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About Us

Our Story

We are a Sussex based family firm who create affordable designer updates for your Ikea and other cabinets and run Custom Fronts alongside out sister carpentry firm Dovetail Carpenters which Ian has run for close on 10 years. 

We wanted to offer sustainable, high-quality kitchens and furniture with a simple, crafted aesthetic, at a reasonable price. All of our products have a provenance and a sense of place. We don't think high end design should only be available to those with deep pockets. 

We use only the best materials. We want to help you wave goodbye to MDF, and hello to beautiful Scandanavian birch plywood and native hardwoods - all FSC certified. 

 
We use the traditional craftsmen and cabinetmaking skills, but we are influenced by many different disciplines including art, design and architecture. It's important to us not only that our products look good (and we hope they do) but that in addition they work.
 
In fact our Mottos could be:-
 

"Never design anything that cannot be made....by us" (paraphrasing  Jean Prouve, maker and designer)

and

"Form follows Function" (Frank Lloyd Wright, architect)

and

"Design for all" (we'll claim that)

 

Ian Thurlby comes from a London family of master craftsmen and is our Head Maker. He is a fully qualified carpenter and furniture maker with many years experience building and installing custom kitchens, cabinetry and furniture. 

His previous training was in Fine Art, design, goldsmithing and trekking.  After completing his Fine Art Degree at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, he exhibited his landscape paintings in galleries throughout the UK.  He also worked as a goldsmith alongside his master goldsmith father for many years. He founded and ran a trekking co-operative which partnered with local experts in Nepal, India, Turkey and elsewhere to provide authentic, meaningful experiences and local employment.

Rachel Thurlby has a background in law and grew up in coastal Ireland.  Because of this, she has an eye for detail but also a huge appreciation for nature and simple beauty. She is drawn to natural materials with a sense of place.

Creating local jobs, supporting local communities, and using ethical and sustainable materials are central values.

       Sustainability, high functionality, community and affordability are our guiding principles. This is why we hand make our products locally, test that everything works properly, work with FSC plywood and hardwoods, and paint with ultra low toxic paint.

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