open plan designs for inspiration and ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.

Kitchen Lighting Essex

When it comes to deciding which choice of kitchen lighting is right for you, it can be quite tricky and one of the hardest things to get right. There are many different options when it comes to kitchen lights, each lighting option has different uses and needs. Lighting generally falls into 3 different categories:

• Ambient

Ambient lighting gives off a soft, natural glow which is not too harsh in your eyes. It creates a comfortable atmosphere and is often referred to a ‘mood-lighting’ Ambient lighting can be achieved with track or recessed lights and dimmers.

• Task

Task Lighting illuminates particular areas of your kitchen where you will perform ‘tasks’ such as cooking and cleaning etc. They are usually placed under cabinets, so it brightens up the worktops where you cook and prepare food. Some task lights include downlight, pendant lighting and Directional recessed fixture.

• Accent

Accent lighting creates more drama and draws attention to specific areas or objects in your kitchen. Popular types of accent lights include: recessed lights, track lights and flood lights.

Many people get confused about which bulbs and category of lighting they should choose. Generally the most popular forms of lighting are: LED, Halogen and Fluorescent. Here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we can help you determine which choice of lighting is right for you and which one would be more efficient. We have a wide range of different lighting options to suit your needs and various styles and types of lights to create mood, atmosphere and practicality.

Different types of lights:

LED lighting

LED lights make your kitchen look modern and simplistic whilst giving it a warm atmospheric glow. LEDs such as plinth lights, are significantly small low-level lights that are generally installed into kitchen kick boards and under kitchen countertops. They fit in neatly with the surrounding décor and are highly popular as they can be a decorative feature themselves.

Plinth lights are not too overpowering so they give your kitchen just enough light to see clearly without the intense brightness. A key feature of LED lights is that they are available in many different colours and tones. This is great for matching your kitchen colour scheme and adds personalisation. They also work wonders for highlighting different colours and textures in your kitchen, particularly your floor.

Halogen Lighting

A halogen light is very similar to a standard light bulb or incandescent lamp, the key difference is that halogen lights use gas. The halogen gas enables the bulb to have a longer shelf life whilst increasing the input of light. They are widely used due to the low price and the soft warm glow that they produce. However, halogens are not very energy efficient and do not last as long as other lights such as LEDS. Therefore, Halogen lights are more suited for kitchens with minimal use.

Fluorescent Lighting

Like halogen, fluorescent lights are relatively cheap to buy but they last a lot longer. They give you a lot more light per watt compared to the halogen lights so they are more energy efficient. A key feature of fluorescent lighting is that they are highly stylish and decorative. There is a huge choice of sleek modern designs such as, chrome and glass which complement your kitchen and make it stand out.

LED, Halogen or Fluorescent?

LED lights are relatively more expensive than halogen but they are known for being more energy efficient. Around 80% of the electricity used by LEDs; is used as light energy and the bulbs produce very little heat. This means very little electricity is wasted and you get more use for your money. As well as being energy efficient, LEDs are durable and last a long time. The light they produce is very close to being natural and there are different options such as warm white, cool white, pure white and natural white. Another key benefit is that you have the option to choose coloured lights, which are brilliant for setting a theme or specific atmosphere.

Halogen lights are significantly cheaper than LEDs but they are not very energy efficient. They produce a warm, natural glow which reach their full brightness at the flick of a switch and can be used with dimmers. They are very cheap, easy to obtain and are easily available. The problem with halogen lights is that they get hot very quickly and consume a lot of energy. Halogen lights only use approximately 30% of the 70% of energy that is required to power them, this makes your energy bills increase significantly. Although halogen bulbs are a lot cheaper to purchase, the cost of keeping them running is much higher compared to the initial price of LED lights.

Fluorescent lights are relatively good energy saving lights but not as good as LEDS. They are very stylish, modern and are highly decorative. However, they can contain harmful mercury and if a bulb breaks or shatters, it can be harmful to people, pets and the environment.

Choosing the correct type of lights for your kitchen is vital for setting the mood, atmosphere and carrying out practical tasks. It is a good idea to do some research or see some examples of different lighting to see which option is right for you.

If you would like any more information about your kitchen lighting options, then please do not hesitate to contact us here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex. We also have a fully functioning showroom where you can see some of the different ranges of kitchen lights in full action. We look forward to hearing from you.

In frame Kitchens Essex

In frame kitchens are growing in popularity, you only have to see one to know why. They look classy, elegant, beautiful and certainly pack a lot of character. An in frame kitchen delivers a unique look; where cabinet doors fit inside a custom built frame which is attached to the front edges of the kitchen unit. Doors, and drawers are also fitted inside the frame so that they open within it. This gives your kitchen a clean, traditional and organised look.

Because the doors and cabinets sit inside a frame, it makes them a lot more stronger and stable as there is no strain from their own weight; this is because they are being supported by the frame. This is very practical as it makes your kitchen furniture and cabinets a lot more durable compared to plant-on doors and cabinets; which may misalign and break over time due to the weight pulling on the hinges. Building a frame around the kitchen cabinets and doors, provides them with a lot more strength which helps the cabinet hold up for many years to come. This ensures your kitchen lasts a long time with very little maintenance.

Here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we are proud of our ability to craft and build high quality in frame kitchens. Our many years of skill and experience has enabled us to produce many beautiful in frame kitchens with precision, quality and specifications which are tailored to your needs.

Why you should buy an In frame kitchen

One of the main reasons people opt for an in frame kitchen is the sheer beauty and durability of it. The in frame design looks very classy and sophisticated, it also has the ability to make your kitchen look tidy and organised. In frame kitchens are the perfect choice for those who want a classic or traditional kitchen style but they are also starting to be adapted for more modern kitchens. With a extensive range of colours for painted doors, frames and cabinets, in frame kitchens can be updated or toned down to look more present or historic and can be personalised to suit your tastes. In frame kitchens are generally custom made, therefore you can really appreciate the beauty of this style and truly see the craftsmanship and hard work that has gone in to it.

In frame kitchens are:

• Stylish

• Elegant

• Durable

• Low maintenance

• Available in a wide range of colours

• Organised

• Custom made

At Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we have a wide selection of in frame kitchens for you to choose from which are unique to each individual order. They are available in an extensive range of carcass, cabinet and drawer colours to suit your style. If you would like any more information about in frame kitchens, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. We also have a fully functioning showroom where you can see examples of our beautiful in frame kitchens, so you can fully appreciate the style and gain some inspiration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Kitchen Cabinet Makers Essex

Handmade kitchen cabinets are growing in popularity. This is because the quality of handmade cabinets are much higher than factory built cabinets. Handmade cabinets are built from scratch using your preferred choice of material and shape size. Every individual order of cabinets are made to exact specifications; it is rare that any two cabinets are exactly the same. Here at Handmade Kitchen Company Essex, we are proud of our reputation for being high quality cabinet makers. Our many years of skill and expertise for crafting and designing handmade cabinets; is shown in the quality and precision of the finished result.

Our manufacturing process combines traditional techniques with advanced machinery and precision skill; to bring you accuracy and perfection. With our extreme attention to detail, we can ensure your finished cabinet has no imperfections and is tested to ensure high quality. With hand cut joints, hand sanding and silky smooth surfaces; you will notice the difference compared to factory jobs. Want a specific shape? We can craft your kitchen cabinets to any shape, size, style or theme. From traditional to modern, periodic or country, there are no limits when it comes to your perfect design. We also offer a service to have your cabinets hand painted to ensure a smooth and flawless finish.

Kitchen cabinets undergo a lot of use over the course of time. This means wear and tear is inevitably going to happen; the quality of your cabinets determines how long they will last. Therefore, cabinets need to be made with the strongest materials and built to be durable. Only the highest quality and most hard-wearing materials are used for our cabinets. Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, is proud to use only the strongest, premium grade materials in the construction of our cabinets.

With a handmade kitchen cabinet, you can have any shape such as curves, angled and straight, available in any depth, width, height, colour and finish you desire. There is bespoke options to have integrated furniture and appliances built into the cabinets, with a choice of different handles or a complete handleless design.

A key advantage of handmade cabinets is the storage and space. As they can fit almost anywhere big or small, they can make room for any other kitchen furniture or appliances and give you the freedom to move around. There is the option to have deep drawers, shelves, racks and openings, giving you heaps of storage you may require.

At Handmade Kitchen Co Essex, we are proud cabinet makers with a wealth of knowledge and skill. We will ensure you receive premium quality cabinets that suit your needs and requirements. We will work closely with you to propose and design your cabinets, with detailed planning and visual examples to bring your ideas to life.

If you would like any more information about our handmade cabinets or have any other kitchen query or would like a Free consultation; then please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Handmade Kitchen Co Essex. You can also visit our impressive showroom, where you can view our beautiful handmade cabinets and latest kitchen builds to give you ideas and inspiration.

Blog Powered by BLUDIT-PRO