Hand crafted and one-of-a-kind — kitchens don’t get more wow-worthy than this!
You know that bespoke kitchen you’ve been dreaming about? Polished concrete surfaces, artistic textures, unexpected details and all the appliances well hidden behind chic, chalk-painted cabinets. Well have I found the team for the job!
Based on Cornwall’s north coast, kitchen designers and all-round cool couple, Leigh and Arnold are in demand from here to London. Their company, Arnold’s Kitchens is based in Mount Pleasant Eco Park and has a reputation for quirky creativity and exceptional craftsmanship.
I caught up with Leigh over Pukka tea in Porthtowan to find out more…
How did Arnold’s Kitchens come about?
Arnold and I met at university, where he was studying cabinet making and I was doing a textiles and printing course. Our first business together was in landscape gardening but when we moved back to Cornwall [Leigh’s home] to start a family, we combined our skills and creative talents, designing and making bespoke kitchens. It seems to be the room in the house that’s the biggest project for most people and we love the challenge of balancing function and style.
Who does what?
I get very involved in the design stage, developing ideas in our workshop in Cornwall and Arnold leads the team on the builds.
Describe your design style
Everything we do is very individual. We love incorporating creative textures and artistic details into our designs but are also known for our industrial aesthetic. Most of our designs have a freestanding look and we’re really proud of our polished concrete worktops, which are unique in their construction. We also love finding reclaimed timber or rustic pieces to throw in to the mix.
How do you make concrete look so beautiful?
Lots of people make concrete worktops but we are one of just three UK companies that casts worktops [plus concrete shelves, cupboards and sinks] in situ.
Doing it that way is much more specialist work and means you can create a totally seamless look, with no joins at all. It took Arnold a year of trial and error to perfect the technique. They’re troweled, which gives an amazing texture and then polished to a smooth finish.
How do you develop ideas with your clients?
It depends. Some are very clear about what they want and some leave everything to us.
Because we do this all the time, we often think of things clients don’t consider and although our designs are really creative and beautiful, they are very functional too. As well as picking the perfect materials and colours, it’s about the right positioning of your appliances, storage etc to make the best use of the space. So it all just works!
Do you have a favourite kitchen in your portfolio?
Yes, my favourite recent project was a kitchen that mixed lots of rich textures and details. Some clients like to play it safe, so it’s great for us when a client’s up for something really creative. Every detail was considered, from the laser-cut cupboards to just the the right rustic wood for the drawers. They weren’t afraid of pattern, which is unusual in kitchens and picked beautiful tiles too.
You’re obviously ahead of the curve design wise. How do you predict trends?
Pinterest and Instagram are a great indicator of what people like and are looking for. We have a couple of pictures of concrete sinks up and loads of people like and repin those for example and it’s always interesting to see the colours and details people are drawn too.
Is the industrial look still going strong?
Yes, the industrial look is still very popular but we’re also seeing a return to more natural textures and materials, such as rustic wood finishes. Actually the two styles look great together because the natural textures warm the cool concrete. I’d also throw in some metallic elements. We achieved some really interesting tarnished metal textures for a recent project.
Arnold’s Kitchens, Unit 1, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan, Truro, TR4 8HL. T: 01209 596678