The journey to buying a new kitchen often starts in the New Year. Even before eating turkey at every meal is but a faint memory, the sales start and you finally admit to yourself that you have been struggling with a kitchen woefully ill-equipped to deal with normal day-to-day life, let alone a house packed to the rafters with hungry friends and relatives. It’s often this realization, that the heart of the home is no longer fit for purpose, that encourages many of us to start looking for our dream kitchen. The kitchen design that fits the family perfectly, functions brilliantly, looks beautiful and most importantly, one that is guaranteed to last for years to come. Whether it is a room refresh or part of a much bigger project to create a larger kitchen-diner it’s important to do your research before you leap in.
With so much choice – from cheap as chips off-the-shelf units to designs with all the latest bells and whistles – it’s often tricky to know what’s the best, most cost-effective choice for you and your family. Of course, most of this will be driven by your budget but, as a rule of thumb, if you want your design to last and work for you and your family, you should spend as much as you can afford to ensure it is built to withstand the rigours of day-to-day life. It’s still true that good kitchens help to sell houses so by choosing the right brand and style you can increase your chances of getting a good sale should you want to move in a few years.
So with all this choice, why should you look at investing a little more in a made-to-measure design? While a bespoke kitchen will, as a general rule, be more expensive that an off-the-shelf one, it carries with it benefits that far outweigh the increased cost.
A bespoke design will be made from quality materials in a time-honoured fashion. Handcrafted designs aren’t just cut by machine and piled on a shelf for you to assemble at home, they’re individually handcrafted according to tried-and-tested joinery techniques by hand, in workshops by skilled craftsmen, and installed in your home by experienced fitters. A design with a traditional framed construction – produced by setting doors into a hardwood frame that is then secured with butt hinges – means you can be safe in the knowledge that your doors will never drop out of alignment, however much use they see.
Bespoke kitchens are designed to order and because of this, no two kitchens will ever be the same – add to that a huge choice of either natural wood or a hand-painted finish – and you can be sure that not only will you have a kitchen that is timeless in its design, it will be one you will love using for years to come.
Of course, the quality of the build and materials is only half the story. While some of us will have a clear idea of what we want our kitchen to look like and the functions we want it to perform, there is an almost endless choice of materials and variety of design options. It’s then, however prepared you might feel, that a good designer will help you to discover the tricks of the trade to turn your 2D dream into a 3D reality. Of course, designers aren’t mind-readers so providing them with a few key must-haves – a Shaker design for instance or an island – will help them to work with you to find the design and layout that best suits you and your family. It’s likely that you’ll spend some time with your designer working on your kitchen so it’s important that you feel they understand and have interpreted your needs. As well as understanding cabinetry design and helping you to see how you can make the most of your space, an experienced designer will have lots of inside knowledge on the latest materials for surfaces, the best appliances and on-trend design solutions.
The beauty of a made-to-measure design is that, within reason, you can have whatever you want. Because each kitchen is made to order by hand, cabinets can be individually built to perfectly fill your space, rather than having to piece together set unit sizes and then using fillers to create a design that looks like it fits but actually really doesn’t make the most of the space you have. This is particularly useful in smaller designs where every inch of storage and workspace is precious. Awkward spaces – ones that need reduced depth cabinets for instance – are brilliantly served by a bespoke design, too, as are older properties where walls are not always the most even or square! Opting for hand-painted cabinetry will also almost endlessly increase your options – whether you’re after a shade of on-trend grey for all your cabinets or are being a little bolder with a bright pink island to complement paler units elsewhere.
Ready to start designing your new kitchen for 2018? Visit your local Harvey Jones showroom or speak to one of our expert designers on 0800 389 6938.