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Painted kitchens any thoughts on Neptune/Handmade Kichens Direct/DIY kichens

(78 Posts)
Lozza50 Mon 30-Dec-13 17:06:31

We are in the middle of an extension and I am going around in circles with kitchens. Really would like a painted wooden kitchen but has anyone used any of these companies or got any recommends. Shorten my list down to Neptune Kitchens, Handmade Kitchens Direct in Christchurch and DIY-kitchens. Any thoughts or helpful advice....thanks smile

WhatWillSantaBring Mon 30-Dec-13 20:12:04

Not much help, sorry, as we are waiting for ours to be delivered. We looked at both Neptune and HMK. What swung it for us was price - HMK (in the sale) was about 40% cheaper and had a lot more options for bespoking. I've heard the quality may not be as good but it was the only way we could get the kitchen we wanted in budget. We figure if it lasts 10 years , not 20, we will be ok!

They've been fine to deal with, maybe not as sycophantic as you might like, but helpful and efficient. I'd recommend using their designer though - we left it too late to use him and I'm now shitting myself at my measurements (maths never my strong point!) and design!!

Lozza50 Mon 30-Dec-13 20:30:48

Do you visit the showroom for HMK? That what we are finding the measuring up is complicated!! confused

MrsFlorrick Mon 30-Dec-13 20:44:02

Higham Furniture.

I looked at Neptune too but went for Higham as its fully bespoke (Neptune isn't) and built of better quality materials than Neptune.

I got exactly what I wanted (designed it myself but they have a design service if you want it). Fully bespoke sizes.

It also worked out about £4k cheaper than a lesser none bespoke Neptune.

My kitchen is "taller" than average (ie 90cm high instead of 80cm).

My units are slightly deeper than average too.
Higham don't charge extra for deeper or taller units which is great.

My kitchen is painted handle less shaker with lacquered birch interiors and solid maple drawer and solid maple pull outs in cupboards and solid maple spice racks in larders.

It's beyond beautiful.

And I'm not the only one who thinks so. I have Beautiful Kitchens Magazine coming next week to take photos and do a feature on it. grin

Feel free to ask away. I'm obsessed with kitchens and bathrooms and interiors.

Have you thought about flooring, worktops, appliances and positioning of everything??

Higham Furniture here

A shot of part of my island

AliceInSandwichLand Mon 30-Dec-13 20:47:16

We had a Neptune kitchen fitted in June and have been absolutely delighted with the quality of the build and paint. I think it will last much longer than we will. It wasn't cheap, but it really has been our dream kitchen. Obviously they only do a very limited range of styles and units, so won't be to everyone's taste, but I'm really glad we chose them. Can't comment on the other makes you mention, though, as didn't have any dealings with them.

dontcallmemam Mon 30-Dec-13 21:10:30

MrsF, what is your worktop, it's gorgeous?

Lozza50 Mon 30-Dec-13 21:27:10

Mrs Florrick
Thank you your island looks lovely and interesting that Higham was £4k cheaper than Neptune. We have got a pretty good idea of layout and positioning. Think I will have to add them to my list now! How long did they take to build and deliver. How lovely that you are having it photographed smile
AliceInSandwichLand I really like Neptune the moment I saw them. Thank you

MrsFlorrick Mon 30-Dec-13 22:12:50

Don'tcall. My worktop is honed bianco Carrara marble. It's 40mm thickness rather than the standard 20 or 30mm.

MrsFlorrick Mon 30-Dec-13 22:14:49

Lozza. They can generally fit around your timescales.

I wasn't in a rush. Kitchen was planned and ordered before work started.

I think they said it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to build a kitchen. But I guess it depends what you want exactly.

MrsFlorrick Mon 30-Dec-13 22:25:13

Oh and they will fit for you if you like or you can do it yourself (get your builder to do it) if you prefer.

If you already have a very firm idea of what you want and how you want it laid out, then you can just email them your layout plans and specify your materials (if you have preferences, they do oiled oak interiors as well as lacquered birch) and ask for a price.

Have a look. Given its January, they may offer you a discount. Send them the link to the photo of my kitchen and tell them I recommended them.

If they don't have to spend time designing your kitchen, there might be a discount to be had.

I did look at Neptune or more specifically Kitstone (same thing different retailer). I did like their stuff. But I didn't like the limited colour selection or the lack of bespoke options. I specifically wanted my worktops to sit at 95cm (we are a tall family) which they couldn't do for me. And deeper units.

I also looked at Devol Kitchens. Lovely. More bespoke than Neptune but still not fully bespoke and limited options in terms of type of units/drawers. They were much cheaper than Neptune and Higham
But ultimately couldn't offer what I needed (fussy mare).

Essentially, if you can imagine it, Higham can build it.

Lozza50 Mon 30-Dec-13 23:16:52

Thank you MrsFlorrick you have been very, very helpful smile

dontcallmemam Tue 31-Dec-13 01:03:12

Thank you. Lucky you, it's stunning.

timidviper Tue 31-Dec-13 01:14:39

I used a local kitchen company who had my kitchen made and painted to order.

I was planning a Neptune table and chairs to go in there but 2 separate, local retailers told me they had stopped selling them due to problems and poor service in sorting them out.

guccigirly Tue 31-Dec-13 01:15:50

We have parallel lives at the moment OP! I too have been having a dilemma about which company to use and Neptune is on there.

Also in the running is Plain English Kitchens. I haven't ruled out getting a local craftsman to build one for me, painting the doors in a Farrow and Ball colour and then buying the door furniture from Neptune online as their handles are fabulous. I would then buy my granite direct from the supplier to cut out the middle man. This option would then be totally bespoke but would have the Neptune look but for less money.

guccigirly Tue 31-Dec-13 01:17:41

One other point before you get your kitchen, I read a very interested article on quiet appliances in your kitchen and how much a difference it makes, especially if you have a kitchen / diner. You can google quiet kitchen appliances and it will bring up a list of dishwashers, cooker hoods etc that have been approved as much quieter appliances.

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 01:22:11

Lozza. There are lots of other companies you could look at too.

Yew Tree is another one:

More of a budget option but nice all the same. I looked at them.

Dontcall. Thank you. thanks I love the kitchen. And it functions beautifully. I've had no problems at all with it.

Higham Furniture were fantastic at creating solutions. I wanted a down draft extractor on my island unit. It has electrical part which you need to access just after installation. This is after worktops are on and everything is in place. So Higham designed a bookshelf to the rear if my island which has a fully removable rear panel for access to ovens electricals, extractor and hob.
The fact the book shelf and back panel is removable is completely concealed. It's genius.

My tall units either side of the fridge freezer have these absolutely amazing maple pullout shelves (soft close too). So handy and beautifully made.

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 01:27:18

Gucci. Plain English are lovely. Very ££££ though. Lucky you grin

guccigirly Tue 31-Dec-13 01:54:08

MrsFlorrick, I am looking, but not buying at the moment. Think when it comes to the crunch, I will want the look of these kitchens but not the pricetag, so may go down the local carpenter route. Not sure this house is where I will be in 5 years' time so don't want to break the bank completely to kit it all out.

Lozza50 Tue 31-Dec-13 12:05:08

Mrs Florrick
We are planning to go and see Higham on Saturday, they have sent me the pricelist so I will go through our design today and see what the cost looks like. But the company looks great and they are only 1 hr away smile
I also had looked at Devol kitchens a while back and will probably revisit that too. Want to get it right as this is our forever house. Thank you will keep me busy smile

Lozza50 Tue 31-Dec-13 12:06:18

Thank you about the idea of quiet appliances smile

MrsFlorrick Tue 31-Dec-13 16:41:38

Lozza. Great. Good luck with it.

I think you'll be impressed.

Which type of kitchen are you thinking of (nosy)?

If Higham are only an hour from you, it will be handy. Devol are the other end of the country.

Email them your layout plan and they will cost it up for you. Much easier than doing it yourself.

You should look at appliances now because you can get ex display models in the sale half price. It's worth it because they've never been plugged in it actually used so as long as you've seen they have no scrapes on them you're quids in and can spend the saving elsewhere in the kitchen.

I bought the John Lewis fridge freezer with integrated wine fridge as ex display for 1/3 of its price. It had never been plugged in and we still got the 5 year warranty with John Lewis. It had a tiny scrape on the side which you can't see now its positioned inside the kitchen units.

I put the savings towards very expensive worktops and two stainless steel Smeg Piano ovens. wink

Gucci. I had a quote from Plain English. Not quite the same layout as a ended up buying from Higham but a similar number of units and sizes. It was £65k excluding worktops, appliances etc. And that was for their southwold kitchen which is quite basic and built from tulip wood.

The Higham kitchen I got is the handlesless shaker with frames and rails built from solid maple with lacquered birch insides and that came to just over £23k. Obv exc appliances and worktops but inc fitting etc.

So a massive difference. I did love the Plain English but you're paying for their costly Marylebone and Shorditch showrooms.

Lozza50 Tue 31-Dec-13 19:04:14

Yes exactly Mrs Florrick it is very handy as Devol is a long way away!
Highams said to email layout plan, any pics and room size and quote would take 2 days, so will do that too.
I am after a painted shaker style with a light coloured quartz or marble worktop, with an island with wood top and larder cupboard and a Belfast sink. We are having a utility so most appliances will go in there but am thinking of a freestanding smeg fridge but may decide against that and go for a built in one and we already have a range cooker. Very exciting.... will let you know how we get on.

IloveCheese11 Wed 01-Jan-14 15:30:42

Just to throw another name into the mix, we visited Dorset Kitchens in Beaminster (following a recommendation on here), and their stuff was absolutely beautifully made. They have a big workshop out the back where they make everything so it is truly bespoke. They were very nice people too and I felt confident they would do a good job with good service and aftersales etc. Might be worth a look.

IloveCheese11 Wed 01-Jan-14 15:43:24

MrsFlorrick your kitchen is gorgeous. I have the December/January edition of Beautiful Kitchens magazine next to me as I type so will look out for yours in next month's magazine. I am also obsessed with kitchens, bathrooms and interiors, but hopeless at actually deciding what I want.

MrsFlorrick Wed 01-Jan-14 19:10:44

Sounds great. Higham do various shaker styles so you will have quite a few options.
In terms of worktops. I went for marble. It's easy maintenance despite what folk say. It doesn't like acidic food. But mine is honed. That means it's matte so if I do drop lemon juice on it, you can't see the etching. Never ever have polished marble. It shows everything.

I'm not a fan of quartz. It's crushed stone with plastic resin. When we bought this house there was a quartz worktop in the kitchen. It didn't feel or look nice. It was polished so every mark showed on it. And the sparkly bits in the quartz made it look dirty somehow.
I used to clean it down 3 times a day but it never ever looked clean.

I clean the marble once a day at most (slattern) and it always looks beautifully fresh. I have limestone in both bathrooms and that never looks dirty either. Although I don't recommend that for worktops!

Wood for the island will be beautiful. Higham can give you a price for a wood worktop.

Don't forget about corian. White corian is beautiful. And the seamless integrated sinks are stunning. Best of all it can be repaired if you damage it. Cheaper than marble and quartz. It's an option worth exploring..

Stainless steel? Probably not the look you are going for but my kitchen in our previous house had it. It is fab and takes any abuse you care to throw at it.

Ilovecheese (great name - so do I!!) grin

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