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Shopping for kitchens is NOT as much fun as I thought it would be!

(71 Posts)
summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 18:44:48

Which of these kitchens would you prefer for a 130-year-old house with period features? We're kitchen shopping and finding it hard work.

We went to Wren to price up a range I fancied, and after three hours and a bit of negotiating we signed up to a £17,500 kitchen right at the top of our budget. It was lovely, with solid oak units and drawer inserts, quartz and wooden worktops, and lifetime guarantees. The staff were very nice and said we could change anything we fancied, and we were relieved we'd found a kitchen we liked. []

But on reflection, we decided we were completely mad to spend so much. We've been renovating our house for a year and our savings are spent. Paying for this means taking out a loan and using up my entire salary (part time, have only just returned after SAHMing).

So we went back to ask them to price our kitchen up in two other ranges. (We've paid a £1,500 deposit so we have to go with Wren). After another 2 and a half hours we've got one other quote. It's a complete contrast: handleless gloss [].

We've got three little children and can't face spending much more time in a kitchen shop talking about pelmets and decor panels.

So can you wise ladies help me? Do I go for a handleless gloss kitchen which is sleek but susceptible to grubby fingermarks and totally out of keeping with the rest of the house?

Or do we keep shopping for a cheaper shaker-style kitchen with laminate but looks possibly a bit old fashioned?

I realise this isn't the biggest dilemma in the world, but I'm really stuck! Grateful for any tips.

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 18:45:39

Maybe something like this?

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 18:47:45

Sorry - that's handleless. This one:

ABetaDad1 Tue 29-Dec-15 18:51:31

I have a white gloss handless kitchen in a 200 yr old house. It looks fab.

Wickes it is and we got it in the sale. They always have a sale on.

Its the floor tiles, splash back, lighting that makes it ultramodern looking and contrasts nicely with the period features.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Tue 29-Dec-15 18:53:27

I see gloss kitchens and think "i just don't have time to constantly wash fingerprints off my cupboard doors"

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 18:53:42

Oh that's good to know, thanks ABetaDad1. My confidence in my own judgement regarding kitchens has plummetted, so it's great to hear what other people have done.

Sammy1888 Tue 29-Dec-15 18:55:07

Much prefer the last one out of the two. But that first one shockshock most beautiful kitchen ever! Not much help I know but WOW! Dream kitchen!

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 18:56:37

Sammy1888 [weeps] I KNOW! I had to sit with my back to it in the showroom so I couldn't get distracted from the budget-slashing!

emwithme Tue 29-Dec-15 18:59:05

I LOVE that shaker kitchen. That is VERY close to my perfect kitchen design. I also think that high gloss, handle-less kitchens will date very quickly. I think they'll be this "generation's" coloured bathroom suites.

DH and I are refurbing our forever house (stone built, late Victorian). We've gone for a shaker style kitchen in a light oak. I wanted cream painted, but he really didn't, so we've gone for the lightest wood available, but solid wood rather than laminate cabinets so I can paint them in five years' time I also really wanted wood work-surfaces but didn't want the upkeep, so we've gone for a laminate instead.

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 19:04:11

I went into this process wanting natural materials (wood, with quartz around the sink), so the gloss handleless is really the opposite of what I wanted. DH hates anything he sees as twee and wants a super-modern look, which is why we priced up the gloss, which does look clean and impressive in the showroom.

However, we have three messy, smeary kids. We don't have time to polish surfaces. And we need a workhorse of a kitchen because I cook constantly.

Glad you don't all think the shaker one isn't too twee and old-fashioned. I might take a gulp and brave the showroom for another session. (How can it be so time-consuming to exchange one range for another and give me a quote? HOW!)

Greebosmum Tue 29-Dec-15 19:04:20

I like the last one you picture, but it is almost identical to mine, which I love. Not much help really.

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 19:06:42

It is helpful! I'm amazed anyone has replied - thanks MNers!

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 19:22:30

So, feeling a bit more inspired, I'm look anew at the shaker ones. What do people like? Passion flower (bright off-white) or French partridge (pale grey)?


Mydearchild Tue 29-Dec-15 19:46:00

Are you absolutely stuck with Wren? We are extending this year and will be ordering a shaker painted kitchen from here The Shaker Kitchen Co . Even with a lot of units including a row of larder units and an island I have it priced at around 6k (another 2-3k for worktops and appliances) so you could still get it cheaper plus they will bespoke it to your requirements.

JasperDamerel Tue 29-Dec-15 19:52:03

I'd look at getting a solid wood shaker kitchen from elsewhere for much cheaper. DIY kitchens do a painted oak shaker kitchen in any Farrow and Ball cour. Copy the Wren design and see how much it costs.

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 19:52:20

Nope, they have our deposit so we're staying with Wren. I did see the Shaker Kitchen on your other thread though, and they do look gorgeous!

OneEpisode Tue 29-Dec-15 19:55:33

Or could you ask Wren to tweak the design in the original range? Sometimes cabinets with solid doors are cheaper than others, vs glazed units for instance .. Or just get less, with a basic shelf or two for a while...

Mydearchild Tue 29-Dec-15 19:55:38

I feel like a bloody sales woman for them but they are a newish company I think and I know a lot of others on here like this style too!

JasperDamerel Tue 29-Dec-15 20:25:35

But if you get a good quality you love for £7,000 and pay £1,500 to Wren, you are still £9,000 better off than if you got the expensive Wren kitchen. It's worth considering, surely. Or checking to see if there is a cooling-off period with Wren which they haven't told you about.

desi279 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:34:45

Kitchens like bathrooms will date. I find my taste or preference in kitchens changed every five years or so. Therefore, it made absolutely no sense to me to spend 20k on a kitchen that I will want to change in 5 to 7yrs time. I bought my high gloss kitchen from Ikea.. it has lots of finger print from me and the kids but I don't care.. it looks good. When I get bored of it in a few yrs or so (and I will), I won't be sh@tting myself looking for another 20k for a new kitchen. I am basically saying change your mind set about how you view this kitchen and you will make the right decision for you. One thing I do know though is kitchen date.. my fil has a solid oak kitchen from 25yrs ago.. it looks very very dated, why?? Because the STYLE of oak units now is different. ... Sorry can't do italics but you get my drift....

summerpuddingandclottedcream Tue 29-Dec-15 20:41:57

Yes, yes, I totally agree about not bankrupting ourselves for a kitchen which is why we're looking for a much cheaper one than the one we initially opted for.

The gloss one came to £11,000.

I've been trying to like the cheaper "designer" Shaker enough to motivate myself to return to the store for another unfathomably long session, as I was a bit disappointed by how dated they looked today.

But some of you have been v encouraging so I'm going to sort out some childcare again and do it.

Mydearchild Tue 29-Dec-15 20:49:50

11k is still very expensive. Have you looked at diy kitchens they do gloss. Honestly even if you lost the 1.5k you would still be better off. Usually there is a cooling off period with this sort of purchase, may be worth asking?

Marmitelover55 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:58:03

How much deposit have you paid Wren? We paid a £500 deposit to Magnet for our kitchen in 2014 but decided to forfeit it when we found a much better deal with a local independent company.

If you stick with Wren it might be sensible to have a read of this thread:

3littlefrogs Tue 29-Dec-15 21:02:17

I would avoid most kitchen companies like the plague.

Ask around locally for recommendations for a local tradesman/company.
then go for a Wickes or B&Q kitchen and get the local person to fit it.

Ask for references and go and see some work that they have done.

We had a B&Q kitchen fitted by a local builder and it was great. Half the price of the kitchen company quotes.

Marmitelover55 Tue 29-Dec-15 21:05:28

If you are in the Bristol area I can totally recommend our independent fitter and supplier. We went for painted shaker and are very happy.

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