I have fallen in love with this kitchen

(117 Posts)
middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 07:37:44


I suspect it might be beyond my budget though.
Any comments?

Reastie Thu 13-Jun-13 07:49:00

Gosh that is beautiful envy . It's a teeny bit like the one we're going to have next month <excited> only ours isn't nearly as amazing looking.

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 07:57:15

Reastie where's yours from? I'm lusting after the style & the work tops. Probably not the open shelving though, far too much cleaning.

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 13-Jun-13 07:59:57

Very nice op

MoreBeta Thu 13-Jun-13 08:13:21

picks up loudhailer

Step AWAY from the kitchen with your hands off the keyboard and well away from your credit card!

It is a lovely kitchen BUT.....

I am fitting a kitchen at the moment and have spoken to a few people about the difference between high end and low end kitchens and the truth is the carcasses in all kitchens are made by only 3 manufacturers and the doors made by another 3 manufacturers. I was told that by the fitter who is fitting my kitchen who has his own business as well as fits for other retailers. It is so easy to get sucked in by the kitchen catalogues and showroom sales patter.

I have a friend who does up very expensive properties in Kensington & Chelsea and always fits IKEA kitchen carcases with decent doors he buys in from a wholesale supplier. He does not spend huge amounts on a kitchen - even in houses worth millions .

If you already have a kitchen in the property - just refit it and do not replace. Put money in to the new doors and appliances and especially lighting - not the carcass and fitting. One last thing, dont buy stuff like drawer inserts and wizzy wire pullouts - they are hugley over priced. Drawer inserts at IKEA cost £8 - 10 but for the same thing I have seen prices at £72 from a kitchen catalogue. It is so easy to just end up spending a fortune where you dont need to

I bought a Wickes kicthen in gloss white with a granite surface. I intend to refit doors in a few years time. The fitter told me the carcasses are good for 20 years and have somewhat unusually larger cupboards than most other brands.

I spent almost the same amount of money on appliances and lighting and bespoke coloured glass splash backs as I did on the actual kitchen units. No matter how expensive a kitchen you fit it will always need a refurb with new appliances in 15 years time anyway.

Reastie Thu 13-Jun-13 08:48:38

middle ours is being made as we speak but a local independent firm who do bespoke kitchens all made to order locally. It's not nearly as much as we were expecting (we got quotes from a german kitchen manufacturer, magnet, and homebase and decided to go with a kitchen which was designed to fit our space - it's actually cheaper than the high range magnet kitchen and has the advantage of wall units up to the ceiling and lots of extras they can do because they make it to order rather than choosing from a list of dimensions in a catalogue IYKWIM).

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 09:02:45

MoreBeta Reastie, thank you. I know that I can't have a Tom Howley kitchen --for a start I live a 500 m from the showroom--but I do fancy a copy.
I shall try my local independents (who do seem to be very expensive) & work down.
It's a new extension so no existing units, but quite a big space to plenty of room for options.
I do agree that fancy work tops are a much better use of the budget that a high end carcass.

Bakingnovice Thu 13-Jun-13 09:13:30

Can you repost the link it won't work me. And I have to see this kitchen!!

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 09:17:00


does this work?

GlitzPig Thu 13-Jun-13 09:23:49


That should work.... We are also choosing a kitchen for extension at mo hence my nosiness!

GlitzPig Thu 13-Jun-13 09:24:28

That is a very beautiful kitchen!

I'm also glad others like that sort of style - we are probably going for something similar (but like you without open shelves!), poss from John Lewis (I think it is called Windsor or that sort of style), maybe in a light green, sage-y colour...

sh77 Thu 13-Jun-13 11:20:16

Morebeta - any chance you could pm the name of your friend please? I am looking to have my kitchen done and your mate sounds fab. I am in C London.

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 11:22:32

And Reastie if you're in the SW I love to know the name of your firm.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Thu 13-Jun-13 11:34:55

MoreBeta posting some very good advice there.

MoreBeta Thu 13-Jun-13 11:44:57

sh77 - my friend in London only buys and does up houses and uses a variety of contractors to do the actual fitting. He is not a kitchen fitter himself.

What I think he does is uses the IKEA kitchen design service and then he uses their delivery and fitters which are guaranteed.

Honestly, I was astonished when he told me and he is quite adamant about the quality. The houses he does are very high end and the people who buy them have very high expectations with deep pockets. One house he bought he just had the doors on a red Poggenpohl kitchen resprayed white and then put back on - good as new. Saved himself £50k.

I dont live anywhere near London so unfortunately the fitter for my kitchen does not work in London but he is a Wickes acredited fitter and he was very thorough and I was impressed.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Thu 13-Jun-13 11:58:02

My kitchen was fitted by Wickes 6 months ago. Delighted with it. The fitter was excellent.

Reastie Thu 13-Jun-13 12:16:18

middle sorry, I'm in SE England

LittleMilla Thu 13-Jun-13 12:18:22

I am having something VERY similar fitted this week, so excited. We are having an 'adaptation' of a Fired Earth kitchen made by a contact of our builder in Poland. Same colour and I've also chosen the same handles (although not shiney as ours has a slightly more rustic finish).

We're paying £5k for the units and our kitchen is about 15sqm? So not a small space. We're then paying £2k for worktop (gone for a white one on DH's insistance) and £1400 for fitting.

I will aim to put some pics in my profile once it's in.

Whilst my builder has been fabulous in every way, the kitchen has been delayed by 6 weeks. I don't believe it's his fault, but the kitchen man is clearly swamped and our little job clearly got bumped down the pile. So whilst I need to see it before recommending, this would make me slightly nervous. He's been ace otherwise (she says, still not having the final bill through hmm)

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 12:31:18

It sounds stunning, I know the FE one, is it called Bastide or similar? When I asked my builder he just advised Sydenhams or Wren. Nothing wrong with those of course but after reading too many homes magazines I've got my heart set on a bespoke kitchen.

Mandy21 Thu 13-Jun-13 12:46:39

My sister has just had that kitchen from Tom Howley fitted. Its beautiful, and I mean just gorgeous. People from the company were there when we were there, finishing it off, they've been brilliant apparently. Not jealous in the slightest envy

betterwhenthesunshines Thu 13-Jun-13 13:10:19

I would recommend you look at www.handmadekitchens-direct.co.uk/

I looked at masses of alternatives and they will make to ANY size you require, you have a choice of plinth styles, posts etc, you can have fiddly moulding to drawer edges or just plain as you like. All the drawers are dovetail solid wood with Grass soft close runners and the inside of my units are oak veneer. I have solid wood internal pull out drawers. My units came to £3500 inc VAT . They were also brilliant when one unit arrived with a slight mistake to an interior fitting and had it re-delivered within 3 days. Only downsides - no fancy waste bin systems and you have to paint it yourself, which I have spent 2 days doing, but it looks amazing!. I did spend on quartz worktops and beautiful copper/bronze door handles.

betterwhenthesunshines Thu 13-Jun-13 13:13:49

Also, lots of those Tom Howley kitchen seem to have a top level drawer with a cupboard below. In my experience this leave you with a very low cupboard that is hard to get to the back of. Much better to have a bank of drawers and then units with doors that run all the way to the top which gives you more space to access the shelves inside without having to bend down and poke around on your knees!

lovetoski Thu 13-Jun-13 13:21:50

We have just had a kitchen fitted using DIY kitchens had milton sage in frame design. It looks fantastic. You need to order everything yourself but if you know what you want and can find a good kitchen fitter. We saved thousand off our original magnet quote. Would def recommend.

MoreBeta Thu 13-Jun-13 13:49:57

I had considered a fairly expensive German kitchen from a local very upmarket shop near where I live but when I told the manager on the phone I had changed my mind and gone for a cheaper option he immediately said - we can match the price Magnet do!

I wasn't using Magnet anyway and didnt change my mind but I was pretty surprised that a supposedly upmarket and very well established multi shop outlet was prepared to drop its prices over the phone that much and that quickly.

It made me think that there must be a heck of a lot of profit margin in fitted kitchens.

Reastie Thu 13-Jun-13 13:53:38

We found the opposite with another independent we went to more . They lowered the cost only by giving us much cheaper appliances etc, not actually dropping their prices at all to take a hit to get the sale themselves. In the end we went with another independent who didn't give us a discount but did give us everything we wanted in the budget and whose design skills were far superior than any other kitchen place we went to.

PoppyAmex Thu 13-Jun-13 13:58:01

If you decide to slum it, I just saw this one which is pretty nice considering the price.

MoreBeta Thu 13-Jun-13 14:19:04

betterwhenthesunshines - that is a very very good point indeed about the top drawer making cupboards short. I have that problem in my current kitchen. Its a pain stooping down to get stuff out from the back of cupboards.

In my new kitchen (which is a rather tricky very long galley with a lowish ceiling) I have a bank of tall floor to ceiling cupboards and fridge freezer all the way down one side and the other side is just a bank of waist high drawer units and under surface appliances, a stand alone hob cooker with two ovens, sink and a totally clear uncluttered work surface on top. The windows on that side let in a lot of light and I have no over cupboards on that side because of the height restriction - just a fan extractor and a shelf over the work surface (for my recipe books) with hidden spot lights.

That way when I am preparing food I can open the drawer under the work surface where I am stood and look straight down to grab a knife or utensil out of the top drawers or grab a pan out of the deeper pan drawers. The lights above shine straight in to them so I can see what I am getting rather than in the back of a dark cupboard. My ingredients are behind me in the larder cupboards only a short step and arms length away at waist and head height. The only things lower down in the larder cupboards behind me will be items I rarely use or spare supplies ready to be moved up on to higher shelves.

The fridge freezer is a DXD Rangemaster with the usual doors at waist and head height but two wide freezer drawers below so again I can look straight down into a drawer rather than stooping to look into a lower compartment shelf and drag stuff out of the back.

Things like this are rarely mentioned in kitchen design. Everyone talks about 'the work triangle' and soft close doors and granite tops and what types of handles but I find that having lived with a really badly designed kitchen in a rented house its stuff like the ergonomics of actually preparing food with frequently used utensils and ingredients all at arms reach all around your prep space and good lighting that matters just as much.

fossil971 Thu 13-Jun-13 16:25:12

You can get a kitchen that looks exactly like that from almost any manufacturer at all - DIY kitchens, Wickes. Every single kitchen place offers a grey painted in frame kitchen. Most of them get their doors from Second Nature or a few other manufacturers so you will just see the same thing again and again and can compare costs because it's the identical product.

How you style it with handles, worktop etc is all down to you to get that look.

However do note that the Tom Howley kitchen is mostly style over substance: features in it that are crap: skirting board type plinths - acquire kick marks as no toe space when standing there (experience: I copied it!). Almost no workspace next to the hob and huge bulky shelf at head level over it. Uncleanable space under that big cupboard. No visible extraction. Cooker and sink miles apart. Nowhere to put kettle. Drawer line units generally.

Got to say I'm liking the built in seating bench just visible though! <bookmarks it>

fossil971 Thu 13-Jun-13 16:26:01

X posted but agree - ergonomics, design and storage are everything.!

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 16:31:31

fossil you are a genius. I would be gutted to spend ££ to find it impractical.
So would you advise that all my local fancy pants kitchen designers use all the same products? How can they describe themselves as bespoke?
What about Kitstone/Neptune/Highams?
Sorry to bombard you, but you seem to know so much.

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 16:39:41

Also, I wonder what the Tom Howley caracasses are made from?

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 16:39:55

carcasses even!

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 16:47:12

I have a hand made kitchen. It's solid and so much better than any off the peg. The carcass is wood, real stuff shock

It's ready for a coat of paint as i fancy a change. I've also found it's aged nicely iykwim

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 16:50:35

DOrset kitchens made mine.

MoreBeta Thu 13-Jun-13 16:50:50

My kitchen fitter told me that Gower in Leeds make the Wickes kitchen carcasses. By the look of what they say on their website they supply much of the UK flatpack DIY market so that may well be true.

I also know that Howdens do a lot of the DIY market as well.

Not many kitchen shops do make their own joinery. Thyey must by definition buy it in.

My friends in London who usually fit IKEA did have a hand made bespoke kitchen made for their own house by a local joiner for £5000 and it looks like a very high end country house style kitchen.

My parents had a hand made one done by a local jpiner too - so it can be done a lot cheaper than the kitchen shops typically quote if you can get the right fitter. In fact, I would say the fitter is the most important thing to get right when fitting a kitchen.

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 16:57:49

Lavender, they are stunning. Did you go to Beaminster to look at them?

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 17:13:41

No i was pregnant, planning a wedding, frazzled. I faxed them a sketch and they drew me the plan. We had it fitted by our builders at the time.

I did keep it simple which kept the cost down, no top units as i don't like them and i mixed it in with original shaker pine. Original stuff is hard to find but i can reccommend Eastburn pine they have great stuff. They also do amazing kitchen but ££££.

It's very possible to have quality for less.

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 17:15:24

Eastburncountry furniture. Sorry i would link but thecipad won't letvme.

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 17:16:22

Thanks. I might take a trip down there to investigate.

bushbabyblues Thu 13-Jun-13 17:26:51

If you buy Ikea carcasses you need to be good at DIY because they take hours to put together.

You can buy a Magnet carcass ready-assembled and although it costs slightly more you save on the labour.

We bought the cheapest Magnet ready-assembled carcass (sadly not an in-frame which I do regret as they look so much nicer) and had a joiner make the doors and coving himself to match the architraves in our house. Looks "meant to be" in terms of period features and we have had so many compliments on it. Our kitchen doors are painted (we've had them done twice now, first in white and then renewed last year in pale blue) but the carcass is white laminate - if you were fussy you might not like the contrast but it doesn't bother me.

We also kept costs down by sourcing all the appliances ourselves.

We did splash out on a Zimbabwe worktop and handmade white tiles (the kind that look like bricks. This last was a mistake as they're a bugger to clean and have to be scrubbed with a nailbrush every bloody day)

So, basically, sorry your friend charge £££ to install ikea carcasses?

I know the difference between an IKEA kitchen and a Boffi one.

sudointellectual Thu 13-Jun-13 17:34:24

betterwhenthesunshines, I'd be really interested in looking at the copper/bronze handles you've gone for.

TheRealFellatio Thu 13-Jun-13 17:40:23

That is almost identical in every way to the kitchen that I designed personally grin and had handmade by a local bespoke joiner (not mass produced by MoreBeta's supposed three companies wink) 6 years ago. I had to order the stainless steel cup handles especially from the States because they were impossible to buy here unless you were buying trade. There were loosely similar cheap alternatives, but not the same, and I wanted the Dog's Bollocks ones.

It was handpainted in Farrow and Ball's 'Blue Gray' paint (actually a muted, dusky Duck Egg green) and the only major difference was that I had matt, 'tumbled' black granite worktops, which looked like slate. The floor was the same as the picture here. It was beeeeooootiful.

It was my Cistine Chapel. And then I moved. grin

TheRealFellatio Thu 13-Jun-13 17:41:44

Sistene, not Cistene

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 17:48:01

I might look at that shad of F and B. it's my next job :-) i want to chane to those handles too. That's the best thing about a quality kitchen, you can change it, update it, refresh it.

I also think cheating with a cheap carcass defeats the object, the whole point is it will live a long time.

TheRealFellatio Thu 13-Jun-13 17:50:37

Does anyone know how to cut and paste a photo from a webpage, rather than the whole webpage itself? Then I can show you my kitchen as it appeared on Rightmove without it showing my old address!

sudointellectual Thu 13-Jun-13 17:55:30

Right click > Save image as

Lavenderandroses Thu 13-Jun-13 18:07:42

Why don't you see how much a local carpenter / cabinet maker charges to make the same kitchen?

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 18:11:37

I will, be I've heard they are £££. I'm going to look at lots of options.
Dorset Kitchens are quite local.

Thanks to everyone for their comments, I feel much better informed.

ILikeBirds Thu 13-Jun-13 18:23:15

Are the cup handles not really annoying?

I've always found that it's harder to open drawers because you can't grab the handle from above

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 18:29:18

Funny that they are local :-) but good.

Look at the website for my other company though if just for ideas. The butchers block inlaid in the island looks lovely.

TheRealFellatio Thu 13-Jun-13 18:35:23

No, the cup handles were lovely. But what were an absolute pain in the arse were these kind on the cupboard doors, don't know if you can see them clearly or zoom in on them, but they are like a dinky little door knob with a latch that goes into a return. on the opposite door.

I moved heaven and earth to source those from the states, and they cost me a bloody fortune, but they lasted about a week before I got the fitter to take them off and replace them with plain knobs, because they were so fiddly to operate with wet, messy hands, and so difficult to keep clean. Nice for cupboards that get opened occasionally, but an absolute mare in the kitchen for everyday use.

TheRealFellatio Thu 13-Jun-13 18:36:36

I've tried to post my photos but I can't get them to work. sad

californiaburrito Thu 13-Jun-13 18:43:11

I can second the recommendation above for handmade kitchens direct. I have a kitchen from them, although in slightly more modern style than the Tom Howley kitchen. I'm hopefully going to be moving house in the next year and I would use them again if I need a new kitchen and I always need a new kitchen.

I think they're in Dorset as well or somewhere SW-ish <crap at UK geography>

bushbabyblues Thu 13-Jun-13 18:57:32

For anyone looking, Farmer Bros in London's Fulham Road carry all the handle styles the spenny kitchen designers use, and they can order in for you too.

Cup handles and the ones that look like chandlery are also available at Nu-Line on Westbourne Grove.

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 18:59:38

The plain english site is lovely. God i love kitchens without the fitted look.

Quite looking forward to repainting now.

Who did you source your handles from therealfellatio?

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 19:00:14

Ew cross post, thanking you kindly.

Bunbaker Thu 13-Jun-13 19:03:26

I have a Shaker style kitchen. It looks lovely, but I am always having to clean the inserts at the bottom of the doors and drawers as they are a real grease and dust magnet. My next kitchen will have completely flush doors for this reason.

TheRealFellatio Thu 13-Jun-13 19:13:33

I googled exhaustively! And then emailed the company direct and asked for a one off order to be delivered to the UK as they were a trade supplier in the states. I had to pay through the nose for them but I am sure you can probably get them reasonably easily in the UK now. It was 6/7 years ago, and Plain English had just started doing that style but not many other mainstream companies had yet followed suit. I am sure most decent ironmongery companies will have added that style to their range now.

timidviper Thu 13-Jun-13 19:32:16

I had a kitchen made by a local company which is not dissimilar to this but not in-frame as I preferred the doors on the front of the carcass and it has curved end cupboards. It is painted in F&B cream and a pale greeny colour, black mottled granite worktops with pewter knobs on cupboards and cup handles on drawers. I love it, it is absolutely perfect. Having the big island and seating makes it more useable as a living space rather than just somewhere to cook

The best tip I was ever given was from here. Draw a plan of your old kitchen and label with what is in each unit then draw the new kitchen and label that. That way you can see what storage you need and where you need cupboards, drawers, etc.

fossil971 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:26:25

I put in a Shaker kitchen last year and so it was my specialist subject for about 18 months grin. In the end we were too pushed for budget even for the lovely Handmade Kitchens. I had a plain Shaker door and oak effect carcase from DIY kitchens, and styled it with shelves, a freestanding larder and painted it all in Little Greene. We also don't have much space and there's no getting away from it, in-frame kitchens don't often make good use of it.

I looked at one place in Leicester that made beautiful bespoke kitchens, they made all their units with veneered board or plywood and were definitely worth the money. OTOH my friend has a lovely looking Devol kitchen but IMO the design is so bad it's toxic - appalling storage, inaccessible sink, no workspace where it's needed and full of dust traps.

I suppose some places just have more overheads than others. I think the worst offenders are the DIY places like Homebase and B&Q, they have such a paltry limited selection of units, and often very cheap carcases when you see on DIY-kitchens or something what the full range is and how inexpensive a very solid kitchen can be.

Also don't underestimate design, I am a designer for work so I was OK working it out and drawing it up, but not everyone is up for doing that.

pootlebug Thu 13-Jun-13 20:36:56

Our kitchen is from Higham. The carcass quality is a million miles from the Ikea carcasses in our utility room.

EleanorFarjeon Thu 13-Jun-13 23:09:08

That is very, very similar to my kitchen which is from Howdens! (Burford Grey with cup and knob handles ) Our floor looks identical too.

TheRealFellatio Fri 14-Jun-13 04:42:45

Kitchens where the door is hung in the frame, on proper hinges rather than laid on top of it so you cannot see the frame beneath (which is how most mass produced kitchens are) have carcasses of a totally different and much more solid construction type. but they are much more expensive for that reason as well.

Jacaqueen Fri 14-Jun-13 09:22:39

This is also my favourite subject at the moment!

We have looked at Neptune/Kit Stone but our local stockist provided really bad customer service so this put us off. I have since heard that the quality of the doors and carcasses isn't very good. I think it looks the part though it only comes in a limited range of sizes so not bespoke.

I was so dissapoined to find out that Harvey Jones use chip board. Sure it is really thick good quality coated chip board but if I am paying £30k for a kitchen I want it looking good internally as well as externally. Apparently Mark Wilkinson, Smallbone use the same.

I coveted a Tom Howley, Martin Moore, Plain English kitchen. But even then there are things about each that I don't like. Also we are in Scotland and hundreds of miles away from the nearest showrooms.

I have managed to find a local cabinet maker who is going to make it all for me. We are designing it together, taking all the aspects that I like and using his 30 years of experience. Hopefully it should be good.

He uses a mixture of tulip wood, plywood and veneered mdf. It should last a life time.

Lavenderloves Fri 14-Jun-13 10:06:21

A friend told me that chip board is the next asbestos shock

Reastie Fri 14-Jun-13 13:28:17

lavender shock shock shock really??? why??

middleagedspread Fri 14-Jun-13 16:46:56

Jacaqueen , you & me both.
I drool over Plain English, Martin Moore et al. But really I know that it's the marketing that I admire.
I too looked at Neptune. The standard cupboards & single colour I'm so shallow put me off. Having said that, my architect rates KitStone for the price.
I went to my local show room today. Sure enough, most of the doors are made by Second Nature, as someone said on here( I think I rather surprised the assistant by asking probing questions about frames, chip board & kick boards). None of them looked very sturdy, at least I know what I don't want.

Lavenderloves Fri 14-Jun-13 18:06:17

SorRry rl getting in the way!

Its due to the formaldahyde used in the boards. Mdf also very suspicious. Some australian research on it i think.

I know i'd rarther avoid it.

Lcy Fri 14-Jun-13 22:15:18

A mumsnetter posted this a while ago and I am in the process of doing similar


bushbabyblues Sat 15-Jun-13 15:31:59

Middleagedspread: Plain English have started doing a carcass + door system called British Standard or somesuch. Their product for your builder to install. I saw it whilst walking through Shoreditch the other day and it looked very impressive.

My MIL had an entire kitchen made in solid timber with real oak doors - all from scratch and totally bespoke for £10k last year. This was in the NW. If you can find a carpenter and a joiner it can be done for far less than a branded inferior product.

Having said that, I've never actually come across an affordable joiner in London so that option's probably not as straightfoward as it sounds confused.

UtterflyButterfly Sat 15-Jun-13 15:59:39

middleagedspread if you're anywhere near Bristol i can recommend Cadbury Kitchens in Yatton. Had ours done by them and it was just beautiful and excellent quality. Was really sad to leave it behind when we moved - it still looked like new after 6 years.

sybilwibble Sun 16-Jun-13 23:43:02

I too fell in love with that exact picture a few years back and actually got TH round to measure up and quote. I never heard form them again, the cheeky bleeders. I even chased up the quote, nothing. I found someone independent locally to build me a in frame shaker kitchen and I absolutely love, love, love it. I'd really recommend them - Teddington Kitchens, if you are in sw london.

Brugmansia Mon 17-Jun-13 08:03:32

If you don't mind me asking sybilwibble, what were Teddington kitchens prices like?

primallass Mon 17-Jun-13 12:36:50

If you buy Ikea carcasses you need to be good at DIY because they take hours to put together.

They really don't. We've fitted three now and I just build the units in front of the TV.

SamanthaJones Mon 17-Jun-13 13:11:43

I copied a Plain English kitchen and did the whole thing for £12k. You really wouldn't know it wasn't PE.

I got a local joinery company to make the carcasses and cupboards and a carpenter to fit it. It's quite similar to the OP

Will link

SamanthaJones Mon 17-Jun-13 13:13:01
middleagedspread Mon 17-Jun-13 13:45:29

Samantha those are stunning, which is yours?

SamanthaJones Mon 17-Jun-13 20:27:45

Mine isn't in there but is a copy of the blue one from Plain English

sybilwibble Tue 18-Jun-13 11:50:17

Brugmansia - difficult to judge cos we put in a very big kitchen. I believe I paid about 30-40% of what I would have paid from Martin Moore or Plain English or similar brand. I would highly recommend them. You can pm me and I will happily tell you more if you're serious about contacting them.

excusememadam Sat 22-Jun-13 21:36:05

Hi-We're drooling over Plain English too, but the prices!!
Would seriously like to have the details of your guys.

excusememadam Sat 22-Jun-13 21:38:56

That was a message for sybilwibble!!

Jellyfish22 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:02:48

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Yas333 Tue 24-Sep-13 09:47:37

I hope MoreBeta sees this. Can I ask which wholesale company your fitter friend uses for kitchen doors Also can I have his contact details

Ooh that's the one I fell in love with too but couldn't afford. It's sooooo beautiful!
We went with an ikea kitchen in the end as we wanted a local carpenter to make a similar version of the holy grail kitchen but couldn't afford that either.
Never again, ikea kitchen was such a faff and half of it was damaged

Sorry to chime in with my two cents but I was fairly kitchen obsessed when we had ours done last year! We Loved the plain English look but the prices... ouch. We had ours from Simon Benjamin Furniture and I couldn't be happier... all had made by them, all REAL no cheapy chipboard! We like devol too but SB were a better price and really nice quality. Again 30 - 40% less that PE.. They're www.simonbenjamin.co.uk, we got the classic kitchen.

Donkeywork Wed 04-Dec-13 20:16:09

I had to add to this thread as I have been having a Tom Howley kitchen fitted and am trying to find places to review them online. As yet Tom Howley have not finished my kitchen. The whole experience has been a nightmare from design to fitting there have been so many mistakes. Now 6 wks after the fit started I can't get them back to finish! They have damaged my house and refused to pay for redecoration, the fitters are exhausted and very annoyed at the company. We are now at the point of legal action. DON'T USE TOM HOWLEY, you will regret it.

Eastwickwitch Thu 05-Dec-13 07:17:10

Gosh Donkey that is awful.
Just shows all their marketing is just, well, marketing. TH kitchens look so gorgeous too.
Let's hope someone from the company reads this & resolves your problems.

Gosh Donkeywork that really is terrible! I hope your kitchen is complete now. Our Simon Benjamin fitters were in and out in a week and they were really pleasant so I feel like we were really quite lucky now... 6 weeks is a long time.

SidandAndyssextoy Tue 04-Mar-14 23:25:34

Can I ask a question of anyone who's used Handmade Kitchens? Do they negotiate on price at all, or are their prices straight off the list? I see they have a half price sale on at the moment! which seems to be a fairly frequent occurrence, but do they do deals on top of that? If they are a rare kitchen beast that actually charges the price they publish, I don't want to insult them by assuming otherwise.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 04-Mar-14 23:31:12

Think long and hard about n island. 2 friends of mine who have them say they spend half their life just walking round them to get anywhere

KMAP76 Mon 10-Mar-14 16:15:33

Hi everyone,
Just wanted to share my experience with Tom Howley in case anyone is thinking of using them. PLEASE PLEASE STEER CLEAR. They have been an absolute nightmare to deal with- they have left us with a half-finished kitchen, damage to our house, they have pushed the wood at the back of the cupboards so hard to make them fit that they have buckled. Their customer service has been the worst I've ever had to deal with- 6 weeks of silence to confirm our installation date despite my husband and I calling daily. Final plans sent 2 weeks before installation instead of 2 months- nothing professional about them whatsoever. If I had the benefit of hindsight I would go Martin Moore time and time again- or a similar more affordable option but never, ever Tom Howley.

loopy7979 Thu 20-Mar-14 15:03:01

Hi KMAP76, hope you don't mind me asking but which Tom howley store was this with, we're just about to place an order worth the Esher branch and reading your entry has made me very nervous! Thank you!

Donkeywork Wed 26-Mar-14 22:06:40

loopy7979 our order was with Esher. Don't do it. Worst company ever!

jemmamum Tue 22-Apr-14 14:42:10

That kitchen looks gorgeous. Just thought I would pipe up as my husband and I run a local family run bespoke kitchen company in Bedford.

I would definitely advise you to get quotes from your local kitchen companies, you may be suprised and what's more if you decide to go ahead you are supporting a local business in your area.

Our company actually provides kitchens at a more competitive price than the highstreet versions, although we only offer solid, 5 sided cabinets and soft close hinges. Also, certainly in our case, being a local company reputation is everything to us, so we will go over and beyond to ensure you are happy with your kitchen and tell everyone about it.

We recently provided a quote to a customer which was comparable to the Tom Howley kitchen she liked, except all the doors were hand made and hand painted and our quote was actually 10k less.

Anyways good luck with the kitchen

My kitchen is quite similar to that (we've got the pull out bin cupboard too). Got it from Christchurch Kitchens in oak with painted doors and they were great, really reliable. Local carpenter fitted it for us. Very happy with it.

HANDLESHOP Tue 29-Apr-14 10:20:34

I agree with the comments on using IKEA cabinets, then source some decent quality doors. If you look for FIRA approved doors they have been tested as regard moisture and wear and tear. It as this point we usually get involved when clients come to us and purchase handles. Just make sure that your handle holes are not pre-drilled otherwise you are stuck with retrofitting the same size again.

The last comment about getting local quotes I totally agree with. Usually the big suppliers like Magnet and John Lewis will subcontract the installation which is then marked up. If you go with a local company that uses their own fitters the cost saving and attention to detail will result in much better value for money.

My final tip, is go for high line cabinets and separate drawer units. It makes for cheaper cabinet prices and it's easier to see into the cabinet when there is no drawer at the top.

mandy214 Tue 29-Apr-14 13:30:17

Handleshop I've seen several recommendations to get IKEA units and then high end doors - but can't seem to find companies supplying high end doors (or even where to start looking). Any suggestions?

Thank you.

lambbone Tue 29-Apr-14 14:08:26

All this is so useful as I am about to embark on a big refit - but my problem is that I am enlarging the kitchen by knocking through into a downstairs loo (and moving the loo elsewhere - we are not going in for a free standing loo in the middle of the kitchen) so I'll need a company that does building works and kitchen fitting.

Has anyone used a London/Surrey company that does this?

LizzieM11 Wed 14-May-14 14:57:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ShoeWhore Wed 14-May-14 15:22:22

Gosh you are busy reviving zombie kitchen threads this afternoon Lizzie hmm

emily6 Tue 10-Jun-14 16:00:38

I just wanted to add to this link about Tom Howley kitchens. Having the same problems as other people. 6 weeks in and still the kitchen isn't finished. Horrendous customer service, very disappointing. This isn't a bespoke service you are receiving. Go somewhere else. I know they look lovely but it's not worth the stress.

inthisdayandage Tue 10-Jun-14 16:10:00

Also please haggle over prices in the stores ideally playing two firms off against each other. We saved around 50% off listed prices by doing this. There is definitely room to negotiate. John Lewis of hungerford, harvey jones and kit stone all revise their prices to get business. We have just had a harvey jones kitchen and it is lovely with great customer service.

onceipopicantstop Wed 11-Jun-14 13:24:27

Hi we have a planning appointment with Harvey Jones later this week. They have 30% off everything at the moment - is it worth haggling for even more off??

Julie1962 Thu 12-Jun-14 13:09:56

Just like to say, we had a lovely Tom Howley kitchen fitted and it still remains the kitchen of our dreams, the design is spot on. From build start to finish it took 2 weeks and personally i would not hesitate to recommend them, i would certainly have them again

Kazzabob Sun 10-Aug-14 15:27:48

Would you mind sharing how much your Harvey Jones kitchen was? Looking at the linear range. Thinking of booking an appt - have been in a couple of times, got the same sales spiel twice about paying the down payment to get the current sales discount etc. When you haggled was that from the already discounted price?

samsam123 Sun 10-Aug-14 19:12:49

I changed the doors to white slab ones for B and Q and got a granite worktop no need whatsoever to get rid of carcasses really pleased all for 4K bargain

LostBoysMammy Sat 23-Aug-14 17:39:54

On the subject of kitchens, we need a new one, has anyone got one with an old fashioned draining board beside the sink ? I can't seem to find an integrated one. Lakeland sell one that looks like it would catch germs, I've looked at John Lewis, Ikea, Martin Moore etc

Thank you

What about a seamless worktop/sink type thing like this one? www.simpleworktops.co.uk/ We had a ceramic sink with intergrated draining board/ grooves. It looks traditional but is easy to keep clean smile

tb Wed 27-Aug-14 12:09:33

Only problem with those Shaker-style doors are that the cutout part of the door is a horrible dust-trap.

jillybean2008 Fri 19-Sep-14 15:09:40

I am currently having a Tom Howley kitchen fitted, started yesterday. Bit alarmed to hear of people's awful experience but encouraged by the one good! What have I done!?
My fridge/freezer wouldn't fit - installation manager didn't measure for this and it now has a dent in the front of it - a cupboard door has arrived with a split in it but a Manager turned up today, at the request of the fitter, to inspect and arrange replacement.
It is a three week fitting apparently - with only one installer I am surprised that they are dragging this out. He is a lovely man and works non-stop but appears exhausted.
I went to Wigmore St, the first person I dealt with was awful - they then drafted in someone else to speed it up.
One thing I was shocked about is when calling for the Installation Manager the day before it started his phone message stated he had left Tom Howley.
I am will let people know my overall experience but one thing I would say, next time, is that I would go with someone who does the whole job as the preparation work was such hard work - would rather one firm fits all and apparently they used do this before but now just make/FIT kitchens unlike some of their competitors.
Maybe things have changed being part of Neville Johnson which is mainly made up of shareholders??????

seatleon100 Wed 12-Nov-14 18:15:11

We are about to start on our kitchen extension and i have done a lot of research. Unless you want to go high end with dove tail joints and wooden drawers DIY Kitchens offer suberb value. They are on a par with the top kitchen showrooms and the quality is excellent. Great choice of cabinet szes and colours. Also they can bespoke shaker doors to any colour you want for just an additional 10%. They use Farrow and ball as their standard bespoke paint which comes in about 10 options. More work is needed on your part to do the design but you will save a fortune.

SASASI Wed 12-Nov-14 18:31:01

Beautiful kitchen!

Were building an extension to include a new kitchen & I'm going for a cream shaker style with grey sparkly quartz. I love it but unfortunately had to forgo an island to maje way for a utility room...which hurts but I know a utility room is an essential considering I don't have one at the min & it does my head in! I'm secretly hoping they go out of fashion v soon lol

zgaze Wed 12-Nov-14 18:34:29

We used DIY Kitchens earlier this year, were very pleased with the actual product but my god the customer service is absolutely appalling. They made the whole process a million times more stressful than it needed to be, they still owe us money months down the line and just point blank ignore emails. The only way I ever got any sort of contact with them was after publicly posting things on their Twitter and facebook pages. Terrible company. Shame because as I say the actual kitchen is lovely!

unlucky83 Wed 12-Nov-14 18:51:22

After living in lots of rented houses I agree with tb and another poster up thread...shaker style doors with the cut out look lovely but are a nightmare to clean - unless you are the type of person who wipes the door fronts daily avoid like the plague!
(Bit out of fashion now but my other avoid are bar handles that stick out at the sides -found this image on Ikea - I have had similar and the number of times I caught clothing/clothes on them angry)
And I agree design is key ...eg I have the dishwasher under the crockery cupboard, next to the pan/cutlery drawers and the sink - I can put 90% of the stuff away with out moving my feet. My parents have a galley kitchen - the dishwasher on one side, the cupboards/cutlery drawers on the other - and the sink is further along the same side - both are over a metre away ...emptying/filling it drives me insane -mainly because I know it could be so much easier!
Also for big kitchens really think about how you use them ...triangle idea is great ...but not if the oven, sink & fridge are all a couple of metres apart! (although i guess it is good exercise) -I prefer a smaller working kitchen area ...
Also islands - never had one but did have a kitchen table in the middle of the kitchen once - same as another poster said - very frustrating to have to keep walking round something...

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