Sunday, 8 September 2013

German kitchens, British weather and a patio

Kitchens - Possibly the most painful experience of renovating a property. Most show rooms show you a kitchen with a price "All this for £7999" , However when you spec up your kitchen often with less units it ends up costing three times as much. We went to the usual big chains but the prices were scary The kitchens we liked without worktops or appliances were coming in at tens of thousands.

I found a local independent kitchen company called Uno Kitchens near me that only specialised in German kitchens. Now I am a fan of German engineering which is why I went with Grohe bathroom products . I researched into why German kitchens have such a good reputation. The short of it   is that in Germany when you buy a kitchen - that's your kitchen, when you move house you take the ktichen with you. Houses are commonly sold without a kitchen. The second hand kitchen market in Germany is huge. Due to the installation, dismantling when you move, reinstalling again ( and doing this a few times over) German kitchens are built extremely well to with stand this. When I popped into Uno Kitchens I was extremely impressed with the quality of the Schuller kitchens they stocked. Everyone does soft closing doors and drawers now, however the hinges etc in the units were sold and looked very well made. A lot of the high street kitchen companies, have a hardboard back in the cupboards which are held in place by channels around the side of the cabinets. Over time these can warp and fall out, the Schuller kitchens the hardboard was screwed in place.  The kitchens come completely assembled meaning that the builder was able to install the kitchen in around a day. Tina at Uno Kitchens was a great help , giving her expertise and design to come up with a kitchen design we both liked. It's hard to describe but the units are an anthracite gloss grey with a bronze metallic speckle in them. We decided on a galley kitchen with a large island and breakfast bar in the middle. The island will house the gas hob so that we can cook and entertain at the same time. At the end of the row of units along the wall will be a cupboard that will house the boiler and washing machine.  We went with an american style fridge the rest of the appliances we went for integrated. In keeping with the German theme these were all Siemens. Uno Kitchens supplied all the Siemens appliances and managed to beat all prices including online only prices for them.

Due to having big families and often entertaining the wife wanted two single ovens as well a microwave. This left us with a problem,  three appliances look odd in the oven housing units. We need to get one more appliance. A coffee maker was one option- but both us don't drink coffee. Another option was a steam oven- so that's what we stuck in there. I hope we actually use it. We went for a black glass 90cm 5 burner gas hob in the island. 

The whole ordering process was pretty painless and was done over an hour. Anil from Uno Kitchens conducted a site survey then 6 weeks later our kitchen arrived! With the Schuller kitchens, the ktichens are made exactly to your specification . Unlike a lot of the high Street brands where often you need to get the unit which is the closest specification to the size you may need and then have your fitter cut it. 

My builders already included the price of fitting a kitchen in his quote so I went with a supply only option with Uno Kitchens. I was supplied with detailed plans and drawings from which my builder worked from. It was very reassuring that both my builder and the worktop templater commented on how well built the Kitchens were.

For the worktops I went with Chiltern Marble . They were extremely paitent  I had to delay templating 4 times due to delays on the project (we're currently four weeks behind) and made last minute changes (the wrap over near the pillar). My builders didn't prepare the site to the required levels for fitting due to miscommunication however Julie at Chiltern Marble made sure everything was sorted and arranged for the fitters to go above and beyond what they were supposed to do to make sure it was fitted in time.

I went with a 20mm Quartz top. I prefer 20mm over 30mm as I think it looks more modern. Chiltern came in around 35% lower than the three others quotes I recieved. To say I was pleased is an understatement.

Outside the retaining wall has been rendered and the patio has been laid. Tonnes of sand had to be taken in by hand through the house due to losing the side access to the extension. I bought indian sandstone for the patio. The walls will be painted white once we have a dry day!

Bathrooms have all been tiled and I will updated the blog once the showers , sinks etc are installed.


  1. Can also recommend Schuller kitchens. We did the same as you in trawling the various suppliers and the Schullers were head and shoulders above in terms of quality. You can see ours here:

    Our renovation hasn't been as back to basics as yours however!

  2. That sounds like a perfect combination :D

  3. The end result of kitchen is just elegant. German kitchen has gain popularity for its contemporary look of kitchen.

  4. I like your idea of choosing a paint that comes close to the wood. I think that is by far the best solution because it will have a unifying effect, and I think it'll make your kitchen look bigger than it already is. In terms of paint, I think you'll find warm grays (like a lighter version of Charleston gray) more inviting.

  5. Now that the flooring has been cut to size it will need to be stuck down. kitchen fitters southampton

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