The best (and the most stylish) Affordable Kitchens

Jumper: £59, And Other Stories. Trousers: £59, And Other Stories. Shot in Norfolk (not our kitchen!). Photograph: Christopher O’Donnell.

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.

British Standard kitchen: AKA my dream kitchen.

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:

The gorgeous kitchen belonging to Blogger Kate Spiers via blog Kate La Vie. Kate’s cabinets are Ikea.

1. IKEA

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 in all honestly, I find the Ikea corporate team a bit tricky to get info from and 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. So if you are going with Ikea, make sure you check with your builder that they are happy to fit it, first.

Image via Kate La Vie.

2. B&Q

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.

3. PLYKEA

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 a breakdown of costs here).

4. REFORM CPH

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).

Reform CPH

5. WICKES

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.

Esker range, from Wickes.

6. CUSTOM FRONTS

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.

They are also opening up a showroom soon, in Lewes.

Custom Fronts

7. WREN KITCHENS

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.

Wren kitchens

8. HOLTE

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.

A Holte kitchen recently completed in London

9. HUSK

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
Sink: £321.00
Tap: £350.50
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.

British Standard

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.

80/20 Kitchens.

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 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.

DEVOL Kitchens

30 Comments

  1. We made a special trip from Cheshire to Norfolk to see Naked Kitchens and were so impressed that we’re now planning an extension to include a boot room, utility and pantry as well as an extended kitchen-diner and an adjoining reading room/study. Great to see the kitchens and joinery actually being made in their workshops and can’t wait to see the end resulton site. Friendly, helpful and pragmatic staff who understand that people actually need to use their kitchens as well as making them look good ( which they do!). Very competitive on price and really good finish.

  2. We also went for a DIY kitchens kitchen. And it is beautiful. The saving meant we could afford the most expensive solid wood painted shaker doors. We used a kitchen designer so that I didn’t have to plan the kitchen myself but the company do check your order for you before you finalise and point out any obvious errors. You need to make sure you add enough plinth and side panels because there is a bit of a wait if you need to make a second order. The quality of the doors feels amazing compared to others at a comparable price and the kitchen fitters commented on how impressed they were with the sturdiness of the cupboards. They come ready built too, so a think a really good buy if you want to try fitting it yourself.

    I added knurled brass handles from dowsing and Reynolds, marble quartz tops and ivory zellige tiles as a hob backsplash. They were an absolute splurge but I saved quite a bit on the cupboards and appliances so I went for it. I’m not one for much colour or pattern but the mix of different textures and materials looks amazing. I often run my hands over the tiles because they are so shiny and bumpy at the same time and it feels GREAT ?

  3. this is a brilliant post. just thinking I could change the fronts to my ikea kitchen as the options you’ve given are amazing, will come back and look through properly. also we use ikea wardrobes in our bedrooms so some of these options would look great as we went shiny white 8 years ago and now I’d really like something like the ply or painted fronts. THANK YOU! ps, we also used ikea insides to make out bathoom with mirrored fronts…

  4. We’re midst kitchen renovation and have gone with the classic mix of Ikea with custom doors (Naked Doors) & a Ceasarstone worktop. So far so good but A LOT of extra hassle getting three different suppliers. Fingers crossed it’ll all be worth it in the end…

    1. I always think, in the big scheme of things: a few months of hassle for a lifetime kitchen! I remember our en suite was a nightmare finding a door the right size with gold hinges but barely think about it now! xx

  5. We had an ikea kitchen put in just over a year ago and would highly recommend it. We were on a tight budget and saved money by building all the carcasses ourselves, we have a builder fit them and then we fitted all the drawers and front’s ourselves. It was fairly easy to do once we had got the hang of it – I managed to fit all the drawers, hidden drawers and fronts having never picked up a drill before!
    We got a minerva worktop as I felt it was really worth investing in the worktop and it’s been fantastic.

  6. This is so useful as we are also in a full swing of getting our extention and ordering new kitchen. We have been to Wren, but found them very expensive for the size of our kitchen (aparently its a reasonable size). Ikea has definitely been and still is a firm favourite.
    Another website that I love for ikea fronts and door handles is https://superfront.com/. Also will definitely be ordering from https://www.prettypegs.com cabinet legs for our bathroom cabinet.

  7. I would also add a company called ‘David Wilson Doors’ on eBay. Provides mdf/primed/fully finished doors. Made to your measurements and the quality was perfect and the price I found couldn’t be beaten anywhere. Just search ‘mdf shaker replacement kitchen door and drawer fronts’. Amazing!

  8. Wherever you buy from, the key is finding a skilled fitter/joiner that you trust, and don’t just ask the supplier to fit it. Particularly if your house isn’t a standard box! We have had our B&Q kitchen for 8 years now, and it still looks good as new (it seems to be very good quality). The fitter repurposed a cabinet to box in a hot water cylinder and used odd gaps to construct tray storage etc. which made all the difference. A B&Q fitter wouldn’t have done this.

    Oh yes, pan drawers! And induction hobs.

  9. We had tight budget and difficult space but wanted a stylish modern look to our old kitchen. we orered quotes from howdens and wren initially, as I had heard a lot about them. but their pricing was way too much than we can afford. Then we came to know about Kitch Living (its them – http://www.kitchlivingdirect.co.uk/) and then after one or two phone calls we completely forgot our worries. They had a plan to suit every budget and every space. They blew wren and howdens out of the water in terms of design, consultations and most importantly pricing. Windsor classic shaker styles are a excellent to give a shot at if you want a kitchen under £
    5000

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