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Kitchens - where do I start? Any recommendations?

(32 Posts)
Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 13:59:10

The extension is now well underway and we need to choose our kitchen soon. It's not going to be very big, but I just don't know where to begin. So far we've looked in Magnet, B&Q, MFI and another local joinery firm. Can anyone recommend any of these in particular. I wasn't over impressed with B&Q as some of the shop displays looked flimsy. MFI had the biggest range on show, but I've found some I like in Magnet and my builder has an account there too, so it'd make good sense if I could choose from there. I guess I'm wondering if people are happy with their kitchens (particularly if they're fairly newish). Is there any reason I shouldn't shop at any of these, or product I shouldn't buy that perhaps looked like a great idea, but wasn't in the end? Or one that I should consider that's been invaluable?

I'm probably going to have two corner cupboards and I like the look of the ones with wire baskets which pull out. Does anyone have one of these and are they worth the expense. I really don't want to use my torch any more for something I need from the back of the corner cupboard, but I will need to utilise all that space.

Help please. TIA

Going out now, but will look in later.

thehairybabysmum Tue 20-Feb-07 14:29:45

Ikea, then use a joiner to install it. I didnt like their worktops though and used Howdens (who are owned by MFI but trade equivalent). I also sourced by own oven, dishwasher sink etc

Defo not B&Q...we have moved from house with our lovely ikea kitchen to current place, it has a 4 yo B&Q job and its absolutely shite, falling to bits, quality nowhere near as good as ikea.

MFI v. expensive, we were quoted 5k there and bought same units for 1.5k in ikea then paid joiner £750 to fit. If yo do like MFI then get a joiner (or any trade person you know) and they can then access Howdens who have all the same stuff.

bambi06 Tue 20-Feb-07 14:31:25

we`ve jus thad ikea kitchen and independent joiner fit it..were very happy with it and there service and only had to go back for a couple of the mouldings that they hadnt got in stock..

FluffyMummy123 Tue 20-Feb-07 14:31:52

Message withdrawn

percypig Tue 20-Feb-07 14:35:00

Ikea website has a great kitchen design tool which would help you plan what you want. We're in N Ireland, and don't have an Ikea (yet), so ended up going for a local kitchen place - v good service, good quality, and cheaper than MFI etc.

KTeePee Tue 20-Feb-07 14:35:57

Avoid Magnet.

Ikea is probably the cheapest if you find a style you like there and just as good (if not better) quality as the DIY sheds

peegeeweegee Tue 20-Feb-07 19:59:24

Definately Ikea. Everyone I know who has an Ikea kitchen is thrilled with it.

We are getting an Ikea kitchen, and are getting a local joiner to install it for us. I am sourcing my appliances and worktop outside Ikea as I believe I can find them better/cheaper elsewhere.

But for quality on a budget you really cannot beat Ikea!

Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 20:56:44

thehairybabysmum, Howdens is the other local firm I was talking about. They're no longer owned by MFI though as MFI person told me today. They also said they tend to undercut them now because of that (I know that may be just to get me to buy there instead). The thing about Howdens is that they's just a warehouse and you can't see the kitchens displayed other than in the catalogue. I do like some of theirs though.

KTeepee - why avoid Magnet? I know they are expensive - is that the only reason. I can do a kitchen within my budget from there.

My builder is a joiner by trade, so I guess he can fit any kitchen, but to get trade prices he'd have to go himself to get them and Ikea is a bit of a trek from here. Do you think their kitchens would be cheaper/as good if not better than trade from Howdens or Magnet?

Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 20:57:40

they're just a warehouse

twoisenoughmum Tue 20-Feb-07 21:00:31

I have a friend who is a kitchen fitter and I asked him (because one day we are going to do ours) and he said Ikea. And he's fitted the lot, from Smallbone downwards.

KTeePee Tue 20-Feb-07 21:01:10

Aero, I think I was confusing them with Moben (unless Magnet are also one of these companies that come to your house and do a hard sell and won't give you a price list of individual units....)

Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 21:56:27

Ahaaaaa. They will come to your house, but only to measure up I think. They can do a design for you etc and then you're free to do as you please. Either they can fit, or you can get your own joiner to do the job. They have a full list of cabinet prices etc.

Interesting about Moben etc though.

Has anyone used Magnet?

GooseyLoosey Tue 20-Feb-07 21:59:40

Had a magnet kitchen and an Ikea one. The Ikea one was a nightmare from start to finish - incorrect stuff delivered, bits damaged etc and terrible customer service. Far fewer problems with Magnet and it lasted better (although the experience was not problem free either).

Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 22:06:47

Percypig - that's one of the things I miss most about home. (I'm from NI) My parents have just had a new kitchen done and it's really lovely. They used a small local business (someone they know) and he's done a great job for a very reasonable price. My parents know someone trustworthy for every job that ever needs doing around the home. It's a whole different ball game here (am in Kent now).

Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 22:07:28

May I ask what sort of problems you had Goosey?

wotzsaname Tue 20-Feb-07 22:15:34

We used Magnet. The sales bloke who aslo did the design (with us) was OK and the finished kitchen is great. Just took forever as we contracted to use their fitters. Whos idea of a days work was turning up at 10.30 and going at 3.30!!!

We had a snag list which took 5 attempts to finish. By the time the job was complete the sales guy had left Magnet. Wise choice, he was too good for them.

viticella Tue 20-Feb-07 22:17:07

I specified/installed several kitchens for a self-build project - MFI, B&Q, Ikea and Howdens.

Magnet Trade and Howdens pretty similar - very solid 18mm carcases, ready assembled. I think they are commonly used by housing developers so they don't tend to have a lot of frills. Ikea are 18mm flat pack but if professionally put together (with occasional extra screws/glue) they should be just as good. It's just like all IKEA things you get a lot more style and clever bits for your money.

Either way DO have a really good think about the design and where everything will go - right down to kettle and ironing board. Get it right for you or it will bug you for ever. There are lots of step-by-step design guides online. Or try the IKEA design program.

I say this because we now live in a house with horrendous kitchen from previous owner - quite new, good quality and looks expensive, but is so impractical I could weep every time I try to force my mixing bowl into a stupid little cupboard. Don't trust kitchen designers!

90cm L-shaped corner units IMO are much better solution than the dead-space cupboards - even with fixed shelves you can get into them better. (personally I don't like twirly carousels but there you go). Magic corners are really just a way to get round a bad design of cupboard.

sorry for going on a bit!

GooseyLoosey Tue 20-Feb-07 22:18:26

Some of the bits had the holes drilled in the wrong place and could not be assembled. Some of the carcasses had been damaged in delivery and some of the things that should have been delivered were not. This could all have been dealt with fairly easily tbh were it not for Ikea's particular method of customer service - it is impossible to speak directly to the branch, although only they have power to actually do anything. In the end we only got the bits we had paid for cos I stood at the front of the shop and complained very loudly and demanded to see the branch manager.

The particular Ikea kitchen that we got also required you to assemble the units which actually added significantly to the labour and offset any saving on the kitchen price.

I'm sure they are not generally as bad as this but I would never ever get another kitchen from them.

viticella Tue 20-Feb-07 22:21:20

Yes should have said you do take your chances with Ikea. Good kitchen if you can get it all delivered in one go.

Katymac Tue 20-Feb-07 22:27:03

But the IKEA basic units are half the price of any of the others (says she who will be driving for 2.5 hrs to but 18 wall units)

beckybrastraps Tue 20-Feb-07 22:32:02

Our kitchen is from Magnet. As it was here when we moved in I don't have any experience of the process of fitting it, but it is good and solid, and very nicely finished.

Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 22:35:53

Sorry Goosey - I meant what problems you had with Magnet.

I'll have a chat with my builder (he's a good friend and I trust him) and see what he says about Ikea. I think he mostly uses Howdens or Magnet though, so is well used to fitting these.

I feel like I'm in a kitchen minefield! lol. The 90cm cupboard is good - my parents have one. I do like the magic cupboard though - perhaps I'll have one of each. I don't like the carousel thigs though - too much dead space.

PeachesMcLean Tue 20-Feb-07 22:37:38

Our Ikea kitchen is fine though starting to look a little worn (8 years old). I wouldn't recommend Ikea sinks though - unless you already know your plumber is happy with that. Mine told me none of the fixings quite match standard UK things so he had to do a bit of a botch job to get it to work. I don't know if that's still the case though.

Aero Tue 20-Feb-07 22:49:49

Oh - that's a thought - thanks peaches.

I think that I'm probably not going to use Ikea mainly as it's likely I'll want to source certain things from elsewhere (like appliances and maybe plumbing stuff), and tbh, It will be simpler if I can get everything from under one roof as it were. I will have a look at their website though just in case).

Thanks BBS - it sounds like your kitchen is well made and good quality.

GooseyLoosey Tue 20-Feb-07 23:07:45

Problems with Magnet were cos we let them measure up the kitchen and then supply the units which would fit. Sadly their tape measures were not using the same kind of centimetres as our kitchen and it did not fit at all! Happily as it was their fault they did resupply the correct units and once installed we had no problems at all with the kitchen.

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