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Kitchen newbie - comments/guidance on design and quote??

(22 Posts)
avel Sat 11-Feb-17 16:10:47

Hi all

We're having a room turned into a kitchen, so starting from scratch with design and structure. We have absolutely no idea what we're doing, but we do have a builder and joiner who's done work for us before and is a friend-of-a-friend who we trust and like.

He uses Howdens and has had an easy time with their kitchens in the past. We have had Howdens in to design and quote (based on either their top end Tewkesbury or mid range Clerk). Lots of share stories about Howdens out there but also lots of people with their kitchens...

Design view is
To give you an idea of size. Quote was a little under £7k Clerk or £10k Tewkesbury, including appliances and the better of their laminate worktops.

Does this seem vaguely ok? Are there any obvious things we should do differently? Builder is perfectly willing to try other suppliers but doesn't have any personal experience with others (and timing is a bit tight to get something sorted now).

Thanks for any advice! We don't have a hard budget but main thing is believing we've got value for money and it was worth spending any extras. Solid stuff that lasts is much more important for us than style.

avel Sat 11-Feb-17 16:32:03

*scare stories...

user1469117700 Sat 11-Feb-17 16:54:52

Deisgn is rather shocking and leaves alot left to be desired.
A few bad howden layouts (not designs) are popping up on here recently if you look on other threads.

wowfudge Sat 11-Feb-17 17:08:09

The tower unit with the oven in is totally out of place - under the hob would be a better idea or a freestanding cooker with hob or undercounter oven in that position. I'd put wall units where the shelves are and maybe have open shelving where that oven tower is currently to keep an open feeling as you look from the peninsular to the window.

Is the washing machine elsewhere?

ihatethecold Sat 11-Feb-17 17:17:20

Your fridge looks very big and out of place by the door.

wowfudge Sat 11-Feb-17 17:43:04

By the door is one place it can sensibly go without restricting what you do with the room. That's the thing with American style fridge freezers. We have one and re-siting it when designing the new kitchen (we've knocked two rooms into one) has been a headache.

avel Sat 11-Feb-17 18:28:24

Thanks all. The oven there is because we were set on an eye-height - design originally had it and the fridge swapped, but we thought the fridge looked even weirder on that wall... yes, washing machine is elsewhere.

Not shown on the design is the other half of the room, it's really big but the other half (beyond the breakfast counter) will be diner/living room, it has a whole wall of windows so not too bothered on that point.

I have indeed read some of the other bad design stories - honestly my issue is I don't know how to judge a design smile

Newtssuitcase Sat 11-Feb-17 18:31:25

There is a MNer OneplanonHouzz who is a kitchen designer. You can also find her on She's very good and charges very reasonable hourly rates. She will also work with any make of kitchen. Really cost effective way of getting a designer look.

YorkshireTea86 Sat 11-Feb-17 19:34:49

I wouldn't want the sink and hob so close together.

Drquin Sat 11-Feb-17 19:53:18

Is that a tower unit with the oven in it ...... seems a wee bit odd to have a tower in the middle of a run of units / worktop.

I started from scratch too, as my kitchen is now where my garage was. I don't have a plan to hand but I'll describe the layout if it helps ....
Left hand short wall starts with integrated fridge-freezer (with cupboard above to be full height), next is double oven in a tower. Next is full height pull out larder unit.
Long wall ...... run of work top, various drawer / cupboard units at lower level. Hob in the middle of worktop tun (fan above it)
Right hand short wall, with window. Traditional sink, dishwasher, washing machine set up.

Had it a year, from Howdens. No issues with cooker bing next to fridge freezer. I'd be tempted to put the FF, next to a tower with the oven in it.

As you've got literally a blank canvas, you can get this right!

Drquin Sat 11-Feb-17 19:55:23

Sorry, didn't check out the visuals just the drawing! So didn't realise it was a breakfast bar!
I'd still see if you could get the oven tower next to the fridge.

Kahlua4me Sat 11-Feb-17 19:57:23

We have a Howdens kitchen and still love it after nearly 12 years. It is still immaculate and has lasted well.

As for yours, could you put the hob where the tower is and move the tower to next to the fridge?

Kahlua4me Sat 11-Feb-17 19:58:53

Cross post! My oven is next to our fridge and no problems.

tovelitime Mon 13-Feb-17 23:04:31

Being completely honest, it's a really poor design and layout. I strongly suggest that you speak to another designer there or go somewhere else and get some designs done. It's a good space and you could have something fabulous. You're spending a lot of money and it needs to be right. I'm just getting Kitchens designed and I've had plans done by 3 companies and I've driven the one we have chosen mad asking them to make changes until it's perfect. Don't worry about being a pain, that's your job

RumAppleGinger Mon 13-Feb-17 23:19:54

I'm really happy with my Howden 's kitchen, the quality and finish are great (also have the framed Tewkesbury) but I don't think the design here is great. If you are set on getting an eye level oven I would move it over to where the fridge currently is. Can the fridge be moved to the other side of the door so it is opposite the end of the breakfast bar?

Is that an integrated dishwasher beside the hob? I would move that, or preferably move the hob down to where the oven stack currently is and leave the sink and the dishwasher beside each other. Or is it a gas hob and that is where your pipes are?

I would also massively recommend getting a set of 900 drawers solely because I love mine grin

NotMeNoNo Mon 13-Feb-17 23:52:34

I think the Howdens designer needs to work harder or you find another designer!

A few thoughts
- I would not want three corner units with carousels in -what are they pricing?
- Most of the worktop is too far away from the "working" area of the kitchen i.e. the sink/hob.
- The tall unit should not be an obstruction in the centre of the space.
- There is all that space but the sink is jammed into a corner.
- Not enough drawers - you need a drawer stack near the middle of the kitchen for utensils etc as well as the crockery/cutlery near the DW. And pull out baskets in the other base units are good value for money.
- I'd get an integrated dishwasher if it's going to be on view.

If you are going to have an open plan space, you don't have as many walls where you can put tall units so an eye level oven is hard to fit in unless you have all your tall units together in a run. How about you put it next to the fridge, then have one of those tall across- corner larder units to get round the corner, then continue with worktop but with the drainer handed the other way and the hob where the oven is currently? That will give a lot better flow and you still have a work surface reasonably near the oven. You will need to box out your extractor duct neatly but just paint it the same colour as the wall/ceiling it will be fine.

What I do like is the worktop running into the recess with the shelves over. We have similar where there used to be a window, that bit of extra depth is brilliant and that space gets used for everything as it's alway clear.

I'm not sure Howdens do a diagonal corner larder but Wickes, DIY Kitchens etc definitely do and they have similar . It will be a lovely room so worth a bit of time/investment to get your kitchen right.

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 14-Feb-17 07:52:07

Just seen this ! Thanks for the mention @newtssuitcase

Well, the space you have is a good size - so plenty of other options could be had with this kitchen - don't feel you have to 'settle for ' something you aren't blown away by !

I will pm you back, if you ( or anyone ) pm me asking for more info - I'm conscious that this could look like an advert if I explain more about how I work !

But be assured I don't sell product - just design !

mummytime Tue 14-Feb-17 08:17:00

Howden designers do vary - having not gone ahead with a new kitchen once because of a bad designer (we didn't actually get a design out of him), I learnt that our local Howdens had one really good designer - she was excellent and spotted something that made our kitchen work 100% better. The design is the crucial thing.

On your design: the tower is weird? Didn't you want any wall cupboards? And I am so pleased I replaced cupboards with pan drawers as far as possible.

Kiroro Tue 14-Feb-17 09:13:13

Probably one of those designs that is a good start, but needs to be torn up as a first draft and improved upon.

I would re-jig it like this:

- Tall tower with oven to go next to fridge.

- Hob to go where oven was, plenty of work top space either side of hob now.

- Sink and DW seem in an ok place to me, I woudl get integrated DW thought but I know some people don't like integrated.

- Fridge, are you dead set on having an american one? I got one that is quite a bit wider than a 'standard' fridge but shallower so it is in-line with counters. Looks smart.

- Add wide pan drawers under the new hob position. Actually I would put in 2x900mm pan drawers next to each toher instead of your 3x600mm cupboards. Would need to see this as a 3d picture to check that it doesn't look silly. Or you could go with a 900mm hob and same width under pan drawers, and then do two 450s either side to keep balance.

- Consider having a 'backwards' cupboard for the one in the corner by the breakfast bar. By that I mean one that opens towards the breakfast bar so you loose an annoying corner cupboard. You can keep seldom used stuff or dining type stuff in that cupboard that you don't need often from kitchen side.

- Add high cupboard where shelves are (if poss with window?)

- Add high cupboards where the hob is at the moment (and will just be work top space )

- Add work top to cealing cupboard on the awkward bit of wall between breakfast bar and where I am now having the hob. Use the bottom bit of that as your 'appliance' cupboard to store kettle and toaster in. This might be too far away from sink for you and be annoying filling up kettle but would look neat and I have pictures of people sitting up at the breakfast bar getting breakfast.

- Take your cupboards up to the sealing, or get them built in at the top. Gaps above cupboards both look rubbish and are annoying to clean.

avel Thu 16-Feb-17 13:26:31

Thanks all. Between the input here and a lot of helpful exchange with Evo Kitchens I am going with a different design Paul proposed and through him rather than Howdens. Fingers crossed the outcome should be quite a bit better and I'm definitely happier at this point!

user1484830599 Thu 16-Feb-17 14:18:14

That is such a shame what they have done (similar thoughts to everyone else re layout). It just seems so badly thought out! The sink in the corner is my particular bugbear with it.

I hope the different designer comes up with a design you are happier with!

bigredboat Thu 16-Feb-17 15:50:16

We had a quote from Howdens which was £'s more than we were expecting based on what we had from them in our last house, we went to b&q instead and got a much better deal.

In terms of your design I agreed with pp's the oven tower unit looks odd in the middle of a worktop run. I don't really like the sink being in the corner either, I imagine it would be awkward to access draining board. I think in integrated dishwasher would look much nicer as well.

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