The challenges and quirks of working with character properties

This stunning Shaker kitchen came with its challenges but that is what we love! The end product makes it all worthwhile, creating a kitchen for all the growing family to enjoy.

This kitchen was part of a much larger very old house with lots of beams, loads of character and challenges including a curved wall and inconvenient oak posts. All this plus an Aga, which needed to stay where it was ... and a structure in the middle which hid the steelwork replacing walls which had been removed and held the centre of the house up. We needed to hide all the recently installed electrics too. This is where a bespoke kitchen excels – designing and making a kitchen to solve all the problems and deliver a polished result and a thrilled client!

"Dowers provided an excellent service from start to finish. Their craftsmanship and eye for detail is second to none and has provided us with a practical, contemporary kitchen in a very awkward listed building. We would highly recommend their services."

About the project

Working around a curved wall

The curved wall and the step in were rather unusual. Why it was there, we never found out! What mattered was using it to our advantage and creating an interesting and functional design.

A curved plate rack

We made a template of the curved wall and then built the back of the plate rack to fit the template. This gave an extensive plate rack for differing depths of plates.

Uneven walls

This wall was not level and had various bumps and interesting bits of brickwork showing.

How to deal with the bricks

We created a corner larder and some of the brickwork can still be seen inside. This gives lots of easily accessible storage and serves as a good use of the corner.

Break front

The break of the base units out to the depth of the Aga helps break up what would have been a straight line. Either side of the Aga there are pan drawers to create a balanced view.

Hiding cables and fuseboxes

We needed to hide the electrics so we built a cupboard to house it all, blending into the kitchen.

Filling the gaps

Rather than leave a gap on top of the units, which is only good for collecting dust, we took the units up to ceiling level.

Minor but important detail

Notice that we align the top of the bottom rail on the larder doors with the top of the bottom rail on the pan drawers. Small details lead to a polished product!

More of our customers’ kitchens

Bespoke kitchen in a period cottage

A bespoke kitchen with the perfect blend of old and new


Dowers created the kitchen of our dreams. Guy was immensely flexible in meticulously planning and crafting with us exactly what we needed, bespoke elements, just the right appliances, materials, colours, features, and all the while very conscious of the elements we wanted to preserve and highlight.

Read more
Small bespoke traditional kitchen

Small but perfectly formed


“I moved into a very old cottage and wanted a new kitchen which complemented the rest of the house. It’s a small kitchen area so wasn’t sure I was going to achieve what I was hoping for. Well Dowers Kitchens certainly did and more. It is absolutely beautiful and such a pleasure to work in. Guy was so very helpful and I was able to choose exactly what I wanted. The craftsmanship is fabulous and Guy and his team were brilliant.”

Read more

Recreating the feel and touch of an old kitchen when downsizing

Liphook, Hampshire

“Downsizing is so hard. Guy and his team at Dowers took on board all my requests for an “old” new kitchen. The result is the heart of my home. Three years down the line they were kind enough to make some changes without charge. Cheerful, kind and professional, it has been a joy to be their customer.”

Read more