Our Story

Two decades after successfully establishing Plain English as one of the most highly-regarded kitchen companies in the world, Katie Fontana and Tony Niblock launched British Standard in response to a growing demand for affordable cupboards that could work in any room.

In launching British Standard, we wanted to create a range of beautifully simple wooden cupboards, crafted in Suffolk and delivered to your door readymade. By stripping away the bespoke offering and finishing service (that Plain English has become renowned for), British Standard are able to provide enduring, well-made cupboards at an honest, transparent price: we provide the craftsmanship and the materials, then we hand creative control over to you.

The British Standard range includes wall and floor cupboards, generously proportioned, solid wooden drawers and open shelves. The understated design of the cupboard façade was inspired by the beading found on the reverse of a Georgian shutter, whilst the solid simplicity of the drawers and open shelves evokes the utilitarianism of Shaker furniture. This timeless, pared-back design allows the cupboards to work in any room and in setting: rural or urban, contemporary or historic.

The cupboards are made in Suffolk by the same team of dedicated craftsmen that create bespoke cabinetry for Plain English. They are built to withstand a lifetime of everyday use and materials are given careful consideration: the door and frames of the cupboards are made from Poplar whilst the carcass is made of a durable, easy-to-maintain Birch plywood. Worktops are available in a choice of responsibly-sourced hardwood.

Creativity in the home is both encouraged and celebrated at British Standard. If you are planning a bigger project such as a kitchen, utility room or workspace, our design team are on-hand for a free, two-hour consultation. This is where your own story begins: we will help you design a layout that works uniquely for you. Once a layout has been identified, the cupboards are ordered online before being delivered, pre-assembled and primed, ready for installation and finishing.

The appearance of the cupboards is completely customisable – you are free to choose your own handles and paint colours, both of which can be endlessly refreshed over time. As a result, no two British Standard designs are the same. In effect, our story then becomes yours. We hope you’ll share it with us.

We are paying tribute to the British craftsmen of the past whose honest, unfussy but eminently practical designs provided the original inspiration for Plain English all those years ago.

Katie Fontana, Creative Director
Plain English & British Standard Cupboards