The difference between a £3,000 kitchen and a £30,000 one is obvious, but it’s much harder to identify the difference in the mid-range. So what makes a more expensive kitchen better? Very often it’s the actual kitchen design. But how do you know if all the elements of the design are really necessary? Take a look at the following mistakes to avoid – and you’ll be on your way to getting the best value for money…

1. Make sure the design advice is genuine

Think carefully about what you need for your kitchen. If you’re taking advice from a kitchen designer, be aware that some of the advice may be purely an attempt to get you to buy a particular product. In some of the lower-end showrooms or DIY retailers, you often find that the resident ‘kitchen designer’ actually knows very little about kitchens at all. Instead, he or she is purely focused on selling.

2. Beware of big discounts

When it comes to kitchens, not all discounts are bargains. A really low price could be due to the really low quality of the units. So don’t be taken in by sales-talk. Whatever someone might be trying to sell you, check out the real quality of the products before you agree to anything. Plus, if a ‘sale’ price seems good, find out what’s actually included. You could be paying extra for all the panels and accessories. That’s often how the big discount showrooms make their money, especially if they seem to have a sale on every day. You can end up spending a lot more in total than you wanted – and with very little regard to the overall design criteria you originally set.

3. Don’t be pressured to buy NOW

If a salesperson is putting you under pressure and telling you the kitchen you want is a one-off offer and will only be available ‘today’, thank them very much and tell them you’ll sleep on it! You can almost always guarantee it’s just a sales ploy to get you to make a decision quickly without checking out the real value. (And the kitchen will almost always still be there tomorrow…) If you’re in a showroom, you can simply walk out. If the sales person is in your home, however, don’t be embarrassed to ask them to leave if you don’t like their approach. A kitchen is a big expense, so avoid hasty decisions – and don’t buy something just because you’re tired of looking. Take your time and think carefully about what you’d really like – not just what’s on offer.

4. Understand what a ‘free design’ really means

You wouldn’t expect an architect to spend time drawing up plans for an extension or new house without covering his or her costs. And if all the plans were free, how much would you trust them? It’s the same with kitchen design. A ‘free design’ will probably not take account of all the ins and outs of kitchen ‘work-flow’, up-to-date storage systems or how you want to use and enjoy your kitchen. Instead, you’ll probably end up with a very unimaginative and superficial design. There’s much more to it than just deciding where to put the main appliances and cupboards.

5. Don’t agree to something you don’t really want

If your designer seems more intent on imposing ideas on you, rather than listening to your own, walk away. Of course, you will need some help with ideas, but the essence of the kitchen is YOU. Always keep that in mind.

6. Beware of ‘free’ appliances

Your kitchen designer or showroom may be willing to ‘throw in’ a washing machine, dishwasher or other appliance for ‘free’ when you place your order. That’s fine if you don’t mind what you get. It’s likely to be out-of-date stock, and that may not matter to you, but make sure it’s still covered by a guarantee. Be aware also that, somewhere along the line, the cost will be included in the price you’re paying – even if you can’t tell where it is.

7. Don’t be fobbed off with yesterday’s technology

Today’s innovations in kitchen design are astonishing. Gone are the days when you had to resign yourself to losing things at the back of cupboards and when you had to have very tiny hands to reach in and find anything at the back of a drawer. Now you can have space-generating pull-out systems for all corners, ultra-wide drawers to ease the pain of low cupboards and handle-less doors and fronts. If your designer is not familiar with these technologies, go elsewhere.


To plan your dream kitchen we consider all your needs and wishes, and perhaps even the desires you haven’t thought about yet. A great way to do this is through a design consultation, which is we offer for free with no obligations to buy.

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Bonus Tip

Avoid papering over the cracks. If you’re upgrading your kitchen to increase the value of your property, make sure you do it properly. Changing the doors and handles on units, but leaving the old units in place behind them, is a tempting alternative, and you may think it’ll add value to your property. It won’t. It’s an obvious ‘cover up’ that will come to light as soon as a house buyer opens the cupboard doors.

If you’re planning a new kitchen and you’d like to talk through your ideas with us, we’d be delighted to help. Simply call Michael: 01234 843 753