Kitchen Renovation: Planning

Studio Lindjhem as seen on Cosentino

I’ve been planning my kitchen for a few months now and think I’ve seen just about every kitchen company and design out there! I’ve requested quite a lot of quotes and it’s been a bit of a learning curve.

Herringbone Kitchens

Bespoke cabinetry is far more expensive than I realised! Unfortunately there is little in between off-the-shelf cabinets and bespoke handmade cabinetry, but there is a huge difference in price, which is understandable. Although we could consider spending a bit more, we also don’t want to spend unnecessarily for what is after all, just a place to cook and wash up! For a budget option, I have found DIY Kitchens the most affordable and flexible option, as you can design your own kitchen in detail. Some people find this option daunting, but there is a useful Facebook group for advice and the cost savings are impressive. You can find inspiration posts here and here for more information.

My dream kitchen was always Devol (although originally I loved this very dark one!), and I popped into the Clerkenwell showroom to have a look. The Real Shaker Kitchen in Clerkenwell Blue is my favourite, especially with the pink walls and green tiles. I found the staff very helpful but ultimately it was going to be out of budget for the size of kitchen we wanted. I did find one on Rehome at a much lower price, but ultimately we would have needed to add/change some units and also store it for a few months which seemed daunting. Rehome is great if you’re on a budget and also if you want a more sustainable kitchen option.

The good thing is that the Devol style of kitchen is quite popular so it’s possible to recreate the look without throwing out the budget altogether. I’ve seen one made using DIY Helmsley which is a good choice and similar in style. Handmade Kitchens of Christchurch make similar cabinets which are provided unpainted, and these are very reasonably priced particularly in their 50% off sale which they run quite regularly. I’ve visited the showroom and the kitchens are beautiful. They are made of Tulipwood and oak veneered carcasses, although you can also have them made in oak, maple or walnut, which are presumably more expensive. Tulipwood is quite a soft wood and does dent more easily than some woods, but most independent designers do use it for cabinets in the UK.

The Idle Hands – beautiful kitchen and blog post

Woodworks Brighton

I love the idea of mixing kitchen cabinet colours and styles, especially using fluted or reeded finishes. There are not many companies offering these finishes as standard, although Naked Kitchens were able to provide some beautiful options at a reasonable price, and its also possible to mix and match styles with them to get this look. They also offer a curved reeded cabinet made in MDF. For curved oak units, these need to be made bespoke and the only company I managed to find who do this are The Surface Studio. As yet, they have not responded to three emails I’ve sent though so not sure if I will manage to get a quote from them! I’ve also heard of The Wood Veneer Hub which have some flexible panels that can be moulded into shape.

Another option is to use Ikea or Howdens carcasses with doors from other companies. Naked Doors (sister company to Naked Kitchens) provide this option, but there are many others including Holte Studio, Husk and Plum Living . This gives you a great looking kitchen outside, with low cost but sturdy units inside. Ultimately I don’t like the idea of white Ikea carcasses in my kitchen, but I am (as we have probably established) quite fussy.

You can find more kitchen inspiration on my Pinterest board here

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