The story so far
Learning the Art of Craftsmanship
Over 30 years ago Stuart Acaster started work as apprentice cabinet maker at family run antique shop in Worthing, West Sussex. It provided invaluable insights into restoration and cabinet making, especially when dealing with some incredibly old and valuable items where there really are no second chances. Learning timeless techniques of his craft balanced with the care and concern over the most intricate pieces have stayed with him till this day. But it seems the reminiscing doesn’t end there. “As far back as I remember I was always taking things apart as a boy… In fact, my mother still has things I made from wood at school in her house.” Wood really does last a lifetime.
Branching Out Alone
Twelve years later Acaster Antique Restoration was born, working solely for the trade. Everything from small nests of tables and bureaus to large dining room tables and break front book cases. Stuart’s eye for detail which was not lost in a time and cost conscious environment earned him a reputation based around trust and quality – especially with large furniture items.
Both Near and Far
From humble beginnings in his make-shift garage came forth work with some incredibly illustrious pieces and before long he found himself restoring pieces for very far afield. His reputation saw international work across mainland Europe, especially for the antique trade in France, Holland and Germany… and also across the pond for the US too.
Antique Restoration Gives Way to Contemporary Design
By the turn of the millennium, Stuart was being asked more and more by close friends and family to work on restoring some precious pieces that they had in their homes, and naturally word of his talents began to spread beyond the trade. Over the next few years the classical antique trade started begun to see a slow decline as the trends and tastes of the public began to change. During this time Stuart also found himself not just restoring antiques, but being commissioned to make specific bespoke pieces of furniture for friends. It would seem they had ideas in mind, but unable to find something in stores – especially that would fit awkward areas in their homes. And so began the journey of working on and playing with some much more contemporary custom pieces.
The Next Wave of Wood Working
During the mid-naughties the tide of change was in full-swing. The fashion of antiques had reduced to a much slower trickle but the demand for contemporary and bespoke pieces under the watchful eye of a skilled craftsman was ever growing… both in popularity and geography. The Internet was bringing in more requests, and a decision was made to focus on designing and making furniture pieces with an emphasis on the public rather than the trade. Adur Woodworks was to focus a range of contemporary pieces and home installations that would be carefully crafted and built in the Worthing workshop to customers unique requirements and then taken and assembled, personally by hand. The range of services grew from flooring and panelling to kitchens as well as a range of commercial work such as custom receptions and desks.
Resurgence of Classical Wood with Retro Colours
Over the last couple of years styles and fashions have dictated the types of pieces that Adur Woodworks have been working on. Often designers work with customers who have a particular vision or space in mind they want to see come to life in wood. A look through the portfolio will reveal uniques shapes of fitted wardrobes, AV Multi-media cabinets and even hand-made curved kitchens carefully blended into their surroundings. Free-standing or fully-fitted furniture set within various nooks, crannies and eaves all needing to be utilised. The many styles from country painted pieces, distressed and reclaimed woods to exotic grains with illustrious stains set against high-gloss laminates – right through to an increasing desire to see intense, bright and bold colours. Styles and designs may change, but as an experienced cabinet maker this simply reveals the versatility in creating furniture that is unique for your home or office.
PERSONALISED QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP
“As an experienced cabinet maker and the proprietor of Adur Woodworks, for me the thing about working with wood is that it feels alive. It is warm and natural to the touch and each piece is completely unique in it’s character; the textures, the grain, the colours… even the smell! Every piece has a story and a history and it brings warmth and life to any space, in the same way plants do, which is why so many of us choose to have natural woods around our homes.”
“For the wood connoisseurs amongst you, you know its way beyond the colour or stains when selecting choice woods. It is having an eye for selecting and working with the unique grain patterns… finding contrasts and balance between veneers – or even against laminates and glass as this style becomes more popular. Then it is shaping and moulding these patterns around the furniture of your choice, which very often is dictated by the spaces we have to play with – and some of these are pretty interesting and unusual in and of themselves – as we try to make the most of unused areas around our homes and turn them into warm, living, useful spaces.”
- Cabinet Making
- Antique Restoration
- Contemporary Furniture
- Commercial Showpieces
Life After Hours
I enjoy travelling whether it’s long haul exploring distant cultures or just around the UK or Europe in a campervan. Having some time to visit museums and architecture fuels inspiration – and appreciation of how things have developed from the primitive ways of working with wood.
I live in Worthing, West Sussex with my wife Sue and our cats and enjoy restoring motorcycles when she lets me!
When I’m not enjoying any of those, you’ll probably find me snowboarding on the slopes.
“I’ll look forward to meeting with you, listening to your requirements and helping you bring your ideas to life.”
“I promise to make wood work for you!”
The clear passion for what I do transfers into my services
All you need to know
“I want some bookshelves in the lounge but not sure of a style. I think I want it to blend it in with the fireplace and I don’t want to be able to see the fixings.”
“I have a period piece of furniture and need to repair an existing item and then perhaps create some additional pieces to blend in seamlessly together.”
“I have an odd space in my room and can’t find anything in furniture shops that fits it snuggly and would love something built-in to my criteria.”
What services do you provide?
From contemporary, bespoke furniture making to antique restoration for general public, commercial businesses and the trade. From small one off pieces from magazine racks to fitted wardrobes to custom kitchen cabinets to office reception desks to sensitive restorations of furniture and panelling. Many, many projects have been undertaken over the years that cover a plethora of styles. Please enquire to discuss your needs and see how we may be of assistance.
I have an unusual space, can you help?
Absolutely. Whether you have seen an item in a store but it simply won’t fit your location, or you have an area that could be better utilised for some kind of storage in some way. From shoe cabinets to AV multimedia units to extra clothing or storage space to unusually shaped kitchen cabinets, we will be happy to assess your requirements and needs and look at options with you.
I have some existing furniture that needs restoring?
Not a problem. Repairing is quite simply putting right what has gone wrong, be that a broken backsplat of a chair, a scratched table top, or even a wobbly table leg. From antique to contemporary pieces, all restoration work is sensitively undertaken against each prior assessed piece and even areas of decay can be fully replaced. A whole range of mouldings, carvings and veneers can be sourced or matched even if they need to be hand-crafted.
Can you match furniture to an existing piece?
Whether it is a replacement item (e.g. a chair that is lost or broken and needs to match an exiting set) or simply furniture styles and woods that you are particularly fond of and wish for something bespoke to be made to sensitively match existing decor, all of this is possible and can be discussed on site when we evaluate the work to be undertaken.
What about coloured laminates, glass and metal finishes?
Modern tastes tend to use high-gloss and satin-finished laminates alongside natural woods. We have a range of quality products and striking colours available that can be professionally pressed and edged to ensure maximum durability. Metal work and glass can also be sourced for some of the modern design styles and we can work with customers preferred suppliers of these items as required.
Do you work with designers?
Yes. Many designers and architects already utilise our services for their own direct clientele. We are equally happy to work with a designer of your choosing if there is something that you have in mind or can happily recommend one if you feel it is necessary. All our work will be custom designed around your specifications regardless.
Where do you source your materials?
Personal preferences and pockets ensure that choice is always paramount and we offer veneered modern materials like engineered woods and MDF to reclaimed woods of both soft and hard variety. Our wood is sourced, in the main, from European hardwoods like oak, ash, tulip and elm. If more exotic woods are required then we insist on responsible renewable sources and therefore ensure our supplies of more exotic woods are suitably obtained.
What wood finishes are available?
From paint to varnishes to stains and polishes, whether rustic, distressed or deep intense colourations… from hand stained to industrial sprays, there simply is a whole range of options available to you. We will discuss your requirements for both aesthetic styling and environmental durability depending upon where the item will be located and how it will be utilised.
What about door furniture like handles and hinges?
Very often customers source and choose their own door furniture as these are down to their own specific tastes. For non-cosmetic items such as runners and hinges, or specific requirements such as stainless-steel screws, these will be discussed at the planning stage and a range of costs determined with the customer if there are multiple options available or specific environmental requirements needed to be taken into account.
What about guarantees?
All pieces are built to the very highest standards of quality workmanship and guaranteed to be free from structural fault or failure. If in the unlikely circumstances some damage arises, we will always pleased to come and assess the issue on site – so feel free to get in touch. If something happens to be accidental and outside of our control, e.g. an alcohol spill over French polish, then we will happily repair the piece after discussing and agreeing a suitable price.
How long will it take?
As each piece is unique, a certain amount of time must be permitted for developing and planning at the outset. Invariably sketches are made to ascertain build technique and also to make sure the raw material cost is adequate but not excessive. Complexity will certainly have an impact on time, any specialist items (e.g. bespoke steel work) has to be allowed for. Again before any money is exchanged we will give you an approximate start time and an approximate finish time, but most important of all is keeping you informed on progress. If you need definitive deadlines please let us know, we work with businesses as well as private clients and fully understand that they can have strict timelines given to them by their clients.
How much will it cost?
Understandably a very frequent question. The price of a piece is determined as with any other service – a combination of labour time, material cost and overheads. All prices are discussed and agreed before developing your piece. With larger pieces deposits of up to 50% are agreed and in some cases staged payments can be arranged.
Is it true cabinet makers make great lovers?
True. Absolutely true. Wood is in our veins.
Making Wood Work for You
Whether it’s something for your home, commercial premises or even if you are in the trade,
feel free to get in touch and ask for a no obligation quotation for quality hand made
furniture that you can enjoy for years to come.
The people who trust Adur Woodworks
I phoned Adur as I wanted a computer desk to fit an awkward corner in my flat. I had spent hours wandering around shops but I could find nothing that suited. After showing them a picture I had in mind and given a sensible price, they then came and fitted the new desk within a few days exactly as I had asked with no fuss and no mess. Would definitely use them again!
Adur Woodworks built me a cupboard to fit around my boiler in my new kitchen. I asked them to try to make the cupboard look like the existing units. Wow! The match was unbelievable, they were reasonably priced, impeccably mannered and extremely respectful around my home. The finish was to a very high standard. Clearly a company that takes pride in their work.