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Bespoke kitchen vs DIY kitchens

(13 Posts)
becks5109 Thu 14-Jan-16 13:01:34

We went and had a look at the DIY showroom up near Leeds and it was great for ideas etc. but husband thought it looked a bit cheap. However we also recently went to LWK (swanky London based bespoke place) and to be honest all the sample doors looked similar to the DIY ones to me - is there really much difference? Surely all these kitchen places have similar suppliers? About to embark on an extension and don't want to get it wrong but equally don't want to overpay - help!!!!!

wonkylegs Thu 14-Jan-16 13:07:43

We got ours from a truly bespoke place, where they use joiners to make the whole thing from scratch. It was surprisingly reasonable (large kitchen/breakfast room oak kitchen £30k inc high end appliances) and is really a thing of beauty with lovely detailing. It helped because ours is a bit of an awkward shape so they really made the most of the space, which wouldn't have been the case with an off the shelf place. Only issue was they weren't as fast as some because they make everything and they are busy because they are really good so there is a bit of a wait.

becks5109 Fri 15-Jan-16 12:05:42

Yes wonkylegs (great name!) I can definitely see the value for an awkward shape or for a lovely traditional style kitchen using a bespoke service. I'm just torn as to whether a really expensive kitchen is worth it for a simple layout and I really wonder if the quality is that much better at the high end showrooms. But perhaps its a case of you get what you pay for!

wonkylegs Fri 15-Jan-16 12:37:58

I was very much of the 'it can't be much better' mindset until we got to these guys. I'm still not sure you always get what you pay for as some kitchens seem to be very overpriced but there are some fabulous people out there too.

Hiahia Fri 15-Jan-16 15:54:33

I completely agree with wonkylegs.

Bespoke is worth it if it truly is bespoke. A lot of the so called bespoke company actually aren't and in that case, you're better off with Ikea/DIY/etc...

lalalonglegs Fri 15-Jan-16 16:41:56

Imo, the quality of the cabinets is better when they come from high end kitchen suppliers - but what sets them apart and gives them the edge over standard kitchens is that they come in non-standard colours, finishes, sizes etc so you can end up with a much less run-of-the-mill look. As you would be foolish to spend a five-figure sum on the cabinets and then scrimp on fitting, the overall look is generally much glossier, sleeker, more finished... but whether it is worth the multiples that you would pay for Ikea/Howdens etc is debatable.

origamiwarrior Fri 15-Jan-16 17:03:55

I discovered through my research that lots of swanky kitchen places use the same door manufacturers as DIY kitchens, unitsonline etc. Apparently there is quite a small pool of door manufacturers in the UK (if you aren't talking about the truly bespoke-bespoke market). They then get another company to build and supply the carcasses (whereas DIY kitchens and unitsonline build their own carcasses, that's their core business).

For example, I saw a kitchen I liked the look of on unitsonline. It said the doors were made by Multiwood. I wanted to see a door sample in the flesh (without paying a deposit) so I contacted Multiwood to ask who our nearest supplier was, and they gave me the details of a swanky showroom in our local town. So we went there, looked at the doors and colour swatches, were happy with what we saw so ordered from unitsonline, used our own fitter, end result = delighted with the kitchen. While at the swanky place, I happened to see some paperwork which had the name of their carcass manufacturer. When I later googled it, it was a bog standard business-to-business carcass manufacturer 200 miles away in Liverpool (i.e. it wasn't a time-served old fella at the back of the shop making bespoke cabinets with pixie dust!). We weren't so cheeky as to get the swanky showroom to come out and quote for our kitchen, but going on the prices you see even during their 'sale' period, I'd imagine we saved many many thousands.

So the door ranges are likely to be the same (hint: while the swanky place might give the 'range' a different name, the colour names are likely to be as per the manufacturer, to avoid ordering confusion, so google is your friend) you just need to make sure you are happy with the spec of the cabinets from DIY kitchens/unitsonline (we were happy with ours - kitchen fitter said they were the best he had seen).

filigree2015 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:48:17

Agree with origami - our very expensive highly regarded kitchen fitter was impressed with the cabinet quality of our DIY kitchen. It comes down to priorities and budget - we wanted lots of fancy pull out units, expensive appliances (hello boiling tap) and were doing other work at the same time. A fully bespoke kitchen would have pushed us too far.

Also we were impressed with DIY's choice of colours and sizes - and they actually did make us one bespoke unit for minimal extra fuss and cost.

RaisingSteam Sun 17-Jan-16 15:27:01

DIY kitchens are very good quality and they have a huge choice, but you do have to manage the design and ordering yourself. If your layout is simple that may not be too much of a problem and you can save quite a bit of money. They are the same as the better of the standard type (i.e. chipboard) kitchens that you tend to see in independent showrooms, rather than solid-wood bespoke. But much more solid than Ikea/B&Q/Magnet.

Obviously hand-built bespoke will have a lovely polish and finish but that's another budget altogether. Otherwise whether a kitchen looks "cheap" or not is more down to details, appliances and the overall ambience of the room.

JT05 Mon 18-Jan-16 09:20:56

We fitted DIY, solid wood door, units, but had professionals to fit the tiles and beech worktop. Still looks immaculate 7 years on.

It's the finish that counts. Some DIY kitchens come with already constructed carcasses.

patterkiller Mon 18-Jan-16 09:29:50

We have a DIY kitchen and live the quality. The choice was huge maybe too big we had many four samples at home to muse over. Until a came complete and actually saved money on fitting as it was really quick. The fitter was impressed with the quality.

becks5109 Mon 18-Jan-16 13:09:20

Thanks everyone - think I am getting more and more tempted by DIY kitchens - am due to get a quote and design from Habitat this week so once I've got that I'll definitely do a comparison with DIY online. I'm definitely going to have lovely appliances and good worktops so I think I can make a DIY kitchen look amazing smile Luckily the layout is really simple so planning it myself shouldn't be too taxing - I hope!

maro30 Sat 23-Jan-16 11:49:43

Hi. If you have the possibility to spend slightly more I can recommend NND in Wimbledon. I had a new bespoke kitchen designed there. They did everything, from designing to fitting. I was very happy with their service. And the kitchen looks stunning with those handle less doors. Don't have any experience with DIY kitchens though. I now it's a hard decision.

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