We get a really diverse mix of people who walk into our showrooms when they want to buy a new kitchen, either for a new home or a renovation. While some have a very clear idea of what they want, others are still exploring their options and are not sure of…well, anything. Some others know what style they want, but don’t know which layout will work best. So, we thought we’d do a little post talking about how you can get the perfect kitchen, and why seeing for yourself what the options are, and asking questions, are the most important first steps in buying a kitchen.
It all starts with three elements – the customer’s needs and/or lifestyle, the budget, and the space. Almost all our showroom visitors have an approximate budget in mind, a wish list of what they want, and know how large or small their kitchen space is. The unknown is how to bring it all together. That’s where the 45 years of experience we bring to the table really matters. Our clients give us the outline, we help them refine their preferences and then we bring their dream kitchen to life.
Our kitchen showrooms are not built to just showcase our models, they are purpose designed to help our visitors through the decision-making process of building the perfect kitchen. The first visit to the showroom is often an exploration – but it is an important beginning in defining your kitchen. Visitors get a feel for what different styles, finishes and layouts look like. Touching that stone benchtop, opening a cutlery drawer, or feeling the quality of the cabinets – it’s real. That’s what it will look and feel like in your kitchen.
It’s also a great opportunity to look at what works for your home and lifestyle. Does adding a display unit in the overhead cabinets break the monotony? Does a brightly coloured splashback work well with your kitchen space? What options do you have to access hard-to-reach corners? If you own many little appliances – juicer, coffee-maker, blender, toaster – is there a custom solution to use and store these out of sight?
The showroom visit is not just to see different types of kitchens but is a great opportunity to get very specific information on your options from a qualified kitchen team member. Does that black matte door make fingerprints more visible? Is it best to have cupboard doors or pull out drawers? You’ve had a gas cooktop all these years. Is switching over to an induction cooktop more expensive? Is the L-shaped kitchen easier to navigate than the galley kitchen? Kitchen buyers are always bursting with questions.
It is also a good idea to get a sense of the process. How does the kitchen design process work? What are the delivery times? Are the installers qualified, insured and recommended by the supplier? What is the basic sequence for installation? These questions are important. Good workmanship highlights the finish of a high-quality, custom designed kitchen.
One important question is about the guarantee on the kitchen. And we say this because we have clients who come back to us after buying a new kitchen because they now want a matching laundry. So, you want to be sure that you are speaking to a reputable, well-established and professional kitchen supplier that offers you a long warranty and you know will be around for many years to honour it.
The answers we provide puts our clients on the path to refining their preferences and budget to meet their needs. Making an informed decision involves knowing how a product looks, works and is maintained. At a showroom visit, slowly but surely, the different elements that comprise a kitchen start to be identified. Stone benchtop – Tick. Contemporary styling – Tick. Oven tower – Tick. Island bench – Tick. Between our well-appointed showroom and knowledgeable kitchen team, the stage is set for the next logical step in the process. Booking a designer for an in-home design.
If all the kitchen styles are displayed in the showroom, what does the kitchen designer bring to the process? A lot. The designer will firstly start a conversation to confirm your needs for your new kitchen in your home. Next, he will measure the space and incorporate your needs into a well-designed and efficient layout to create a visually beautiful designed space. You may know exactly what you want, but a kitchen designer’s trained eye and experience can avoid an expensive mistake and greatly enhance what you set out to do. A good designer will work with you until you are happy with the design. And they can ensure that the project is completed on budget and on time.
Our next article will walk you through the design process in a bit more detail. But before we get there, if you are considering buying a new kitchen, visit one of our 3 kitchen showrooms and experience for yourself the wealth of information we can provide.