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50 Years Transforming Southampton Kitchens
Founded in 1970 we are proud to be the longest established kitchen design and installation company in the area. Our first kitchen showroom opened in Southampton in 1977 and we have been in our current location since the early 1980’s. Now under 2nd generation ownership we are a true family business, having passed from father to son in the late 90’s. Our longstanding family business has been built upon reputation and recommendation, reflecting the way we keep ahead of design trends and technological innovations, continually updating our kitchen showroom to reflect these changes.
A lot can happen in 50 years! As we move past this incredible milestone we reflect on the major events of the last half-century and bring you a timeline of our history in business. Simply click on a circle containing a year for more information…
1970 – Where it all began
Peter Praine was a carpenter and boat builder by trade and in 1970 turned his hand to kitchen fitting with his friend and then business partner. As the business became more established Peter took his own path, setting up our first showroom in 1977 in what is now the Bitterne precinct and establishing the Business we know today.
1980’s – The Business Grows
From it’s small beginnings the business became the go-to retailer within the Southampton area for fitted bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Quickly outgrowing the original showroom in Bitterne precinct, Peter and the team moved the showroom to our current location, converting the buildings that had previously housed the Bitterne brewery (and stables) and a cobblers shop (which had been in situ for about 50 years) into the large showroom, workshop and office.
1990’s from Father to Son
By the early 90’s David, Peter’s son, who was currently working as a quantity surveyor but had a keen interest in design decided it was time to step into the fold of the family business. David quickly took on the showroom elements of the business, and fully took over the reigns from his Dad in the later part of the decade.
During this decade the design work of talented artists was gradually taken over by the use of CAD.
New technology & a brand Re-design
The advent of the millennium brought about many exciting shifts in what we sell and how we support customers through the process. Photo-realistic images became the norm, the technology in appliances took a major turn, bringing a lot more choice of functions to the market.
The choice of bespoke elements in furniture expanded and we made some big changes to our Southampton showroom to accommodate and showcase the new possibilities.
Towards the end of this decade we had a brand re-design to keep our image fresh, for the first time in our history moving away from dominant red in our logo. Advertising & marketing in general was becoming more image rather than information led so we began to focus more on our imagery!
Award winning customer service
On the 2 occasions the KBB MYSTERY SHOPPER has been in Southampton we have received the top award and were one of 4 finalists for the National Customer Service Award in 2015.
“An experienced business that seems on top of it’s game
This pedigree, allied to a smart and well functioning showroom, gives customers exactly the sort of expertise that is a feature of only the best independent retailers. The showroom is smart and well laid-out, with a good mix of contemporary and traditional kitchens. The firm has been in business for nearly 50 years. They also fit what they sell, which gives customers everything from design to installation. They were the winner on the last occasion we visited Southampton in 2011, and there was no reason to change that assessment four years later.“
An exciting future…
Primarily the values we have built the business on over the previous 50 years will continue to be our primary focus and with this in mind we will continue to drive to offer some of the best and most advanced products on the market.
From receiving the Schedule of Works everything was seemless and the operatives and contractors were exceptional and their support and quality of work gave me a stunning kitchen. Everyone over the Festivities this Christmas whave commented WOW…
What a brilliant decision I made in walking into your showroom. From the courteous manner of the Staff to the professional way that Darren, Paul and the other members of the crew literally transformed a tired 10-yr old kitchen into the wonderful room it is now.