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Independent kitchen designer?

(29 Posts)
Higgle Sun 15-Feb-15 22:01:06

Another new kitchen thread.
We have lived in this house for 18 years and the kitchen is falling to pieces.
Although it is quite a big area (15' x 17') we have problems with insufficient storage, strangely positioned cooker and there never seems enough space to work because all the units are covered in appliances.
DH and I have enough wit to know what we don't want but are at a bit of a loss to decide what we do. Plus there are now strange mysteries about what to do about tiles (which seems to be "out"). What we have decided to do is get an independent kitchen designer in to help us with a plan and then get quotes. Unfortunately there don't seem to be any independent kitchen designers in Gloucestershire? Does anyone know of one who might be able to help us. The total budget is not huge (�15k max all in) but we think paying for some advice now will save problems later. All advice gratefully received!

Gusthetheatrecat Sun 15-Feb-15 23:05:37

Sorry to jump on your thread. Reading it has made me think that I may also be looking for an independent kitchen designer. We are based in London and I would love any recommendations before I consult Google.

MillyMollyMama Mon 16-Feb-15 00:08:18

Architects can design kitchens or interior designers. Personally I would go to the kitchen manufacturer you are interested in and kick some ideas about. I guess people do just design kitchens but I've never seen one. Also, how can they possibly know all the products out there? If you only have £15,000 how can they save you anything? You are pretty bargain basement I'm afraid.

wowfudge Mon 16-Feb-15 07:21:52

My advice would be to find an independent kitchen company locally and get them to do a design for you. Also speak to a couple of other firms and compare what they come up with for you. If you find an independent designer they will be looking for a fee from somewhere.

I disagree that £15k is 'bargain basement' as that is a substantial amount of money. Yes, there are certain kitchens out of your price range, but it's definitely doable. There's plenty of advice on threads on here for those who need to use their budget wisely.

Higgle Mon 16-Feb-15 07:27:11

Thanks for advice so far, we are quite happy to pay for the design as we want advice on style too. The last time we had a new kitchen (in our old house) we had very few options, this time we have qute a lot of space and options which is why it is so difficult. In this bit of the world the independent kitchen suppliers are not too good, either quite old fahioned but good quality or exclusive German stuff we can't afford. In Bristol you also get a lot of the handmade stuff that has the hinges showing and is very rustic (think rabbit hutch).

mupperoon Mon 16-Feb-15 07:47:53

MillyMollyMama how rude and snobbish! Ok, so £15K won't get you Smallbone of Devizes but it can definitely get you a lovely kitchen.

OP There are some companies that will do design for kitchens, such as Architect Your Home who do an interior service as well as extensions. I used them once and I think it depends who you get as to whether you'll get value from them. I paid a few hundred for an initial consultation but didn't take it forward as I didn't think the prelim design waa going to work for us.

Local kitchen companies are a good bet. If they use manufacturers such as Second Nature you can get a great looking quality kitchen within your budget. I had a couple of prelim designs done by my local company for no charge.

suze28 Mon 16-Feb-15 07:51:15

Have you thought of somewhere like John Lewis who charge something like £50 for design/consultation. If you order one of their kitchens the £50 is refunded.

wormshuffled Mon 16-Feb-15 08:14:25

I would start on Pinterest and google images, get an idea what style you want and make notes. It would be pointless getting a designer around until you know what you actually like and need. 15k is doable if there aren't any changes plumbing and electricity. If you don't want tiles you will need to cost in a plasterer too. To give you an idea I've just done mine, units were 6.5k oak doors bog standard carcasses from diy kitchens. Corian worktop L shape with island 2.8k flooring 2.1k but that's hall and dining room too. Plasterers electricians plumbers etc 4k. Appliances 2k.

mupperoon Mon 16-Feb-15 09:00:50

Oh and on the "tiles are out" thing, perhaps, but cleaning pasta sauce off a painted wall is definitely harder than cleaning it off tiles! You need to consider a splashback for the counter top areas but the rest of the kitchen can be plastered. In my last kitchen we didn't have a splashback and it was the one thing I hated and should have got round to changing. Go with what you like, and what's practical for you, not what's "in".

I agree that Pinterest and Houzz are good sites to get ideas!

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 16-Feb-15 11:32:42

I am one ! I don't want to beach MN rules so PM me if you want to chat ! smile

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 16-Feb-15 11:33:18

Breach even !! Flipping auto correct !!!

Higgle Mon 16-Feb-15 11:53:39

OPOH - I'll send you a PM

We are lucky in that our house ( 4 bed new build 18 years ago) is one of 4 of a similar design in a group of 6. We know our budget will give us a new kitchen of suitable quality as we are the last of our neighbours to replace our kitchen, and have spoken to the others. 2 have knocked through into orangery and one has just replaced units. DH is civil engineer and we have lots of reasonably priced tradesmen to contact through neighbours info. and if we knock through can do the structural plans and work ourselves.
We will retire and move in 7 years time so don't want to invest a fortune, here.

Marmitelover55 Mon 16-Feb-15 13:00:12

We are in bristol and I would highly recommend our independent guy. PM me if you would like more info

MonkeysandParrots Mon 16-Feb-15 15:04:45

I've pm'd you too Marmite, hope you will share details with me also smile

Marmitelover55 Mon 16-Feb-15 15:53:13

By the way our kitchen was £15k including the granite, units, appliances and beautiful glass splashback - it's hardly bargain basement and is being featured in a house/design magazine in the spring smile

Marmitelover55 Mon 16-Feb-15 15:54:38

I have PM'd you Monkeys

girloutofglasgow Mon 16-Feb-15 23:19:53

I found our kitchen designer through a thread just like this a couple of years ago. Like you OP nothing had been done to our kitchen for the best part of two decades. For us it was a back to basics, bare boards and brick job.
Paul at Evo Kitchens talked to me at length about what we wanted, came up with the plans and sourced the fitter, furniture and appliances.
I was a bit wary initially just finding him online but it worked out well for us.
He was full of good tips and advice even about items we weren't buying through him like tiles and paint.
Have a look at his Facebook page...ours is sage green in the After photos, mucky brown Before!

WandaFuca Tue 17-Feb-15 00:28:49

We had quite major building work done, which resulted in a much larger kitchen area, and we had no idea how best to use the space. We got in an independent kitchen designer, and also got a design from a well-known kitchen supplier. We got the impression that the independent designer was more interested in the number of satisfied customers, rather than the number of units sold.

We did have specific requirements: I didn’t want wall cupboards (I’m short), and we wanted to future-proof the kitchen for as we get older (we’re both retired). It was the independent designer who produced the best design – lots of pull-out or swing-out floor units, plus a couple of tall, pull-out larder units.

We could have just paid for her plans and gone to a standard supplier, but we opted for the supplier and fitters that she used, and that meant she project-managed everything until we were completely satisfied.

I don’t think it cost us that much more than if we’d gone with a standard kitchen supplier, but it was worth the extra because of how much time she spent with us, understanding our needs, and seeing it through to completion.

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 17-Feb-15 07:52:06

I must point out that I don't recommend or promote any particular products or fitters - I'm totally neutral. The pro CAD system I use had generic and priced kitchen catalogues - that's how I keep an eye on gauging prices - but I encourage people to email drawings to various places to shop around with -

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 17-Feb-15 07:54:49

And to visit showrooms and ask plenty of questions - see what they are considering - helping comparisons to be sort - after spending quality time working out just how to make the room work for a person .

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 17-Feb-15 08:00:50

I hope that doesn't break the MN code - if anyone feels it does then please ask for it to be removed as I don't want to offend etc - I just didn't want people to think I promote / recommend / line up trades etc as I don't .

MaryShelley Tue 17-Feb-15 19:47:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryshelley Tue 17-Feb-15 19:49:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Wed 18-Feb-15 06:26:27

I know an independent kitchen designer (not in Glouestershire) so they do exist.

We had our kitchen done last year, and ended up buying from Magnet as their designer was the best one we came across. He had loads of brilliant ideas about the best way to use the kitchen. We're really pleased wth the final outcome.

OnePlanOnHouzz Wed 18-Feb-15 13:59:46

Thank you MaryShelley ( trying to think which of my past clients you might be ? ) thanks

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