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Which kitchen company? Can you help sort my head?

(18 Posts)
herbaceous Thu 11-Oct-12 13:06:11

We're just about to replace our kitchen, with lots of rebuilding also, and I'm getting myself into a right tizzy about where to get the cabinets.

Can the MN collective wisdom give me a damn good shaking?

The kitchen will be fitted by our builders, so it can fit in with what they're doing. I've got a rough design in my head, so probably don't need to get a proper kitchen designer in, and don't want to spend toooo much, so thoughts had been:

Ikea.
Pros: Stylish, nearby shop so I can have a good look and feel before I buy, and to pick up bits that inevitably get forgotten.
Cons: Those in the know talk of a lack of service gap at the back, making them hard to fit. They also don't have a 300mm-wide larder unit that I need to make the WHOLE THING WORK. And, depending what you read, appliances are not standard size, meaning I couldn't shop around.

Wickes
Pros: Seem reasonably stylish, come pre-made (well, some), builders seem to like them.
Cons: A little bit 'meh'.

Howdens
Pros: seem good value,
Cons: Can't actually visit a showroom to see what we'd be spending £££ on. Builders seem to like them because of preferential trade bungs.

Wren
Pros: Look nice, good value, have showrooms
Cons: Some reviews say customer service is dreadful, with bits never turning up

Etc Etc!

I'm planning to get the worktops and appliances elsewhere.

Any advice?

TirednessKills Thu 11-Oct-12 14:30:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

herbaceous Thu 11-Oct-12 14:47:44

On your prompting, I have just investigated a local firm online. It does look pretty good. I shall give them a ring!

TalkinPeace2 Thu 11-Oct-12 18:29:17

Ikea
and the chippy we paid to fit it cut down a spare small unit to cover a problem pillar so that everybody thinks it was planned that way.
there is NO problem with the lack of a gap - so long as you have your pipes built accordingly - which is much less of a hassle than lazy builders would want to charge you for.

NONE of our appliances were ikea - they came from Southern Domestics in Woolston - graded stock. FABULOUS

herbaceous Thu 11-Oct-12 18:44:27

Ooh, verr interesting. So, your appliances fit the units just dandy? The sulky 'assistant' in the Edmonton store the other day said they weren't standard sizes, but she was a proper little madam who I don't want to believe.

I really need a 300mm-wide larder cupboard, and I'm wondering if I can get one from somewhere else, and put Ikea doors on it. Sulky Assistant said no, while staring into the middle distance, but I'm determined to succeed!

sausagesandwich34 Thu 11-Oct-12 18:47:06

have you thought about B&Q or Homebase

better quality than Wickes, both have showrooms and not sure about B&Q but homebase do 300 larder units (cause I've got one!)

TalkinPeace2 Thu 11-Oct-12 18:52:23

Herbaceous
All of our appliances were Neff /Siemens, the fridge is freestanding and all have their own fronts ....
Larder unit : think laterally ...
Our island is in fact wall units back to back with a chippy made plinth
and then the solid bamboo worktop turned sideways ....
(must check how to make the picture on my profile fully visible)
a 300mm unit you are unlikely to want full depth so look at high units and fit a plinth ....

TalkinPeace2 Thu 11-Oct-12 18:56:17

Hah, sussed it - piccy of my kitchen on profile - cupboard above oven has door now - picture taken just after building finished.

herbaceous Thu 11-Oct-12 19:14:28

Ooh, nice! Those are the very units I was thinking of! And bamboo top too, possibly. Or a grey-ish quartz. And yes - I'm sure I can put together a 300mm base unit, with another on top, or similar. I've got one of their planning chaps coming round next week, so I can grill him/her.

As for B&Q or Homebase, B&Q didn't inspire me much, and I've never been impressed with the quality of anything I've bought from Homebase. It also would expand my number of options, which is the last thing I want!

Which rates Ikea above B&Q, and I don't think tested Homebase. Crikey, it's all very confusing. I think I'd have quite liked living in a communist bloc country - no choice whatsoever.

TalkinPeace2 Thu 11-Oct-12 19:49:48

personally I love the doors without handles - BUT - DH finds the lip too small and I have broken several fingernails on them. They stay for another few years yet.
One thing the picture does not make fully clear is that under the hob and the oven we have the full depth drawers - they are FAB - as you can get at everything in them - MUCH better than cupboards.

herbaceous Thu 11-Oct-12 20:03:52

Ooh yes, drawers all the way. Can't be doing with scrabbling about in cupboards at my age.

Crikey, hadn't considered the non-handles to be tricky. <back to drawing board>

Rascal79 Thu 11-Oct-12 20:54:06

We looked at all the normal stores you mentioned but are actually getting ours form a guys recommended on here. He has been SO helpful and patient and designed us a fab kitchen with some lovely little touches and some lovely appliances. Its not costing anymore than anywhere and I feel its much more bespoke. Just about to order int he next week or so: www.evokitchens.co.uk/

myron Thu 11-Oct-12 22:40:53

Ikea units & handles with quartz worktops and Neff/Miele/Caple/CDA/Samsung appliances. If you are having building work done anyway, remember that you can move doors/walls/change your internal room dimensions to accommodate the 400mm Ikea larder units either side of an American style fridge freezer like I did. Not such a big deal in the scheme of things if you're already replumbing, rewiring, replastering, etc....

myron Thu 11-Oct-12 23:13:00

It's hard to beat Ikea on price for a similar quality kitchen carcass and it's a good reason why so many designers/architects use it for their own homes and then splash their dosh on the worktops & appliances. We got £100 discount for every £1000 we spent (they are supposed to give you vouchers but we got given a straight forward discount). Furthermore, if you spend over a certain amount, you can take advantage of 24 mths' interest free credit so it was a no brainer for us. Probably why we now possess a boiling water tap and a beautiful looking wine chiller which aren't exactly essentials. When comparing kitchens, we compared/researched the price of unit/doors only. I was particularly choosy about my appliances. Howdens has a very basic range of worktops (laminate or wood - nothing higher spec than that & fairly basic spec appliances imo so I wasn't terribly impressed). Pan drawers seem to be expensive everywhere else but Ikea! I have gone overboard with Ikea pan drawers as a consequence and I cannot praise them enough.

herbaceous Fri 12-Oct-12 11:04:59

When I went to bed last night I was all like 'Ikea it is. Yes. That's it'.

Then when I got up, I looked at B&Q's website, and rather liked their 'gloss slab' range that has 'push and release' doors, and lots of lovely sinks and stuff without having to shop around. But there's no big B&Q near us. Well, a few miles, anyway.

<spins head and rolls eyes>

sabbatica Fri 12-Oct-12 19:49:00

No idea if it is the style you like, but I had a quote from Neptune this afternoon and was surprised at the cost, not too bad at all. It was £8k for the units, but the kitchen is 8m x 5m, so a lot of room to fill.

Suppose though that after work tops and appliances it will be a lot dearer!!

The units were really solid as think they are solid wood throughout with I melamine, chipboard, mdf etc.

Have posted a thread to see if there are any people out there with experience of neptune to see if they're decent kitchens.

Good luck with your decision, it's difficult isn't it!!

Yorky Fri 12-Oct-12 22:14:44

Rascal, he's designed a kitchen for me too. It looks fantastic and I was pleasantly surprised when he did the itemised quote, I honestly expected it to be much higher than it came in at.
Haven't ordered yet as we've only just got planning permission for the extension to put the kitchen in and I'm having too much fun with kitchen porn sites to cut it short unnecessarily!

Rascal79 Sat 13-Oct-12 19:15:08

Yeah, I have been bugging Paul for about six months making little adjustments to the design. We should be ordering in the next few weeks and I can't believe for the price I am getting a pyroletic oven, induction hob and posh tap!!!

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