Exploring the material of wood is a focus for Design Insider this month. BarrJoinery is a design-led joinery and cabinetry company based in the Oxfordshire countryside and we wanted to find out more about this material and its uses, so we asked the experts.
BarrJoinery have strong ethos and they operate by two golden rules: ‘anything is possible’ & ‘attention to detail is everything’. BarrJoinery Director Josh Hudson (a man who is as memorable for his straight talking as for his fabulous beard) runs a tight ship having been with the business from its early conception, steering BarrJoinery towards ever more challenging and rewarding projects.
We sat down with Josh to pick his brains to find out more about the options available in the woodwork world…
What do you love most about working with wood?
There are so many reasons to enjoy working with wood, the first thing that comes to mind is the versatility and the variation across the types of timber. As a bespoke company we can really benefit and take advantage of how much you are able to create and design from timber if you have the experience and the right tools.
You will often find the workshop enthusing over the latest machinery and tooling releases. It is such an innovative industry, seeing the new developments in manufacturing techniques can be really exciting. The industry has changed a lot and we are now able to source sustainably felled timber by making informed buying decisions and working with trusted suppliers.
What different types of woods are available and can you give me a few details on the benefits/features of each?
There are lots of different types of wood available and we hand pick the most suitable for each individual project.
For decorative joinery and heritage projects where the wood is left exposed, we would tend to go for beautiful Oak. Whereas if a client is going for a painted finish on external joinery we would also suggest Accoya, due to its durability and it takes to paint finishing well, but there are loads of other options such as Sapele or Poplar.
For internal joinery the possibilities are endless. As the requirements change for being weather resistant to being hardwearing against continued use, joinery grade MDF is not like your off the shelf stuff that can sometimes put people off. In addition, the unbelievable amount of finishes available in real wood veneer make it a great versatile option. We would generally manufacture the frame in solid wood, to ensure longevity in the home.
Accoya, sounds particularly interesting – can you tell me a little more about this type of wood?
Accoya wood is the result of decades of research and development that has brought together a long established, extensively proven wood modification technique and leading edge patented technology. Acetylation (treating the wood in an acetic acid similar to vinegar) changing the chemical structure to create a high-performance wood, ideal for outdoor use and challenging applications.
This chemical change affects the molecular structure of the wood meaning it cannot take on moisture, therefore, inhibiting its ability to warp, shrink and swell. We now use this for nearly all of our external joinery and it has been a fantastic decision for both us as a business and for our customers who can rest assured their joinery is built to last.
What are the regulations and standards that British wood workers must adhere to?
We are long standing members of the BWF (British Woodworking Federation) who keep us up to date with all regulations as they evolve and change as the timber industry continues to innovate.
What has been your favourite project over the last year?
We recently completed a full house of bespoke cabinetry in Berkshire, working with Johnston Parke Interior Design. This was a really fun and unique project, the property ‘Russett House’ a stunning period property really demanded extremely high standards and we were lucky enough to have a client who really wanted something different and interesting in every individual room.
The project was so varied from a moody atmospheric cinema room and bar, a custom wine room and a traditional sitting room with unique pivoting door system that open to reveal a Grande piano and secret sliding doors which roll back to reveal hidden under stair storage. This was a really rewarding project for the whole team.
What are you most looking forward to completing this year?
We are currently working on the finishing touches to our first ever Stand at Decorex International. Following on from the success of the Champagne Bar we manufactured last year we have been really looking forward to getting back with something put together by our in-house design team.
We have gone all out to impress, mixing materials and finishes, and featuring support from some of our favourite and most luxurious suppliers such as Caesarstone worktops and a Sub Zero wine fridge.
You can find BarrJoinery at Decorex on the 16th – 19th September at Stand H37.