How to Design & Plan the Perfect Bespoke Kitchen
Bespoke kitchens are the best solution for homemakers who want their cabinetry and storage tailored to their needs. Read our comprehensive kitchen design guide
Table of Contents
What is a bespoke Kitchen?
Each cabinet maker designs bespoke kitchens intending to meet your individual needs as opposed to you buying cabinetry off-the-shelf. A tailor-made, new kitchen is specially designed for each customer and is unique. No standard size is possible, but a base requirement for good customisation is that it provides function and style in equal measure, using durable, high-quality materials.
Every company’s method and definition of the concept is slightly different, so look at their service delivery record and catalogue. If you would like, you can also visit their joinery workshop. There are some companies which will provide you with a turnkey service. They plan, build, and guide you through the entire process so you can decide what you need, but do not worry about every aspect. Others may only provide the cabinets and not offer installation or give electricians and plumbers any help.
“Magazines, kitchen pamphlets/brochures, showrooms, and websites such as Pinterest and Instagram can give you ideas”
If you are thinking of getting a kitchen which is made 100% to your specifications, then magazines, kitchen pamphlets, showrooms, and websites such as Pinterest and Instagram can give you ideas. From there it is advisable to create a mood board with the patterns, colours, finishes, and materials you think you will need. This will help the kitchen designer to begin work on your dream kitchen.
How much does A bespoke kitchen usually cost?
Depending on who is designing your kitchen, the price can differ tremendously. If you intend to sell your house and are refurbishing the kitchen for that purpose, you can pay at least 5% of the total valuation of your house.
The average cost for any bespoke kitchen build is variable, based on your preferences. Your appliances, such as ovens and fixtures such as sinks, cost extra, and the specific labour costs and construction also increase your expenses. For a more thorough look at what it would cost in relative terms, let us think about kitchen sizes.
A small kitchen requires less cabinetry. Basic kitchen design for that size will cost between £10–£15K and an average of £20–£30k for the complete kitchen. This includes bespoke cabinets, quartz worktops, custom fixtures such as taps, high-quality kitchen appliances which match your cupboards, installation, and VAT.
Medium-sized kitchens often have an island with 2–3 benches. The cost of designing for this size is between £15–£20k and an estimated £30–£40k for all the trimmings.
Large kitchens have an island with 4+ seating or additional storage spaces in the room. The cost of appliances alone for a high-grade kitchen of this size can be £20k+, and cabinetry costs for the entire kitchen start at £40k+.
How do I choose the right bespoke kitchen company that works for me
Choose an existing bespoke kitchen company with a reputation for specialty carpentry whether it is a small independent business or a more widely known business.
You can be tempted to find your cabinet maker online where kitchen companies are plentiful, but the traditional word-of-mouth model still trumps this. This is because bespoke kitchen design companies sometimes have areas of focus in terms of location, and they build a strong reputation locally. You can ask your family and friends about their experiences and they can refer you to businesses in your area.
It’s also advised to visit the workshop of your chosen kitchen company if you can and ask someone to guide you through the company’s kitchen design process. This will help you decide if the way the company works is for you.
Involve the kitchen designers from the very beginning. If you need an interior designer, a 3D artist to render your dream kitchen or a contractor, speak to the company you have chosen. They will have people they partner with that can give you special rates and make the design process go smoother.
In the UK, you can make use of Trustmark. It is a government-endorsed service that includes listings of contractors who perform interior and exterior installations and building.
Evie Willow is one of the bespoke kitchen design companies included on Trustmark, as we are a member of the Federation of Master Builders. The latter is the UK’s largest trade association for businesses in the construction industry and has maintained UK building standards for over 79 years.
Each kitchen designer has their own protocols. Besides your mood board, for the sake of accuracy, a delivery team will ask you to provide measurements or blueprints of the room. They will treat the mood board as important reference material and a great starting point in the planning process.
Good kitchen designers will then guide you through defining your space and ask you questions that make it clear to everybody what the budget and design constraints will be. These consultations will continue until they completely satisfy you with all aspects of the design, including materials to be used, proposed appliances, and the price point. The kitchen design process is inherently collaborative.
Most of the time, once you have decided on the details, only then will the kitchen company build your designs in their workshop. This is also subject to you paying a deposit.
How long does it take for a custom kitchen to be built
The time to create bespoke kitchens depends on the craftsmen and how much you intend to do in the kitchen. Are you including extra work such as extracting the floor or removing a cabinet wall? Do you intend to use the kitchen while the installation team is working?
You should project your new kitchen to take about 4 weeks to design. Then, when the project moves into the building and installation stages, aim for a full 6 months for completion. The preparation process takes as long as possible, but it is vital to ensure that your kitchen is flawless.
If you have defined your bespoke kitchen’s look and finish, it will leave the specifications of the space to the design company to define. Some common kitchen arrangements you can look at, in terms of shape, and particularly for kitchens with islands include:
- Galley Kitchen: If your space is constrained and you have a small work surface, you can make the most of the room using this shape. It takes advantage of your room’s height
- U-Shaped Kitchen: You will want to consider opting for a U-Shaped kitchen if you have a wide kitchen area, as this will change your room. There is plenty of space for cooking, but also worktop space in the middle of your kitchen.
- L-Shaped Kitchen: You can use the entire space by selecting the L-Shaped kitchen. These types of kitchens rarely have an island. You will still have enough work surfaces, storage space, and flexibility when using this layout.
What happens if I am not entirely happy with my kitchen?
You should keep all your files (design notes, consultation information, and any correspondence with the kitchen company). Once your kitchen has been installed, a comprehensive archive of information will make it easier to solve your problems.
There are many ways to check if a company is suitable before committing to anything to avoid these circumstances. You should visit the workshop and view their current and past work. Using Trustmark and knowing that the company is affiliated with the Federation of Master Builders is another trust factor. And finally, word-of-mouth from friends and family, and reviews online also help to verify a bespoke kitchen company’s reputation.
Do not pay the entire amount before completion and pay using a credit card and no cash. It will grant you more protection if issues arise later.