Surrey based Shere Kitchens - a truly bespoke kitchen maker that handcrafts and fits its own kitchens - has earned its first accreditation having recently been awarded The Trade Mark Surrey Hills, a mark of local provenance and quality. Local childhood friends, Andy Driscoll, Mike Hill and Ella Driscoll recently realised a long-held dream of combining a love of beautiful design, natural materials and a desire for fine craftsmanship to set up a business offering luxury handmade kitchens.
The prestigious award celebrates those organisations that reflect and support the distinct and special nature of the Surrey Hills and who share the values of supporting the local environment. Wendy Varcoe, Executive Director of Surrey Hills Enterprises says; “The Trade Mark Surrey Hills promotes the best of what Surrey has to offer. The stand out factor in Shere Kitchen’s award is the combination of high quality bespoke service, the hand-crafted kitchens using traditional skills and sustainably sourced wood suppliers and their commitment to supporting their local environment. These are winning factors and we congratulate Shere Kitchens on their award.”
Mike Hill, Head of Design at Shere Kitchens, comments; “We are delighted to have received this accreditation as we pride ourselves on sustainability whether it be in the planting of a tree at Clandon nature reserve for every kitchen we make, or in the sourcing of wood or materials – where possible - locally. We wrap our cabinetry in blankets and not plastic during transportation and we donate our off cuts to a local Design Technology college.
“We all grew up in the area and have a deep love of the Surrey Hills landscape - from walking our dogs to exploring the chalk grasslands, letting the children run wild in the woods or enjoying the local vineyards. We also work with other local artists, such as glass splashback makers, ironmongers, and bespoke lighting specialists and enjoy being part of a talented hub of craftspeople who inspire us and share our passion for beautiful design, craftsmanship and sustainability.”
Shere Kitchens designs are completely tailor made from start to finish. Andy Driscoll, Head of Cabinetry at Shere Kitchens, says; “We are both designers and makers. Usually you’d meet with a designer and then they pass on the plans to the manufacturers, but with us everything is integrated, so it becomes a collaborative process between us and our customers. We encourage our customers to explore our show pieces, materials, portfolio and mood boards, to come with their wish list, to talk though their way of life, what they like to cook, how they live and entertain, we get inspired together, to hone their style and develop their design. For instance, we are currently working on an individually designed walk in larder using lots of cool slate - inspired by The Winter Dairy larder rooms at Petworth House. Recently, one of our customers commissioned patterned floor to ceiling cabinets along the length of an entire wall; the pattern was inspired by some art they had in their home. We love to work with our customers to make their cabinetry classic yet unique. We like to mix the mouldings, the beadings and the patterns with different sized cabinets and drawers; it important that our cabinetry is distinctive and personalised as well as exceptionally made.”
20 years’ experience of cabinetry and joinery and working on local restorations for Surrey Hills Grade I and II listed homes, including Albury Estate, has led this small dedicated team to build a strong reputation for workmanship and attention to detail in the Surrey Hills. Local well-known Surrey artist and contemporary designer – Elaine Campling – has worked with many interior designers and architects. She comments; “I had a client with exceptional taste who lives in a beautiful manor house in Surrey. I commissioned Andy to make a few bespoke contemporary items of furniture. Andy provided exactly what I wanted and my client was very happy. He is very hands on and he just gets it – he is extremely competent and very passionate about what he does. I have always found him to be highly capable, nothing is a problem. Andy is one of the nicest people I have ever commissioned work to. I have worked with many high-end manufacturers and Andy stands out - he is not only very good face to face but he also delivers excellent results.”
It is well worth visiting the workshop, nestled in the idyllic village of Shere just outside of Guildford, to meet the team, to see some of their cabinetry - the dovetail joints, their solid bespoke Oak worktops, the stunning grains in the wood, and a grand larder cupboard with handwoven vegetable baskets and marble shelf. All the little details they think of make these kitchen makers one of a kind. Ella Driscoll, Development Manager at Shere Kitchens, comments; “During the making stage we welcome our customers to our workshop, our working space, where they can see their very own kitchen being made and feel fully involved. We find this builds a real trust in what we do.”
For more information on Shere Kitchens please email [email protected]