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We Love That It’s Sustainable; Clare & Rob’s Designer Kitchen on a Budget

Clare & Rob admired Smallbone kitchens for years before they found theirs through UKE…

When Clare and her husband Rob purchased a new home, they were thrilled with the charming annexe that came with it. They were looking forward to converting it into a studio flat for their eldest daughter and her carer, and they were keen to make the most of the beautiful open-plan space. One crucial thing it was missing – a kitchen!

Finding a designer kitchen with UKE

The couple didn’t want to compromise on quality and desired the seamless functionality of a high-end kitchen. The main house featured a premium kitchen from cabinet makers Plain English. Looking over the original paperwork they knew that a similar quality kitchen was not an option for their budget. That is until they found our website. 

“My husband loves a bargain – he was busy looking on the website for a long time”

Clare and Rob were both familiar with quality kitchen brands and had admired Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson kitchens in the past. They loved the idea of re-using a kitchen and were bowled over by the sheer volume of kitchens available on the website, day in day out.

The first kitchen they fell in love with sold quickly. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise because shortly after, this spacious Smallbone of Devizes kitchen with Miele appliances was listed. They knew Smallbone as the quintessential luxury kitchen brand and took the opportunity to grab a bargain. 

“We used to drool over Smallbone kitchens.

We knew it was going to be something special when we saw it was Smallbone.”

When the kitchen arrived, Claire and Rob were impressed with the craftsmanship. The quality of the fittings stunned them, and they even found a date, the original owner’s name and the carpenter’s name carved beneath the cutlery tray.

Clare says she felt reassured by the amount of detail in the listing. Any wear and tear was detailed and photographed in detail, so she knew what to expect. Rob made sure to test out all the included appliances within the 14-day purchaser protection policy period. They all worked perfectly, and Clare was thrilled with one item in particular – that extendable tap!

The tap is fabulous – those are the extra things that cost the money.”

The kitchen came with Miele appliances and a nifty extendable tap

Fitting the used kitchen

One of the most common questions buyers ask us is how they know the kitchen will fit. Clare proved that fancy software isn’t necessary by going back to basics. 

“I got a piece of paper and cut all over the units out to a scale, and I moved them around.”

Using pen and paper, they worked out clever ways to make the most of the kitchen units AND fit the space. There was no room for the island, so they used it to create the peninsula we see here. A corner was added just before the dishwasher, and a new piece of granite was sourced to fit the design.

The kitchen island was repurposed as a peninsula

Cost and environmental savings

Making the most of the materials available to them was important to Clare and Rob. Keen to reduce waste as much as possible, they used all but two units and even took extra care to save the nuts and bolts. By choosing to reuse, they saved a total of 4402 kg – the equivalent of 11,108 miles travelled by car (see our sustainability calculator for more environmental/carbon saving stats)

“It was a really good bargain – we are particularly proud that it is a recycled kitchen!”

Including the costs of fitting, adjusting some units, the new worktop and touch up paint, their finished kitchen came in at a fraction of the cost compared to a new luxury kitchen. Would Clare and her husband shop with UKE again? They certainly would!

“Now we have found UKE we won’t need to buy a new kitchen.

We would maybe go for a Mark Wilkinson or another Smallbone next time even.” 

This stunning space is currently being lived in by Clare and Rob’s daughter and her girlfriend, with a view to their eldest daughter moving in eventually. Shopping with UKE allowed the family to use this beautiful space to maximum effect and create a home away from home for the whole family.

Inspired by Clare and Rob’s story? Shop ex-display kitchens and approved used kitchens at and find out what you could save. If you’re in need of kitchen inspiration, why not head over to our Instagram, or read more inspiring customer stories here.

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