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Order Line 0330 123 4123
Plan your dream kitchen with one of our design specialists.
From advising on trends and making product recommendations to project timelines and discussing funding, your personal design consultant will assist you every step of the way. If you choose the Wickes installation service, your design consultant will also be able to talk you through the process and work closely with the Wickes installation team to ensure your new kitchen or bathroom is exactly how you intended.
Get some tips and advice on what to expect from your design consultation and how to plan ahead from our expert designers.
Explore our range and book a free no obligation appointment with one of our expert designers.
“If you’re in the planning stages, bring along a general colour scheme or pictures of kitchens you like, to your consultation. 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.”
“The style of cooking you love to do can have a huge impact on what kitchen you design. 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. I designed the actual cooking area to be kept separate from the entertainment side of the kitchen.”
“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.”
“I did three kitchens on the same street, same footprint and all three of them are now completely different. The customers used them completely differently and budget wise they were all completely different as well.”
“A great kitchen design really stems from taking the time to understand my customer and what's going to work for them.”
The whole project often isn’t just the kitchen, there is an impact on other rooms.
“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.”
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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“I need to try and understand what that dream is. They’re the designer not me, I just need to make it a reality for them.”
For Steve, who has been with Wickes 21 years, a great design is the one with the least amount of compromises and most happy surprises. One of Steve’s favourite and most challenging designs was building a kitchen for a teacher with a particularly awkward-shaped room.
“It was trying to join two parts of the room; a breakfast area and a seating area with a wood burning stove that didn’t really fit into the kitchen area at all. It was trying to marry them together. It had really awkward ceilings too. Afterwards, she said I hadn’t only designed their kitchen, but I had designed their home. She was over the moon. That to me was, WOW. What a statement. It’s great to design something that can make their lives easier and makes it a joy to be in that kitchen.”
The kitchen truly is the heart of the home, so what features would he include in his own?
“The ones that would make my wife happy,” he answered. “It’s not just me, it has to be something that is good for the family to be in. So that everyone wants to be in that room. We don’t get enough quality time with the family anymore, so for me, it’s about keeping the family together for as long as possible.”
“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?
For design consultant, Joseph from Aylesbury, the answer may come as a surprise.
“I don’t start with the budget. Instead I’ll ask them what works well and what they don’t currently like in their kitchen. Then, you can work through those factors when we’re actually planning the new space. Even if the customer doesn’t know anything about kitchens whatsoever, we want to know what they like and want they don’t like, we want them to put in as much input as possible. Any input from a customer regarding their needs and their wants is important.”
Once you have your ‘dream package’ the consultant can then work with you when it comes to finishes, appliances and fixtures to make sure you stay within that all-important budget.
“Anyone can fill a room full of cupboards to make it look nice,” adds Joseph, “but it has to be relevant. The design needs to use the space as best as possible and it needs to work functionally.”
In his six years as a design consultant at Wickes, Joseph says his inspiration quite often comes from the internet, magazines and other design consultants.
“We are quite a tight knit group so we chat amongst ourselves and we work together to come up with a design. Often when you’re looking at the same design for far too long or it’s a particularly awkward space, you can get brain freeze and somebody could come over and say, have you considered that? And then suddenly, light bulb moment - it works! So we do that quite often, it works really well for us.”
“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.”
“Then I ask what their wish list items are, non negotiables, things they have been looking forward to having.” Among those ‘non negotiables’ is sometimes squeezing a large amount of features into a small space. Dawn’s solution? Clever storage.
“Most people don’t use the capacity in the cupboards because the shelves aren’t adjusted properly. They don’t use the corners because the carousel unit wasn’t around when they had their existing kitchen fitted. They’ve got gaps between appliances because over the years everything has changed size and things like that.”
Designing your dream kitchen should be a collaborative process with your design consultant, and likewise, a good consultant should be able to guide you in the direction of features you hadn’t thought of.
“You’ve got to listen to what they want but you’ve also got to ask, is that what they really want? You can’t just blankly listen and nod, you have to add value to what they think. Because actually, you can then come up with an even better solution for them that they didn’t even know they wanted,” says Dawn. “It’s a two-way conversation.”
For Dawn, her job designing kitchens that become the heartbeat of the home is something she takes great pride in.
“You are in someone’s home and they’re trusting you with a large investment and yes, it’s a big responsibility, but also that gives you a real buzz so you get the creativity and the joy. That’s the bit that I like the most.”
“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.”
The answer to a perfect kitchen is to understand how the family use the kitchen in their daily lives. “Obviously, there will be things that they’ve set their hearts on, for example that all-singing all-dancing corner larder or an American double fridge freezer. But it’s getting them thinking about whether they’re using the space as a seating area or entertaining area as well as a kitchen.”
Costas, who has been a design consultant for Wickes for almost 27 years, also stresses the need to consider the younger members of the family and how they fit into your design.
“For example, if the family has young children, could they go for a high gloss, lacquer kitchen, which is so easy to take care of and simply wipes clean quickly. There are so many things that I think combine to make the kitchen an area that you’re not just using to cook, it's for entertaining and all the other things that come with being a family."
While it can seem like a tricky balancing act, for Costas, seeing the finished product and a family who love it is the best part of his job.
“It’s meeting people and designing for them and giving them that dream, because they’ve got something in their mind. Maybe they’ve seen it in a magazine or an advert on the television. The best part of my job is just bringing that to life.”
We believe in guiding our customers through every step of finding and fitting their new kitchen, so whether it’s inspiration you’re looking for or assistance with turning your ideas into reality, we can help you on your way to the kitchen of your dreams.