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New to Dartmouth in 2017, Dartmouth Kitchens and Interiors is a one-stop-shop for customised kitchens. With in-house carpenters and designers, they help create bespoke kitchens for customers across the South Hams, from design to installation. We spoke to kitchen designer Pauline about what makes them unique…
Tell me a bit about Dartmouth Kitchens?
It was set up in 2017 by Andy, who has been a carpenter and joiner for more than 20 years, and had been working on his own for a long time making kitchens. When an opportunity came up to have a shop on Foss Street in Dartmouth, he took it on with his partner, Dave, who specialises in construction. We opened a new showroom so people can see the products and get a real idea of the look and feel of lots of different styles and aspects of the kitchens from colours to worktop samples.
What did Andy do before Dartmouth Kitchens and Interiors?
Andy was a carpenter and joiner by trade. He started in Devon, where he’s from, and then went to London for a while to learn new skills before coming back. He and Dave decided to focus on kitchens as there seemed a gap in the local market for it. It also worked well with our location on Foss Street, which had previously been a kitchen shop, so it seemed meant to be!
What’s unique about Dartmouth Kitchens and Interiors?
I think our showroom is quite unique, especially as it’s in the centre of Dartmouth so it’s a really nice space for people to come to and get an idea of what they want. We’ve all been in the industry for a long time - I’ve been in the trade for 20 years, and we’re all very passionate about what we do and it’s a nice individual service that we offer. We work one-to-one with customers and spend a lot of time with each one to find out what they want and how they want their kitchen to work. We then design for their specific needs, so it’s a real labour of love.
What would surprise people most about what you do?
That having a bespoke kitchen is not necessarily more expensive than getting one ‘off the shelf’. We work across the spectrum; with clients to try to tailor kitchens to a budget and those who have no budget at all. When you buy off the shelf, you don’t necessarily have diversity of shape to fit the space that you need, where we can, so it’s often better value for money as well.
How does the process work?
A lot of the time clients find us by word of mouth or recommendations. They make an appointment and come and see us at the showroom to talk about what they want. We will then go out and measure the space, before coming back and talking to them in another meeting to really refine the details of what they want. That an often be quite a long chat up to a couple of hours. I will then do the designs, and clients will come back to discuss them and make any changes. Obviously this can be a bit of a process as we do it all - the worktops, the appliances - everything. Our team will then create all the parts and fit it, including the plumbing and electrics.
Do you do anything else beyond kitchens?
We do the entire building side as well. Dave our builder and he works directly with clients to meet their needs. Quite a lot of the time projects come to us through architects and we can do entire houses including total renovations, extensions and building projects. It makes it very easy for people to get everything done as they only have to deal with one team, and it’s really rewarding to see a property come together.
How big is the team?
There’s Dave and Andy, myself and Callula in the shop and two other people out doing the building and fitting work. We also have a network of trusted contractors that we use when necessary.
What plans do you have moving forward?
We just joined forces with a German kitchen company called Rotpunkt and are putting a new showroom installation together with a different selection of units. They’re a slightly higher end product with an industrial feel, which is very popular at the moment. We’re always looking for new ideas and try to respond to what clients are looking for as styles and preferences change.
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