Atelier Cabinet Makers Ltd
Tucked away in rural Dorset, between the valley that houses Corton Denham and Sandford Orcas, just a stone’s throw from the historic market town of Sherborne is a lazy lane of slothful curves and leafy hedgerows brimming with wild flowers.
Down a bumpy track through a yard and into an ancient dairy building, we find Jamie and Rhiannon, a young couple who specialise in designing, making and fitting bespoke luxury kitchens, wardrobes and furniture.
Together they set up Atelier cabinet makers and have barely paused for breath since its launch in August 2015.
They source many of their materials locally so that they can be sure of provenance. Using time-honoured and trusted techniques, they make sure every kitchen or piece of furniture has a hand-finished quality that will last a lifetime.
“I grew up in Dorset where my father was a gardener. My love of working with wood came about as I began building things using his off-cuts” Jamie explains. “First it was just ramps in the woods, then friends started asking me to make bits and pieces for them.” Later while watching from the wings as his parents had a new bespoke kitchen fitted, Jamie was inspired to pursue carpentry as a career. “I asked the firm if I could do work experience with them. They took me on for six weeks and I stayed for five years”
It doesn’t come as a big surprise to learn that carpentry is in Jamie’s genes as he keeps several faded sepia photographs of his great, great grandfather outside his own carpenter’s workshop.
Jamie still uses some of his great, great grandfather’s well-worn tools. Handling them they have a balance and weight that is hard to find nowadays.
Whereas contentment for Jamie lies in working on creating a beautiful piece of furniture in the work shop, Rhiannon’s “happy place” lies in designing. From a young age Rhiannon remembers moving furniture around her bedroom, making small changes to enhance her own individual space. She fondly remembers saving her pocket money to buy interior design magazines and later devising set designs for her drama group. Self taught in sketch up she now creates unique designs for kitchens and items of furniture. “One of the parts of our business that I find most enjoyable is meeting new and like minded people and helping them to create a space that not only fits their personality and lifestyle, but looks beautiful and practical too.”
Jamie and Rhiannon have invested heavily in making the barn fit for purpose and are glad to have given the farm buildings a new lease of life.
Filled with that wonderful scent of freshly sawn timber, their workshop is a hub of creativity.