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How the perfect design led to a fantastic new kitchen for a Cornish family

What was your decision making process behind getting a new kitchen?

When we moved into the house, I could see that we would want to make some changes to the kitchen and although I was really keen to get started, we agreed that it would be best to live with the kitchen the way it was for about a year and that would then help us to identify the things that we wanted to change and what things would work better for us.

How did you go about finding a company to design and fit your new kitchen?

We looked at lots of companies, going onto their websites and getting brochures. In the end it was one of my clients who suggested that I get in touch with Kettle Co. Kitchens and said they were really good. I hadn’t heard of them until that point but decided to set up an appointment. We went along to Kettle Co.’s St Austell showroom and met Dale, the Managing Director. He just listened to us whilst we explained what we wanted and questioned us about certain aspects we were unsure about. I had a really good feeling about it and the fact that Dale isn’t just a kitchen fitter but also has a background in design, made me realise that he could get to the nub of what we wanted and work the designs to that. When we got Dale’s design through, it just hit the spot.

Strangely, we did actually stop off at another kitchen company on the way back home but I didn’t get the same feeling of confidence. They were more interested in fitting in our needs to what they could offer, rather than the other way round and when their designs came through, they just weren’t right. So we were really pleased that our gut instinct to go with Kettle Co. led to us making the right decision.

What was it about Kettle Co.’s designs that worked for you?

Well, because Dale had really listened, we noticed that he had taken everything that we had said on board but had also taken some of our ideas and made suggestions on how they could be improved for us. For example, we have a ‘hole’ in our kitchen that looks like it was once an under-stairs cupboard. We weren’t quite sure what to do with it but Dale came up with an idea to create an area of shallow shelving for storage and then a separate area, with a sort of sideways door that could be used as a storage space for brooms, brushes and cleaning items. I also wanted a seating area that could be used as storage, so Dale came up with an idea for a bench that could be used as storage. The quality of his designs were really obvious from the start.

We had a large dog at the time and Dale suggested that we go for smooth, rather than grained, doors so that they’d be easy to clean if the dog leaned up against the cupboards. We had also liked the look of Carrera marble worktops and had found something that was similar to that, however Dale made another suggestion that would give the same effect but would be more practical in a working kitchen.

Dale’s planning team are really good too; once we’d had the initial plans from Dale, they were able to do some minor adjustments to the plan as we developed some other ideas. At one point, I was looking at tiling for one of the areas in the kitchen but didn’t know how the tiles would look in the finished kitchen. Our planner, Dan, went onto the tile company’s website and found them. He resized the tile images and put them on the plan to show exactly where they would end up in the finished kitchen. I was then able to see what they would look like, which was incredibly helpful and meant I didn’t waste time or money if they hadn’t looked right.

How did the kitchen fitting process go for you?

We had to get our builders to completely gut the old kitchen, as there was a lot to sort out first before we could have our new kitchen. The plumbing and wiring was in place and the kitchen fitting began in mid April. We hadn’t had to make any major changes to the original kitchen design plan because Dale and his team had got it right, so we could just go ahead.

Our kitchen fitter was a real perfectionist – he wanted everything to be spot on for us. A kitchen is a big investment and so this was a really important factor for me.  It took about two to three weeks to get the whole job done, and that included the bench storage area, which had to be custom made from scratch to fit the area. It wasn’t a standard unit but specially made for us. The kitchen was left really tidy as the job progressed, which was another plus for us.

Did you buy new appliances for your kitchen?

Yes, we did. In fact, this was something we discussed at length with Dale and his team. We couldn’t decide whether or not to go completely for integrated appliances as we felt that might be limiting. We liked the idea of having a big SMEG fridge freezer but didn’t want it to ‘stick out’ and spoil the design as a stand alone piece. When we visited Kettle Co.’s showroom we spotted one of the kitchen layouts had a SMEG appliance that had matching cupboards built around it so it looked integral to the kitchen but was still a stand alone appliance. That’s what we opted for in the end and Dale came up with a design like that for our kitchen and it looks fantastic.

I decided against a dishwasher though. Most of my friends are amazed that I spent money on a kitchen but didn’t want a new dishwasher, but I don’t really use them. Instead I opted for an under-counter vacuum. I’d never seen one before but they are really good. It’s built into the kickboard under the bin cupboard, so you just sweep up and push the dirt towards it. The vacuum system starts up and sucks the dirt into a small hole. It opens a bit like a drawer so that you can pull it out and empty the bag inside. Such a brilliant idea!

Are you pleased with your new kitchen?

We’re absolutely delighted with it! It still looks great and I love it, in fact I don’t think there’s a single thing I would change about it. Kettle Co. Kitchens are really good at what they do, the designs and visuals they produced were almost identical to the finished kitchen, which is amazing. I still look at them from time to time, as I kept them on my iPad.

Dale has a wonderful eye for space and what works but he also didn’t push us into the most expensive options just because that might make more money or be easier for him. He focused 100% on what was right for us and our needs. He’s really hands on so you know you’re getting a great service from start to finish. The whole Kettle Co. team were brilliant. I work from home and so many of my clients have admired my kitchen and said how lovely it is. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Kettle Co. to anyone who is looking at getting a new kitchen.

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