Where to start with this wonderfully descriptive, but so often now superficially used word? Let’s try the very beginning.
The origins of the word bespoke share a special connection with Savile Row in London. The word bespoke was mostly known for its “centuries-old relationship” with tailor made suits, as opposed to ‘off the peg’ where the choice is limited to take it or leave it.
Moving forward to modern day, the word has been elevated to a status that implies the ordering of a unique and personal commodity carrying an ethos of high-end quality.
However the over use and bandying around of the word ‘bespoke’ has seen it recently losing its importance which is a shame as a genuinely created bespoke product is something custom made and treasured by those who commissioned the special, exclusive and individual creation.
History lesson over and moving on to the use of the word in connection with bespoke kitchens and furniture, just the associated use of the word ‘bespoke’ immediately appears to imply the word ‘expensive’. This is not necessarily so.
Yes, it is going to cost more than an ‘off the peg’ offering as it is a one off custom made product but can still offer great value for money with its inherent quality and uniquity, it also offers the advantage of being able to offer a solution to a problem that is not on offer anywhere else.
Bespoke, in theory, can be applied to every kitchen ever created as they are all, without exception, like fingerprints and singular in nature.
In reality, this is not the case, the market dictates cost and the easiest way to achieve price points is in the mass production of standard size ‘boxes’ which caters to the needs of most people. But not all and this is where the word bespoke does carry an importance beyond the general use so inherent in the industry today.
Not everyone is wanting a product that is available to the world and their next door neighbour, don’t we all desire, even crave that something just a little bit special, a little bit exclusive? Isn’t this where a bespoke product comes in to its own, having the advantage of being able to specify all the elements of the design opens up the opportunity to create a very particular ‘concoction’.
A note to the wise here, if you are of the mind set that paying a lot of money guarantees you a truly bespoke and individual kitchen, please be very wary. Many of the high end brands you may know well (we call them ‘the usual suspects’) appear to offer ‘bespoke’ but when pushed even the slightest, fall way short. Try bringing some ideas of your own to the table, a personal colour preference, a handle you have seen and would like, maybe a particular styling you’ve seen on Instagram or Pinterest, if their answer is no, then you are not dealing with honestly bespoke kitchens.
One of the main advantages of a true bespoke offer (emphasis on the true) that pushes the financial implications to one side is the lack of restraints facing your chosen designer and cabinetmaker, thus affording them the opportunity to create something very personal, exclusive and particular to you.
I personally relish this opportunity as it allows me to take the complete symmetry of your home into consideration. The size of the room, the height of the ceiling, any unusual configuration or unique original features, mouldings and profiles. It allows the proportions so restrictive in the mass produced offerings to be altered without hindrance or restraints. I can take the cabinets higher or wider than the ‘industry standard’ giving a singular affinity to that specific room, I can play with the full scope of architectural options both in the area available and the cabinetry configuration we are able to conceive.
This is even more so important in period homes, especially smaller and unusual properties where space is ordinarily lacking and needs to be considered carefully so as to maximise its worth, only a genuinely bespoke can offer the best opportunities here.
To sum it up, please be sure that what you are committing to is a truly bespoke kitchens offer and you will be buying in to something very unique and custom ‘one off’ that is especially exclusive and personal to you, something that will last and inevitably be the greatest value for money.
If you are really not sure about your options and what is in front of you, why not, with one of the biggest investments in your life, give Charlie a ring and let him help you with some advice and tips on how to avoid the pit falls and offer some advice on how to make the best and informed decision.
Why would it not make sense to do so? See how varied our bespoke projects really are by reading some case studies from past projects in our Journal section!
We are very proud that this article was featured in the September 2019 Edition of OxMag as seen below!