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Bernice’s Story: Buying a Solid Oak Approved Used Kitchen

Meet the Coles, three generations living within one traditional family home. Describing it as a modern set up, the family moved into their home in 2011 after inheriting it from a family member. Originally a bungalow built in 1889, the Coles family had already transformed the outside of their home by extending the property: their next step was to replace the existing kitchen.

We spoke to Bernice Coles, whose vision ensured the family secured a quality, solid oak kitchen from Used Kitchen Exchange: keeping on budget and allowing a quick turnaround.

With three generations living under one roof, the kitchen had become the family’s communal hub, so they jointly decided to collectively improve their kitchen space. Bernice says of their existing kitchen, “It was good quality, perfectly functional and was expensive when fitted – it had clearly been built to last however, it was dated and very much of its time.” Despite this, the growing family had started to feel as though they were enduring their existing kitchen as there seemed no urgent need to change it. Working together, the Coles had to choose a kitchen style that would remain sympathetic to the house’s period while also offering great value. A new kitchen needed to be more than just stylish and aesthetically pleasing – it needed to be functional, practical and serviceable for each member of the family.



With this mindset, Bernice set about researching her options and discovered it was possible to purchase an underused kitchen, complete with worktops and appliances! She said, “It was a revelation to me that you could find good quality underused kitchens online and so I was a bit like a dog with a bone. It doesn’t matter if it’s new or not. If I want it, I’ll find it and at the right price.” You may be thinking the Coles had their work cut out for them, but with hundreds of kitchens to choose from at Used Kitchen Exchange and Bernice’s clear vision and determination to get it right – they needn’t have worried.  Bernice’s first priority was quality and with that, she already had a style in mind – a timeless, wooden shaker style kitchen.

Bernice found exactly what she was looking for at Used Kitchen Exchange with a very large, solid oak kitchen complete with dovetail joints. In addition, the kitchen also came with granite worktops (including one very large piece on the island), a large wooden worktop (used as a table in the original owner’s kitchen), luxury NEFF appliances and a Britannia range oven!

However, it wasn’t before researching and understanding the options other second-hand kitchen sites offered that Bernice chose Used Kitchen Exchange. When we asked why, she said, “It was because we didn’t pay a dismantle cost when buying our kitchen. I really liked that the price I saw on the listing was the price I paid. Other companies seemed to have lots of extras added on and the costs stacked up!”

“Once you have an idea of style, it makes it easy. You simply have to measure your existing space and work out what units will fit,” says Bernice who admits to staying up late in her eagerness to measure her kitchen and figure out the dimensions. “Although we didn’t have room to use the island or table in our reconfiguration, nothing went to waste – we simply moved the island units and incorporated them into the rest of the kitchen.”

In fact, nothing from the original kitchen went to waste. The extra granite on the island was utilized. Bernice and her husband found a tradesman who was able to visit their home, assess the granite then cut (template) the granite onsite to reuse as much of it as they possibly could, in the most efficient way possible. When asked if this was expensive, Bernice said it was surprisingly reasonable and a lot cheaper than buying new. The Coles also hired a carpenter to make the best use of the kitchen units. With Bernice, the carpenter reconfigured the original kitchen units sometimes crafting solutions from existing carcasses to fit the quirky spaces of the period home. The remaining units were used in the family’s outbuilding (sometimes referred to as the man cave).



“I just couldn’t be more pleased!”

When asked what Bernice’s family thought about buying an approved used kitchen, “They love it! I say to everyone I know; this is the way to go. DO NOT go out and buy at new prices!”

Take a tour of the Coles family’s approved used kitchen below.

Interested in purchasing an approved used or ex-display kitchen? Simply visit our website, Used Kitchen Exchange.

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