Beating Brexit

What do you do if you’re a company that relies heavily on imports from Europe, and the Brexit negotiations leave you with uncertainty? We’ve heard lots of stories nationally, but how is it affecting businesses here in Warrington?

JD Kitchens is an independent kitchen company based in Padgate. They specialise in designer German manufactured Schuller kitchens, and Neff appliances. They are reliant on regular and reliable imports, so the continuing uncertainty is concerning.
Whilst they, and other kitchen companies have been given reassurances from several of their overseas suppliers that they will do everything they can to smooth any transition, the uncertainty over the continuing situation has led Dave Charlton, the owner to take an unusual approach to ensure the effect on his customers is minimal.

He explains:
“We remain reassured by Schuller that they won’t pass on any additional import charges, however, we’re less certain that the pound won’t be affected so we’ve taken the unprecedented decision to purchase enough euros to ensure that the price of our kitchens are held at today’s prices at least for all orders placed before 31 October 2019”.
“We never thought we’d have to become experts in finance as well as interior designers, but if that’s what we have to do to ensure our customers get the best deal, so be it”.

Of course, we also have our beautiful British manufactured Mackintosh kitchens, with no euros to contend with!

JD Kitchens can be found at 4 Gorsey Lane, Padgate, Warrington www.jdkitchens.co.uk

NEW RANGE IN NOW

When the chaps at Mackintosh said they were releasing a new range, we were excited, they promised colour and something a little bit different to the beauty of tradition that they are renowned for.

They haven’t let us down. Beautiful lines, striking colours and quality that would make any homeowner proud.

(Ask us for: Inset deep fjord and dark blue)

#mackintoshkitchens #britishmanufacturing

 

Laundry day made easy!

It wasn’t long ago that all kitchen tech looked the same. Innovation seemed to pause when the washer/dryer came out. Now we’re seeing a whole new stream of gadgets and gismos designed to make your life easier.

The chaps at Neff listened to their customers and their staff about what irritates them most at home, and finding the other (missing) sock after turning the washing machine was right up there in the top ten.

So they’ve done something about it. And we love it!

 

Sleek and timeless kitchen revealed

The Brief

This is the home of a busy couple with two young children with much loved, and very large dog! They’d inherited the dark and impractical builders’ kitchen, with limited workspace. And found it a challenge to move around the space together, particularly during busy mornings, when the dog is at its liveliest! They desperately wanted a complete redesign to provide:

• A practical, robust kitchen with dynamic cooking and food prep areas
• More light into the dark and dreary kitchen
• Flexibility of the dining area, with choice to adapt it for larger family occasions
• More storage
• Create and design a new boot room with access from the kitchen

The Solution

Our first challenge was to redesign the space so that it met with the clients needs for flexibility of use and improved natural light.

We removed a walled archway that separated the dining room from the kitchen, to make the existing floor to ceiling window a principal feature, and increase the natural light available to both rooms.
We then created a doorway into the existing garage, half of which was subsequently converted into a functional boot room.

The couple wanted a stunning design feature at the heart of their kitchen but needed to ensure it was durable and practical for family life. To meet their aspirations and match the prestige of their property, we installed an island using the largest possible single piece of 20mm Dekton (quartz, glass and porcelain) worktop measuring a weighty 3220 x 1440. With no joins or wastage, we certainly made the most of this beautiful and expensive material.

Set into the Dekton clad island is an 80cm Neff Twistpad Fire induction hob, whilst two pop up plug sockets and USB ports provide further flexibility for its use as a home/work space and baking prep area. Extraction and air quality filtering is maintained overhead, in a bespoke bulkhead that accommodates the motor and brings the extractor closer to the cooking area to maximise efficiency.

Instead of traditional tiling, we designed the kitchen vertically, installing full height recess cladding with with a rail system continue around the kitchen, freeing up worktops for aesthetic and practical purposes.

Wraparound end panels and lava black grip ledge profiles provide dramatic effect and give the illusion that that the worktops are floating, whilst matching plinths bring cohesion and quiet elegance and sophistication to the room.

The kitchen was designed with an aesthetic approach. With gentle grid lines and handless features providing structure and interest to the ergonomic, clean design lines. The black plinths both complement and contrast with the concrete and grey units, whilst beech wood accessories bring warmth and further depth to the design.

Sleek lines create a sense of timeless elegance

Every cupboard and deep drawer were carefully considered for storage, ergonomics and aesthetics. The tall fridge unit was mirrored with matching height cupboard doors which bely the range of drawers hidden behind.

Extra height tall units were installed to maximise the storage available in the kitchen and remove dust traps, reducing cleaning times. Even the more practical elements of the kitchen, such as the Quooker fusion round tap and one and a half bowl sink are stylish and considered.

One of the key requirements from the customer was to ensure that the new dining space was flexible and worked well ergonomically in the open plan space. We innovated and designed a dresser in the same materials as the kitchen, but at reduced depth to increase the floor space. The dining room now has flexible storage, natural light and the flexibility to seat up to 12 people.

The whole family are delighted with the flexibility of their new home. Even the dog gives his tail a happy wag, knowing he has plenty of room to move around!

Bottoms up

The Client Brief

Choosing the flooring for your new kitchen probably isn’t the first thing you think about (most people go for worktops and units first). But when your customer is an Amtico flooring expert we knew it was going to be a bold design feature, and this really focussed our attention at the planning stage.

Now a flooring specialist, the owner of this beautiful kitchen used to be a chef, so was exacting in the specification for high functioning cooking appliances, whilst his petite wife had her own requirements for ensuring that the kitchen met her needs too, with every inch accessible.
The design needed to accommodate both of their requirements, be beautiful and be an asset to the value of their home.


The JD Kitchens solution

Having seen the final few ideas for the flooring, we worked through the kitchen design from the ground up, to ensure that it was a strong feature in the design. And, with a consideration for height being on the couple’s check list, we decided to get one of the issues out of the way at the beginning and designed the kitchen with no wall hung cupboards.

Taking away the wall cupboards gave us a really clean line to work with, and a spacious feel. We emphasised the feeling of space by installing light reflective Schuller Unigloss units in Crystal Grey. Hard-working, yet luxurious light grey 30ml quartz worktop sourced locally from Cheshire Marble were heaved into place, the colour chosen to perfectly complement the final choice of tiled Amtico flooring.

The couple knew they wanted the sink area to have both convenience and eco credentials. Their choice of a Quooker instant boiling tap ticked both boxes, reducing the time spent boiling kettle and pans significantly.

Sinks are sometimes an afterthought, but not here. The Alu Metallic Silgranite sink from Blanco was selected not only for its sleek design credentials, but also for its anti-stain and super hygienic features, ideal to reducing cleaning time and the need for harsh cleaning products.

The clever use of a tilted extractor fan ensures that the beautiful flooring was seen more than just at ground level as its reflection is picture perfect at eye level from the shiny Neff extractor fan and other appliances.

The Neff twist pad fire induction hob makes light work of cooking. By using a different arrangement of induction coils to cover a wider area, an entire zone can be activated and pans placed anywhere within that zone will receive instant heat. Clever cooking!

Finally, because the Neff Slide and Hide door disappears into the oven casing on opening, we arranged this oven to sit on top of the combi oven, allowing a shorter frame to access both ovens easily without the inconvenience of a door in the way.

And, with a six-year installation warranty from our KBSA membership our customers are super happy!

If you have an idea for a feature in your kitchen, or special requirements you would love to accommodate in your kitchen speak to us. Our experienced designers love bringing your passion to life.
Visit us at our showroom at 4 Gorsey Lane, Warrington or call 01925 636997 to make a no obligation appointment.

How to create a light and bright kitchen

Maximising the light in your home is just one way to make it appear bigger and more welcoming. There are few ways you can do this, depending on your budget and the space you have to play with. For example adding reflective surfaces, silk paints and clever use of mirrors help to bounce the light around a room, so are great for smaller budgets. Some projects though, require a more drastic solution, in this case a sledgehammer!

Dave Charlton from JD Kitchens has been designing kitchens for 18 years. He explained their approach to this stunning kitchen.

“Our customers had inherited a kitchen with a brick feature pillar which divided the rooms and robbed them of light. Removing it gave the opportunity to open up the kitchen and create a dream home. We continued to use light loving materials throughout the kitchen to enhance the space, selecting white glass doors from the Next125 range of kitchens.

Precision Workmanship for a perfect finish

To further streamline the kitchen, we designed it with no handles, even removing them from the dishwasher and the end panels were designed to match seamlessly and maintain the integrity of the bespoke kitchen”.

Handleless Design #seamless

A Silestone worktop in coral grey contours around the kitchen adding depth and warmth, whilst the moulded sink in the same material, melts seamlessly into the worktop. A Blanco tap completes the high end appeal”.

Moulded Silestone Sink Melts into the worktop 

 

 

Finally, the kitchen was completed with German engineered NEFF appliances included a self-cleaning slide&hide oven, compact oven with microwave, flex induction hob, canopy extractor and dishwasher.

If you’re looking for a kitchen transformation and want a team that can do the whole project, beginning to end call in to see Dave at JD Kitchens, Gorsey Lane Warrington or call 01925 636997 for a free no obligation consultation.

Brexit. How is it affecting us as a specialist importer of German Kitchens?

As you know, we’re a company that relies heavily on imports from Europe, and Brexit, or at least its uncertainty continues to loom. We’ve heard lots of stories nationally, but how is it affecting our businesses here in Warrington?

JD Kitchens is a bespoke kitchen company based in Padgate. We specialise in designer German manufactured Schuller kitchens, and are reliant on regular and reliable imports, so the recent uncertainty over trading has been a real concern.

In a letter received last week, it is clear that the uncertainty of Brexit is clearly being felt across both sides of the pond, but one thing that has been made clear is how important trade relations with Britain are.

The letter from Schuller to JD Kitchens entitled ‘letter of support instead of waiting for Plan B’ goes beyond a token offer of reassurance. It explains how Schuller will guarantee a quick delivery service and will bear the costs of any additional fees of import, so that there are no effect on the customer purchase price, something that Dave Charlton, the owner at JD Kitchens has been concerned with for some time.

“The changes to the exchange rate have been a significant challenge to me as a small business. I’ve almost become an expert in currency. I have been buying Euros for several months in advance to help us manage to hold prices when the Euro/Pound exchange rates are unfavourable.

The letter from Schuller was extremely supportive, and has allowed us to reassure our customers, that the sale price of their kitchen will hold steady.

He continues;
“At the end of the day, we can’t do anything and that’s frustrating. The good news is that we’ve been given reassurances from several of our overseas suppliers and the KBSA that they’ll work with us and get us over the other side as pain free as possible, so we’re remaining positive”.

Richard Hibbert, National Chair of Kbsa reflected on the findings of their recent industry survey on the outcome of Brexit:
“A snapshot survey of members views on the current situation found that when asked which outcome they preferred, between leaving without a deal, negotiating a delay or Theresa May getting her deal approved, most Kbsa members voted in favour of Theresa May negotiating her deal. There was a handful of votes to leave without a deal and one vote for another referendum or cancelling Brexit altogether”.

So, its clear that it is still business as usual for JD Kitchens in their 18th year, and the future whilst not straightforward, remains positive, with a full order book well into spring.

Tucking into Neff

Wow, last night was brilliant! Andrea, the home economist from Neff came over with bags full of food to prepare for our special guests.

She popped little pastries filled with marinated tomatoes into the oven, along with garlic bread with pesto and chorizo – a lovely little canape to go with the cold white wine whilst the guests arrived.

Next Andrea did a demonstration of the combination microwave, explaining how the special Neff technology meant that the little roast potatoes with parmesan would cook in half the time.

Pizza was next, cooked in the steam oven! I don’t think any of us expected that it would be crispy, but it was – magic indeed.

Over to the induction hob and we were served delicious griddled halloumi, and pork meatballs in pitta bread with sour cream and chive dip.

The food just kept coming, dish after dish and by the end our appetites were sated, and then we saw the chocolate brownies with cherries and pistachio, the fresh fruit and the melted chocolate (which had been melted in a pan on the induction hob without a bain-marie – the joy of temperature control!).

Our guests loved it, and even the most ardent bakers and cooks among them took away information on how they could get the most out of their shiny new Neff appliances.

Being a five-star Neff Masterpartner gives us some great pricing on Neff products, to beat the high street competition, plus we get to hold amazing events like this too, we love it!

We’ll be holding another session in October for our most recent customers, we’d better get to the gym first!

 

Let JD Kitchens colour you happy!

‘COLOUR me happy there’s a sofa in here for two’; The surprised and delighted exclamation from the classic 90’s film Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

The scene, a lift in a posh hotel. The subject : a sofa in a lift.

Fast forward almost 30 years and she probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Luxury and plush are at every turn.

The demand for quality over cheap and disposable is prevalent: reusable coffee cups and a campaign to say no to plastic straws are just some examples and we’re seeing more every day.

Couple this with the incredible speed of technological advances and knowledge, and eco is a factor we all need to consider.

Dave Charlton Director at JD Kitchens explains
“Only a few years ago we needed to explain the benefits of boiling water taps (safety, speed and eco-friendliness), and now people are simply walking in and asking for a brand name like Quooker, it is fast becoming standard.

Similarly, we were previously at pains to explain the eco credentials of our kitchens, and why we selected them over other quality brands. These days our customers know more than us, they care about the environment and are looking for something long lasting and robust, but dripping in sophistication.

As an engineer by trade I wanted to ensure that what we offered not only looked sleek and stylish and used cutting edge technology, but had eco credentials to boot. When we came across the Next125 range I knew we’d found the kitchen brand for us.”

It is designed and made using recycled materials and sustainable products. The range is constantly evolving, finding alternative ways to be more innovative, environmentally friendly and efficient.

Sleek handleless glass doors, splashes of colour and clever use of texture and lighting make the Next 125 range absolutely guaranteed to colour you happy, and impress every single day for years to come.

Find out more 01925 636997

 

FREE pans with selected NEFF products