Its a small kitchen, an estate agent would call it “compact” or “bijou”, a kitchen designer would call it a “galley kitchen”, its small, thats all, its just small.
We’ve lived in the house for ten years now and the people who had the house before us invited in a firm of kitchen fitters who designed cupboard to fit every nook and cranny, which is good because there are plenty of cupboards in such a compact, bijou, small kitchen, but they manufactured the cupboards to fit the non-standard spaces in the kitchen so we have non-standard cupboards.
All of which means that its not as easy to remodel the kitchen as just replacing the doors, I’ve costed it up and nearly every door would have to be bespoke so its not cheap.
And one of the worktops is another thing, its sort of a dog leg in shape and was cut professionally and then finished off properly so to change that would need someone with more expertise than me and an old rusty saw.
But a couple of months ago we were in Ikea and for some reason unknown to myself I got it into my head that we’d get the Ikea kitchen designers to have a go at designing one for us so armed with a properly measured out plan of said kitchen (I used to be a surveyor, remember ?), (OK that was 40 years ago, but still), I booked an appointment and we sat down with one of the girls at Ikea and she did some designing for us.
And it was actually very good, we liked the design and we liked the finish on the doors and we liked lots of things about our Ikea designed kitchen, “Ah” I said, “But what about the price, how much is this all going to cost us ?” I was of course starting to sound exactly like my father.
She pressed a button on the computer and the computer said that it would cost £4900 fully fitted and that included some appliances too, that was quite good and it would save me the arseache of having to fit it myself.
“Thats quite good” I told her, “and it would save me the arseache of having to fit it myself”.
We left with arms full of brochures and the plan and price list and for the next few nights we thought about it and we made a few alterations and I spoke to the girl on the phone with some questions, one of which was “Does the fully installed price include the removal and disposal of the old kitchen units ?” to which the Ikea girl said “No”.
My next question was going to be on the lines of “Well how the fuck are they going to fit a new kitchen if they don’t take the old one out first ?” but I changed that question to be on the lines of “Well if I have to take the old one out myself then I might as well fit the new one while I’m at it” and she agreed and knocked £1500 off the price, which was nice.
So I offered my debit card details over the phone to place the order but she said that they couldn’t do that and we had to go into the store to order it, so one evening we went into the store with card and kitchen plan in hand, which in the meantime had been checked over for “do-ability” by her boss, and after waiting for ten minutes I managed to catch hold of an assistant who wasn’t trying to look too busy to speak to anyone and showed her the plan and showed her my debit card, “This was designed by your colleague and I’d like to order it please and pay for it now” and I smiled.
I’ll remind you, the price was £3400.
“Oh you can’t just walk in and pay for it like that” this random Ikea kitchen woman said with a rather haughty manner, “You have to make an appointment to pay”.
Now my friends I am not the sort of person who ever loses his temper and I am not the sort of person who makes a fuss in a store, but I am the sort of person who is quite happy to NOT order something for £3400 if he thinks he is being pissed about by the retailer and right at this moment there was a voice in my head saying “30 seconds and we are walking…”
“Has it been checked” the Ikea woman said whilst looking at the plans, “Yes” I replied.
“Well this is wrong for a start” she said, “this cupboard won’t fit in that space you’ll have to have a narrower one altogether and then the whole design will look wrong, who checked it ?”
I pointed to the manager who was stood behind her, “Your boss” I said
“Well I’m going to have to start again with this and I haven’t got time now, can you come back in an hour ?” she asked and her boss upon hearing this sidled away.
“You don’t really know me do you” I thought, “OK” is what I said and walked, as we walked out of the store the wife realised that our new kitchen wasn’t going to be coming from Ikea any longer, so we went to B&Q.
And that is another story…