Schmidt blends the perfect ingredients for the modern kitchen: German precision, French flair and old-fashioned customer service
‘My parents used to call it the “Crisis Hour.” It’s that point in the typical family day when Mum and Dad are catching up after work, the children are doing their homework, dinner is on the go and the pets are being fed.’
Lisa-Marie Johnson, Showroom Manager of Schmidt Kitchens, is describing a familiar scene. ’And that is all happening in the kitchen,’ she smiles. ‘They are today’s living rooms – it’s why kitchens look less utilitarian and much more like furniture these days.’
Schmidt is a fast-growing name in the kitchen market. Founded in Germany 70 years ago, the family-owned operation later moved production to the Alsace region of France, where it is now the country’s largest kitchen manufacturer.
In the UK the brand was initially sold through independent retailers; then, in 2012, Schmidt unveiled its first showroom and there are now 30 nationwide with more planned.
For Lisa-Marie and her experienced team, that multi-national heritage is a boon. ‘We have the precision and flexibility of German engineering and, when it comes to style and colour, our products are hugely influenced by French flair. As kitchen designers, it makes our job so exciting.’
Building close relationships is the cornerstone of the Schmidt ethos. ‘We want to provide a bespoke solution for everyone – our kitchens are individually designed and made to order – so we need to get to know the client,’ confirms Lisa-Marie. ‘At what we call the Discovery appointment we ask lots of questions: how will the kitchen be used, does someone tall do the cooking, are there any pets, is an office area required? Armed with that information, we can then come up with a design that works in terms of space, budget – of course, that’s essential – and, most importantly, meets the demands of daily life.’
Nothing is set in stone during the free design process, with the plans being refined until the client is happy. The in-house designer is a constant point of contact – Lisa-Marie is also always involved – and they are happy to work from architects’ plans, advise on costs and take care of the installation.
Style-wise, Schmidt can supply all options from English country cottage to high-gloss industrial, together with every possible colour, finish and material. The company is renowned for ingenious innovations. ‘By lowering the usual plinth height and having slightly deeper than normal base and wall units, we give 33% extra storage space in every cabinet,’ says Lisa-Marie. ‘In addition, we offer 24 carcass colours and 48 worktop heights and we’re not restricted to any particular brand of appliances.’
While kitchens are the core of Schmidt’s business, the company also manufactures an elegant range of living room, bedroom, bathroom and office furniture. ‘It makes sense since many kitchens are open-plan to the living space and share common elements,’ Lisa-Marie explains. ‘Whether it’s tables and chairs or a dresser, we can make them in the same or a complementary material to the kitchen.’
At Schmidt Kitchens you’ll find a wealth of inspirational ideas and receive a warm, dedicated personal service. ‘We’re passionate about what we do,’ says Lisa-Marie. ‘We take great pride in designing customised kitchens that combine style and functionality and are perfectly tailored to how our clients really live.’
323 King Street,
London W6 9NH
323 King Street,
London W6 9NH