Worktops - Solid as a Rock? ...Plastic Fantastic? ...or Wood for Good?

While your Door and Handle choice will create a significant portion of the "look" for your new kitchen... your Worktop will be a defining accent and deserves some serious research & consideration.

Great improvements in materials & production techniques over the last few years have increased the quality of finish and detail of nearly all today's work surfaces.

There's so much choice... what's out there?, what's good? & what's best for you?



Without a doubt Quartz has been the go-to worktop for most new kitchens over the last few years. With ~95% Quartz mineral content, this reconstituted material provides an excellent surface for prep, cooking, serving and everyday use. It's almost impervious to stains, it's available in a huge range of colour palettes and it comes in completely plain block colours right through to highly patterned finishes. For balance of quality, durability and affordability, Quartz is the one to beat!



Granite, the hard igneous rock, provides a naturally stable, solid and relilient worktop. With a broad range of colours, in the medium to dark range, granite is usually quite speckled or patterned. Whilst not quite as popular as Quartz, this natural stone finish is still the preferred choice for the clients who prefer the idea of "real" stone.... It is after all Solid as a Rock.



The beauty of Natural Marble is undeniable... unfortunately, so to is its susceptiblity to staining and scratches. This natural stone is quite porous and soft. Its cool surface temperature is a real favourite for bakers everywhere... but having to avoid Olive Oil, Red Wine, Citric Juices, Chilli, etc., etc. isn't really practical in most kitchens. Marble is often admired, but seldom selected.



A man-made material, the stand out benefit of Corian Worktop is the ability to configure interesting and unusual shapes and install seemlessly, without any apparent joins. A huge catalogue of colours & finishes is more than enough for most tastes. And you can even mould your sink in the same material! Unfortunately, it's not impervious to heat, scratches or staining, but if damaged it can be re-polished, and in most cases, brought back to almost perfect condition!



Once it was the only "solid" worktop option... Now it's the road less travelled. Modern design and tastes have relegated Wood tops to the occasional breakfast bar or bench seat top. Solid Wood Worktops require significant maintenance, with regular oiling to maintain the protective patina. If looked after they will serve well, and provide one of the most hygenic work surfaces, but if neglected the surface can absorb stains and moisture, or dry out and crack. Whilst available in many wood types, the most common wood worktop today is Solid Oak.


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Previously the preserve of Commercial Kitchens and Laboratories, Stainless Steel worktops are gaining in popularity in today's Residential Kitchens due to their low maintenace, hygenic finish and modern appearance. It can be formed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes & thicknesses. It suits the sharp linear design that's so popular today. Like Corian, the Sink Bowl can be integrated seemlessly into a Stainless Steel Worktop. Non-porous and stain resistant, we anticipate the demand for Stainless Steel Worktops to increase significantly over the coming years!



The ubiquitous "laminate" worktop is still an option, with some excellent finishes available from brands like Formica, Duropal, TopForm, etc. This non-solid material provides an excellent low-cost, good quality option for a kitchen surface. The ranges of colours has reduced somewhat in recent years, but the quality of the finish options has increased in return. For a small investment, this worktop material can provide decades of good & honest service.


Polished Concrete & Glass are two other options for worktops... but not often recommended and chosen infrequently. Getting the finish right on these materials first time, and keeping them in 100% tip-top condition, will make marble look like a very-low-maintenance option! Not for the heavy kitchen user or the faint hearted!!


Phi, Fibonacci & Your Design

Phi, also known as the Golden Ratio or the Fibonacci spiral, is the silent irrational constant, featuring everywhere around us, in nature and design, and playing an important role in achieving a perfect aesthetic balance.


Often you'll notice a building, a window, a door, a car, or an object, or artwork grabs your attention more than another... You can't put your finger on exactly what's attracting you to it... That's the magic of the Golden Ratio 1:618 at work.

Da Vinci, Aston Martin, Coca Cola, Crittall Windows, and almost every artist, designer, marketeer and producer pay special attention to incorporating the Golden Number into their designs... It's the sorcery that appeals to your subconscious mind's eye.


Phi is abundantly seen and experienced throughout the natural world, from the Fibonacci spirals of your favourite flower, through to some of the most appreciated music of the classic and modern worlds.

You are already observing and hearing Phi everyday.

Phi lurks quietly, in plain view, all around us. 

In kitchen design Phi sometimes plays a part in the sizing of doors and cabinets, but more often it's the subtle inclusion in the passing spaces and Island shapes and sizes that makes all the difference. 

There are often unique & unusual details that need to be considered in your design. Sometimes, Phi might be one of those. We'll keep an eye on it.

What is a Shaker Kitchen ?

Shaker furniture is a distinctive style of furniture developed by the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, first known as "Shaking Quakers" due to their physical movements during their religious services, and now more commonly known as "Shakers"; a religious sect that had guiding principles of simplicity, utility and honesty. Their beliefs were reflected in the well-made furniture of minimalist designs.

Shaker communities were largely self-sufficient: in their attempt to separate themselves from the outside world and to create a heaven-on-earth, members grew their own food, constructed their own buildings, and manufactured their own tools and household furnishings

Furniture was made thoughtfully, with functional form and proportion. Rather than using ornamentation — such as inlays, carvings and metal pulls, or veneers — which was seen as prideful or deceitful, they developed "creative solutions such as asymmetrical drawer arrangements and multipurpose forms to add visual interest." Furniture was made of cherry, maple or pine, which was generally stained or painted with one of the colours which were dictated by the sect, typically blue, red, yellow or green. Drawer pulls for dressers or other furniture were made of wood.

The underlying principles of Shaker design have given inspiration to some of the finest designers of modern furniture. Shaker ladder back chairs, for instance, deeply influenced the work of an entire generation of postwar Danish designers. Also many ideals of furniture formed around the common Shaker furniture construction.

And so to the Shaker Kitchen... Essentially, it's a simple square door, with a recessed centre panel, with no attendant fuss, bells or whistles... Today, mostly we see Shaker Kitchens in a Painted finish.