Fretwork Kitchen

As a progressive interior designer I am never constrained by existing thinking, my search for innovation, constantly pushing ahead with new concepts and ideas is what fuels my passion.

In January this year – I visited Paris on a sourcing trip.  During this trip, whilst I filtered through the showrooms of St. Germain, I came across a marquetry wall-covering.  This is particularly rare find as typically marquetry is applied directly to a substrate – for example a dining table top. 

I instantly fell in love with the geometric pattern and level of craftsmanship that has gone into creating the wall-covering and soon became apparent to me that it could be applied to doors.  

I brought the wall-covering back to the UK and began testing how it could be applied to doors.  Once this process had been successfully achieved, my cabinetmaker and I furthered our discovery by applying lacquer to the wall-covering.  This is a very time consuming and skilled process.  


Fretwork Marquetry Process Fretwork Marquetry Process
Lacquer Vs. Without Lacquer Lacquer Vs. Without Lacquer

Before the lacquer is applied the wall-covering first needs sealed with sealant.  Then over the course of ten days, three layers of lacquer is carefully applied to provide a perfect finish – each layer drying before the next is applied. Because of the different direction of grains of wood, which is the purpose of marquetry, the lacquer picked up the undulations in the woodgrain – boosting the beauty of the finished sample.

Since we were in the throes of designing our luxury lifestyle showroom – this provided us with the perfect platform to showcase our designs to the world!  We set out to design a kitchen – but one that you will not have seen before!

Using a careful selection of materials and finishes we created a minimalistic kitchen – with impact!  We used a brushed brass trim behind the shadow gap of the carefully mitred doors to pick up on the metallic fretwork design.  We continued with the brushed brass detail onto the plinth. Behind the doors there is a fully functioning kitchen – over, fridge, freezer, dishwasher. All kept hidden away to create a sleek contemporary finish. We opted for Corian tops in the new Onyx finish.  I love the juxtaposition of the fluid lines against the angles in the fretwork. Our up-stands are always laid into the wall – this detail is time consuming – but important if you are seeking a truly finished look.

We offer the Fretwork Kitchen in seven colour-ways.  We always provide a complimentary 3D Visualisation service for all our kitchen and cabinetry designs.

We welcome you to visit us at our Showroom to look at our kitchen range first hand.

Fretwork Kitchen by Tobias Oliver Interiors Fretwork Kitchen by Tobias Oliver Interiors

The Journey

Fretwork Colour-ways by Tobias Oliver Interiors Fretwork Colour-ways by Tobias Oliver Interiors
Fretwork Kitchen - 3D Visual by Tobias Oliver Interiors Fretwork Kitchen - 3D Visual by Tobias Oliver Interiors
Pressing the veneer Pressing the veneer
Sealing the veneer Sealing the veneer
Lacquering process - 10 days Lacquering process - 10 days
Polishing process Polishing process

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