In 2016 we made a conscious decision to move away from our German kitchen supplier. We were still happy with the furniture they produced but felt the brand was no longer in alignment with our values as a company. What then followed was a two year search for a replacement product that would maintain our commitment to the highest standards. Central to our search were the following key elements:
Having such a precise list of requirements made the search extremely difficult. Forming partnerships with manufacturers is complicated and it was vital to us that we were aligned to the right company. It took around twelve months to find a manufacturer we felt comfortable with and a further twelve months to put their products and service to the test. So, after a long and thorough period of evaluation, I’m delighted to announce that Your Space Living is the exclusive Pronorm Kitchen retailer for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
We only sell furniture of the highest quality. That was a prerequisite before starting Your Space Living in 2012. Our previous German supplier did make great furniture and we wanted to maintain or exceed their standards. After a long and drawn out search, (where we evaluated numerous manufacturers) we finally took the trip out to the Pronorm factory in Vlotho Germany. The factory itself has been in operation since the 1940’s and has undergone numerous upgrades over the years. From humble beginnings, Pronorm has grown into one of the most respected kitchen brands in Germany. The factory site now sports a stunning showroom facility that sits along side the administration office and separate production line. We took a tour of the showroom first, taking in the wide range of furniture with styles and colours to suit any contemporary home.
Outside the Pronorm factory and showroom complex in Vlotho Germany
Jo Buckerfield takes a break during the showroom tour
After a detailed look at the furniture, it was time to see how it was made. We strolled across the parking lot and into the factory. It was obvious this was a quality operation. The state of the art facility was packed to the rafters with high quality materials. Egger, who make the finest MFC boards in the world, supply Pronorm with their cabinet material. As a result, there were mountains of stacked boards in storage, ready for cutting to size and assembling into the rigid cabinets that make up the various Pronorm kitchen ranges.
The Pronorm factory
The assembly line was fascinating. With a solid blend of traditional and automated production. The cabinet material is cut to size using a brand new saw, before being edged and assembled into kitchen cabinets. Traditional glue and dowel techniques are used to bond the panels, which are pressed into shape using a high tech, fully automated industrial compression clamp. Each cabinet is rigid, true and square before the doors are attached and packed ready for delivery.
Germany is well known for producing kitchen furniture and, as a result, there is a large number of manufacturers to choose from. Certain brands, such as Bulthaup and Eggersman have established their popularity in the “high-end” market. They are amazing manufacturers creating outstanding furniture but the price tag is equally “high-end”. On the other end of the scale, there are a number of brands offering a considerably cheaper product. Unfortunately, at the “low-end”, quality is sacrificed for price. We needed a product that struck the right balance between quality and price.
Pronorm Kitchens offer tremendous value
Pronorm hits the target on both counts. We carried out a number of price comparisons with our previous supplier and, on the whole, Pronorm were on par. They use the same manufacturing techniques and the same quality components we were used to. So we knew we would be offering a product that our clients would be delighted with.
In addition, Pronorm offers The Classic Line range. This furniture has been specifically designed to cater for budget conscious kitchen buyers, whilst also being a perfect solution for utility rooms. The Classic Line is a slightly smaller cabinet when compared to the X, Y and Pro-line models. This is due to the UK spec plinth height. You’ll also be limited to doors from price groups 0 to 5. But this is still a fantastic selection that makes for a smart kitchen of tremendous value.
Despite the quest for good price and high value, we also wanted the opportunity to cater to the client in search of a truly high-end German kitchen. This is where Pronorm really shines. The choice of doors and finishes spans eight price groups. From laminated MFC, through to deep lacquers and real wood veneers. In 2019 ceramic finishes were added to the range, which means that Pronorm now offers every finish you could ever wish for, budget be damned.
On top of that, Pronorm offer a range of component specifications that can take your kitchen to a completely different level. Look at it like a car buying experience. You can go for standard spec or you can level up with a few “optional extras”. From the award winning Planero pull outs to the oak lined ProTech drawers, there’s no end to what you can add to make your kitchen unique. Of course, you will have to pay more for a higher spec component list but, for some, their once-in-a-lifetime kitchen is worth every penny.
Pronorm furniture can be individually accessorised to take your kitchen to the next level
Pronorm guarantee their kitchens against defect for five years from the date of delivery to us. That means you can rest assured that you have purchased a high quality product. The backing that Pronorm provide for their products is second to none. In the unlikely event that you do have an issue, Pronorm have an efficient remedial process that is designed around customer satisfaction.
Pronorm's latest ceramic kitchen
As we discussed in the previous section, Pronorm offers a wide range of door finishes and a massive selection of components to set your kitchen apart from the “run of the mill” kitchens that you can find on any high street.
It’s also possible to combine any of the Y-Line, X-Line and ProLine cabinets into one design, which allows for some rather funky layouts and arrangements. This is great for someone like myself who’ll go the extra mile to create the perfect design for my clients. There’s no piece of furniture that’s out of bounds. Pocket doors? Check. Wall hung base units? Check. Exaggerated plinths? Check. Hidden plinth doors? Check. Access to every available product is new to me. My previous supplier restricted some of their more “design” focussed products to a limited number of retailers. With Pronorm, I now have access to a range of furniture that spans two huge product manuals. That’s a 100% increase in choice.
It would be impossible for me to demonstrate the full design capabilities of Pronorm in this blog post. I don’t expect anyone to take my word for it. The best way to see what can be done is to set me a challenge. Get in touch via this website and book a one to one design consultation. I guarantee you’ll love the possibilities.
The four distinct ranges are so nuanced, it’s worth taking a look at each of them and explaining the differences.
Pronorm Classic Line
As discussed previously, Classic Line is all about bringing a high quality German kitchen to a UK home at a highly competitive price range. The plinth heights are 165mm and the door and finish options are limited to groups 0 to 5. In standard format, the hinges are Blum’s standard fittings which come with a 20 year lifetime guarantee. There’s no limit to the choice of handles you can go for, making Classic line the ultimate budget kitchen.
Pronorm Pro Line
The Pro Line kitchen is the ultimate “handled” kitchen. The high capacity base cabinets sit on a plinth of 115mm, taking the total height up to 895mm before adding worktops. The glue and dowel ridged cabinets are built from the highest quality MFC material on the market and are built to last. Wall and tall units come in a multitude of heights and depths, with the option to create bespoke sizes for kitchens of specific dimensions. The door finishes range from price group 0 to 7. That means you have access to almost every finish in the Pronorm Range. With so much choice, making a final decision on the finish of your kitchen can be the biggest challenge.
There are hundreds of handle styles to choose from and, with Blum’s “TipOn” technology and “Open Assist”, you even have the option to go handleless for the best in minimal styling.
This is the contemporary “slab” door that has been made popular by German kitchen brands since the 1990’s. An aluminium “C” channel is positioned horizontally or vertically depending on your design layout, making the opening and closing of drawers and doors a simple, practical experience.
The X-Line has been designed to be handleless from the ground up and constructed accordingly. British made kitchens are only starting to offer this design feature and they have some catching up to do. This isn’t simply a “J Profile” door attached to a standard cabinet. This is a specifically designed door attached to a specifically designed cabinet. They work in harmony together to create, what we consider to be, the best handleless kitchen in the price range.
Pronorm have created a twist on the German handleless kitchen with Y-Line. In many ways it’s a clone of the X-Line but offers a couple of distinct differences. Where the X-Line sports an aluminium “C” channel, Y-Line sports a flat handle profile in a finish that complements the door material. For example, if you chose to have an “industrial” finish door such as Cement Grey, you can have a Cement Grey handle profile to go with it.
The other distinguishing feature of the Y-Line is the aluminium detail to the top edges of doors, drawer fronts and end panels. This small strip of metal adds a visible feature that is unique to Pronorm. It’s durable, looks smart and sets a Pronorm Kitchen apart from its competitors.
The Y-Line aluminium edge detail is unique to Pronorm
The Pronorm factory hasn’t stood still over the sixty plus years it’s been producing kitchens. Whilst elements of the Y-Line range are still assembled by hand, the rest of the factory is state of the art automation. However, unlike many German manufacturers, growth and market share dominance aren’t top of the agenda. This isn’t the largest kitchen factory in Germany. Pronorm doesn't claim to produce thousands of kitchens each day. This is a medium sized factory producing a manageable amount of units with care and precision. With Pronorm, your kitchen isn’t just another number.
Getting your new kitchen from the factory in Germany to your home in South Wales is no mean feat. The order could contain more than fifty separate parts. Screws, panels and plinth legs to name just a few. The cabinets come rigid and fully assembled ready for installation. That could be a tall unit measuring 600mm wide and over 2220mm tall. If that unit has pull out wire works installed, it could end up weighing nearly 100kg. It takes significant planning and expertise to get all the elements to your home ready for installation.
Pronorm uses UK based furniture transport coach with decades of experience. The drivers pack the furniture themselves at the Pronorm Factory before making the long journey back to the UK. Any damages caused in transit are dealt with by a robust remedial service that is designed to ensure your kitchen installation isn’t delayed in any way.
There are a number of business models available to German kitchen retailers in the UK. Some retailers buy their stock through a buying group. This can help to lower the retailer’s buying costs. Others work with a UK based distributor which can be useful to the German factory. The distributor will be tasked with the job of increasing retailer numbers, selling more and more kitchens. We’ve worked with a distributor before but felt it didn’t benefit us or our customers. We wanted to cut out the middle man and work directly with the manufacturer. We feel this is the purest way of working. That’s how it is with Your Space Living and Pronorm. Orders are placed directly with the Pronorm factory and they manufacture the kitchen to the specification I’ve set up in my plans. This leads to the best result for my client.
We are the exclusive Pronorm Kitchen supplier for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. That makes Your Space Living the only place you’ll find the quality, flexibility and value you can only get from Pronorm. It’s also worth mentioning that I’m one of the few qualified furniture designers working in South Wales today. My degree, coupled with 20 years professional experience is a unique proposition that other kitchen retailers will struggle to match.
Our success is built on reputation, with 95% of our projects coming from client referrals. We understand your home is important to you. Major improvement projects, such as a new kitchen, need qualified professionals to guarantee the best outcome for your home. Our exclusivity ensures we have the full support of Pronorm, who value their own reputation as much as we do. This is a partnership built on a mutual desire to deliver the best kitchen transformation experience possible.
Since we started Your Space Living in 2012, we have always tried to help kitchen buyers make an educated decision. Most people only buy one kitchen in a lifetime and we want that to be the best possible experience. We want to give the best advice, create the best design, deliver the best furniture and execute the best installation. We know Pronorm Kitchens will help us achieve our goals because we believe Pronorm are simply better kitchens.
If you would like to discuss a new kitchen project and like the look of what Pronorm has to offer, please get in touch via this website. We would be only too happy to help.
Pronorm working in partnership with Your Space Living