As I run a bespoke business the process of how I work tends to vary with each client. If you are an architect who has hands on experience of fitting kitchens you may be able to send me fully dimensioned drawings of each item required and wouldn’t need to even meet me until I delivered to you.
Most clients, however, are not like this. This might be the first time you have effectively commissioned a bespoke piece of furniture, you are trying to find builders you can trust to build your extension and you may have a child on the way just to add to the pressure. I find that my role is to help you through the design process, showing you the options available in terms of layout and materials.
At some point, you will need to make an appointment with Ikea to create a kitchen plan, unless you want to tackle this yourself on line. What you get from this is a complete list of all the components you will need to get from Ikea. We can then work together to modify this list to take account of the bespoke items you will get from me. It is good to get this done as soon as possible – it doesn’t need to be a final plan, but it creates a starting point for discussion.
The other thing you will need to do is to come and see me!
You are going to be spending your hard-earned cash with me, so it is important that you get to meet me, see where your kitchen is going to be made and crucially, get to touch and feel the materials and the handle details. If you choose a veneer option we will pay a joint visit to the veneer suppliers where you will select the actual leaves of veneer to be used on your project.
We will also look at bespoke solutions for the inevitable problems that your project will throw up – do you need a unit making to a particular width? You would like a spice rack built into the end panel of the tall units? A book case somewhere made from the same material as the doors? You are using appliances that don’t match Ikea sizes? All this are achievable – after all, I am a skilled cabinet maker with his own well-equipped workshop!
As early on the process as possible I will give you a ball park figure of the cost. If this is within budget, we can then go ahead pushing into the detail before making anything to ensure that as much as possible there is a seamless join between your Ikea list, your appliances and my bespoke elements. This will involve at least two visits to your home.
The first is to acquaint myself fully with the project, spot any problems early on (once pointed out that the window opening was going to be lower than the kitchen worktop….) and hopefully chat to the builder about services, placement of boiler etc. The second visit might be the delivery, but normally I find myself coming back once building work has progressed to the point where final dimensions can be checked.
I always deliver the finished project myself. This ensures it arrives safely and means that I can then hand over to your builder or fitter, discussing any special items that have been made or particular ways that something should be fitted. All parts are numbered and these relate to a drawing that is given to the fitter.
I am available whilst the project is being fitted. Problems can crop up that can’t be resolved by the fitter alone. If these can be sorted out by making another panel or adjusting something I have made, these are a priority for me to ensure your project isn’t delayed.
Projects tend to have about a 6-8 week turnaround time from payment of the deposit. This is made up of time waiting for boards to be pressed with veneer or Formica, the hands on making and if required, sending projects out to be sprayed finished.