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Independent Kitchen Designer - anyone used one? Do they exist?

(19 Posts)
EagleRay Sun 23-Aug-15 21:00:25

I've got a victorian townhouse - standard sized but tall victorian terrace with a basement which has a kitchen, lounge, utility room and shower room in it. I had the kitchen redone not long after I moved in about 10 years ago and although it's still quite nice, it desperately needs redoing as I had damp-proofing done at the same time which failed miserably. One of the walls has split so badly you can put your hand in it sad

So I've started thinking about getting the whole thing redone in the next few months (before next summer at the very latest) and as our needs (and taste!) have changed over the last decade, I'm wondering how far/radical to go with the overhaul.

The current kitchen is an Ikea one, and I wouldn't rule out another, but I'm not sure if any of the high street design services would be up to making best use of the space. Challenges include the bay window in the kitchen which currently has some rather badly customised Ikea units across them - thinking about possibly making this the dining area and having a boxed window seat around a round extending dining table. Also, there's a rather useless but generous cupboard the other side of one of the kitchen walls - it may be feasibly to know through and create a pantry, which excites me!!

The space is generally tricky as we have it as a kitchen/diner and it comfortably seats 4 currently but we need to extend to 6, which would mean being inventive with the layout.

Has anyone used the services of anyone such as an independent kitchen designer, or had similar issues resolved by another professional? I don't want to be tied to a specific kitchen co, and really need someone who understands building work as much as kitchen space and can also point out which of my ideas are really silly Ideally I would get a design drawn up that I could then take to a builder in order to get quotes...

EagleRay Sun 23-Aug-15 21:01:30

Sorry - should point out that I tried googling and most designers seem to be tied to bespoke kitchen companies who do work on posh houses!

Gusthetheatrecat Sun 23-Aug-15 23:01:52

Yes, they exist! I used Karen from Oneplan (who uses this forum a lot) because I had three different kitchen designs from three different suppliers and none of them was quite what I wanted.
Getting an independent designer meant spending some proper time thrashing out exactly what we needed, then thinking about where to get it from. It was so brilliant, and v good value for what we got in terms of what it saved me.
Highly recommend. The kitchen she designed is currently being installed, and i love it.

MrsFlorrick Mon 24-Aug-15 00:32:53

Eagle. Yes they do.

Which area are you in? I might be able to help.

Not everyone does posh kitchens only. Most of my work is helping people make the most of very tight budgets.

EagleRay Wed 26-Aug-15 15:28:08

Sorry - finally back online after my wifi stopped me accessing MN for 2 days!

Gus - that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for! I used an independent garden designer recently and basically started off with a few photos of things I liked, a rough sketch of possibly how I might want my garden to look, and a list of requirements, problems, non-negotiables and so on, plus a budget in mind. She was able to measure my garden accurately, tell me which things weren't affordable and in just a few hours came up with a structural and planting plan which gave me what I wanted within budget, along with a few interesting things which had never occurred to me. I know have the garden of my dreams and really want a similar thing with my kitchen. I need a design I can take to a builder, rather than having a builder just do what I think I want hmm made that mistake with my bathroom

MrsF I will pm you smile

Since I last posted, I went to Ikea and had a look at the kitchens there. None of the colours/finishes totally grabbed me, but I do love the gadgetry and am amazed at how much their kitchen range has progressed since I last bought one! It all seems v v complicated as there is so much choice. I was totally bewitched by their showpiece ceiling to floor superlarder with lights, worktop and compartmental shelving inside. I could potentially build something very similar in my knocked-through cupboard.

I've also made initial contact with a recommended builder who will hopefully be able to give me some advice about the damp and also what is feasible and what is not (eg moving plumbing and gas, knocking through walls etc).

Have also started looking at extending dining tables which could probably take up its own thread - I need a dining table which is 'kitchen-y' but possibly modern looking as well!

Gusthetheatrecat Wed 26-Aug-15 16:58:33

I know very few people use a designer (and fair enough if you don't need one) but I really felt for us it was so worthwhile to get a design we'd really spent some time on with someone who knew what they were doing.
With Karen we had about 5 different initial layout ideas, then chose one and improved it. Whereas when I went to IKEA for example, I booked an appointment, sat down with the designer who put my dimensions into his planner then basically said, "ok. What do you want here in the corner? And what do you want above it? ..." And so on. It was perfectly fine, but it was the opposite of having a design, really, or having any input or ideas from someone who cared at all about what we needed! It was down to me to design? He just 'drove' the software. (The price at the end was so amazingly good value though that I am still a bit sorry they didn't quite have the door fronts I wanted...!)

BovrilonToast Thu 27-Aug-15 10:18:29

I'm using an independent, so agree with others they do exist. I'm sure she would have done an IKEA kitchen for me if I had wanted her too!

Also, have a look at for extending tables. There are some lovely ones on there! I'm thinking about getting one...
If anyone has bought one feed back would be useful!

EagleRay Thu 27-Aug-15 13:57:28

Funnily enough I was looking at the tables on Made last night! I really like the Eidelweiss one but it looks like you have to store the central part separately?

I've got the Yoko sofa from Made already and it's very nice looking but it most definitely is a <£200 sofa and have already had their engineer out to fix it...

BovrilonToast Thu 27-Aug-15 14:40:02

That's the one I was looking at too. I didn't notice where you store the middle bit. It'll be a PITA if it's not in the table...

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 11-Sep-15 21:05:40

Hi flowersthanks for the shout out Gusthetheatrecat !
Had trouble logging into MN on app - so been off for a while !

BasinHaircut Mon 14-Sep-15 09:16:17

oneplanonhouzz where are you based?

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 15-Sep-15 09:02:16

Hi BasinHaircut (great name !) sorry for delay - I can't Mumsnet as much as I'd like to - too busy !
I'm based in Dorset - but an originally from Kent. Although, I work anywhere, via email, if that's was the reason for the question !

prancermum Mon 21-Sep-15 13:53:08

I've been reading this thread because I too have been looking for an independent kitchen designer in the Birmingham area and only found people attached to kitchen suppliers. Anyone know of one in the Midlands?

We want to move our kitchen from a tiny galley area to an existing extension so we have things like gas electric, water, heating to contend with and will need a wall knocking down and I badly need expert advice on a good layout and what is feasible - plus we are a listed building so will need consent!

BasinHaircut Tue 22-Sep-15 08:01:00

Thanks oneplan. Well I'm currently toying with the idea of having a kitchen designed. The layout we have currently, seems to be pretty much all that is possible with positions of doors, windows room dimensions etc but I do keep wondering if it's worth getting an expert opinion and some other options thought out.

Ta1kinPeace Tue 22-Sep-15 14:16:03

I designed my own using the Ikea tool ...
I put my exact dimensions in (had the advantage that it was going into a new extension)
and then just played and juggled and played and juggled till I had exactly what I wanted.
Printed the order list
got the other bits online
got the chippy to fit it
still love it 7 years later.

EagleRay Tue 22-Sep-15 23:35:14

Oh blimey Ta1kinPeace - you've just reminded me I've got an appointment with an ikea kitchen person in next few days and no idea when or if I can still do it - had totally forgotten it was booked!

Kitchen plans slightly delayed by a) sudden job offer and rapid return to full time work and b) very unexpected pregnancy - trying to figure out how kitchen replacement will get done amidst all this confused

However, structural engineer visiting in next few days then can start to proceed with independent design, as will by then know what structural limitations are

EagleRay Tue 22-Sep-15 23:36:02

OnePlan - Ive made an initial inquiry with you and will be back in touch soon!

OnePlanOnHouzz Wed 23-Sep-15 16:01:57

Thanks EagleRay- Luckily working via email means I can cover lots of locations - not just locally to me !!

crissegadesigns Thu 25-Aug-16 22:01:52

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

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