Award-winning design studio Kitchens By Design celebrates a significant milestone along with a proud and illustrious heritage.
Thirty years is a long time to be in any business, but to remain at the top of your game in the ultra-competitive world of design takes a special kind of company—and local kitchen design company Kitchens By Design can confidently lay claim to this distinction. More than that, it can say with some pride that it is one of the pioneering kitchen design companies in New Zealand, having nurtured and trained many of the country’s top designers since its inception back in 1988.
“Kitchens By Design holds a very special place in the history of New Zealand design,” says owner Richard Cripps. “Over the past 30 years, it has won close to 70 national and internationally recognised design awards, including NKBA Kitchen of the Year and Kitchen Designer of the Year on several occasions. It’s a legacy we are all really proud of.”
Richard goes onto say that prior to the establishment of Kitchens By Design, kitchens weren’t given too much thought design-wise. “Mainly, they were installed by builders, literally screwing cabinets together and putting up what they’d done in their last job,” he explains. “There was no real design planning or principles, or even consideration given the individual spaces the kitchens were going into.”
“Kitchens By Design changed that. It brought design to the forefront, where ergonomics, functionality and spacial design were all carefully considered. And that’s something we continue to do thirty years on.”
The company was founded by pioneering kitchen designers Linda Christensen and Lesley Waite, and was originally based in Barry’s Point Road over on the North Shore, before moving across to the city where it now has a showroom at 7 Melrose Street in Newmarket. Just last year, however, Richard decided to expand his company’s reach by opening the first premium kitchen and bathroom design showroom on Auckland’s North Shore, at 3 Byron Ave, Takapuna, joining its sister showroom in Newmarket.
“Kitchens By Design’s point of difference is our two stunning showrooms, and I encourage anyone who is looking to put in a new kitchen to come and see us. Our showrooms are all about delivering a premium experience to the discerning client,” says Richard. “At any one time, least one of Kitchens By Design’s six designers will at each showroom, so visitors are be able to receive some first-hand, expert advice on their new project, should they need it.”
The design team at Kitchens By Design—Sue Gillbanks, Shane George, Michelle Gillbanks, Sean Monk, Marianne Gailer, and Jane Fergusson—have more than 70 years of experience between them. Each designer has their own style and flair, and they all have a unique set of skills they bring to the table.
There is also a dedicated support and admin team that ensures every aspect of the design and build process runs like clockwork. This produces a best-of-both-worlds scenario whereby Kitchens By Design clients get a truly individual, bespoke design, yet the whole team is there to assist in the seamless delivery of every kitchen and bathroom project that is produced.
As well as the designers and his support team, Richard is also keen to point out that Kitchens By Design has a loyal and trusted group of craftsmen and women, suppliers and manufacturers—all of whom are important contributors to the finished project.
“We have spent decades fostering these relationships, so that our clients can reap the benefits of our experience and knowledge,” he says. “The result is that we offer the widest possible choice of premium products and maintain great relationships with the best manufacturers and suppliers in the country—some of which span over 25 years—which means our clients can be assured they are in expert hands at every stage of their design project.”
Kitchen By Design’s comprehensive, concept-to-completion process ensures every client is involved and informed at every stage of their journey to their new kitchen or bathroom.
“We value each and every one of the hundreds of the satisfied clients that have come through our doors over the past thirty years,” says Richard. “And the fact that many of those clients are now coming back into our showrooms and asking us to help design their next kitchens is testament to the quality of our designers and services we offer at Kitchens By Design.”