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Kitchen: Where to buy one?

(45 Posts)
StripeyTowels Sun 29-Jan-17 13:11:15

I just need a reasonable quality, reasonably hard wearing, reasonably priced kitchen. It shouldn't be this hard! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I've read all the threads, looked at all the links, visited a million show rooms and I'm totally confused.

Yesterday I thought I'd order it from DIY kitchens, but I can't find any corner units (floor standing) on their website (I think there was maybe one curved one, but I don't like it) am I looking in the wrong place?

I like the look of Wren kitchens, but after all of the terrible stories I'm staying away from them.

I can't justify the cost of the upper end kitchens (I'm not sure if I'm staying here, renting it out or selling it - it depends on my job, but I can't wait any longer to do the kitchen).

I don't think B&Q or Homebase offer very good quality for money.

I'm on my own so will be getting a fitter/joiner to install it so I don't think Ikea is the best option, especially given the walls & floor are all concrete and the pipes need to run behind the units.

I'm looking at Benchmarx (direct, not via Wicks) & am open to other suggestions.

Plus any hints on how not to be resentful of spending a chunk of money on a new kitchen that's still not going to be what you want, because it's to damn small! - would be appreciated!

wowfudge Sun 29-Jan-17 13:42:02

DIY Kitchens definitely do corner units as our design includes two different ones. What is available varies from design to design, but if you are struggling to find what you need, definitely message them via their website - they are great at dealing promptly with queries (even my daft ones). Plus their 10% off winter sale ends at midnight on Tuesday.

StripeyTowels Sun 29-Jan-17 14:23:35

Thank you wowfudge. I know they used to do them, but I can't find them on their website anymore. I'll give them a call tomorrow. It sounds like you're happy with them? Anything I should know re the quality or just things I should look out for? Which finish did you choose?

dotdash Sun 29-Jan-17 15:51:52

I have a Benchmarx kitchen. Plain white handleless. I'm very pleased with it, nice solid feel to the doors.
The only thing I would say is that they don't have a lot of variety in the cupboards. They do have floor standing corner cupboards though!

dotdotdotmustdash Sun 29-Jan-17 16:25:05

Are you sure you're looking in the right section? On the DIY kitchens website, there is a tab for 'base units' and another tab next to it for 'corner base units'.

StripeyTowels Sun 29-Jan-17 16:59:07

dotdash. Thank you. I've lived overseas for a few years, this is the first kitchen I've bought back in the UK. I'm so surprised at the lack of variety, across the board, of the size/shape of the cabinets.

dotdotdotmustdash. I'll go and have another look, anything is possible, but when I looked yesterday there was only one there & it had a curved front. Very odd...off I go....

StripeyTowels Sun 29-Jan-17 17:04:03

blush

FFS. I'd completely missed the tabs across the top. I thought all the options were listed down the side.

Maybe I should just move to a house where the kitchen is already installed πŸ˜‚

NotMeNoNo Sun 29-Jan-17 18:43:00

I think the advantages of DIY kitchens are
1. they do a much wider range of unit shapes, sizes and configurations than most other sellers, so you can make the most of your small space.
2. they are a very solid quality for the price. I have put in a few kitchens in my time but when the DIY-kitchens delivery arrived the builders were all exclaiming over how solid the units were.
3. In their range of doors and fronts pretty well cover most available ranges and looks from other similar suppliers. Let's face it most of us go for white/cream/grey painted or cream/white gloss!

Get some tracing paper, or onto an online planner, flick through a few magazines, go to Ikea for ideas, and spend a few weeks working up your layout until you've fitted everything you want in. Remember you don't have to get everything from one range. Or you can use any other storage if you want - bathroom cabinets, bookcase shelves, vintage hooks to make the most of the space.

Corner units are bad space wasters so try and limit to just one if you can.

StripeyTowels Mon 30-Jan-17 06:46:48

brew. Morning.

Thanks NotMe

It's good to hear another positive for DIY kitchens.

I have done more plans, sketches & work ups for this kitchen than you'd think possible 😫 No amount of re-drawing it, is going to make it any bigger - else it would be the size of a football field by now 😁 I've had plans from Wren & B&Q. However, if you know if any really good online planners that would be great (I've tried a few but they were pretty crap).

Feel free to read no further 😁

I need to write my thoughts down again & see where it leaves me, Any thoughts/suggestions welcome.

The space is roughly 3000 x 3000, but it has 3 doors off it, including the back door. The backdoor is hard into the right hand corner and opposite it, is the door into the hallway. To the right of the back door is the door to the lounge. I've looked at blocking up either the door to the hallway or the door to the lounge, but I'd really rather not. It makes the lounge either a 'through way' & stops all the light going into the hallway, or too enclosed. Also, because of where they are, I'd really only gain the meter of the doorway, not the return, because the return is too close to the back door.

This leaves the 'working space' in the kitchen a slightly uneven U shape.

The U shape is 1700 (back door wall) x 2980 (side wall) x 1900 (hallway door wall)

The window is on the 1700 wall, 355mm in from the left.

I currently have the bin & the recycling bin plus other stuff like beer & bottled water on the floor of the bit of wall between the front & hallway doors, but hate it being the first thing you see when you walk in the door. It's the only 'freestanding' place they fit, so I've put the bins under the sink instead. If I have to, I'll put a low level cabinet there for a bit of extra storage, but I'd really rather have that as a clear walkway.

I'm fed up of not having a freezer & having the fridge under the counter, so I've put in a fridge/freezer at the right hand end of the 1900 wall (directly to the left of the door to the hallway).

There's just no place for an eye level oven, I'm losing cupboard space (losing a top cupboard because of the FF & space under the sink because of the bins), I was hoping to GAIN more cupboard space, not lose it.

I wanted a 1.5 sink, but the best place for the washing machine is on the left hand end of the 1500 window wall, which pushes the sink to the right a bit and is getting too close to the corner of the worktop. So I guess I just have to go for the biggest single sink that fits, without getting stupidly close into the corner.

The 'long wall' (2880 - 1200 for the worktops either side = 1680). The left hand side has to be a cupboard because it's where the gas meter is (that's the corner I'll try to put a corner unit in). I've looked into moving the gas meter, but there's just nowhere else it can go, without spending at least Β£2k.

Aesthetically it makes sense to put the (grumble grumble) oven under the counter in the middle of that wall, however, I'm going to leave it where it is, the extreme right of the 1600 because otherwise there's no decent sized bit of worktop. This leaves a space in the middle of the 1600, which I'm currently planning on putting a deep drawer set into.

On the 1900 wall, the FF (600) is on the right hand end and 600 is lost to the left hand corner, leaving me with 700. Probably a unit with a blind end into the corner of the kitchen & a 300 door to access the space and a 400 drawer set between that and the FF.

There's no option but to put overhead cupboards on the available walls.

Pros

- new kitchen that's not falling apart
- bin gone from the entrance way
- eye level fridge & a freezer

Cons

- no additional storage (I'm losing some)
- no 1.5 sink (& the sink is in a slightly worse place)
- no dishwasher (not too bothered for me, but not so good for renting/selling)
- no eye level oven <sob>
- losing eye level grill (current, very old, over is an 'up & over' with the top grill. The kind your granny had 😁) So I'll probably need a toaster, taking up with worktop or cupboard space.
- less bench space (FF)
- no 'good' place to put a microwave, it'll have to go on the worksurface, in the corner. Not easy to reach.

I want to at least like, if not love, the new kitchen, but I just don't see how 😫😒

wowfudge Mon 30-Jan-17 06:56:29

Can you sketch all that out into a plan? Could the door to the living room open into the living room or be a pocket door, giving you a bit of extra space. You could perhaps have slimline 300mm deep tall storage cupboards there.

Don't just have wall cupboards, take them right up to the ceiling to maximise storage. If you have an area where there's no option but to store things on the worktop, why not have a dresser style unit where the wall cupboard sits on the worktop and have a tambour door and the toaster etc stored inside it. Plug sockets can be installed in the cupboard. That way it looks uncluttered.

wowfudge Mon 30-Jan-17 06:57:30

Our plan has a 1.5 bowl sink in a 600mm base unit. We have a dishwasher so there isn't much that gets washed up in the kitchen sink.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 30-Jan-17 07:03:10

DIY kitchens are supposed to be good and if they don't suit, honestly go to Ikea, they're great and I really don't understand all the opposition. The pipes just go underneath the units and fitting isn't hard, it would have be the world's shittest joiner to find them difficult. DP and I built and fitted most of ours and the joiner mostly just did the sink and worktops.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 30-Jan-17 07:04:50

Ikea do 2 metre high wall cupboards that are 35-40 cm deep - we have a full wall of them and then no other wall units.

StripeyTowels Mon 30-Jan-17 08:57:08

Wowfudge. I had all the doors & door frames removed as they looked like they'd been put in by a drunk! Door frames have been replaced, I probably won't put a door there, but it would open into the lounge if I did.

I tried a free standing unit against the wall last week, it really made the kitchen feel closed in and I prefer a clear walkway to the hall door. If I have to, I'll try a free standing low level unit.

I can't fix units to that wall as it's the only way to get furniture into & out of the lounge.

There really isn't anywhere for a dresser style unit.

The 1.5 sinks that would fit there would be tiny, which is no good if you don't have a dishwasher. I could put a 1200 unit there, but it wouldn't help as the sink would end up being past the corner of the worksurface

Barbara. The pipes need to go on the walls, they can't go underneath as the floor is concrete & there's no way of creating enough fall off for the waste water of the sink & washing machine.

There's just nowhere to put a bank of cupboards.

Separation sucks. I want my old house back!

StripeyTowels Mon 30-Jan-17 08:58:17

Rough drawing of the kitchen. I hope you can read it.

StripeyTowels Mon 30-Jan-17 09:00:44

Sorry. It's a lovely clear photo on the iPad, but it's very fuzzy after being uploaded. Not sure how to improve it tbh. But maybe with the description above it'll be ok?!

HelenaGWells Mon 30-Jan-17 09:09:23

I have a tiny kitchen as well and we got one of these

www.johnlewis.com/hotpoint-dd2540-built-in-double-oven/p2877411?navAction=jump

It fits under the built in hob and is a double oven and grill. The top bit is a normal oven or grill and the bottom is a fan oven. I can comfortably fit 3 shelves in the bottom oven (I take the one out of the top oven for this purpose when I need to) and the top is a proper grill which came with a nice grill pan with a handle and everything (even though it said it didn't for some reason) It's not eye level but it does do everything your oven does and it fits.

I didn't even know this was a thing until we saw them in Currys. There are other brands as well. I think Currys had a choice of about 6 or 7 brands/prices. It's a built under double oven. They are more expensive than a normal oven but not much and I thought it was well worth it to save space on my counter.

HelenaGWells Mon 30-Jan-17 09:13:02

If you have an IKEA they will sit down with you and help you build with no obligation or you can do it yourself. Our kitchen itself is not IKEA but we've used the units elsewhere and been very happy with them. I have one as a freestanding unit and it's been going strong for about 12 years now. It was a drinks cabinet in my old house and was crammed with heavy bottles and glasses and hasn't even flinched. I also have wall units in my diner and a whole wall of various units elsewhere and I've been pleased with these as well.

AnotherEmma Mon 30-Jan-17 09:14:15

Wickes. We found the quality significantly better than B&Q and Homebase, and the prices reasonable. Plus they have local shops and showrooms - I wouldn't buy a kitchen I'd only seen online. However, we did buy the worktop online (we ordered samples).

You can use your own fitter or Wickes' fitting service which is obviously extra. We found one ourselves as he was cheaper than Wickes but he turned out to be a nightmare so we regretted not going with their guy!

KoolKoala07 Mon 30-Jan-17 09:16:20

I have a wren kitchen, we fitted it ourselves. Can't fault the kitchen nor the customer service we received afterwards.

StripeyTowels Mon 30-Jan-17 09:38:33

Grr it just ate my lengthy reply! I have to go out now, but will be back later.

Thanks all πŸ’

YorkshireTea86 Mon 30-Jan-17 09:58:15

One problem with your plan is that you can't get a 900 x 900 corner cupboard with a 500 door for under the sink, the doors are 300 wide.

wowfudge Mon 30-Jan-17 09:59:16

If you move the oven and hob onto the other wall opposite the sink, you can put a magic corner cupboard into the corner. Them there is a good long run of unbroken, usable work surface. You can also have a whole wall of cupboards up to the ceiling on the wall the oven is currently in. The top ones could have glazed doors and lighting if you are worried it could be oppressive. If you need more storage space you can even have a row of bridging units above the window. A butcher's block on wheels could be used as an island for flexibility and additional workspace.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 30-Jan-17 10:06:59

My experience with Ikea planning service was hit and miss. First time I went in I didn't really know what I wanted (new kitchen was being fitted into an extension that was only half built at the time) so I was hoping for advice on what works as a kitchen but she just sat there and asked 'where do you want things to go'?

So I had a bash myself but was still confused, tried Howdens who were dreadful in every way and it all fell apart when they lost interest when it transpired that they couldn't supply a piece of worktop big enough for the island I wanted. Their solution - make the island smaller hmm.

So I went back to Ikea, as I've always wanted an Ikea kitchen since the day they opened over 20 years ago and the planner I got the second time was brilliant - he took my plan and tweaked it to make it work properly, most efficient use of units etc and that was that - a year later we have the lovely Ikea kitchen that works brilliantly as a kitchen/casual dining space - the big island has room for up to 4/5 to sit round it. We have 2 expensive chairs for every day use for me and DP and a couple of extra cheap folding stools which live in the utility room pantry to provide extra seating for guests.

minijoeyjojo Mon 30-Jan-17 10:09:58

We used DIY kitchens for our utility room and I'm really pleased with it. We found it took a while to plan it all and we still made a few errors with some of the wall units - check the depth measurements too!! But it still looks fab.

We used the ikea online planner to make a rough drawing to give us an idea of what we could do. It's also very good and to be fair ikea kitchens are supposed to be great too, they just don't have the range of colours and styles that DIY kitchens do (no farrow and ball colour matching wink)

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