Bespoke vs. Made-to-measure Kitchens

Our team of designers at Mayfair Kitchen Studio offer decades of experience in designing beautiful bespoke kitchens that are exactly what our customers dream of. Our passion is creating kitchens that perfectly suit our customers’ lifestyles and the space in their home.

When customers from across Cheshire visit us at one of our showrooms, they often have an idea in mind of how they want their new kitchen to look, complete with colour schemes, ideas for materials and where they want things to be positioned. Our team of designers can work with you to maximise the potential for your living space. A question we often get asked by customers is what is the difference between bespoke and made to measure kitchens – aren’t they the same?

Wirral Kitchens

No two kitchens are ever the same, and a kitchen can cost anywhere from just a few thousand pounds to tens of thousands – it’s all a matter of choice and budget. When considering a new kitchen, it is always worth asking yourself whether you want a completely bespoke kitchen, or whether you want a standard range of kitchen units that are essentially ‘off the peg’. There are many positives to having a bespoke kitchen. There are unlimited colours and materials to choose from, as well as different ranges of cooking appliances, worktops, taps, handles, cupboard designs, lighting and more.

When you have a bespoke kitchen, it is completely made for you and only you. There is no second version – no other kitchen will be like yours. It is exclusive and individually crafted to your specific instructions and needs. Bespoke kitchens are made from raw, natural materials and are often handmade (like ours at Mayfair Kitchen Studio), using time-honed crafting techniques. Made to measure kitchens are much cheaper and are made as factory runs.


Just as you have the option to have a bespoke suit made from an exclusive tailor, or to purchase a suit from a shop off the peg, this is exactly the same choice you have when deciding to have a new kitchen. A handmade bespoke suit takes much longer to produce, as measurements and fittings need to be undertaken to ensure that it fits absolutely perfectly. It’s the same with a bespoke kitchen – your kitchen is specifically made to the kitchen designer’s drawings and specifications. To create a bespoke kitchen from scratch can take 8 weeks or even longer, depending on how ambitious the design is, the materials used and the size of the space being occupied.

Unlike a made to measure kitchen, you can be as creative and bold with a bespoke kitchen as you dare to – nothing is impossible and your kitchen designer will do everything they can to meet your requirements and plans. Height, curves, straight lines, depth… everything is possible – it all depends on your imagination and creativity. Bespoke kitchens are made up of cabinets, while made to measure kitchens are comprised of units. Units that are mass produced, piled high and often sold rather cheaply. As a result, production costs are cheaper, too, meaning that made to measure kitchens won’t last as long or have the resilience to wear and tear that a bespoke kitchen will.

The type of kitchen you decide on will depend on the budget you allow for and whether or not you want that kitchen to last years into the future. The higher the budget you allow for, the more chance you have of being able to have the kitchen of your dreams, crafted to an exceptionally high standard in a studio such as ours.

How to work with darker tones in a kitchen

At Mayfair Kitchen Studios, we often see many customers across the Cheshire area who want to create a luxury bespoke kitchen with the latest on-trend colours in mind. Our aim is to make your dream kitchen come to life, whatever the colour or design. We’ll make sure that your kitchen is beautifully designed perfectly to suit your needs and lifestyle. We’ve seen an increase in customers asking for darker tones and more contemporary unit design in their kitchen, especially as the minimalistic industrial trend continues to rise in popularity.

It is often assumed that dark colours instantly overpower a room and are a quite risky look to choose for your kitchen. From our experience however, dark tones work really well when paired with lighter tones, or mixed together to create a double-dark design. Using dark hues in this way can look very dramatic and modern.

In order to make dark tones work, it’s often recommended to throw in a little white here and there to ensure illumination. This is especially important in smaller spaces, which can look even smaller if too much dark colour is used. Incorporate a section of slim white cabinets, a white feature wall, some LED lighting and white worktops, a white island, or soften the space with white marble counter-tops and a splashback. The gentle marble veins on the worktops will balance out the darker hues you have used elsewhere in the room.

Another tip for a dark kitchen is to place more focus on an island or peninsula (if you have room for one). Generally speaking, we’d advise that you use darker colours for larger spaces. If you are worried about taking that leap into the unknown and turning your entire kitchen dark, why not try the look in one small area. One idea is to try a dark kitchen island, balancing this with lighter colours and wooden surfaces in the rest of the kitchen. Plus, the darker island will create a nice focal point for the room, helping it to stand out. Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix up your materials. Combine dark black and charcoal tones with ceramic, wood and marble surfaces to simplify a space, making it look more modern, minimalistic and uncluttered. This look works especially well in kitchens with an open-plan design.

Wirral Kitchens

If you’re after a more bold design, why not pair deep-coloured worktops with dark units? Gold and copper accessories, handles and taps add to a very striking and luxurious look. You’ll need to be careful with this more experimental design though, because if you do not have enough natural light, the style may become too oppressive. Our expert kitchen designers can offer advice on this if you are unsure.

The benefits of a darker kitchen

There are many benefits to incorporating bolder, darker hues and black to a kitchen. Many of our customers visiting our showrooms in Chester or Wirral are wowed by how many alternative looks there are on offer when you start experimenting with darker colours. Some of the positives of a darker kitchen include:

  • Making a space contemporary and cosy. This especially works if you want to create a kitchen with a more intimate feel.
  • Lighting can create a warm glow over darker surfaces (as the light doesn’t reflect as much as it would with white and lighter surfaces).
  • Cabinets and worktops in darker colours generally don’t show signs of wear and tear as much as those in lighter shades. Food for thought if you have young children and want surfaces that are a little more forgiving of those scratches and knocks.
  • Black and darker tones work well with bright colours, making them a great way to showcase bolder hues.
  • A black kitchen can look very sleek and luxurious, and can also be a great way to make your kitchen look centralised and grounded in an open space.