putting together a cheap kitchen, need a design

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i am embarking on a new kitchen and dont fancy paying the usual £10k+ the usual suspects quote. i have located a factory to buy the cupboards directly and another manufacturer for the doors. the appliances will be coming from all over the place via internet shopping and the fitting will be done by my own builder.

however, the one thing i havent been able to supply myself is a kitchen plan. in the old days you could call a kitchen company and allow them over to your house to make the design and plan and they would leave the blueprints even if you didn't buy from them. but they seem to have wised up to that one now.

does anyone know of a service where by a kitchen planner would just come around and make the plans without trying to sell me a kitchen (for a fee of course).
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  • lisahobden
    lisahobden Posts: 429 Forumite
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    I have designed my own kitchen... it's easy!!! you just measure up, get some graph paper and place the units where you think they will work best. Think about how you will use the kitchen - how easy is it to make a cup of tea/ prepare breakfast/ make a meal?

    or use the squared paper and scaled units available on a website for a kitchen showroom.... I used the cut outs and plan available here.... most units are standard sizes....

    http://www.bellacucina.co.uk/index.php?id=17&template=static&owner=5
  • Steve_Groves
    Steve_Groves Posts: 101 Forumite
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    As Lisa said, designing a kitchen is not rocket science but there are lots of considerations/compromises to make as well as little touches that elevate it from a kitchen to a kitchen you love to work in.

    If you want it to cost £0 for a design then do it yourself because you know how you work. The DIY stores are not the place to go for a plan. This is a bit of a sweeping statement but a fair proportion of the "designers" look like they still live at home so why would they be any better than yourself at planning a kitchen. They have a set of rules and just work from that, ignorant of when and where they have any value.

    Otherwise £150-£250 for an independent designer is money well spent.
  • Edinburghlass_2
    Edinburghlass_2 Posts: 32,680 Forumite
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    I got a first plan from Homebase, then went to Ikea and had a plan done there which you can access via their website if you download it on your pc. I swapped things about myself then spoke to my kitchen fitter and we swapped a few more things about and he put the plan into Howdens for a price. All appliances and extras I sourced myself.

    Installation just about finished today, just a few bits of snagging to do and I'm very happy with the end result and between myself and the kitchen fitter we have tweaked the plan as we have gone along.
  • skinback69
    skinback69 Posts: 133 Forumite
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    before i got a new kitchen i gave bnq a ring i know its bnq but they sent someone round for a free no obligation quote got measurments of kitchen then i told him how i wanted it he put it in printed us out the copys but not with the sizes on the thing is he was with us 3 hours trying to get the kitchen to how i wanted it but bnqs range wasnt coming up with what i wanted so we got it to something near and said we would be in on the following monday to pay for it but we didnt bother we got it from somewhere else wren kitchens in fact were i ended up desiging it on their planner from what bnq had left me i was well happy cause it ended up cheaper than their it range and better quality than their cooke and lewis range.
    right result

    a pic of my kitchen is on page 4 of wren thread posted by bettle bum take a look see what you think hope this helps
  • ivavoucher
    ivavoucher Posts: 529 Forumite
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    Hi

    I found the free kitchen palnner at Ikea very useful.

    http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_GB/complete_kitchen_guide/planner_tool/download/index.html
  • lagi
    lagi Posts: 590 Forumite
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    If your on a budget, go for the bigger units, as they will take up the space and be cheaper than a load of smaller units and doors.
  • Meepster
    Meepster Posts: 5,955 Forumite
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    The DIY stores are not the place to go for a plan. This is a bit of a sweeping statement but a fair proportion of the "designers" look like they still live at home so why would they be any better than yourself at planning a kitchen. They have a set of rules and just work from that, ignorant of when and where they have any value.

    I think that is a bit harsh Steve! Can't speak for the others, but at Wickes ALL design consultants are sent on a two week training course, which covers use of the software, how to apply kitchen design within current regulations (hob placement etc.), advice from qualified designers on how to approach a design to fit a particular style (traditional, modern, contemporary etc.) and advice from all the manufacturers and suppliers as to how their products can be implemented.

    Ok, whilst not every designer in a shed has a degree in CAD or interior design, MOST have a certain flair for designing. I was a kitchen designer (and hope to be again, very soon) and have no formal design qualifications, but I managed to win a national design competition a few years ago (in which I was up against independent designers, who have access to a much broader range of units and styles, using the Wickes Manhattan range).
    If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands

  • Atelier
    Atelier Posts: 164 Forumite
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    I did say it was a sweeping statement :-)

    I live in a small town so have grown up knowing quite a few of the designers in B&Q / Homebase so have a bit of a chat from time to time and they do not get the same training or have the same passion that you seem to have. After a couple of years on the tills then they get to work on the kitchen/bathroom side of things.

    Would be nice to have a summary somewhere to understand how people get to be designers for the multiples and what training/background they have. A lot of people rely on them for one of life's bigger purchases

    mwilletts wrote: »
    I think that is a bit harsh Steve!
  • dander
    dander Posts: 1,781 Forumite
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    I bought a kitchen from Magnet a few years ago and their kitchen planning was just a man putting units where I told him I wanted them or where he assumed I would want them because that's 'how everybody does it'. Even though he came round and measured up he happily put a dishwasher in a position where the kitchen fitters said it was too far from the plumbing and was going to cause problems getting enough fall on the pipes. So the kitchen had to be redesigned on the fly between myself and the builders anyway.

    I definitely wouldn't bother with an in-house designer again. There may indeed be some out there with design flair, but i reckon if you find them you've just struck lucky.
  • Meepster
    Meepster Posts: 5,955 Forumite
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    dander wrote: »
    I definitely wouldn't bother with an in-house designer again. There may indeed be some out there with design flair, but i reckon if you find them you've just struck lucky.

    The problem is, all the better designers are snapped up by the independents, as they tend to put more emphasis on the design than being a pushy salesman. As a general rule, if speaking to a designer in a shed, ask them how long they have been in that role for, if it's only a couple of years or so, give them a chance. If they've been there 10 plus years, maybe it's worth looking elsewhere.

    This again is a sweeping statement (seems to be a lot of that going around in this thread :rolleyes:) as there are obviously exceptions to this...
    If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands

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