Nobby Kitchens and John Hall featured in Kitchens & Bathrooms Quarterly

John Hall, owner and managing director of Nobby Kitchens, has designing in his blood. Kitchens & Bathrooms Quareterly chatted to him about everything from briefing a designer to small space renovation.

How and why did you get into the design industry?

I was literally born into kitchens. My grandfather started the Nobby brand in 1939, over 80 years ago. My father, Peter Hall, ran it for more than 50 years. As the third generation to run Nobby Kitchens, design is in my blood. I love kitchens and how they can transform a family’s enjoyment of cooking and preparing meals, and provide a great space in which to live. I can’t remember not being in a kitchen!

Describe the most unique project you’ve worked on so far. What were the challenges and triumphs?

Definitely my own kitchen when we built our home. I not only had to please myself, my wife and family, but live up to the expectations of producing the perfect kitchen. We developed a number of new products which are now some of our best sellers and are on display in all our showrooms.

Do you have advice for future renovators on how to brief their designer of choice?

First, make sure you use a kitchen designer with experience. Then be completely honest with yourself about what you want and a realistic budget. It doesn’t matter how long your wish list is, you need to discuss this upfront with the designer so you can work together to achieve the result you’re after. You need to set a budget for your kitchen and accessories, benchtops, appliances, trades and splashback. It is then up to us to find the right design and products that fit these expectations.

Tell us about some common issues that crop up when designing and building new spaces. How do you overcome these problems?

The most common issue is trying to fit an island bar into an unworkable space. Don’t be afraid to knock down a wall to get the design you want. The right advice in the early design stage is critical. As Nobby holds a builder’s license, we can recommend moving walls, putting in windows or simply filling in a doorway to get your dream design. You’d be surprised what an expert set of eyes can see when renovating a kitchen.

What’s your advice for those hoping to renovate a small kitchen?

• Work with a talented kitchen designer who knows what they’re doing.
• Together, come up with a functional floor plan that works for you and your family within the given space.
• Insist on being shown a 3D colour CAD design so you can see exactly what you’re getting.
• Minimalism is king. Keep the space light and airy with clean lines for the illusion of space.
• Conceal or cut the clutter as much as you can. Get rid of everything you haven’t used in the last 12 months. If you haven’t used it in the last six months, either move it on or put it in hard-to- reach spaces.
• Great storage.Add more drawers and utilise those corners with the latest space-saving devices.
• Maximise the bench space with clever design. Maybe deeper bench tops at 700mm and not 600mm will make the difference.
• Focus on one wall to be the hero.

It’s sometimes hard for those without design knowledge to know if a space really needs to be renovated or if the project can be put off for a few years. How does one figure out when it’s time to renovate?

Now is always the best time. I’ve designed and renovated so many kitchens for customers who’ve decided to sell their properties. It’s such a shame they don’t get to use the beautiful new kitchen. Some wait until the next bonus or retirement but life often gets in the way. We always offer two years interest free so if someone wants a kitchen now, they can install now, enjoy now and pay later. Life’s too short.

What sets Nobby apart from competitors?

Longevity since 1939, high-quality fittings and reputation. We fully project manage the lump sum contract so once we’ve presented the quotation, we don’t change the price if we’ve missed something. We also have one of the best design teams on the planet. They’re passionate about design and know how to create the perfect kitchen at the right price. A kitchen showroom is the best place to start. All our showrooms have over 20 of the latest and greatest kitchens on display. That’s 20 benchtops, splashbacks, sets of appliances, door styles and internal storage ideas. There’s no better place to start. Our amazing team offer complimentary showroom tours and have design and colour experts on hand. There’s also tea and barista-made coffee on offer!

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