You’ve set your heart on having the kitchen of your dreams. This is going to be a considerable investment of your time and money, and you want to choose a company that can create a kitchen unique to you – built to the exact fit of your room with all the features and finishes you desire.
You’ve probably done some research on selecting a bespoke kitchen supplier – asked your friends, looked online, looked at design magazines. But before you make your decision on who to build your kitchen, a word of warning…are they really a truly bespoke kitchen company?
Having been in the kitchen building business for over 40 years we have seen far too many companies claiming to offer a bespoke kitchen solution, when what they really mean is a choice of standard unit with some bespoke elements included. In fact, we’d put our necks on the line and say there are only a few truly bespoke kitchen companies out there.
If you want your dream kitchen without any comprise you need to ensure you choose the right kitchen company. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing your money on something that isn’t quite right and will probably cause you a lot of grief and stress in the long run.
What do we mean by a truly bespoke kitchen?
The kitchen has been handcrafted, not off a production line. Each cabinet and element is made especially for you. The kitchen can be customised in every aspect, down to the smallest detail. Unique sizes aren’t a problem – height, width, depth, curves and angled cabinets are all possible, giving you the kitchen you want.
In this recent example, our client asked for storage in a base unit for foil, chopping boards, trays, spice trays and jars. We created a unit with three separate pull out sections, each one perfectly tailored to fit their requirements.
How to tell if your kitchen company will build you a truly bespoke kitchen?
Need help in choosing the right company? Here are 6 questions you need to be asking before you commit. There’s a lot at stake here.
Start with the basics….
1. Ask them what their definition of bespoke is?
The term gets banded about by many of the high street kitchen retailers. They may say they offer a ‘bespoke’ kitchen because you can choose their handles, colour choices, and door design but that is not truly bespoke. Similarly, if they occasionally make units of a non-standard width, it makes them different to the norm, but that doesn’t make it truly bespoke.
2. Can you see the kitchen being made?
It doesn’t matter whether they are a local business you can visit, or further afield where they take a WhatsApp video in their workshop, they should be able to share the design and build process with you at every step of the journey. We love to welcome clients to our workshop so they can see the magic happen. Some clients get hands-on and spend time with us in the workshop, for example liming their own cupboard doors with us to achieve the exact shade and finish they want. (In these difficult times we give them regular reports on how their kitchen is progressing, including photos and videos).
3. Do they say “no” to aspects of your wish list?
Have they politely said no, steered you in another direction or said we don’t have units that fit that criteria or space? If you are having to compromise or being told it’s just not possible, then it’s not a truly bespoke solution. We had a recent customer who had gone some way down the design process with a well-known national “bespoke” kitchen company. They got frustrated with trying to get what they wanted. They walked away and came to us and haven’t looked back.
4. Do they offer a limited choice of colours and hardware?
Handles, hinges, choice of wood and other build materials, worktops, appliances – if you can only select from a certain range, then it’s not truly bespoke. You want it? As long as we can source it, you’ve got it.
5. Are alterations and changes to the kitchen design possible?
Alarm bells should start ringing if they won’t allow changes to the design once you have signed the contract. If the kitchen is coming off a factory production line, once orders are placed, it’s hard to change. We believe a kitchen build is a collaborative process: if you’re not sure about something, we’ll talk about and, if necessary, change it. We’ll go through as many iterations as you need to finalise the design and budget. In fact, you can make changes right up to the final survey, which we’ll conduct about a week before we start the build.
6. Do they care?
You end up having an intense relationship with your kitchen supplier, albeit for a short period. You let them into your home, share your dreams, vent your frustrations, give them a considerable sum of money, and hopefully at the end, you get your ultimate kitchen. If you are dealing with a company that doesn’t offer a personal service and frankly doesn’t care, do you really want to give them your business, your time and most importantly, let them into your home. Of course, we’re not suggesting that an off-the-shelf kitchen supplier won’t care, many run their own business and take pride in offering an exception service. But for us, every aspect is personal. We put blood, sweat and tears into our kitchens (don’t worry, we clean it all up ?) and we care about your long-term satisfaction. Such is the relationship with our clients that many have become life-long friends. So it’s fair to say, we care….a lot.
And don’t just take our word for it. Here’s Guy showing us one of the kitchen units he recently created for a client. A truly bespoke request.
We hope this helps you select a truly bespoke kitchen company. And don’t be put off by price. You may be surprised to learn that the cost of some of the “bespoke kitchens” compare to “truly bespoke kitchens” are very similar.
If you are looking to have your truly bespoke kitchen built and installed in the Hampshire, Surrey or Sussex area, then please get in touch to see if we can help.
Find out more about our handmade bespoke build process here.