Handmade Wooden Furniture

Sjouke Minkema has been designing and crafting unique wooden kitchens and furniture for his company HOUT (Dutch for ‘wood’) since he moved here from the Netherlands to set up a workshop and office more than 12 years ago in Holme, on the Cumbria/Lancashire border. The company has grown over time to incorporate several employees (including Sjouke’s English wife) in order to meet the increasing demand for his work from private and commercial clients.

Every uniquely designed piece of work is entirely handmade, assembled, finished and installed by HOUT’s craftsmen using English hardwoods together with materials and hardware chosen specifically for their beauty, perfect function and minimal ethical carbon footprint.

With a love of clean, fresh, linear lines, aesthetic minimalism and perfect function, HOUT’s furniture is designed to enhance lives and to evoke balance and harmony – whether working, resting, playing or simply living.

Custom Craftsmanship

HOUT offer a complete service from initial concept through design, crafting and installation. They design and make uniquely for you – always by hand, only to perfection and with each piece, strive to achieve a beautiful end product within a realistic budget.





Why Hout?

Whether you come to HOUT with a well formed idea of what you would like or have seen our work and prefer us to conceptualise it for you, we see ourselves as the provider of a service  – taking your ideas and together with you, bringing them to a durable, functional, technically sound and beautiful structure. We also love to create new designs for unique locations and provide aesthetically pleasing and practical solutions for compact spaces. Our Company ethos together with our genuine creative freedom and a close consultant-client relationship, enables us to provide unique and truly bespoke affordable Kitchens and Furniture of quiet distinction.

Sjouke Minkema in Carnforth, Cumbria, UK on Houzz

What people say about us

We were considering an off the shelf kitchen solution from a mass production fitter but are so glad we didn't! The design is gorgeous and the perfect blend of form and function. The quality of the materials and workmanship is of such a high standard that we are confident our kitchen will last a lifetime and so the extra expense will actually be a saving in the long term. Sjouke did tell us there would be some movement in the wood as it bedded in but the after sales service Hout provided coming in and fine tuning has also been top notch. Would recommend this approach to everyone. A stunning kitchen of the highest quality tailored to our needs that will last a life time and save money and environmental impact in the long term. We'd give 10 stars if I could.


A huge thank you to Sjouke and his team. I cannot praise them highly enough. From the moment we discussed the initial requirements for our dining room table through to delivery we were involved at various steps along the way. Following discussions about our likes and dislikes, and after the design process, we then were invited back to approve the wood he had selected and once more visited the workshop to see how the project was progressing. Sjouke offers great ideas and through his extensive knowledge encourages you to think about different designs. We are blown away with the finished product which is as much a piece of art as it is a dining room table. Thank you, we love it!


The team were very responsive when we got in touch with our brief. It was to replace the doors on a large linen cupboard in our bathroom which also housed the hot water cylinder. Hout painted the doors in a Farrow and Ball colour we chose. They also added a Cumbrian ash panelled partition which broke up the bathroom and hid the loo. Sjouke came out a couple of times to make sure he understood what we wanted and was happy to work to our budget. When the team came to install it they were professional and considerate. And we are really pleased with the result.


The craftsmanship has exceeded our expectations, our bedroom has been transformed with the fitted wardrobe-including cube and window sill. Sjouke and his team combine excellent woodmanship along with a gifted eye for design. It has been a pleasure being involved with the process, we told Sjouke what we would like, he developed our ideas and produced something so aesthetically pleasing, but equally functional. It is a privilege to have in our home. Ps Also a nice team of people to have working in your home.


Sjouke Minkema's work is always exceptional. Each piece we have commissioned shows his love affair and affinity to working with wood, really bringing out the character in it and producing pieces that we simply love looking at and using. We've had a table, four-poster bed, drawer units, bespoke staircase and bookcases all made for us by Hout. Can't recommend them highly enough.


Lovely, friendly team at Hout helped make us a beautiful 1 of a kind table that should last my young sons lifetime. We love having family meals on it and the loves already loves playing underneath it. Its already one of the family.


We had bench seating and a dining table made by Hout to fit in our kitchen. We are delighted with the very high quality finish of both the benches and in particular the table, of which we were able to visit the workshop to select the piece of wood.
The design fits the space very well and has managed to blend in with the house perfectly.
Could not recommend more and we will be returning customers should we need anymore bespoke furniture.


All I asked for was produced, we were kept informed every step of the way. The staff and management are passionate about their work and are a joy to work with.

Commercial Client

I spent a long time looking for the right company to build my kitchen. I was sure I didn’t want an off-the-shelf model. Because my family are not planning on moving house again, I
was looking for something handmade, bespoke, sustainable, and beautiful... and I love wood. After a lot of research, I found HOUT Kitchens, and Sjouke, Tracy and their team did
not disappoint. As all the company’s work is custom-made, they don’t have a showroom. Instead, Tracy took me to two homes with beautiful HOUT kitchens, and two extremely proud owners. Sjouke and Tracy also invited us to the HOUT workshop, showing us their kitchen making process and where they store and dry their wood. It was fantastic to see how the whole process was going to work. From the very first, I felt assured we were in good hands. The design and development process was really satisfying. I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted based on the plans I’d made with our architect, but I loved working with Sjouke to really develop the look and detail of the kitchen. It is indeed the details of our kitchen that
really make it stand out and make it so, so striking and pleasing to use. I love that our kitchen is made from sustainable wood and from a single elm tree – the grain of the wood runs across the front of the drawers, and it is one of the most beautiful details of the kitchen; I love our breakfast cupboard with pocket doors where we can hide away our microwave, kettle, and other appliances when not in use; I love the drawer insert which has separators for our cups and glasses, and a handsome sycamore bread bin with a lid. I love that we collaborated with Sjouke and Tracy to find the right appliances that are quiet, beautiful and in synch with the look and feel of our kitchen. Furthermore, when I presented the idea of a slatted screen to divide our sliding doors and window seat to Sjouke, he came back with the perfect solution. Firstly, he took the time to work out how it would ‘float’ off the ground... which is both visually appealing and practical (easy to clean the floor underneath!) Also, his decision to use two contrasting woods (sycamore rods running through sturdy elm slats) give it a stunning look. It is my absolute favourite part of the kitchen. We feel so blessed to have found real craftspeople and perfectionists to design and make our kitchen... the heart of our home. We will enjoy it for years to come. We absolutely can’t thank Sjouke, Tracy, Henry and the wider team enough for planning, designing and making us such an extraordinary, individual and tailored kitchen. It is just what we wanted and much, much more.

Sjouke Minkema in Carnforth, Cumbria, UK on Houzz