Christian Farmer was a passionate cabinet maker from a young age and always loved working with timber. He and his wife Narelle founded Farmers Doors in 1975, originally focusing on internal house doors, display cabinets and coffee tables. They then moved into manufacturing and installing handmade and hand-stained kitchen cabinetry, and their family grew – with their five children being involved in the business at various stages.
The youngest daughter, Candy Farmer and her husband Joel, bought the business in November 2020 – officially taking over the operation in January of this year. “I always say that I have been working for Farmers Doors for 30 years,” laughs Candy, who is 30 years old,” but have only been paid for 11 years… I am so excited to bring a new lease of life to the business and take it to its next stage of evolution.” Although Narelle is now fully retired, Candy still has her sister and father deeply involved within the business. Christian loves to travel around Australia on his adventure bikes, “but he will always be around to offer his expertise,” adds Candy.
Candy’s vision for Farmers Doors is to provide families with beautiful kitchens that will stand the test of time. Their core customers are cabinet makers, those who make the cabinetry for their own clients. It is imperative that the designs Farmers Doors create not only have a unique custom profile, the working drawings must be expertly designed so they can be translated into fully functioning cabinetry. The paint finishes also must stand up to the rigours of a modern family kitchen. “Stains and spills, red wine and coffee, pots, pans and utensils, our paint finishes stand up to them all,” says Candy. “Our designs are statement pieces – they are made for family homes for the long term.”
Candy and the Farmers Doors team have always been inspired by Kate Walker and KWD’s kitchen designs, which is why made contact with Kate some years ago. “Kate’s discerning clients and exquisite designs are ideal for Farmers Doors – and with this in mind we knew we would love her to work with us. We formed a relationship via Instagram, and we sent sample doors for her to experience the quality of what we produce. Since then we have collaborated on so many extraordinary projects. We take briefs from the KWD design team and we work closely with them to develop profiles that are bespoke for their clients. And we work alongside the cabinet maker to execute the design that the team create. We love bringing their vision to life.”
Candy explains that working with KWD on Kate’s exceptional designs has definitely helped Farmers Doors to increase their following and their client base. “KWD’s marketing has been incredible for us. Our Instagram following has more than doubled as a direct result of the projects we have worked on with KWD, and as a result of Kate’s loyal social media tribe, plus the stunning photography and their outstanding PR. KWD makes our product shine.”
In terms of cabinetry door designs, there are definitely emerging trends. “Texture is king,” explains Candy. “High gloss and plastic finishes have been replaced with raw, natural materials. The customer is prepared to pay for real timber and textured finishes that are uber luxe. Timber veneer certainly adds a statement to a home.”
“Timber veneer is not only environmentally friendly, the core of MDF fibre (which is also natural timber) has a high moisture resistance. The timber veneer panels make the door look like solid timber but without the weight and the propensity to expand or contract in different climates. Combining MDF with timber veneer creates the most beautiful, practical and functional solution.”
Kate Walker approached Farmers Doors last year regarding her own property, Biscayne. Her design vision was to take cabinetry door design to new heights, and she knew that Farmers Doors were the only ones who could bring her vision to life. Says Candy, “Kate explained that she wanted this design fusion, a melding of a variety of styles to create her very own style – a Caribbean / Colonial / Island look with a really highly textured finish. We created a new design for her using one of our award winning classic door profiles called Virginia, but with an American Oak finish that we added texture to. We also created this incredible lattice door profile plus a louvred door for different rooms in Biscayne. Kudos to DMA kitchens who has executed the designs to perfection.”
“It’s so exciting to work with a design team like KWD, where we communicate so freely and so openly. It’s an evolutionary process and one based on collaborative ideas that fuse form and function, all the while taking into account the constraints of using natural materials. We always create something very special that is also timeless.”
Explains Kate, “ In a renovation process, the installation of the joinery is most definitely a highlight. My design team and I agonised over every detail of the joinery design for Biscayne. After months of profile design research and development, the Biscayne kitchen is almost ready – texture, pattern play and delightful details. In fact the whole design process took around 12 months so to finally see it installed is just incredible. I can’t thank Farmers Doors enough because without them, the extraordinary joinery designs throughout Biscayne wouldn’t have been possible – their product is unbelievable. They have supported us so generously in this project and have enabled us to create our own joinery panel designs that are completely custom. There were so many conversations to get every element just right. And in regards to our joiner, DMA Kitchens, who manufacture Farmers Doors drawings to perfection, their passion for their craft is palpable. They question every element of our designs to ensure the result always exceeds our expectations. And the Hepburn Hardware door hardware is the jewellery that adorns the cupboards door and drawers. The final reveal is getting closer now. I can’t wait to share the story of Biscayne.”
If you are ready to create the most beautiful, bespoke joinery design for your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, mudroom or walk-in robe, talk to the KWD team. We will work closely with Farmers Doors to create the perfect look for you and your home.