Order Line 0330 123 4123
Order Line 0330 123 4123
From advising on trends and making product recommendations, through to discussing funding your new kitchen and project timelines, your personal design consultant will be your one point of contact throughout the entire design process.
Your design consultant will also be able to talk you through the process of getting your kitchen fitted by the Wickes Installation team (if you choose this option) and will work closely with them to ensure your kitchen is exactly what you intended.
Meet some of our expert designers. Our interviews get up close to the challenges and design dilemmas that design consultants face every day when they bring dream kitchens to life.
““Sometimes it’s hard to describe something, so cut something out a brochure or a magazine and say this works for me, this is the dream I have.”
Designing your dream kitchen can be an overwhelming process. There are so many things to consider – appliances, finishes, work spaces, functionality, practicality, budget – and above all, creating a space that you and the family will love.
So if you’re planning a new kitchen, where is the best place to start for inspiration?
“Have a look at magazines, go online, have a look at brochures, cut out bits,”advises Steve. “Sometimes it’s hard to describe something, so cut something out a brochure or a magazine and say this works for me, this is the dream I have.”
“Any input from a customer regarding their needs and their wants is important. ”
The kitchen is the undisputed heart of the home, so when it comes to buying or selling, the right kitchen can be the deal maker or breaker.
If you are renovating your kitchen, it’s important to not only have a space that’s functional, practical and beautiful, but can add value. In fact, it’s said that the right kitchen can add up to five to eight per cent to a house’s value.
So how do you make sure you’re getting all the functionality you need without breaking the budget?
“Then I ask what their wish list items are, non negotiables, things they have been looking forward to having.”
Knowing what features, appliances and finishes you want in your kitchen is a great start to designing the perfect space.
When it comes to key questions to ask clients in a consultation, Wickes design consultant Dawn from Kingston says the items that are on their wish-list are just as important as what’s not currently working for them.
“You don’t want to repeat the same thing that annoys them,” says Dawn, who has been with Wickes seven years. “It could be something that would never factor in your mind, but for them it is a big issue. It’s the little niggles and things that you can help solve.”
“It’s meeting people and designing for them and giving them that dream”
If you’ve lived in a big city for any amount of time, then you’ll be more than familiar with the plight of every growing family - space.
For Wickes design consultant Costas from London, squeezing big dreams and growing families into tiny kitchens comes with the territory.
“With smaller kitchens, it’s more of a challenge, because people want design features like islands that won’t always be able to fit. So if people want a dining area for example, then we think about how we build that in somewhere else.”
“I’m always in the mindset that it’s not my kitchen, it’s their kitchen. So I’ve got to make sure that they get what they want, not what I want to sell. There is a big difference.” From the initial planning through to installations, the design consultants can help you see your dream kitchen through to completion.
“I really like them to think about the style and the look of everything, so then I can work on the functions and the practicalities; Is there enough worktop space, in enough places? Place to plate up your food? It’s things that they tend to forget about when they’re planning their kitchen, so it’s really just guiding them in the right direction.
When doing a consultation, Graham really likes to get to the core of the families lifestyle. “A good hour at the customer’s home I’ll be asking who lives there? How old they are? How much cooking do they do? What sort of appliances are they interested in?” “They might just want more worktop space because they’ve got little space with no room to work. So I’ll talk to them about how they want the space.”
“I try and start with the wish list of what that customers needs in that kitchen, so I get a full list of what I need to achieve.”
“I ask what they are trying to achieve from the project, not necessarily just the kitchen”, says Phil “as the whole project often isn’t just the kitchen, there is an impact on other rooms.
“What I always ask customers to think of is what they want, not necessarily where it’s going to go or how it’s going to physically work.”
Even if they don’t have a specific kitchen in mind, as long as they have one or two elements on their wish-list, Callum can design a kitchen to suit their lifestyle.
"If you’re in the planning stages, bring along a general colour scheme or pictures of kitchens you like, to your consultation", says Richard. "This can help determine fittings, elements and designs of your kitchen."
“Knowing what styles & colours appeal is important. Off of the back of that we can then work out whether you are a traditional or a modern person and what sort of design flairs we can add in.”
Can you whip up a fondant that would put master bakers to shame? Are you passionate about Asian cooking or do you love stews or barbeques? “The style of cooking you love to do can have a huge impact on what kitchen you design” says Wickes design consultant Paul.
“Do they mainly cook from fresh, or do they need to use frozen food? I like to delve a bit deeper and try to get an idea of what might appeal to them, so then I can design their kitchen around their requirements.”
"A well-designed kitchen should work for every member of the family. This is particularly true if you’ve got very young children or toddlers, as their safety definitely needs to be considered when designing your new kitchen", says Mark.
For a recent design, the needs of a family with very young children really dominated the layout of his overall design.
“I designed the actual cooking area to be kept separate from the entertainment side of the kitchen.”
Wickes design consultant Becky from Exeter prides herself on building a strong relationship with customers, and says the best part of her job isn't just the completion of a kitchen, it's calling the customers after the job is complete, and being invited for a coffee to celebrate a job well done.
“A great kitchen design really stems from taking the time to understand my customer and what's going to work for them.”
Just because your existing kitchen might look like all the neighbours kitchens, doesn’t mean you can’t create something completely personal to you.
“I did three kitchens on the same street, same footprint, and all three of them of them are now completely different…The customer’s used them completely differently and budget wise they were all completely different as well.”
Renovating any kitchen has its challenges, but if you’re dealing with a strange shape or architecture, a new design can be particularly problematic.
“Whether it’s a case of restructuring a standard cabinet, or just seeing how we can make a design amendment to make it work better. The solution can be to feature open shelves, rather than bulking up the space with cupboards. It’s just about breaking the illusion that there isn’t an awkward space there.”