The AGA and Bespoke Handmade Kitchens

17th April 2012

Timelessly beautiful, quintessentially English and built like a tank the AGA is quite simply the heart and soul of any kitchen. Its ability to heat the room as well as cook, roast and bake make it highly desirable not only in country kitchens but also in contemporary spaces. Its inability to cook Yorkshire puddings and souffles, (as I'm reminded about on a regular bases by so many techno head cooks) surely is a small price to pay for beauty.

At Carved Wood the aesthetic is king and nothing comes close to the visual impact of an AGA. The build quality and design philosophy of AGA also harmonizes perfectly with the Carved Wood principal - MADE TO LAST A LIFETIME WITH NO BUILT IN OBSOLESCENCE. Even today every AGA cooker is still manufactured by hand by skilled craftsman, thats why they look so good. Molten Iron is poured into casting moulds before every AGA cooker is given multiple coats of vitreous enamel paint. The process taking place over a three day period, a world apart from the process used by modern cooker manufacturers - a quick spray paint.

Its been around since the 1930s, master engineered to take care of itself for generations to come. Cherished as part of family life the world over, a true icon of design, offering uncompromising quality and relevance as an alternative in today's idiotic sanitized quick fix market. But its not energy efficient I here you say, unlike other technologically advanced cookers. Perhaps not, but the AGA is made to last a lifetime, unlike other cookers which will be replaced after only a few years for the latest all singing, all dancing, energy efficient abomination. The fact that most hi tech appliances finish up in land fill after a very short life due to built in obsolescence and a fashion conscious public is an inconvenient truth covered up by retailers pushing the green agenda in order to maximize profits.

Carved Wood have been designing handmade bespoke kitchens around AGAs for many years. Its a hand in glove situation, an absolute pleasure to work with, something that adds to the aesthetic rather than detracting. At Carved Wood everything is painstakingly made entirely by hand, so working with anything other than an AGA is always a visual compromise. Great effect can gained simply from the choice of colour. A recent bespoke kitchen commission by Carved Wood in a country house in The Ribble Valley involved the use of figured Sycamore (a strikingly beautiful pale ivory coloured wood) A black AGA was chosen, creating drama and giving a timeless classical ebony and ivory feel.

Cost needn't be an obstacle to owning an AGA, second hand, they can be picked up on Ebay for as little as a few hundred pounds, if they are bought privately, rather than through the rip off reconditioning merchants.

My own AGA is a 1950s cream model called "The Old Girl", perfect for a 16th century farm house. She came from the farmers guardian a few years ago for £500.00 and she'll still be around in another 50 years, just like every Carved Wood kitchen, made without compromise to last a lifetime.