Case study: Ply time

The L-shaped layout left plenty of space for a table and chairs

Starting with a completely blank canvas can be a terrifying prospect for a kitchen designer. With nothing to react against or improve, it can almost feel as if there are too many possibilities – where do you begin? Mark Williamson of Pitlochry-based cabinetmaker Birkwood was faced with just such a challenge when he was commissioned by the owners of this flat in the west end of Glasgow to convert a large bedroom at the front of the tenement into a kitchen. Cabinets designed in Birkwood’s signature plywood and laminate style were a key part of the brief, along with plenty of storage to avoid a cluttered feel.

“Given a space measuring 6m x 4.5m, the clients could have opted for any number of layouts, with easily enough room for a generous island,” says Mark. “But, with two young children, they wanted to leave room for a dining table and chairs, a small sofa and space for a safe play zone.”

Layout of the cooker wall


Brief To create a practical and beautiful birch plywood and laminate kitchen with plenty of storage for a family with two young children.
Works required Everything – there wasn’t even any plumbing. Local trades were brought in to prepare the room.
Biggest challenge Finding solutions to the need for a huge amount of storage space while leaving the room uncluttered. “The clients are very pleased with the result and haven’t quite filled every cupboard, even after a year of living there.”
Budget £30,000. This covered the cabinets, dresser unit, worktops, appliances and fitting.
Supplier Birkwood
Photography David Brown
Words Judy Diamond