When Sam Walsh starts to draw up plans for a new kitchen or piece of furniture, he considers its surroundings. What is right for the house, room or building? Will it blend in? What do his clients want his work to achieve in terms of style, functionality and visual impact? Will the end result look and feel right?

One thing Sam never does is to approach a new project with pre-conceived ideas or a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ mentality. Each design is unique and bespoke – creating individual solutions made for the space they fill and imbued with a sculptor’s flair.

One of Sam’s most recent commissions was to transform the kitchen, utility room, boot room, bedroom and study in stunning Kiln Quay House, Flushing. The Grade-II listed Tudor-style home was famously dismantled at its former location in Sussex, transported by barge and re-built where it now stands by its then owner heiress Joan Beech in 1919. She loved a sea captain who lived in the village but also loved her house, so she moved it to be with him – lock, stock and barrel.

Full of exposed beams, character and charm, Kiln Quay remains a highly-cherished dream home. It was vital for the interior design to complement its heritage, whilst also providing its owners with modern day attributes and reflecting their own personal taste and lifestyle.

The new Kiln Quay kitchen features traditionally hand-crafted cabinets made out of painted tulipwood, oak and oak burr. There is a curved island section that elegantly divides the cooking and dining areas and an oak burr counter top pantry includes internal spice racks, curved doors and open bookshelves. The solid oak drawers are dovetail jointed and run on soft-close runners, a tall section incorporates a large, American-style fridge, a pull-out larder and a built-in microwave and a double Belfast sink has instant, boiling water from the tap.

There is a bespoke dresser with built-in television and much care has been taken to give the room a magnificently light, airy, yet very convivial atmosphere.

“It was a real privilege to work in such a beautiful property,” said Sam. “Our clients were very involved throughout the entire process and we’re all delighted with what has been achieved.”

Brought up in Tywardreath, near Fowey, Sam’s interest in woodwork developed from various part-time jobs after leaving school. He went on to study for a qualification in Hand Crafted Furniture with Cornwall College, Falmouth, before moving on to a furniture design degree in Nottingham. After working as a cabinet maker with various employers, Sam took himself off to Nigeria to teach furniture-making in a local school under the auspices of the Voluntary Services Overseas organisation until setting up his business in 2005. Returning to Cornwall was always his aim.

“I wanted to move back but it took a while. Work space opportunities took me to North Devon to start with, then Bude and finally I opened a workshop in Krowji, Redruth, in 2011.”

Having trained a small, dedicated team to work alongside him, Sam’s business and reputation for outstanding craftsmanship has grown significantly in recent years – giving him the capacity to take on large projects like whole house interiors as well as kitchens.

“Sam loves the artistic challenge that every new job presents, whether the setting is contemporary or traditional,” said his wife, Sarah, who has also joined him in the business. “Setting, atmosphere and period are all integral to his creative methodology.”

It is that awareness of time and place that marks Sam out as an exceptional craftsman and designer – someone who listens to what a client wants, thinks carefully about how to enhance what is already there and delivers on the dream.

“It’s knowing that a new kitchen, interior or piece of furniture looks as if it’s been waiting to be created in just those surroundings that gives me most satisfaction,” said Sam. “The answers aren’t there at the start – they emerge with understanding, reflection and a passion for perfection.”

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