No two kitchen layouts are going to be exactly the same. They’ll reflect both the exact features of the space and your needs and requirements for the kitchen. Is that realistic, though? Where can you find the best kitchen layouts for your purposes?
Kitchen layouts at the high street chains
Most people will start their search for kitchen layouts at the high street chains, such as Wickes, Wren and Magnet. The “sales designer” who’ll greet you will explain enthusiastically about all the great deals they offer.
In the process, the actual kitchen layouts tend to take a back seat — you might get twenty minutes on that. The rest will be all sales, most of it worth very little. Their perennial “50% off sale”, for instance, is little more than a financial conjuring trick.
The only time the chains might provide what you need is if you’re replacing a standard kitchen unit for unit. If you want something tailored to your requirements, though, you won’t find it here.
Kitchen layouts at the trade suppliers
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you might go to your local builder, who’ll use a trade supplier. Howdens, Benchmarx and the rest offer big trade discounts for kitchen layouts — but not to the customer. By the time builders have added their mark-up, you’ll be paying as much as what you’d pay from the chains.
Their kitchen layouts aren’t any better, either, since the trade suppliers are geared towards general builders. Because these aren’t expert kitchen fitters, the kitchens have to be very basic so that a non-specialist can fit them.
Kitchen layouts at the independent showrooms
If the “sales designer” at the chains is a salesperson, at the independent showrooms you’ll deal with a kitchen designer. They have little interest in sales tricks — they want to get on with finding the best kitchen layouts for you.
In contrast with twenty minutes at the chains, the independents will take as long as it takes over your kitchen. Often it will take them 3 or 4 hours to produce your design. Their focus is on identifying that one out of all the kitchen layouts that’s perfect for you.
What can you expect from an independent kitchen showroom? Firstly, they’ll quote you their best price upfront — no inflating the price, then pretending to give you 50% off. And don’t expect to be in and out in minutes. The designer will take time to get the design exactly right, probably running to a second visit to finalise things. You’ll end up with the kitchen you require, not a pre-packaged one a salesperson has talked you into buying.
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