Consumer expert Jennifer newton offers her advice on designing and building a bespoke kitchen.
Bespoke kitchens are often considered to be prohibitively expensive, but prices have come down in recent years, and if you require a kitchen to fit an awkward space, or simply want to create an individual look in your home, it’s a fantastic way to have a design that’s perfectly tailored to your space and storage requirements.
Is bespoke right for you?
Richard Moore, design director at handmade kitchens specialist Martin Moore & Company, says: ‘Bespoke design really pays off in an unusually shaped room that doesn’t suit standard sized cupboards. It’s also a good investment if you have a period home, or lots of architectural features that can be enhanced by a hand-built design. Plus a good bespoke kitchen is likely to add value to your property.’
What will it cost?
Price will vary greatly depending on the size of your space and the number of units you need. At the top end of the market, an entirely bespoke design can cost more than £100,000, but you can spend less than £10,000 by choosing one from a local kitchen company, or commissioning a carpenter to design and build your dream kitchen.
Who is best to hand-build it?
A specialist kitchen company is the first place to try. Or get quotes from local carpenters. Get at least three quotes and ask to see any previous work – any good carpenter will be happy to show you. Ask friends and family to recommend carpenters in your area, or try organisations such as the Federation of Master Builders or Trustmark.
Will they design the space?
Most kitchen companies will offer this service, as will some carpenters. If a fee is charged, many companies will refund all or part of it if you go ahead with the work. Handmadekitchensdirect.co.uk, for example, has an independent designer draw up plans – the cost for which is around £275 plus mileage – but they will refund £175 of this against your order.
Anything else to consider?
Bespoke kitchens are not a budget option, but they are a great way to have a design that’s tailored to your needs. You’ll need to budget for painting the units as this often costs extra. Claire Ramsbotham, operations director at handmade kitchens specialist, says: ‘The charm of bespoke design lies in the character details available, but the price tags are higher and the installation will take longer than standard fitting.’
In the gallery: The Handmade Kitchen Company offers affordable bespoke designs, such as the one shown. The high-level wall cabinets, larder, over-mantel and base cabinets cost around £6,334, while the run of base units (below) costs around £3,055. These prices exclude handles, worktop and handpainting.
All prices and stockists correct at time of publishing.