Is it a tomato or tomatoe? A sofa or a couch? Sometimes different words can mean the same thing. This is NOT true for hand made/bespoke kitchens versus a made -to- measure kitchen which is essentially stock items specified in certain dimensions, and finishes . S Interior Design often combines semi-custom kitchen components with bespoke, and therefore unique design elements when we do kitchen remodels for our clients. The guest post shown below (from across ‘The Pond’ for my United States readers who may not recognize some word spelling), describes some key differences between a true Bespoke/Handmade kitchen and other kitchen design options
Defining a bespoke kitchen:
Bespoke design is a term that is bandied about casually by a number of trades, as well as kitchen and furniture fitters. The word has been adopted by many large kitchen companies who offer little more than ‘made-to-measure’. A bespoke kitchen can be best described as ‘handmade kitchens’. Read on find out about handmade kitchens.
Bespoke versus made-to-measure
Between the extremes of ‘bespoke design’, and ‘pre-produced’, sits ‘made-to-measure’. Often made-to-measure means taking pre-existing designs and customising them to suit a certain type of room. In terms of kitchen design, this will often mean giving customers the choice of colour, work surface material, or door handle etc. Bespoke on the other hand, refers to something that is individually cut or designed to meet specific individual requirements.
Defining bespoke kitchens
As a concept, bespoke refers to custom-made products, without any pre-existing sizes and patterns. Many kitchen companies will offer ‘made-to-measure’ and think that it qualifies as bespoke. A true bespoke kitchen designer will be able to design and build unique kitchen furniture, tailored to meet specific requirements. These are not pre-produced, but are made specifically on design request. A better phrase to use would be a ‘hand-made kitchen’, as the value is in the expert design and production process.
The Design and Production Process
Handmade kitchens are defined by their design and production process. Some companies will allow you to customise designs to fit your individual kitchen, but the process is not truly bespoke. When choosing a handmade kitchen, it is the designers job to take a customers vague ideas and concept of a ‘dream kitchen’ and turn them into reality.
Purchasing a handmade kitchen will begin with an initial design consultation whereby the designer will try to establish the following. Is it solely a place for preparing food, or does it have a multi-purpose function as a living and a socialising area? These underlining principles will shape the design of a kitchen.
The designer will also ask the customer if they have any specific aesthetic requirements, including a the type of material used or style of design. One way that kitchen designers can ascertain their customers needs, is by asking them what they liked and disliked about their past kitchens.
After establishing what you are looking for in a kitchen, and choosing a design style and other elements such as the type of cooker, the designer can then produce technical drawings or CAD drawings to bring your ideas to life.
Request for bespoke designers to show you past work to help to give you an idea of what they can produce.
A truly bespoke kitchen company will own a workshop whereby individualised furniture is made. The value of a handmade kitchen is in the specialised design process, and the highly skilled craftsman employed, to the trusted fitting team. The difference between a top kitchen design company and a poor standard product can often be found out by looking at the production process. If you are serious about purchasing a handmade kitchen, I would advise you enquire into the production process or even request to see the workshop.
Article submitted by Richard Davonport, Managing Director at Davonport who offer bespoke kitchens with practical design features which can be tailored exactly to your needs. Founded almost 20 years ago, Davonport combine the latest technology with traditional woodcraft and finishing skills, to create cabinets of the highest quality. Meet our high skilled team of kitchen designers at www.davonport.com