It’s probably the ultimate oxymoron, but I thought I’d do a bit of research on cool kitchens within some sort of reasonable budget. Alas, we’ve decided that our kitchen won’t end up being done this year so we’ll continue to cook one pot meals on camping stoves until at least 2020 but this post has been useful research for me, too, so at least we will be well informed when we do start the works.
I suppose I need to start with a bit of a disclaimer and mention that I am giving images, brands and rough prices here, however, every kitchen is different and has different requirements so it is still worth calling/visiting/emailing to see what kind of deal you can get. Some of these quotes include utilities, some worktops etc….plus I’m kind of a mix and match girl so would most likely go for cheaper cabinets but then perhaps source a more expensive worktop from somewhere else. However you want to do it: it’s good to have options. So here you go:
Every time I walk through Ikea, I stop and look at the kitchens (just because!) and rarely find one I don’t like. The introduction of the online kitchen planner, as well as the option of mix and match means you can pretty much get a bespoke kitchen on an, erm, Ikea budget.
I would love to tell you more but when I enquired, I was simply sent a generic press release and a photo of a woman instore rather than any of the beautiful imagery they have on their site. They also gave us no info on starting prices, so you’ll have to guess it’s affordable and ogle over Kate’s beautiful Ikea kitchen instead (thanks for helping me with imagery, Kate!).
Another point to mention is that a few people have told me their Ikea kitchens are great but they found it hard to get their builder to fit it. Or sometimes, if you buy the Ikea fitted appliances and they break, the kitchen might not be in production anymore so you’re left with an Ikea-only sized hole to fill. So if you are going with Ikea, make sure you check with your builder that they are happy to fit it and research appliances first.
I actually wouldn’t have really considered a B&Q kitchen before but looking at the prices, they look really good. This kitchen here, the Westleigh, starts from £879.
I love this. Two guys, one design director and the other the owner of a furniture design studio, saw a gap in the market for custom-made plywood fronts and worktops to Ikea cabinets (other brands existed that made custom-fronts but most were still very expensive). Minimum order is £1000 and you can access a breakdown of costs here).
Again, bridging the gap between the love of joinery and traditional carpentry with more affordable pricepoints, you can send them your Ikea kitchen plan along with your preferred kitchen design for a quote. The style below is called ‘Basis’ and a small kitchen would cost around £2500 (including the Ikea units, too).
As someone who has never actually bought a kitchen before (the one in our last flat was totally liveable and nice and well, we just don’t really have one currently), I must admit I would never really have looked at Wickes but they have some lovely ones! This one below, Esker Gloss, starts at £2086.
Another Ikea front brand, but aren’t these gorgeous? Set up by husband and wife duo, British craftsmanship but with a Scandinavian/Japanese eye for design (no wonder I love). Obviously, every kitchen is different and priced individually but for example, oiled birch plywood cabinets for a kitchen cost between £1500 and £3000.
The Shaker style is amongst Wren’s most popular kitchens, the below kitchen starts at £1852. They have a few ranges, and Vogue is the most affordable, flat-packed version.
Again, these are gorgeous fronts and worktops to make your Ikea cabinets feel bespoke. Prices start from £2920 including worktops (£880 for fronts only), they also sell gorgeous brass handles which can completely transform the look of your kitchen.
Foolishly, I didn’t add this one originally as I felt the whole post was going a bit ‘Ikea Fronts’ but, after someone mentioned on Twitter and I took a look properly, I was really impressed by Husk. What I like is that they give a clear breakdown on their site of costs, here is an example on their site:
Ikea Cabinets: £115.00 (£23.00 per cabinet)
Husk Fronts: £928.00 (£110.00 per door + end panels and plinth)
Oak Worktop made in house: £580.00
Handles: £47.50 (£9.50 per handle)
Total: £2342.00 inc VAT
I would also like to add that it is worth not completely writing off more made to measure, seemingly ‘expensive’ brands. For instance, British Standard (the sister company of Plain English – pretty much the last word in luxury kitchens) was launched to address the gap in the market for more affordable yet luxury, hand-made kitchens. Prices vary but some can cost around £6,000 which is excellent value for solid wood drawers etc….so it is worth getting in touch to see what you can get if your budget stretches.
Another brand to look into are 80/20, a range that came about after the team behind Naked Kitchens discovered that some of their customers wanted all the look of their kitchens but on a tighter budget. 80/20 kitchens are from around £7,000, but they also offer the option of using Naked doors on your pre-existing carcasses and cabinets from around £2000.
And I can’t not mention DEVOL, a brand I discovered after seeing Pearl Lowe’s kitchen a few years ago – their Instagram account is one of my favourites (even just for inspiration to see how you can adapt your own in terms of space!) and usually their kitchens start at £12,000. But the kitchen below came in at £5,000 so it is worth going to them with your budget and perhaps working backwards to achieve what you want. After all, a kitchen is (usually) for life.
EDIT July 2020 – we have a kitchen! We ended up going with DIY Kitchens (although it was very close between Ikea or Husk custom fronts) but we are very happy with the results/costs. I will do an updated post on affordable kitchens soon, and then a renovation post on the new kitchen – stay tuned!