The kitchen has evolved into the most important room of the house – a multi function space that has become the centre of family life. A contemporary kitchen is the central hub of the home, where the family meet, eat and communicate. It’s where you share coffee with friends, where the kids do their homework, where a couple will relax at the end of the day and of course, all the best parties end in the kitchen.
More than any other part of the house, the kitchen requires well considered design. The benefits that can be gained from a carefully planned and beautifully made kitchen cannot be overemphasized. A kitchen that is designed to work in harmony with the home and the family that live in it can be genuinely life enhancing. Good design, quality materials and the highest standards of craftsmanship can combine to create an environment with integrity that will lift your spirits. At the very least it will encourage you to really get cooking.
The first point of contact is usually our showroom at Cairntradlin. There we have examples of some of the different styles and materials that we work with as well as several fully fitted and freestanding kitchen displays. Visitors to our showrooms are usually shown around the workshops and we try to communicate who we are and what we do. At this point, we will normally discuss the budget for the kitchen and give an indication of our likely charges.
The next step is usually the all – important site visit. Usually Graeme Winram will meet with potential clients in their own home. This is an essential part of the process because what we need to find out is not just what your storage requirements are or what brand of dishwasher you prefer. It’s more important to see how you use your kitchen, how it relates to the rest of the house and the family that lives there. That way, we can create a kitchen that not only looks fabulous and performs perfectly but a kitchen that is individually designed to work around the way you live your life. It is a bespoke kitchen after all.
To do this we need to be good listeners. We need to know how you like to cook, where you like to eat and which way the sun shines on a summer evening. Are there kids doing homework on the kitchen table? Where do you like to sit to share a coffee with friends? Where does the dog sleep? One client needed a large clear worktop space on the central island for dressmaking, another needed a small home office incorporated into the kitchen design. We need to pay attention to every detail.
And every customer is quite different. Some want us to design a very cool and sophisticated workspace, others want durable practicality. Some may want a very organic design – full of natural curves and wild grained timber while others need a design that compliments the traditional integrity of a period home. Our job at this stage is to listen carefully so we can arrive at a design that works well for the individual client. Some customers have very fixed design ideas, others are less certain and want to hear our suggestions.
During the site visit we will carefully measure every part of the area, discuss lighting, flooring, choice of materials etc. We will also pay close attention to the architecture of the house. Whether it is a new build, a conversion or an existing house, we’ll consider the architectural features; the height of the ceilings, the style of the windows and doors, the flooring, the direction of the best natural daylight, etc. We want to design a kitchen that works in harmony with your home.
Following the site visit, we will produce scale drawings of the proposed design and prepare a detailed quotation. Out quote will normally list several design options with a range of costs. We will also provide separate costs for the different parts of the kitchen – the central island, the worktops, the appliances etc. At this stage, neither the design or the costs are “set in stone”. They can simply act as a starting point for further discussion.
Once you have our full quotation and have decided to proceed further, we normally ask for payment of a deposit. This deposit is normally around 10% of the total charge and confirms the job and enables us to book it into the workshop schedule. Depending on the size of the project, we may ask for several stage payments throughout the construction process with the final payment due following installation.
Building your kitchen can take between four and eight weeks. We build everything in our workshops at Cairntradlin and clients are most welcome to call in past to view progress. We will assemble the cabinets, make and hang the doors, fit drawers, plinth and cornice. So the whole kitchen is fully assembled prior to painting or varnishing. We usually invite the client to our workshops at this stage. That way we can be sure that they’re happy with the design prior to installation.
Installing a kitchen needs careful planning. We often have to schedule our work to fit around other work being carried out in the house. It is here that good project management is essential.
We are often asked to organize other tradesmen – plumbers, electricians, decorators etc. We liaise with those involved to co-ordinate the work so the job runs smoothly.
Installing a kitchen will normally take several days. In larger jobs we may fit the kitchen in two phases – the main kitchen cabinets first and the central island and larder cupboard later.
We realize that having your home invaded by tradesmen and living without your kitchen for a few days can be quite disruptive. We make every effort to minimize the inconvenience. Simple things like being organized, clean and tidy on site, laying protective blankets on vulnerable flooring and remaining friendly and courteous are far more important than most other tradesmen realize. We’ve found that the most important factor for a smooth kitchen installation is good communication; both with the clients and with the other tradesmen involved.
Once the kitchen is fully installed, we will carry out a thorough post installation survey. We want to be certain that every door hangs properly on its hinges, the gaps between every drawer are even, the plinth is tightly scribed to the floor and every handle is correctly aligned. This is what a kitchen from Lethenty Cabinetmakers is all about – we take the time to do it right.
We make carefully designed and solidly built kitchens, made with true attention to detail that will enhance your home for decades to come.
Commissioning bespoke furniture is a collaboration between client and maker which results in a truly unique piece – made especially for you.
We offer a truly bespoke design and build service. Creativity balanced with skilled craftsmanship lies at the heart of our business.