Alcove Cabinets for traditional fireplaces

Alcove cabinet with bolection mouldings by Celtica Kitchens

Alcove cabinets

Alcove cabinets offer practical storage and greatly improve the somewhat lumpy traditional Victorian chimney breast. In many cases there will have been fitted cupboards and shelves in the past but they have been taken out. Adding alcove cabinets will usually be less expensive and far less problematic than taking out a chimney breast.

Alcove cabinets and bookcase in Victorian house in Brighton

This array of alcove cabinets is in a big high ceiling drawing room with gorgeous plasterwork. This is a setting where understatement just doesn’t cut it. So the alcove cabinets are big with bold detailing. However, we don’t want to lessen the impact of the coving so we leave a clear space above the bookcase and cap it with a fairly simple moulding.

The homeowners have made an excellent choice of colour here. The dark blue of the cabinets and walls highlights the beautiful original plasterwork and skirtings.

Alcove cabinets: storage

All the technology apart from the TV is hidden behind the far left drawerfront which flaps down to allow access. We made the drawers the right depth to take DVDs. In the future people may not use that form of media so much – with all data and entertainment stored on a server. But they’ll still be useful drawers.

Alcove cabinets with TV enclosure and bookshelves by Celtica Kitchens
Alcove cabinets in Victorian town house designed by Cameron Pyke of Celtica Kitchens
The same room one year later with the shelves fully populated and the addition of a flamboyant chandelier – absolutely in keeping with the room.
Alcove cabinets and random shelving integral with ceiling coving by Celtica Kitchens

This room (with work in progress) in a 1930s house is smaller with a lower ceiling. The homeowners had decided to replace the coving throughout the room. This gave us the opportunity to bring the cabinetry right up to ceiling level and have the new coving fitted across the front of the cabinets. Result: it looks as though the cabinets are original features – they’ve always been there.

Notice also the freize panel which shows off the simple but elegant coving and gives a suitable mounting for the light fitting. The random shelves can be reconfigured to accommodate any size of display piece.

Celtica Online Range

double base cabinet with wide drawer by Celtica kitchens: drawer box in lacquered birch ply; soft close runners

For some time now we’ve been building our online shop. Opening the shop is still a few months off but the important thing is that we have designed, developed and trialled the range – we can build cabinets for you right now.

The kitchen below is comprised mainly of cabinets from our Celtica Online Range.

Bespoke kitchen in Wembley by Celtica Kitchens: L shaped island with inset hob

We have our environmental mission and linked to this is our commitment to make longlife kitchens affordable to as many people as possible.

We constantly monitor our competitors and what they offer. We’re not the cheapest but we are committed to uncompromising quality at the best possible price.

open shelf wall cabinet by Celtica Kitchens

We absolutely believe that the best kitchens are user designed. That’s not us ducking out of our design responsibilities – we will always help you to design a great kitchen. If you’re thinking about developing your kitchen and have any questions why not email us or post a question on our facebook page?

So the shop is going to be a huge resource for anybody who wants to create their own bespoke kitchen. It will show our range of cabinets and the ways they can be customised.

You’ll never be under any pressure to buy – you can take your time. You can create a wish list, save it and change it whenever you want. You can save different versions. You’ll be able to get an accurate costing on each version. You’ll always be able to ask for help.

drawer base cabinet by Celtica Kitchens: single drawer, two pan drawers; drawers in lacquered birch ply; soft close runners
Most cabinets can be made at any width (within technical limits)at no extra cost. This means you can avoid the awkward compromises often forced on you by industry standard sizes. Your kitchen furniture really will fill and fit the space. It will look like it was always meant to be there.

60s retro kitchen in Cornwall

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When Ed Waghorn invites you into Rabbit Hill he says “Welcome to the sixties!”.

RabRabbit Hill bedroombit Hill is a subRabbit Hill living room.JPGstantial – palatial – seaside bungalow with superb views over the surf at Polzeath in North Cornwall, sumptuously appointed in luxurious (and tasteful) 60s style. It’s the old family home, shared now by the Waghorn families as a holiday home but also made available  to rent for ‘friends and friends of friends’. This would probably include Celtica customers.    

Rabbit Hill on Facebook

Rabbit Hill


If you are a Grand Designs addict you’ve probably come across Ed and Rowena Waghorn and family.  They have built (are continuing to build) one of the most imaginative ever Grand Designs houses on a hill with positively Elysian views over the Herefordshire countryside. They are lovely, friendly and hugely talented people – truly living the arts and crafts life. Ed is bursting with ideas, infectious enthusiasm and energy. It was going to be an interesting project.


CIMG0433smlRabbit Hill had a charming original 60s kitchen. It had been progressively altered over the years as the house guests’ high expectations regarding appliances and lifestyle had changed. The newer furniture wasn’t of the same pedigree as the original. So now it was all looking a bit cobbled together and a bit tired.


DSC_0012The new kitchen had to be at one with the house – and the house, like the family, is special. For instance, I had never seen a living space entirely lined with hardwood. Quality and individuality – even quirkiness – are the key notes.





Ed sketch 1Celtica Waghorn sketchQuality we could certainly do and Ed, who trained originally as a furniture designer, would provide all the individuality. This project is a true example of the customer in charge of design. Ed created many excellent hand drawings which we translated into CAD.




mime-attachment1fixedThe glass fronted warming oven had been there forever – the holding bay of generations of Cornish pasties – and it had to be included in the new kitchen. It did not lend itself to easy integration with modern furniture standards. A special cabinet was built, bridging the corner – no interruption to the supply of excellent pasties at precisely the right temperature.






Ed wanted carousels in the corner cabinets. Shall we say, we have our reservations about carousels. However, house guests have better things to be doing than poking around in the back of closed end cabinets – they need to get on the beach. Ed didn’t want the bought in factory made standard wirework or plastic carousels. They were to be birch plywood like the rest of the furniture – objects of beauty.DSC_0030sml

We decided that the carousels would be enclosed in a wrap around cabinet – a bit like the Mondo carousel – but with substantial differences. The full story of the carousels will be a blog post on its own.

Stainless steel worktop with an integrated sink in a one piece L shape was specified for the messy side of the kitchen. Getting it into the restricted space without bending it was scary but between the three of us – Bruce, Ed and me – Ed directing – it went in without a hitch.

Stainless steel is always good. Let’s have more. And laminate – the great kitchen innovation of the fifties and sixties (actually invented long before) – we love it. It’s a fantastic material – always provided you stick it on a good substrate (like birch ply).



Not even the handles escaped the granularity of Ed’s attention to detail. The handles are beech, partially inset into the laminate faced plywood doors. Not satisfied with how they came from the factory Ed wanted the handles drilled out to receive laminate inserts in multiple colours. There was a scary hour or two with the drill press but, yes, I still have all my fingers.mime-attachment2fixed

Ed’s daughter Marnie made the beautiful ceramic surrounds for the sockets and light switches. I’ve no doubt we’ll be placing orders for some soon.

However, the best thing that has come out of this project is that we have new friends – like minded with a lots in common and Ed has agreed to do more designing for us. I’ll write more about this soon but, in a nutshell, if you live in the Hereford to Birmingham neck of the woods and you want an extremely talented and conscientious designer for your kitchen (or any other furniture), Ed’s your man. Call us.





Concept Kitchen in Wanstead – work in progress


This kitchen, now nearly completed, is a joint design project with Jason Harris of T-Space Architects in Wanstead.

Jason approached us initially because he wanted to exploit the unique potential for styling birch ply by deliberately exposing the ply structure. He visited our workshop in Aberdare and we spent an enjoyable afternoon vandalising scraps of birch ply to see what effects we could achieve.

The watchword for this project is honesty – seeing materials for what they are – hiding nothing. This applies to the unfinished timber cladding to the ceiling and the unadorned concrete floor. In keeping with the honesty ethic the edges of the birch ply CIMG0062doors and drawerfronts are sculpted to show off the ply structure.

Jason had already built the concrete island – left, as it was before we fitted the cabinetry around it. The big drawers (see above) are handleless. Thanks to some fiendishly tricky woodwork they float in front of the cabinetry separated by emphatic shadow gaps  – you can grasp any edge to pull the drawer open. The smaller drawers have sculpted integral handles and are set back slightly. LED lighting is inset into the lower edge of the worktop.

But it’s not just any island – this island has a cellar underneath it. So we built a bin trolley that can be wheeled around the vast room to pick up debris (after a huge party perhaps). When docked in the island it covers the access to the cellar. The hatch is a solid oak end grain chopping board.