Utopia    Feature 17 Aug 2017

Renowned designer Daniele Brutto of Hub Kitchens reveals the secrets behind getting your perfect kitchen

Based in Battersea and founded in 2005, Hub Kitchens is the brainchild of Daniele Brutto, who with experience of the Italian furniture industry, has used his considerable knowledge and expertise to develop a business that focuses on the heart and hub of the home – the kitchen.

What are your top tips when designing a new kitchen?Find a great designer that you feel comfortable with and help them to understand you and your lifestyle requirements. Look at what you currently have and be frank about what works and does not work in your current kitchen.

How do you deal with client’s expectation when they ask for something you don’t think will look good or work? Ultimately, it is their choice, so the client will always make the final decision. I do not believe it is a designer’s job to enforce their ideas onto a client otherwise we would be creating the same kitchens over and over again, it’s down to the designer to accept and respect a client’s opinion whether they agree with it or
not. I simply tell a client why I
do not agree with them, offer an alternative and move on regardless.

What kitchen designs are you most proud of and why? Kitchen designs where clients have told me they do not feel it will work but are happy to trust me, then to find out months later on the project’s completion how well it does work. One client was not convinced the sliding table would be used very much, on completion she told me it was her favourite part of the house.

What projects have you found the most challenging and why? Some clients have no idea what they like and don’t like, this can be super challenging as they only know it when they see it. If you dial into a client’s thought process early on in the design stage then you can get lucky
and create a design they love, otherwise, it can be tricky. Some clients won’t commit to you until they absolutely have to and mix and match their ideas from different design studios. This I think is a mistake and can make trying to create a cohesive design very challenging.

What is the most over the top or unusual thing a client has asked for in their new kitchen? I have been asked once to install extremely rare and exotic marble that we just know should not be used in a kitchen. The client told us he only wanted it on the island and promised to never use the island for cooking. The marble and cladding cost nearly £20,000. We recently installed a kitchen in
a property with nearly 1,000 litres of refrigeration capacity where the client will only be spending four weeks of the year in the house.

What advice would you give homeowners who are thinking about a new kitchen, butdon’t know what they want? Talk to your friends who have recently had new kitchens, read internet forums for reviews of products and companies, visit local showrooms and educate yourself on what’s out there. Sign up to Instagram and Pinterest, start your own mood board. It will not take long for your likes and dislikes to emerge.

How do homeowners know which kitchen company and kitchen designer
is right for them? Visit showrooms, understand first hand who you are dealing with and make a decision based on this. You will have to spend a large amount of time with your kitchen designer so it imperative you feel comfortable in their company and you feel they want to understand what makes you tick. For me choosing the right kitchen designer is as much about personality as it is about product, and people tend to fixate on the latter too much in my opinion.

Hub Kitchens | hubkitchens.com