All posts by John Mackay

Stepping Up to Sustainable Design

After the events of the last twelve months, this year’s spring season offers more to look forward to than any year ever before.  This season we are very excited to be planting over three hundred trees on the estate surrounding our Oxfordshire workshop.  They are species native to the area, including oak, beech, cherry, hornbeam, ash and more.

We want to promote sustainable design and living where possible, so we feel it is important to give back to the environment too.  Here are a few saplings, sprouting up in their little tubes, protected from rabbits, muntjacs and other little nibblers.

It’s a small step forward, but it seemed like a good place to start. We look forward to watching them grow!

Working with natural materials like wood, stone or brick is what we do best.  It is good to know that your kitchen and  furniture, handcrafted from timber, are helping to offset global carbon dioxide emissions.  Even in their repurposed form as timber for kitchens and furniture, trees store their carbon, rather than releasing it as harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Handmade Oak Furniture by Griggs & Mackay

When you choose a handmade bespoke designed Griggs & Mackay kitchen made from sustainably grown oak, your home not only looks modern and stylish, but also minimises your home’s carbon carbon footprint.

Handmade Griggs & Mackay Kitchen

If you are designing your new space with sustainability and eco-friendly practices in mind, we like odourless, water-based paint from Little Greene which boasts the industry’s lowest levels of harmful unstable chemicals. Another little gem is The Paint and Paper Library whose paints also exceed industry standards for eco-friendly  composition.   Wallpaper ranges from both  Little Greene and  the Paint and Paper Library are produced from trees from certified sustainable forests.

Right now we are loving the luminous paint colour ‘Blue Blood’ from The Paint and Paper Library and wallpaper ‘St Jame’s Park Cobalt Fade’ from Little Greene.  And no, we are not paid to say so, we just really like them alot!

If you’d like to discuss your next home improvement project, we’d love to hear from you on 01491 411 714.


The Beauty of Bespoke Home Storage

Like every rose has its thorn, every home has THE CUPBOARD: you know the one. I’m referring to the one you open and close at lightening speed before an old rugby boot or a golf club topples out and knocks you unconscious.

Every home requires a storage solution, and we believe the inside of your cupboards and wardrobes should be equally as beautiful as the outside.  Everything needs its place and you just need the right place for everything you need, whether it’s shelving for books, cupboards for brooms or a just the right wardrobe for designer gowns.  Creating fine, bespoke furniture is the foundation of the Griggs and Mackay company.  We are here to make furniture that you need, that works for you and your lifestyle, and at the same time reflects beauty and style.

John Mackay began helping his mother, Dorothy, restore antique furniture over 40 years ago.  He took the time to appreciate fine design and craftsmanship while sanding, stripping and restoring lustre, patina, elegant structure and intricately carved details.

So it’s no wonder he has brought this appreciation for classic beauty  into his own work designing furniture.  Creating bespoke furniture is an inspired process.  No different to the dressmaker who sews the fine, tailored suit,  a piece of bespoke furniture should fit perfectly, feel luxurious and serve its’ purpose,  all the while reflecting the style and attitude of its owner.

Get in touch to discuss what you need from your home.  We can design and create beautiful pieces of furniture that meet your needs.  All of our handcrafted furniture is made in our Oxfordshire workshop.  Everything is designed and created by the same people who fit each piece into your home, so you can be reassured they understand how both the concept and the physical creation make the perfect fit.

Please visit our Handcrafted Interiors page to view our gallery of  hand made pieces of furniture from storage cupboards, closets, wardrobes, window seats, shelving, boot storage, staircases, to wood panelling and more.

Here are a few examples of our bespoke furniture design created for clients in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Floor to ceiling apothecary cabinet style storage unit bespoke furniture design OxfordshireThe soft curves of this piece are classic.  Inspired by an apothecary cabinet, the contrast of the painted and exposed wood of these  drawers conceal a family’s seasonal accessories; gloves, scarves, sunglasses, dog leads.

Bespoke Drinks cabinet painted blue Oxfordshire

This sitting room’s drinks cabinet conceals a finely crafted drawers and a granite worktop, the perfect hiding place for the Nespresso machine and the wine cooler, never far from reach of its reclined guests. Pocket doors slide out from either side of the worktop and close over the front.

These oiled oak drawers glide effortlessly and are a dream to touch.

Handmade Storage Cupboard fitted against a sloping wallThe hat box store sits neatly into a sloping wall.

We like to ensure the design of a kitchen flows seamlessly into adjoining spaces.  We’ve carried this through to the living area as well.

Handmade living room cabinet matching the kitchen design in Oxfordshire

Griggs and Mackay furniture designer store cupboard OxfordshireQuality is reassuringly carried through to the inside.

Bespoke painted shelving unit Berkshire

Floor to ceiling shelves and cupboards add drama to this focal point of this family’s room.

How to Choose Your Kitchen Worktop – In a Nutshell

How to Choose Your Kitchen Worktop – In a Nutshell

Photo by David Parmiter

So let’s be honest straight away. No matter how many people you talk to or blogs you read and no matter how much research you do, choosing a worktop for your kitchen will ultimately be done on impulse.  It will be love at first sight!  You HAVE to have THAT in your kitchen because it looks amazing with the Farrow and Ball grey tones or it contrasts beautifully with your stone floor or because it makes a beautiful background for your Instagram photos.  You want to choose it because you love it no matter how costly or impractical. It’s how we choose our shoes and for the same reason its how you will choose your kitchen. Right?

Ok, now we’ve said that, let’s get sensible. Your kitchen is a big investment.  It is going to be with you and your family for many years to come so it pays to make an informed decision in order to make sure that you not only love the look of your kitchen worktop,  but also that it’s a perfect fit for you and your lifestyle too.  We understand that your kitchen is the heart of your home and, like your shoes, you will likely be spending a great deal of your time in it so you want to feel fabulous about it!  Imagine a pair of Jimmy Choos so comfortable, you’d want to wear them every day!  

Best advice tells us not to go home with the first shiny bit of marble that catches our eye.  The team at Griggs & Mackay would like to help you make an informed decision.  So, in order to ensure you shop with prudence, I have paid a visit to three of our most respected experts in the trade, our friends at Classico Marble Stonemasons,  AF Jones Stonnemasons, and of course our very own John Mackay, kitchen designer and founder of Griggs & Mackay, a man who is the authority on working with wood.

Photo by David Parmiter

 I’ve discovered a few surprising things you may not know about choosing a material for your worktop and outlined the facts below along, with some important questions you will want to ask your kitchen designer.

Where to Start

Obviously you will first consider how you use your kitchen as this may impact what materials you gravitate towards. Will you be preparing Master Chef class pastries and regularly boiling up your infamous bouillabaisse on the stove top?  In this case a cold surface such as the ever more popular and trendy stainless steel which is easy to sterilise might be your perfect match. 

Or perhaps in your kitchen you are surrounded by toddlers banging sippy cups the counter top like a scene from The Shawshank Redemption, in which case you will require something more resistant to scratching and also those red wine stains, such as a hard wearing quartz. 

Photo by David Parmiter

If you are planning a large island to seat eight people you may need to put more weight on the cost of your choice of surface. While marble and granite are beautiful, they are alas, like any one of the Kardashians, rather more expensive the larger they become.  

Maybe you don’t spend much time your kitchen or are you possibly the type to even use some of the cupboards to store your wooly winter jumpers?  You might love a wooden surface which creates a warm, natural and inviting feeling and could be a great choice for you if you are willing to give it that little bit of TLC that it requires.

The following reference should help to guide you through the decision making process.  I’ve even added a few questions you will want to ask your kitchen designer about each material.


Marble is a natural stone that can make a stunning feature of a luxury, statement kitchen.  It is smooth and glossy and completely unique to your kitchen, as the marbled colours and swirls are naturally occurring so no two counter tops will ever be exactly the same.  On this note, you could be in for a surprise because the sample of marble you are shown in the design studio is not the exact slab of stone that will appear as your worktop.  

Photo by Griggs & Mackay

So if you fall in love with a certain marble swirl or pattern, ask your kitchen designer if what you are seeing is the exact piece of stone that your worktop will be made from and whether they can show you exactly where that marble pattern will appear on your worktop. John Mackay, Kitchen Designer and Founder of Griggs & Mackay, will take you, the client, to the import depot where you can choose the very slab of marble that will be cut to make your worktop.  John regularly works with stonemasons at Classico Marble, where they use specialised digital software to show you exactly how your slab of marble (or granite) will be mapped out on your worktop, so you can see exactly how it will look in your kitchen.

The Marble Nutshell

Luxurious look for your statement kitchen

Soft, so easy to carve in deep grooves and custom curves with a seamless smooth effect

Porous, so more prone to stains and scratching than ceramic or quartz

Poor heat resistance; cannot place hot pots onto it directly from the stove top or oven; requires a trivet

Usually more expensive than other materials

Usually requires special marble top cleaners

Marble may make a better choice for a low-traffic area such as a pantry, rather than a worktop

Ask your kitchen designer if you can see the actual piece of marble that will make up your worktop 


Granite is also a very hardwearing beautiful natural stone with fine flecks of natural colour throughout and makes a beautiful choice for a busy family kitchen.  It is the hands down winner over marble as it is stain and chip resistant, and also extremely heat resistant so you can set those hot pans directly onto a granite surface.  Our friends at stonemasons Af Jones have shown us how granite and other stone can be finished in a variety of different ways.  So if a super gloss finish is not your style, granite can also be honed to a matte finish or a more unique, rougher anticato finish.

Photo by David Parmiter


The Granite Nutshell

Beautiful, natural stone for a glossy finish in a statement kitchen

Heat, stain and scratch resistant

Low maintenance 

Anti Bacterial

Easy to clean

Usually less costly than marble, but more costly than other materials

Ask your kitchen designer about alternative finishes available such as polished, anticato and honed granite


Quartz is a material made from a mixture of finely ground stone and a man-made resin, therefore non-porous.  It is manufactured to have a natural stone look similar to marble or granite, but at an equal cost to marble and granite.  Because it is man made, it generally has a more uniform look than natural stone, so you can be assured that what you see in the showroom is what you will get in your kitchen. 

Photo by David Parmiter

Ask your kitchen designer where the quartz for your kitchen is sourced. At Griggs & Mackay, we regularly work with Classico Marble who only source quartz made with resin that is approved for use in contact with food.  Quartz is extremely durable and even less prone to scratching and chipping than granite. It is however, less heat resistant so you wouldn’t be able to set hot pots directly onto it. 

Photo by Griggs & Mackay


The Quartz Nutshell

Man-made material with a natural stone look

Durable and extremely scratch and stain resistant

Similar cost to natural stone like marble or granite

Easy to clean and virtually maintenance free

Poor heat resistance; cannot set hot pots directly onto a quartz surface 

Available in uniform colours for a modern look if you are going for that all white kitchen or simply want seamless colour for a custom design

Ask your kitchen designer where the quartz is sourced and whether it is certified food safe

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel offers that industrial vibe that is very on trend at the moment.  If the restaurant kitchen style is your game, then it could be perfect for you!  It is very hygienic and easy to clean with a soft cloth and soapy water.   Harsh chemicals such as bleach can cause discolouration.  Treating it occasionally to an oil rub down will help maintain its shine. It is impervious to water and while it is heat resistant, you would want to use trivets for hot pots.  It is prone to scratches, however many feel that this simply adds a well worn charm to it.

Stainless steel is a cold surface choice, so you may want to consider whether you would want to use it for an island where seated guests may be resting their elbows against it.  Custom designs can be cut from a long single sheet of stainless steel for a seamless look.

Photo by David Parmiter


The Stainless Steel Nutshell

Done well, it can end up costing more than granite or marble

Very hygienic and easy to clean

Prone to scratches but you may welcome these!

A cold surface, so perhaps not the best choice for a seating area at an island

Ask your kitchen designer about the versatility of stainless steel in your custom design


Wood is an extremely beautiful and versatile material for a statement kitchen worktop and often overlooked.  The natural look and texture of wood creates a very warm and inviting atmosphere.  It can easily be worked into luxurious curves and custom designs.   For the more luxurious look, choose maple, walnut or iroko.  Iroko is a very hardwearing wood and when sealed and maintained well, is very hygienic.  

Photo by David Parmiter

A certain amount of maintenance is required to keep the quality appearance of a wooden worktop however, as bright sunlight can fade the colour and excess exposure to water can lead to mould and discolouration.  Oiling the worktop twice a year or so and wiping away water or spills as soon as they appear should ensure it maintains its quality finish.  Another benefit of wood is that any scratches or stains that do occur can easily be sanded down and refinished. 

Photo by Griggs & Mackay

John at Griggs & Mackay loves working with wood as it is so versatile and therefore lends itself beautifully to custom designs.  Unique wood grains can truly be a feature to be admired and finishes can range from raw, live edges to a polished finish.  The wooden island top is extremely popular as it creates a warm, inviting atmosphere.  

Photo by Griggs & Mackay


The Wood Nutshell

A natural and sustainable material that creates a warm atmosphere

Easily repaired and easy to shape into custom designs

Less expensive than stone or ceramic worktops

A small amount of regular maintenance is required to keep it in top quality

Ask your kitchen designer about the sustainability of the wood and where it is sourced

We would love to discuss your kitchen ideas with you!  You can get in touch by telephone on 01491 411 714, or stop into our Caversham shop and showroom at 11 Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AA.

Written and created by Sarah Mackay, Freelance Writer

Photography by David Parmiter

All kitchens  designed and created by Griggs & Mackay

The Restoration


Kitchen by Griggs & Mackay

We recently had the great pleasure of taking part in the restoration of this stunning late Victorian Gothic style home in Oxfordshire, and so we thought we’d share a little sneak preview of some the work in progress as the project comes to the finishing line!

Victorian homes were certainly built to last and that is why so many of us find ourselves living in one today, faced with the dilemma of whether to restore all of the characterful  features and glorious details of the period, or to renovate , bringing it up to the slick and shiny standards of modern style.

This gorgeous home is Grade 2 listed, so the owners were driven to restore its period beauty to the finest details.  The Griggs & Mackay team were excited to design a kitchen and furniture that feels modern and stylish while fitting seamlessly with the Victorian character.

We made and fitted all of the wooden window sills throughout the house.

We measured, cut and installed by hand all of the wall panelling  throughout the house.

 This was by no means an easy feat! A period home no doubt means there are plenty of wonky walls and nooks and crannies, so we have spent much this summer measuring, cutting and fitting on site!

The hand made mirrored wardrobes in the master suite came together beautifully with the Lewis & Wood wall paper.

The attention to detail and quality of  Griggs & Mackay work doesn’t stop on the outside.  We carry through the fine finish to the inside as well.  The soft, smooth finish on the inside of these handmade drawers is befitting the high quality of the delicates that will be nestled inside!

The wardrobe interiors were made with Cedar of Lebanon wood for its lovely colour and fragrance. It is exceptionally durable and repels insects.

This means that those fine woollen jumpers and bed socks will be immune to the ravages of moths or other creatures that may be in search of a cozy nesting space.

The wall panelling with the bold wall paper brings a bit of drama to the stairwell.   A new oak staircase was made and aged with special waxes.  Beautiful hand distressed wide oak floorboards were laid throughout the house.

That small wonky cupboard space became the perfect drinks cabinet!

We just love all the period details in this restoration!

Including the stunning Madagascar Blue Marble in this bathroom!

Everything in this beautiful home was either restored or made in keeping with the original period style.

Designing a handmade piece of furniture to fit in an awkward space is part of our expertise.  We finished the cabinet doors with a hint of Gothic detail to fit the period of the home.

We have so enjoyed working on this home (we didn’t want to leave!) with interior designer Alan McVitty of MStudio London  and it is exciting to see it all coming together! Although this is just a sneak preview, we’ll certainly share the photo shoot images with you as soon as all the final finishes are complete! You won’t want to miss it so stay tuned!

If you are planning a restoration of your own, however big or small, please get in touch us at Griggs & Mackay!  We’d love to hear from you and discuss how we can help you make it happen!

Planning Your Kitchen Layout

Thinking about the layout of a new bespoke kitchen can sometimes be the trickiest part of the design process.  If it isn’t decided during the initial planning stages, it can end up being both costly and time consuming!

Many kitchen design companies have a limited portfolio of off-the-shelf options, which may work well for your space. However, by working with bespoke designers like us, there is a limitless range of ideas and possibilities.

At Griggs & Mackay, we like to spend ample time discussing how you want to use your kitchen space, as well as how your kitchen should look and feel. Our talented architects and builders use their knowledge and expertise to implement your vision, creating a space that’s right for you and your home.

So, to get you started, here are a few tips on planning the layout of your kitchen…

What are your requirements?

As a very much design led kitchen-maker, the look and feel of your kitchen are very high on the list of our priorities, but we will always advise you if the design moves away from functionality.

Firstly, it’s important to think about how your kitchen space will be used. Is it a family kitchen, a kitchen for entertaining or for a keen chef? These factors will inspire different designs for different requirements.

Then, it’s wise to consider various other factors that come into play, including the distance traveled between the key kitchen zones – cooking, washing and refrigeration.

After this, it’s important to consider extraction and waste, as this can have a huge impact on the layout if proximity is restricted.

What are your layout options?

Technically, kitchen layout options range from galley, single-wall, L-shaped, U-shaped kitchens, or parallel-wall kitchens. You may already have a specific space to work with, or you may have the option of choosing the best shaped space for you – we can help with either!


Just like the compact galley on ships, galley designs optimise space by packing in an abundance of storage and worktop area, making them ideal for small kitchens.

To avoid a ‘corridor’ effect, where the kitchen feels small and enclosed, we opt for wall units or shelving, as this will help to open up the space.

As pictured, using high-gloss finishes in pale colours really helps to reflect light and enhance a sense of space.


Where kitchen space is at a premium, a single-wall layout is a stylish and practical solution.  While its small footprint might at first seem to be a drawback, a single-wall kitchen encroaches less on an adjoining living space, freeing up more space.

This open-plan design, pictured, is typical for a single-wall layout, and complements contemporary open-plan living.


A classic layout that works in any sized space, the L-shaped kitchen is practical, concise and looks great. Often located in the corner of a room, this allows for plenty of movement within the space.

In a small kitchen, an L-shape is ideal as it concentrates all storage and appliances into two sides of the room, leaving the rest of the kitchen open and making the overall space seem bigger.

This layout works with all types of cabinetry and can be flexible to adapt to structural needs, such as sloping ceilings or large windows.


The U-shaped kitchen is probably the most practical of kitchen layouts, as it can provide an additional run of potential storage or appliance space compared with a galley kitchen or L-shaped kitchen.

U-shaped kitchens work best in large spaces, but even small kitchens can benefit from its design, as long as you have at least two metres of moving space between the opposite  units.

The design concept of the ‘golden triangle’ is a natural fit with a U shape, as you can keep your fridge, cooker and/or hob and sink on opposing sides to one another – making your kitchen easy and efficient to use.

Parallel Walls

The parallel kitchen layout suits a range of homes, as it gives a a great deal of flexibility in the design your space. Making complete use of all the floor space, this model provides ample work and storage space, without looking cluttered.

This simple layout can open up a room, allowing for a substantial central island, without disturbing the flow of the kitchen. You can therefore have designated spots for everything you need on each side of the kitchen, making for an organised and efficient space.

If you are looking to design your own bespoke kitchen and would like further information, John & the team would be delighted to help. 

Please get in touch via our Contact Page.

Island Life: Designing Your Perfect Kitchen Island

Here at Griggs & Mackay, we love to demonstrate our flare for design… especially when it comes to building beautiful, bespoke kitchen islands.

Whether to sit and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, or to sprawl out the ingredients for your favourite recipes – our kitchen islands are designed to be practical, multi-functional and in-keeping with your unique style.

So, how best to decide on how you want yours to look and function? Here are a few of our most-loved Griggs & Mackay designs to inspire you!


For a modern and elegant kitchen interior, introducing curves into your kitchen island design is certain to create impact. Flowing contours break up the straight lines of a traditional kitchen, for a space that is relaxed and comfortable.

With deep drawers and cupboards for maximum storage space, an integrated sink and optional dining area, this curved kitchen island seamlessly blends functionality with unique design.


If you have an expansive open-plan kitchen, a split-level island can give both dimension and texture to the space, with each level providing different storage options and ‘zones of use’.

Choosing to incorporate a combination of materials – such as marble, granite and wood – will further break up the space and create an exciting visual impact.

Contrasting Colour

Sometimes your kitchen island insists on being the star of the show, whether you opt for a bold colour-pop, or a contrasting tone.

By moving away from the more conventional colour schemes, you can really let your imagination run wild. This pillar-box red painted island creates a stunning focal point, breathing a whole new life into this traditional kitchen design.


This large rectangular island was designed to mirror the beautiful ceiling light above, whilst also working with the dimensions of this kitchen space.

A rectangular shape easily allows for an optional seating area to be created at one end. Plus, the addition of a small sink and hob means that everyone can get involved with food prep!


Sometimes a kitchen’s dimensions or structure won’t allow for a central unit. In which case, an integrated breakfast bar or peninsular island can create a versatile space to socialise and eat.

This type of island can also be a great way to section off living areas, whilst providing additional, ingenious storage space.

If you are looking to design your own bespoke kitchen and would like further information, John & the team would be delighted to help. 

Please get in touch via our Contact Page.

Welcoming Back The Lovely Larder

Have you ever dreamed of having your very own larder or pantry?  Well, you might have noticed that they’re making a come-back… and you don’t need to live at Downton Abbey in order to have one!

Once a mainstay in a hardworking kitchen, the larder was a necessity for keeping meats, dairy and eggs fresh, but since modern refrigeration, the humble larder fell out of fashion within the contemporary kitchen.

Now we might be a little bit bias, but we love a good larder and we’re thrilled to see its revival at the Griggs & Mackay workshop! With it’s excellent and versatile storage options, it’s no wonder the larder cupboard has found its way to the top of many of our client’s wish-lists.

One of the greatest benefits of having a larder cupboard is that they don’t always require a lot of space. Depending on your kitchen, you can opt for a single, slimline larder with just one door, a half-larder that sits on a worktop, or if you have plenty of space to play with, then a full-size double larder is worth every penny.

‘Most people have got their food stored in loads of different cupboards but, to be able to open a concealed door and have all your kitchen supplies and condiments in one space, is really attractive.’  – Phil Spencer

Plus, larders aren’t just for storing food anymore! They can hold small appliances, serve as extra worktop space, or work as a tea and coffee or breakfast station.

Take a look at some of our favourite bespoke larders, designed for all sorts of spaces and lifestyles…

The Double Larder

This impressive double larder was designed to store a multitude of different items. With shelves, racks and draws to boot, everything from foods and spices, to china and appliances all have their place.

When closed, this fully integrated larder flows seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry, skillfully and stylishly hiding away the everyday mess of a family home.

The Freestanding Larder

A freestanding larder unit is a great option, especially if you don’t want to change your whole kitchen. They can be designed, built and painted to fit the rest of your cabinetry.

With tardis-like depth, you can really make the most of the endless storage space it provides. With adjustable shelves at different heights, an assortment of items can be neatly stored and easily accessed. Below, deep drawers offer further storage for tidying away crockery, or even pots and pans.

The Breakfast Station

We loved creating this modern twist on a larder unit, as it shows just how versatile a larder can be. This coffee and breakfast station was designed to hold everything you need to start the morning off just right!

Bi-folding doors tuck seamlessly away to display teapots, cafetieres and crockery, whilst integrated appliances are ready for use. Plus, with plenty of drawer space below, all tableware and linens can be kept together in one place.

The Slimline Larder

Now don’t be deceived, as even a modest larder can accommodate what would otherwise be stored over several cupboards. With spice racks mounted on each door and pull out drawers that run the entire width of the unit, you can ensure that nothing will get left in the back of cupboard.

If you only have space for a single-door larder unit, then a narrow and full-height design would be a great option. It’s also perfect for putting in a corner, with both static shelving and pull-out drawers for easily reachable ingredients.


The Walk-in Larder

For those with plenty of space, a walk-in larder is a great way to store and manage all of those household essentials. This design allows you to keep pretty much all your dry ingredients in one place, meaning you don’t have to rummage through countless cupboards trying to find that one key ingredient!

It’s also a excellent idea if you want to quite literally close the door on visual clutter, maintaining a calm and relaxed feeling in your kitchen.

If you are looking to design your own bespoke kitchen and would like further information, John & the team would be delighted to help. 

Please get in touch via our Contact Page.

Kitchen Trends 2018

It can be the small, simple details of your kitchen design – tailored to the way that you and your family use the space – that make your bespoke Griggs & Mackay kitchen a joy to use.

Every project we undertake is unique. Nothing we do is ever reproduced. It’s a truly bespoke service – tailored to the exact dimensions of your kitchen, tailored to the exact dimensions of your wishes.

From handmade cabinetry and ergonomic islands, to cleverly hidden storage and carefully chosen colour palettes – you’ll find a variety of our most recent projects in this gallery to inspire you!

Light & Bright

This bright and airy country kitchen was hand-painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Strong White’ throughout, paired with stunning, speckled granite worktops.

In the centre of the space is a large, single-level island that stretches generously across the kitchen with plenty of integrated storage.

An ingenious glass partition window further opens up the space, drawing light into the room and increasing a sense of flow and connectivity.

Classic Country 

This cosy, galley kitchen in Abingdon has taken on a New England Country-style, incorporating both traditional wood and light-reflecting, Carrara marble worktops.

Hand-made, floating wooden storage compartments offer a unique yet practical solution in this compact space.

Lovingly-crafted, bespoke units are hand-painted in Farrow and Ball’s ‘Great White’, with its lilac tones complementing soft-purple, glossy metro tiles.

Warm Neutrals

A neutral palette with the warm tones of wood is the perfect solution for creating a homely, more inviting space. Not only do they work well in smaller-sized kitchens, but transfer beautifully to an open-plan living space too.

This stunning kitchen project was given a relaxed, yet sophisticated feel – brought together by classic, cream painted cabinetry, beige-toned marble worktops and earthy stone floor tiles.

Vibrant Contemporary

Be inspired by this fabulously daring kitchen colour scheme! Our client chose a classic cabinet style and updated it with a vibrant, punchy lime green.

To counterbalance, we incorporated monochrome elements – such as white quartz counter-tops, matte ceramic floor tiles and a modern, jet-black kitchen island installed with LED lighting and multiple storage options.

Bold Monochrome

This contemporary kitchen design has brought a minimalist elegance to our client’s stunning country home.

Smooth white cabinets and smokey granite worktops make for a sleek, modern feel. Brought together by charcoal-painted original beams, an industrial-style pendant light and touches of natural wood.

Classic Two-Tone 

The classic Shaker-style kitchen is one of our most popular designs, due to its timeless yet distinctive aesthetic. This style lends itself to any kitchen space, offering countless options in regards to layout, cabinetry, storage options and of course, colour.

Single colour schemes remain an elegant choice, but more and more often we’re seeing clients choose two tone styles, like this beautiful River House kitchen. Embracing darker tones can give depth to your space, whilst adding a modern and on-trend twist.

Contemporary Walnut

This luxurious, modern walnut kitchen in Bix, Oxfordshire was a joy to design and build. Embracing the warmth, richness and opulence of walnut, our client’s kitchen was designed to make an impact.

The contemporary aesthetic with smooth, curved edges was particularly well suited to the modern finishing touches of stainless steel and rich granite.

If you are looking to design your own bespoke kitchen and would like some further information, John & the team would be delighted to help.  Please get in touch via our Contact Page.

Project: Wine Room

Griggs & Mackay  always welcome a challenge when interesting projects come up that can showcase our skill and flare for design

We are currently completing the final touches to a magnificent wine room in Oxfordshire . We thought, why not share with you our journey so far!

This brief was for a wine room that held 4,000 bottles, to be stored securely, in a temperature controlled environment. The room would also be used as a space for entertaining and therefore would need to provide a seating and dining area.

We set about designing around an existing building within the grounds of their impressive Oxfordshire home.

 This involved the construction of two extensions either side of this existing building. These extensions would be used as wine storage/display areas and the existing building would be used for entertaining.

As you can see here, the beauty of the original building has only been enhanced by these two extensions, which now harmoniously blend into one gorgeous building.

All the woodwork, including the wall paneling is made from European Oak, due to it’s lovely depth of colour and durability.

We chose to lay the floor in an aged ceramic tile, which not only compliments the European Oak’s colour, it happens to be extremely resilient to wine staining too- a certain must! We installed electric heated flooring in the entertaining area, which can be controlled from the ease of your phone, anywhere in the world!

A dishwasher and small larder fridge were also fitted either side of the striking copper basin and taps.

Adding to the visual ambiance of the building, we used clear glass doors separating both wine rooms from the central entertainment space. This creates a beautiful feature so the wine collection can be admired undisturbed whilst entertaining. We are also installing a conditioning system, where the atmosphere is controlled at a temperature between 12-13 °C and a constant humidity of 70%, making sure the quality of the wine is carefully preserved. Miele wine coolers were installed for those who prefer white and rosé wines, and of course, lets not forget, all the champagne !!!

The chandeliers and LED lighting have now just been installed, along with the antique mirrored splash back which together, look incredibly impressive. We specifically chose LED lighting to prevent deterioration to the wine.

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The specialist painter is now adding the finishing touches to the ceilings. We will be posting the finished rooms very soon.




Welcome to Griggs & Mackay’s new blog!

We are currently compiling all the best and beautiful bits from our latest projects, including our work in St Tropez and a very special wine cellar! Keep your eyes peeled as this will be coming very soon!