The first bespoke fitted bookcase I ever built.

In 2003, the year I started Empatika (Formerly Custom Carpentry), actually I inherited the name from a carpenter who had been using the name for years before, his widowed wife said I could use the name and she would send me his enquiries, a bit of a sad start I know…

Anyway, I actually started off advertising myself as a handyman, I put some small cards in the newsagents and started riding around Notting Hill on my bike with tools bags on each side of the bike rack, screws and hardware box on top and a ruck sack on my back.

People asked me to do larger and more complex jobs and so I got into building them fitted furniture and this is actually the very first bespoke bookcase I built totally from scratch, on site.

It’s a big one too, so I plunged right in the deep end. Because I am self taught, I am not working within certain preconceived boundaries, I am more open to different contemporary designs and my attitude is that you can do anything, you just have to find the way!

This has helped my clients get exactly what they wanted over the years, there is nothing that can’t be done.

Click here to read more about the bespoke bookcases we can create today for you.

I survived this big bookcase construction and many others. Now I have a team of talented craftsmen who specialise in building contemporary style fitted furniture. I like designing furniture and run the business now and that takes up all my time and more.

We work mainly for private clients in London but we have also been commissioned various times by Westminster Abbey to make different pieces of fitted furniture including in the head’s office as well as a bookcase in the organist’s office. We have also made fitted furniture for ITV’s “60 Minute Makeover” programme and ITV’s “Home for the brave” and others since.

You can read about and see more fitted bespoke bookcases that we have built by clicking this link.

Below are the pictures of the progress of this first bookcase, I took the first ones on my old mobile phone so they are poor quality sorry.

To build this bookcase I had to take the door off the cupboard on the left because it was in the way. I had to cut the doors down and make a new frame.


Here you can see the new frame that has moved up into the correct position to leave enough space for the new bookcase.

Here you see the original doors that where cut down to the new size and the moulding on the front refitted


Every bookcase starts with a good foundation!

If the base is not perfectly level and flat, it will only cause trouble later!

As I am self taught and I built the bookcase in a way that made sense to me and that I could visualise first. So I thought that building it in layers would work.

The bookcase is getting taller layer by layer.

And another layer. It is worth noting that although this bookcase was perfect, I never built another one this way, we now make carcasses with backs, on this one the wall is visible.

Last row, it’s a monster, not many bookcases we do these days are this big!


Here you can see the new doors that looks like they where meant to be like that. Masking tape is essential for a perfect straight painted line


Bookcase is built in line with the top of the other cupboard which makes it look more like it is built at the same time.


This is a busy bookcase with every inch used up!

This must be a delightful view if you like books?

Click the link to  see more fitted bespoke bookcases we have built.

If you have any questions, email Tristan here

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