Expert Advice On Choosing a New Kitchen
We now tend to buy kitchens to impress just like branded clothes and trainers and once we go down that slippery...
The Difference Between Premium & Cheap Kitchens
Author Tom Norris
Choosing a new kitchen is a huge challenge for homeowners. With so much to choose from it’s really hard to work out which features to go for, which style or finish.
It’s also really hard to understand why kitchens that look similar and have the same function should have price tags that vary so much. For example, why would you pay £10k / £15k for a so-called premium kitchen when you could buy a similar looking kitchen from IKEA from just £1k /£2k.
It’s clear that consumers love both premium kitchens and IKEA kitchens but let’s take a look at the obvious differences to see if we can work out why one kitchen should cost around 4/5 times more than the other.
Probably the biggest difference is in the kitchen carcass. Many of the premium kitchens come with a pre-assembled carcass and is effectively a sealed unit as all the joints are factory welded. By contrast the IKEA carcass comes as a flatpack that requires assembly.
However, when it comes to the finished product both carcasses look similar, have similar sizes, have the same function and once installed the only real difference is the sealed joints. The question is, is it worth paying all that extra money for sealed joints and a bit of assembly work?
What about the cabinet doors? Perhaps the premium kitchens have better quality doors? I’m afraid not as there is little difference in the quality of the doors on the various kitchens in the marketplace. In fact, with a little research you might be able to discover that many of the doors come from the same warehouses in Eastern Europe.
Okay, this is where we’ve got to. There isn’t much difference between the carcasses and there isn’t much difference between the doors but we still pay far more for one kitchen over another which is simply stupid. So there you have it, the main difference between a so-called premium kitchen and an acknowledged cheap kitchen is our perception of the product and the price. It would also seem that just because a kitchen comes with a higher price tag we place a higher value on the product ignoring the reality of the situation. In effect, the marketing for the product has altered our perspective to the point where we pay a load more money for a fairly standard product.
Factors That Influence Our Decision Making
One of the biggest factors is kitchen styling. In other words we have all got to a place in life where we buy consumer goods based on style rather that any other attribute. We know we can get a cheaper kitchen, we know we can get a better kitchen for less but at the end of the day the style of the kitchen is one of the most important factors that influence the buying decision.
Cheap credit or even the ability to get a kitchen on credit is another factor as many homeowners are happy to spend £10k / £15k on a kitchen when they don’t have to pay out for it in one hit. I guarantee that at least half of them would choose a different kitchen from a different supplier if they actually had the cash in the first place.
TV advertising must also work. Otherwise we wouldn’t see any ads for new kitchens on the telly.
So I guess the days are long gone when we bought a kitchen based on function or durability. It’s now all about how we see ourselves and our perception of who we are and what we represent. In other words we now tend to buy kitchens to impress just like branded clothes and trainers and once we go down that slippery slope it wouldn’t surprise me if we ended up with throwaway kitchens within a few years.
Small Touches That Make a Great Looking Kitchen
Regardless of what you think or what others say the devil is in the detail when it comes to choosing a really decent kitchen over something boring and mediocre.
Here are a number of design tips and finishes to consider when choosing your next kitchen:
- Consider a kitchen with no wall units
- Consider a kitchen with drawer units all along the bottom (drawers function much better than deep cupboards)
- Consider a kitchen with no external handles
- Consider a kitchen island incorporating a breakfast bar
- Consider pop-up worktop sockets
- Consider adding soft close fixings to doors and drawers
- Consider using a cheap kitchen with granite or similar
- Consider alternative splashbacks or upstands
- Consider worktop lighting
Those a just a few key elements that can radically transform a cheap kitchen into a premium kitchen. I’ve seen many instances where a cheap kitchen unit combined with a premium worktop gives off the appearance of a very expensive kitchen.
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