Meet our founder

A kitchen catch up with Will

So, where did it all begin? Can you tell us about your experience?

I’m a carpenter by trade, training formally after studying Art & Design at college. In the early days I took a job with a property renovation firm and built on my skills, observing and learning from those more experienced than me. I learnt a lot in those years and they gave me a solid foundation from which to build my career. I began taking on commissions at weekends and slowly built up a small client base. Eventually I made the break to go it alone and worked out of a modest workshop on small furniture projects, developing my skills into something more akin to those of a joiner. I’m quite the perfectionist though, so I was never satisfied, always pushing to find ways to improve; to make surfaces smoother, joins neater, cabinets more functional. Over the years my skills were refined and I soon learnt that, in the same way you need quality ingredients to make a good meal, so too do you need premium materials to make exceptional furniture. I now source the best materials I can and drawing on my passion for design, we make furniture of a standard I am incredibly proud to put my name to.

Over the past decade, the kitchen has become the social hub of the house, a place for work, and a place for the family to relax. As a designer, what challenges does this present to you?

I think on the whole, kitchens are more spacious than they used to be because they now need extra room to perform on so many levels. Original kitchen spaces are often extended to create extra living space which means, from a design point of view, we need to consider how the room can be used to cook and be sociable at the same time. We try to design preparation and cooking areas facing outwards, using islands or peninsulars, as opposed to facing a wall. But when this isn’t possible, the use of mirrored splashbacks or feature walls offer a great way of keeping you involved with what’s going on behind you.

When the kitchen is open plan and especially if your sight line extends into other rooms, the style and colour of the kitchen cabinetry will need to work in harmony with the rest of the house. I think this is why we champion the Shaker style and values so fervently. Shaker design in itself is classic and timeless, with design features so versatile they can be applied to furniture throughout the home; Shaker media cabinets, alcove shelving, wardrobes. They all work cohesively together and offer a style statement that will never age, which is so important when making an investment in your home.

How do you go about solving the problems your clients bring you?

Quite often, given the nature of our work, we get presented with unusually shaped spaces or rooms with architectural features that pose a challenge to work around. Many people choose bespoke cabinetry for these reasons, so these challenges have become aspects we have come to expect. Our approach is to identify these problems early on and to prioritise these within the design. Largely these challenges will dictate the layout of the cabinetry and will inform the basis of the design. For instance, in a dark space we will design everything with the intention of maximising the light- in the colour scheme and the materials we use, from reflective surfaces to a carefully considered lighting plan. We always thoughtfully design to get the best out of a space. The beauty of bespoke cabinetry is that all space can be utilised, no matter how awkward it is. Sometimes it’s these characterful nooks, or sloping ceilings, that give a space its identity and make the room feel unique. So, whilst we will always make allowances for challenging spaces, it’s also lovely to celebrate these and make a feature of them where we can.

What are the challenges associated with designing kitchens in small spaces?

Clients tend to come to us with a wish list, which is great in the most part. The more detailed a brief we have the easier it is to get a suitable design drawn up first time around. However, it’s always best to list in order of priority, because in small spaces the challenge is always to balance form and function and every square inch counts. It’s important to be realistic about your space, no matter what size it is, to think about which design aspects are most important to you and where you wouldn’t want to compromise, because although we will utilise all available space and build up to the ceiling if we need to, there is usually an element of compromise in a restricted space.

What’s the kitchen like in the Mundy household?

Busy! It sees the hustle and bustle of family life like most family kitchens. I like to experiment in the kitchen when I get the chance but my wife is the competent cook in our house. When she’s not working alongside me at Will Mundy HQ she’s usually found in the kitchen stirring something delicious. We have teenage daughters who are forever baking or concocting lurid coloured smoothies so the kitchen is frequently a hive of activity. I tend to stay out of the way and get my kitchen fix designing lovely spaces for other people!

Tell us a little about what Will Mundy as a business can offer clients.

I’d like to think people come to us, firstly and foremostly, for beautiful cabinetry and functional design, but the experience we offer clients stretches far beyond this. The process of taking a project from the initial brief, to the design and through to installation can be involved and requires a certain amount of guidance to ensure all runs smoothly. My wife and I are always the main points of contact and a client will always deal with us directly throughout. As a small business we’re proud to be able to offer a level of personal service rarely found in larger companies.

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