Like many businesses, Magnet Kitchens has started offering a virtual kitchen design service to its customers, as an online kitchen planner.
In this time of dramatic change and upheaval, businesses have had to find a way to still help their customers, and Magnet has done just that.
Lockdown has meant a lot more time spent in our homes. Time where we’ve hung out with our family much more than normal, and no doubt, discovered how our homes could be improved.
The kitchen is a space that works incredibly hard. It needs to be practical, tough and stylish. It has to be cook, entertainer, family room, office, craft room, dance studio (yes my daughter has online ballet lessons in ours), relaxation room and so much more.
It’s quite likely that you’ve found the weak points in your own kitchen design.
And dreamt of the time when you can redesign and replace it.
Well, Magnet Kitchens has the answer and you don’t even have to step foot in a store. Welcome to the online virtual kitchen design service.
Here’s how it works:
Via the Magnet Kitchens website, you can begin your online kitchen planning. All from the comfort of your own home.
Tools on the website will help you measure, explore and design a new kitchen.
Using the Project Account section, you can save your ideas and wishes ready for your virtual appointment. The designer can see what you’ve selected and how you want your kitchen to look. No need to duplicate your efforts.
You can even configure your kitchen and get a price guide from the comfort of your own home. Sit with a glass of wine and Netflix in the background and start dreaming!
Finally, you’ll want to book a virtual kitchen design appointment. This is where a kitchen designer from your nearest store is selected to work with you throughout the whole process.
No need to worry about using a call centre – Magnet Kitchens assign your kitchen designer to work with you from beginning to end, really getting to know you, understand your needs as a family and build a kitchen that is tailored exactly to you.
You really do get a personal service – and it’s the same for everyone, no matter what you spend.
My Online Kitchen Design Appointment:
(Here’s my current kitchen, an updated mix of old cabinets and new, some painted by me a few years ago).
Of course, I wanted to test out the virtual kitchen design experience for myself.
I wanted to see exactly what you would get as a customer and how this service compares to a face to face experience.
Whilst it’s been many years since I did buy a new kitchen (around 16 years ago from the now defunct MFI), I use online services a lot for my home, so I needed to see how this compared.
Kitchen Design Requirements:
I gave the designer my design requirements in advance, pretty much like using the Project area on the website, saying I wanted an ultra sleek and contemporary ktichen, but with a warm, family feel.
I wanted to see the Integra Soho kitchen (below) in Midnight in the plans. With a thin, sleek worktop.
Design features required:
- Breakfast bar – we don’t have space for an island or table.
- Brass accessories, tap, sink etc
- Hot water tap
- Slimline worktop
- Brushed Brass Cooker Hood
- Storage features like Cabinet Plus
- Recycling features
- As eco-friendly as possible
- The latest Samsung American fridge freezer
The Virtual Design Appointment
Carried out online using Microsoft teams, the Kitchen Designer had already created a lot of the layout and design in advance from my intial requirements.
They were presented quickly, showcasing the different areas and features in turn.
It’s wonderful to see it all come to life, and it looks so clear and vivid. It really is incredible to see your vision come to life so quickly.
The designer was able to point out all the features I’d requested, giving me more information about each of them if I needed it.
Online Kitchen Planner – First Draft:
Here are the first draft images from the virtual kitchen design service.
These were presented to me during the initial virtual design appointment. They feature all of the requirements I’d asked for and you can start to see how this new kitchen would look in your own home.
I have to say, this is a very powerful representation of a new kitchen. It looks EXACTLY like my own kitchen space, so if you’re not great at visualising how a new design could look, this is excellent at removing that issue.
Firstly, I noticed how streamlined the new design looked. Chatting to the designer, she had hoped that we would remove a tall pantry from the window wall, and in doing so, she’s opened up the whole kitchen. I can now imagine how much light would flood into the room.
Removing the pantry does mean we will lose valuable storage space, but this has been cleverly replaced by utilising the corner of the kitchen next to the fridge freezer, above.
Currently this is an empty space housing our bin, yet by taking the cupboards both on the floor and on the wall around the corner, we are able to make use of this usused area.
The above viewpoint, shows the standalone dishwasher – a feature I had asked to be included – but here we can see that it really breaks up the design.
The designer and I decided pretty quickly that a change to this layout would be necessary, and that installing an integrated dishwasher would give a better design finish.
It would mean the run of cabinets would be unbroken, as well as the brass plinth. A clever design move I think.
The plan below, emailed as part of the follow up appointment pack, shows the birds eye view of the room – a great way to see how it all hangs together.
And then finally, your email pack includes the details for all the features and the tech specifications.
The intial meeting took around an hour. I’ll admit we didn’t chat about lighting or electricals, which would take a little longer.
They say there are around 100 decisions to make when designing and purchasing a new kitchen, so you do need to prepare to spend a reasonable amount of time on it, but Magnet and their designers are committed to supporting and helping you, every step of the way.
I definitely had that feeling – they really care about the customer and their experience.
So, later that day, my designer followed up with the amended plans from my online kitchen planning appointment.
Final Kitchen Design:
I added another cupboard above the breakfast bar, for extra storage and to please my symmetry loving design eye.
You might also notice that the appliances have been swapped out for stainless steel versions rather than black. I preferred this to the darker black finish.
In this image above you can also see the corner cabinet design allowing full access into the recesses of the space.
In the image above, you get to see what the run of cabinets now looks like with the integrated dishwasher, and if you look closely, you’ll see the brass sink and tap, plus the hot water tap next to it.
Following these remote one-to-ones, the bespoke designs can be worked up further and door samples can be posted out for customers to see how their chosen style and shade works in their home, with no pressure to purchase at any point.
Whilst the online kitchen planner service has always been on offer, virtual appointments and purchasing is new, following lockdown, but it’s actually here to stay. It’s been such a huge success that it will continue to be offered to all Magnet customers.
It’s also important to understand that, you also have the opportunity to mix and match the virtual service, with an instore service too. However you want to approach your kitchen design and purchasing, Magnet are there to support you.
Want to find out more about the Magnet Kitchens virtual kitchen design service? Want to do your own online kitchen planning?
Head to the website to find out more and start planning your new family kitchen.
Created as part of my ongoing partnership with Magnet Kitchens
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