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Bespoke Kitchens: The Definitive Guide

a blue bespoke kitchen designed by martin moore
(Image credit: Martin Moore)

Choosing a bespoke kitchen means that your kitchen design has the freedom to truly make the most of your space. Bespoke cabinet makers pride themselves on putting the client at the forefront of their work, designing cabinetry to fit their wants and needs to perfection. 

This means that a bespoke kitchen is a premium choice for your home, but one that could pay dividends in creating extra usable space. 

(MORE: Get a quote on a bespoke kitchen

However, there's some ambiguity in exactly what a bespoke kitchen is, which may cause confusion when buying a new kitchen. Use this handy guide to arm yourself with information ahead of your kitchen shopping journey and ensure you make an informed decision. 

What are Bespoke Kitchens? 

The nature of a bespoke kitchen will differ depending on who you’re talking to — there’s no official criteria required to call a kitchen bespoke, so be sure to investigate to find out more about the maker before committing. To some, a bespoke kitchen means a kitchen that is made specifically for you, in comparison to a kitchen that’s picked off the shelf as is more common with high street retailers. Regardless, you’re likely to work with a kitchen designer to create a design that fits your space. 

However, for the bespoke purist, a bespoke kitchen means that the kitchen is designed and made specifically for your space, without the limits of standard cabinet sizes. While this means individual elements can be customised, bespoke kitchen makers still tend to work within their own range of furniture styles. 

A truly bespoke, one-off kitchen is more likely to be created with either an independent maker or high end kitchen brand, and will offer the chance to create one-off kitchens, with custom finishes, styles and design elements. 

a bespoke kitchen design by charlie smallbone for ledbury studio

(Image credit: Ledbury Studio)

“We can do anything from accommodate the architectural style of the house to mimicking a particular piece of furniture that you want to see reflected in the design,” says Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio. “The difference with bespoke furniture is that it starts not with an existing kitchen range that must be adapted to fit, but with a blank sheet of paper.”

What are the Benefits of a Bespoke Kitchen? 

While many bespoke kitchen makers will use tried and trusted measurements for cabinets, as each piece is custom-made, measurements can be adjusted to your home’s specific needs. This means that bespoke cabinetry is designed to accommodate awkward and uneven spaces, maximising your kitchen’s potential, from storage to worktop area to fitting in that extra much-needed appliance. 

“Truly bespoke furniture will be in harmony with the space - regardless of the size of the room - because it will be designed specifically for the room,” says Richard Moore, Design Director at Martin Moore.  “Freed from restrictions of standard sizes, the cabinetry can be exactly the height, width and depth needed and can be built around the architecture of the room."

Specialist kitchen storage can be integrated as part of a bespoke kitchen, and you have the benefit of utilising a bespoke designer's experience to make your cabinetry work hard for you. 

(MORE: Kitchen Storage Ideas)

a bespoke kitchen in a modern extension

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Bespoke kitchens usually offer a larger variety in colour finishes, with some makers offering custom colours or expert hand-painting in popular, quality paint brands.

Because of the nature of a bespoke kitchen, they tend to be made from high quality materials and fixtures, ensuring that the kitchen will last longer.

How Much Does a Bespoke Kitchen Cost?

Budgeting your kitchen

Allocate around 50% of your budget for the cabinetry, 25-35% for appliances and worktops and finally around 15-25% for the installation.

The cost of a bespoke kitchen can vary greatly, depending on the size, materials used and the manufacturer, however in general they tend to be luxury products. Bespoke kitchens start from around £20,000, but expect prices of £50,000 plus at the upper end of the range. 

Your quote will likely include all cabinetry-related items and installation. “This can include elements such as the hardware, worktop surfaces and installation, cabinet lighting and installation, sinks, taps and appliances,” says Melissa Kink, Head of Design at Harvey Jones

“These items will be itemised alongside the cost of the cabinetry and the furniture installation. Outside elements such as the associated plumbing, organisation of the electrical, flooring, etc. are needed to complete the space, but may be not managed through the kitchen designer.”

Editor's Note: Homebuilding.co.uk partners with the UK's best kitchen specialists to match your requirements with their services. Simply answer a few questions on what you need from your kitchen and we’ll put you in touch with a suitable partner.

How are Bespoke Kitchens Made?

Due to the nature of a bespoke kitchen, they are more commonly made using traditional joinery methods and premium manufacturing techniques. 

This adds to the quality of a bespoke kitchen, allowing for strong, durable details such as dovetail joints on drawers. 

Bespoke kitchens are often also hand painted. 

a bespoke kitchen with storage

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

Is a Bespoke Kitchen Worth It?

A bespoke kitchen can be a good investment for your home, improving the use of space in your kitchen and adding to the property's resale value. Because of the quality of the craftsmanship, materials and fixtures used, a bespoke kitchen will last a lot longer than a budget alternative. 

A good quality timber kitchen can also be refreshed and repainted in the future, if you decide you want a change. 

However, if you're looking for quality but have a relatively simple space to work with or you're building or extending to create a space from scratch, you may be able to opt for a luxury brand that utilises standard sizes cabinets to reduce the overall expense. 

For example, brands like Kin by Mowlem and Brookmans by Smallbone are sister brands to the bespoke companies, offering a more budget-friendly version of their custom kitchen designs.