EJ Ryder and the world of joinery

Edwin J Ryder and his team specialise in bold, creative design and impeccable workmanship in their joinery and interior finishes. They are unusual in that they offer design and production, all carried out under one roof at their East London studio and workshop. We spoke with Edwin to find out how they work with clients on their property renovations.

How did you get started in this industry?

I guess the journey up to setting up the business is as interesting as the bit after. I grew up in a house that my dad was building… for the whole 15 or so years I was living there. So, I generally knew about buildings and studied building surveying at Uni. Once I’d finished, after going on too many snowboarding trips and feeling very broke, I helped my dad build the kitchen extension he wanted – that’s how long he was building for, the kitchen had gone out of date by the time he finished the rest of the house!

I ended up doing absolutely everything; the roof, the underfloor heating and electrics, all the plumbing, the slate floor, bespoke glazing and all the interiors. It all came together really well. After going travelling again for a bit, I came back and started using those skills to earn money.

With all that building experience, what made you specialise in joinery?

I was on a road towards being a high-quality reliable builder, but I realised it was not what I wanted to do at all. After moving to London I did some work for a set designer. She had this idea for a kitchen, which she sketched but there was no actual design, and she wanted it made out of ply and Formica, which I’d never heard of before. I didn’t even know which way round the Formica went, that’s how naïve I was, but we got it done and it looked great. From that I got more work and started the Limited company in the summer of 2014.

At first we were doing full residential refurbishments, but I soon realised that it was the joinery that we could do incredibly well. We were doing the design and production of tables and various other things and that’s when we realised we were doing something different that not everyone can do.

Edwin-Ryder-Interview-Esters-03

Quite often people want a lot of bespoke joinery in their renovations, but underestimate how expensive it is. How do you deal with that?

Although we specialise in joinery, our aim at EJ Ryder is to change the way the entire construction industry works.

All too often with residential refurbishments, there will be a misalignment of expectations or miscommunication between the homeowner and the architect and/or builder. This can often lead to delays, a rise in costs, and ultimately a real sense of dissatisfaction on the part of the homeowner.

Due to our collaborative process, in which we manage entire projects – from design through to completion – we can far more easily meet the unique needs of our clients. We have an impeccable track record of delivering projects within budget and on time. We form close relationships with everyone we work with, from clients to our specialist subcontractors, and speak the many varied languages required in this industry.

Edwin-Ryder-Interview-Joinery-06
Edwin-Ryder-Interview-Joinery-08

If someone is having their house refurbished and would like a kitchen by you, when should they get you involved?

The moment you have a basic layout design for the property. It’s best if we design the kitchen from the start because any design work done before that by the architect might be lost. Even if it was a good idea, we might go in a slightly different direction or look at different material samples with the client. All we need really is a line drawing and then full interaction with the client.

So the service you offer clients is a complete design service, down to where they keep the cutlery?

Yes, absolutely everything. We work very collaboratively with clients. It’s usually the case that they will look at our work and our materials library and something will wow them and then that sets the tone. We show them examples of kitchens we’ve done that we’re excited about and clients pick out the features they like. In the office we have a range of materials in different colours and textures, and can tell clients if they are cheap or expensive, durable or fragile. They can immediately have feedback on their choices.

EJ-Ryder-Interview-Front

What makes a successful, or enjoyable, project for you?

The brilliant thing about having a design studio and workshop fabrication all in the same place is we can make sure the job is done to a high standard, which makes it successful. The most exciting projects are when clients trust us; when we can draw them out of their comfort zone, to move away from white and use a texture or colour.

It’s really amazing when there’s a creative client to bounce ideas off. We can co-create the detailing and this is where we excel. We can guide a client but we also rely on them to keep things in line with their style, so that what they get in the end isn’t just amazing, it’s also personal to them. That kind of co-creation is where we really thrive.

We are increasingly placing sustainability at the heart of everything we do, and encouraging our clients to do the same. This means minimising waste where possible, using reclaimed or environmentally friendly materials, and adhering to energy efficient processes.  We intend to push the use of technological innovation further, to improve ways of working and encourage more extensive collaboration.

For more information about EJ Ryder or to see more incredible work check out their website below:

Our HomeNotes Journal is here to bring you clear and up-to-date information for homeowners renovating their homes. For more in-depth help we provide online courses to help you get started the right way!

House-Buying-Checklist-Front

Our 10 top tips to buying a house

Buying a house is potentially the biggest financial commitment you will ever make, so take the time to prep with our tips!

Read More →
Dont-Move-Improve-Front

Don’t move, Improve! 2022 Shortlist

Check out the 15 incredible London renovation projects shortlisted for this year’s Don’t Move, Improve! Awards and get inspired!

Read More →
Front

How to prepare your house for builders: 10 things you must do

When getting ready to receive contractors into your home it’s important to prepare your property. Get started with these 10 must do tasks!

Read More →

How much will my extension cost in 2022?

When it comes to home-renovating this is the most common question we get asked. So let’s get right to it, how do you work out the REAL cost? Read on to find out!

Read More →

Where NOT to scrimp on your renovation

Sometimes it’s tempting to cut corners and save a few pounds but it’s likely you’ll regret it in the long term. We share our top tips of where it doesn’t pay to scrimp in your dream home.

Read More →
Trade-Shows-PoulsomMiddlehurst_Amhurst_External-Door

How to make the most of a Trade Show

Returning to thoughts of renovating your home? Then jumpstart your project by attending a trade show. But first make sure you read our top tips on how to make the most of your visit!

Read More →

Top tips for renovating from industry experts

We asked a range of architects and experts working in the residential sector to give us their top tip for homeowners who want to renovate.

Read More →

Worried about increasing construction prices?

Everyone is concerned about increasing construction costs. We talk to BuildPartner about what measures home renovators can take to reduce risks for their projects.

Read More →

Your handy guide to assessing builders

Linden from Weaver shares his a handy guide to assessing builders. So before a spade is in the ground, it’s worth taking a moment to prepare.

Read More →
Little-Bishop-Front

Product spotlight: Little Bishop Hook

A neat solution for pendant lighting; we take a look at the clean design and appealing simplicity of the Little Bishop Pendant Hook

Read More →

The ‘Iron Triangle’ you should embrace

It may sound daunting, but knowing about the ‘Iron Triangle’ in advance can help you plan your project and set realistic expectations.

Read More →

Making the most of your outdoor space

If you’re living in London, then chances are you’re severely lacking in one department: outdoor space. But even if you only have a small patch to play with, this space can do so much for you with a bit of care and forward planning.

Read More →
Ultimate-Guide-To-Extractor-Fans-Front-Cover

Your ultimate guide to extractor fans

Our complete guide answers all your extractor fan questions (even those you didn’t know you had!)

Read More →
The-Modern-House-Front

Why well designed homes cost more

Good design isn’t just a luxury for those with the biggest budgets; it’s a sound financial decision for everyone. We take a look at The Modern House and their approach.

Read More →
Millennials-Managing-Money-Front

True or false: millennials are bad at managing money?

Research shows that millennials are the group most likely to overspend on their home improvements. Poor money management, or is there another explanation?

Read More →
Trade-Shows-PoulsomMiddlehurst_Amhurst_External-Door

Being the boss (yes that’s you!)

As a homeowner undertaking a renovation project, you become ‘The Client’. It can sound pretty clinical, but what does that actually mean?

Read More →
TurnerArchitects_SthCroxtedRd_Cover

Your ultimate guide to cabinet handles

Handles are that small but important detail that can really lift a piece of furniture or a space. But look no further for your ultimate guide!

Read More →

How to use colour in your home renovation

Committing to colour in your renovation can be daunting but read on and find out the ways you can use colour in your home – with confidence!

Read More →

Living on site: Should I stay or should I go?

It’s tempting to try and ‘live in’ while your house is being extended or improved. Here we explain why that might not be the best option…  

Read More →

Why we’re over open plan living

Open plan spaces look great in the magazines, but are they practical for the realities of family life? Read on to find out why we think there’s a better solution.

Read More →

Coming soon . . .

Our membership is launching at the start of June.  Sign up to get notified when it goes live! 

Sign up for

HomeNotes news

Get monthly renovation articles, advice, news and offers to your inbox!