By Victoria Braithwaite
Creating a kitchen based on the latest style or trend can be fairly straightforward, but what happens when you don’t want what everyone else has and instead you want something that is truly unique and individual to your style?
We talked to Ellen Wundersitz, general manager of Space Craft Joinery, HIA award winner for the last four years for the Renovated Kitchens up to $30,000 category, to find out what makes a bespoke kitchen successful. “It is important to listen to your client assess their needs and wants,” she says. “Considerations will take into account how they live their lives and how they use their current kitchen, what they want their kitchen space to say about them (how will it reflect them as people) and then the obvious stuff about technical requirements, budget, and spatial considerations.”
Ellen says what sets them apart from other kitchen cabinetmakers is that everything is bespoke. “Every piece of joinery is unique to our client and their space. We never do anything identical. Our kitchens may not be to everyone’s taste but they always stand out and are memorable. They are designed around our client’s style, taste and lifestyle and of course, their budget.”
When asked what makes a kitchen installation successful, Ellen was quick to answer: planning. “Our kitchens are fully constructed in our workshop then packed down ready for installation. There is always the potential however for issues to crop up at installation time. Say for example, we might discover issues with electrical wiring or cabling positions, plumbing challenges, or floors, skirting or walls that can be completely out of whack. In older homes in particular (but sometimes new builds too), walls tend not to be straight, and stone walls can present a real challenge when trying to get fixings for cabinetry. But that’s where the skill of our highly qualified tradies comes to the fore. They really know their stuff and are great problem solvers. They will persevere until they’re satisfied they’ve achieved an excellent result.”
As the client, she says you should ask as many questions as you can. “Don’t be afraid. It’s better to ask a question you think is silly, rather than not ask and your query not be addressed and then you are potentially disappointed with the result. At the end of the day, we want our clients to love their new space, but communication is vital. Say for example, you have chosen timber for your overheads, but fail to mention that you want it in a particular shade or running on a particular grain direction (say horizontal). That’s the stuff we need to know from the outset. The more detail the better.”
Ellen adds you need to feel comfortable communicating with your designer, as their role is to translate your dream into a physical reality. “This can only be achieved if you’re on the same page. At the end of the day, great communication is imperative for a successful kitchen design and build.”
All kitchens shown are by Space Craft Joinery.