Looking to create your dream kitchen? Here's why you should use an expert designer
- Credit: Premiere Klasse
We spoke to Dan Chandler, senior designer at Premiere Klasse in Basingstoke, about the benefits of using a professional kitchen designer for your next renovation project.
Q: What are the benefits of using a kitchen designer rather than buying a ready-to-fit kitchen?
A: All kitchen retailers offer a 'design' service, however, when buying from bigger companies you’ll find that the designers are more interested in a quick sale and are geared towards just putting boxes in rooms. Independent kitchen specialists like ourselves want to make sure that you’re getting the best possible kitchen for your investment.
Both myself and our other senior designer, Sally, studied design at university and strive to put as much thought as possible into all projects, while still balancing budgets. One of my favourite quotes is from architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who said: “Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” In other words, a kitchen needs to function properly, while also being aesthetically pleasing.
Q: What sort of kitchens and appliances does Premiere Klasse offer?
A: We have two joinery shops – one producing our classic British inframe and the other making our Danish ‘Scandi’ kitchens. Both use natural materials which are ethically sourced. We also offer German kitchens with more than 100 different door options and our British Alku range.
All of our kitchens can be tailored to your room and customised in multiple ways. We have a variety of brands on display in the showroom with a range of accessories, including Siemens, Neff, Smeg & Samsung, as well as higher-end brands like Gaggenau, Miele, Kuppersbusch & Bora.
Q: What kitchen trends are popular at the moment?
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A: Shaker kitchens are probably the most on-trend style right now, as many people like the traditional/contemporary look. This is closely followed by handleless kitchen designs.
Open plan kitchens are becoming more and more in-demand, with many people knocking down walls to incorporate the dining room and create a multipurpose space. This tends to work better for most lifestyles as the dining room is often unused.
Q: What does the process of using a designer involve?
A: The designer meets with the client to take a brief and produces a proposal based on their requirements. The proposal would be completed from architectural drawings (if an extension) or from a site survey.
Once the proposal is complete, the designer has a meeting with the client in one of our designated presentation rooms. The first proposal is free of charge but once any initial changes had been made, we would ask for a small commission to continue with the project.
Q: How long does a bespoke kitchen take to complete?
A: The initial proposal normally takes a week to produce, with new kitchens generally starting from a lead time of four weeks to manufacture, but it can take up to 12-14 weeks to complete. Installation normally starts from around three weeks (if with a bespoke worktop) for a dry fit and up to five weeks for a renovation.
If you’re looking to remove a wall or extend, this could take anywhere from three weeks to three (plus) months.
Q: What can customers expect from your showroom?
A: We generally try to keep a relaxed atmosphere in the showroom – there won’t be pushy salespeople, just friendly staff who will offer you a beverage and let you find your feet. They’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have about our products or your project and will be more than happy to take a brief or to arrange a consultation with the designer.
Q: Do you offer installation?
A: We have a dedicated installation team that can see your project through from start to finish, with your own project manager who will be on hand to answer any questions during your installation.
We recently teamed up with a local builder that we’ve worked alongside for years, now under the banner of Neo Design & Build Limited, to complete full extensions and new builds. We can also just supply the kitchen if you already have a selected fitter.
Premiere Klasse, Edison Road, Houndmills, Basingstoke, RG21 6YH.