8 things you need to know about buying a bespoke kitchen

Have you ever stayed in a boutique hotel and realised there’s not much “boutique” about it? The same can happen with buying a bespoke kitchen. While companies can offer several different options of finishes and styles – being truly bespoke is a whole other ball game. Let me explain…

I’ve looked it up, and the simple definition of bespoke is ‘made for a particular customer or user’. Translate that into kitchen design and the possibilities are endless.

So, if you’ve got some weird and whacky kitchen ideas, or super intricate and personal storage layouts in mind, a bespoke kitchen is definitely for you. But what do you need to know about buying a bespoke kitchen?

Well, I’ve listed the top eight things I think you need to know before going bespoke.

Artichoke Kitchens & Interiors was brought in to create a flexible scheme in a grand country house. The truly bespoke space had to accommodate professional cooks preparing large quantities of fresh food for entertaining, while also being a comfortable weekend space for the family to relax in. One of the company’s kitchens costs between £240,000 and £360,000.
A kitchen with no limitations
If you can think it, and explain it out loud to your designer, then you can have essentially whatever you want for your kitchen design. A bespoke kitchen company will offer an infinite array of cabinetry options, finishes, worktops and hardware, while also offering a layout and scale that can be entirely unique, with no standard sizing or configurations.
This kitchen features a tall bank of floor-to-ceiling units with a bespoke ladder system. It incorporates a Sub
Zero refrigerator and two large larders. Three quarter-height units either side of the chimneybreast house a Wolf oven and coffee machine, plus there is a antiqued mirror splashback behind the Aga. Baker & Baker kitchens start from £20,000.
Awkward kitchen space? Doesn’t matter!
Bespoke designs are perfect if you have tricky architectural features, from funny little nooks and crannies, a sloped ceiling, or any awkwardly shaped room for that matter. Meaning, they can really maximise and make the most of all available floor area, without filler panels or random cupboards. And FYI, this means that while every inch is useful to you, it also means there is very limited waste during the manufacturing process. Win!
You can go for a personal touch
Another main benefit of having a bespoke kitchen is that it can completely revolve around you and your family, from sections for dog bowls to children’s names engraved onto snack drawers. Why not let out your inner artist and design your own cabinet or handle style.
Bespoke kitchens go right down to the finest detail, such as the interiors of your cutlery drawer. Smallbone’s ‘anything drawer’ allows you to compose your storage to suit your needs, with interchangeable oak slats. In this case, the drawer from Smallbone’s Brasserie collection perfectly showcases a Japanese china collection. Shown with Rosso Levanto marble worktop. The Brasserie collection starts from £70,000.
It’s in the detail
You’re bespoke kitchen doesn’t have to look wildly unique. It could be more practical yet personal requests that make using your kitchen as smooth as possible. For instance on an island sink run you could have a drop-down storage drawer for dish clothes to be kept out of the way, and underneath that a door rack with a kitchen towel holder. Or, if you have a favourite appliance, for instance, you can create a special and easily accessible place for it to live.
Bespoke kitchens cost more
Let’s not beat around the bush. No limitations does affect the price, and can be far higher than a made-to-measure or off-the-shelf kitchen. Generally speaking, the more difficult and time consuming something is to manufacture, the more expensive it will be so you should choose the things you care most about and prioritise these.
A classic walk-in pantry by Humphrey Munson featuring worktables finished in Helm, Black Tempal worktops by Caesarstone, and artisan shelves finished in Linen. A trademark feature of the Humphrey Munson pantry is the ladder and rail system allowing easy access to the upper shelves. Pantry prices start from £10,000.
Bespoke kitchens take longer to create
Bespoke kitchens also take longer to manufacture, as everything is made from scratch, as opposed to made-to-measure or off-the-shelf products, seeing as these are made on mass.
Go see the designers or workshop in person
Ensure you visit several showrooms and get at least three different designs and quotes. A bespoke kitchen can come from high-end showrooms, such as those lining Wigmore Street in London, from local independent companies or a joiner with a staff of one or two, based in a small workshop. A reliable company will be more than happy to let you visit and take a tour of where their kitchens are made, so just ask.
Bespoke design allows you to plan the interiors of your cabinets right down to the smallest details. McClark Joinery kitchens start from £25,000. This scheme was created by owner and interior designer Hamish Vincent.
Your designer should get you
When choosing your final scheme, find a kitchen maker who really listens to what you want and works entirely collaboratively with you on the final design. Ask the company to talk you through the look and – very importantly – the construction of its kitchens, explain the design process, customer service and the way the team works. They should also give you some idea of costs to help you compare like with like. If your priorities align, you have the starting point for a great bespoke kitchen.
With the island being the first thing you would see when entering the house, it had to be more like a piece of furniture and this now compliments the homeowner’s other mid century and classic furniture pieces. Kitchen by Arundel Bespoke.

Feature image: There are no limitations to bespoke designs, which is why it was possible to create this curved kitchen, Strawhill Kitchen’s speciality. Nine curved drawers make up the hob section, with a curved mantel above this. Strawhill Kitchens start from £5000.

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