Chalkhouse was born out of a desire to offer discerning home owners a real alternative to poor quality, uninspiring, off-the shelf kitchens and furniture. If you have ever pored longingly over the glossy images in home magazines but been put off by the high price tag, then Chalkhouse are the company for you.
The team at Chalkhouse has over fifteen years experience in designing and producing handmade quality kitchens and furniture. A number of their projects have been featured in national kitchen magazines and on television.
They have a strong customer care ethic and enjoy sharing the excitement and satisfaction of creating something beautiful for their clients.
Style of the City talks with Ceri Hill, Owner of Chalkhouse Kitchens, who shares with us the details of her upcoming projects and gives advice on how to refurbish your kitchen.
When was Chalkhouse created?
In the heart of the recession in 2013 my partner Graham and I decided to start our own business, a slightly risky decision given the economic climate at the time, but one that has proved to be the right one after all. It’s nerve wracking when you first start, every penny you spend is coming out of your own pocket right up until the moment you make your first sale, which luckily for us proved to be the first of many.
What do you offer consumers that separates you from other brands?
Firstly, we have our own workshop where we make all the kitchens, which is a real positive as clients love being able to see their furniture actually being made, to be involved in every decision along the way. Everything is handmade so clients aren’t limited to “standard” sizes or limited colour palettes. But it’s not just what we do that is different, it’s how we do it as well. From design through to fitting everything is in-house, we design the kitchens, make them here, paint them and then the cabinetmakers who make the furniture fit it all as well to make sure everything is finished perfectly. Customer care is a top priority throughout.
What is your favourite project that Chalkhouse has created?
One of my favourite projects certainly wasn’t the biggest, but whenever I want to show a client just what can be achieved, even in a relatively small space, I tend to use the before and after photos of this tiny kitchen in a cottage on the outskirts of the City. What was once a dark, cramped room with careful planning and design now looks spacious and full of light. We don’t just design a kitchen, we also suggest changes to the structure of the rooms if needed, floor choices, colours and finishes, in fact we look at the whole project not just the furniture.
Are there any exciting upcoming projects which you are able to share exclusively with us?
About a year ago, clients came to us for a new kitchen in a fabulous house overlooking the sea on Penarth clifftops. They were planning on extending the 1950’s house to give them a large open plan kitchen, living and dining space. We planned the kitchen and were waiting for the building work to start when we received a phone call to say the clients had had a change of heart. Instead of extending they were planning on knocking down the entire house and rebuilding from scratch, but amazingly the new design kept the same footprint for the kitchen to ensure the layout we had previously designed would still take pride of place in their new home. The house is currently in the middle of the build so we are looking forward to seeing it when it’s finished, with it’s amazing sea views…and amazing kitchen of course!
What is your advice to someone who wants to refurbish their home?
Research is key! Take you time before you undertake any project, use online sites such as Pinterest, my personal favourite, to look for inspiration. If you haven’t ever tackled a major project before the choice can be overwhelming so by keeping a scrapbook, virtual or good old fashioned cut and paste, you start to build a visual record of things you like. It’s something I always suggest to my clients when they first start thinking about their new kitchen. There are so many options available, particularly for a handmade option, and it’s important to think about how you really use your kitchen. It is a major investment that should last you for many years so you want to be sure you get it right, it needs to look beautiful of course, but for it to be a pleasure to use it needs to function perfectly as well.
What are your plans for the business?
We have recently expanded our premises and are in the middle of creating our new Design Studio which will showcase some of the work that we do, examples of both modern and classic kitchens will be on display. Most importantly we are installing a Quooker hot tap so we can offer fresh teas and coffees in our own working kitchen display. For my desk area I have chosen a Scandinavian inspired theme with bleached oak doors and a concrete quartz worktop, very on trend and I am really going to enjoy working in such a lovely, airy space.
For more information visit www.chalkhousekitchens.co.uk
Contact Chalkhouse Kitchens via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02920 233308/ 07713812345