NETWORK: Daniel Barns, Sensational Kitchens

Daniel (left) and Tam (right) at the HIA Awards

Award-winning kitchen company Sensational Kitchens are supporters of the motorsport industry in more ways than one.

Sensational Kitchens, based on Sydney’s North Shore, is a family owned and operated business with more than 30 years of experience in creating bespoke designer kitchens.

A kitchen industry expert, Daniel Barns brought his business to light in 2017 with personalised service and an unparalleled passion for kitchens and kitchen design.

Barns’ hard work, together with wife Tam, led them to win the ‘Hunter Kitchen of the Year Award’ at the 2020 HIA-CSR Hunter Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards last year.

“We started the business four years ago now, but I built my first kitchen when I was 12 in my dad’s factory and have been in kitchens ever since,” owner and manager, Barns, told Networkcafe.com.au.

“I was working for my dad, but when he decided it was time to retire and sell the business; my wife Tam and I decided it was time to open our own business and so Sensational Kitchens was born.

“We opened up our showroom in Pymble in May 2017 and have been going full speed ever since. I was lucky in that a lot of recommendations followed me from the old business, but we have also had an incredible response from the local community.

“In the kitchen industry, a lot of the work you get is through word of mouth – now with four years under our belt doing local jobs around the shop, we have a steady flow of recommendations, as well as shop generated leads to keep us busy.”

The business specialises in bespoke kitchens to suit a diverse range of lifestyles, keeping in line with the latest trends, technologies and design features.

“We try to support Australian-made as much as we can; all the cabinetry timber that we use is made in New South Wales and we specify Australian made products wherever possible,” Barns added.

“We also use high quality German made hinges and drawer runners.

“All our cabinetry is built to each job’s unique specifications in our local factory, based in Arcadia, which only has a small team of five guys. The team that builds the cabinets also installs them, so quality control is assured as we have less people handling the job so less chances for errors.”

Sensational Kitchens is there to guide the customer through the whole process, from the initial contact, which is usually walking them through the well-equipped showroom, to their free in-home design consultation, right through to the design, build and installation process.

Barns and his team use only the best in quality tradies, finishes and craftsmanship in their kitchens and extensive range of custom joinery.

This includes, but is not limited to, bookshelves, tv units, window seats, bathroom vanities, wardrobes, laundries, and desks.

Barns says understanding what his customers want and need from their kitchen is important so that he can conceive a design that will improve their home, as well as their day-to-day lives.

“After the initial contact I am generally heavily involved with the whole process,” he said.

“I’ll visit them in their home and discuss what they want to achieve, take measurements while there and then go off and come up with a design for them.

“I then invite them to the showroom and go through the design and work out all the fine details from colour selections to benchtop quotes. There are usually a few changes at this point which we sort out and get the job ready for check-measure.

“Then once they sign up with us we arrange a check-measure with myself and our factory to double check all our measurements. At this point we are talking about millimetres.

“We generally redraw the plans to make sure they are perfect and check all the appliances to make sure they fit within the design and that we meet the manufacturer’s specifications – generally fridge vent spacing.

“We take care of the whole job, from the initial design to the final finishing touches being installed, we are involved every step of the way.

“I’m there meeting the trades on site, going through the job with the plumber, the electrician, the builder, I’m really hands on. We are lucky in that we have an amazing group of tradies that we have been working with for years so we know how each other works.”

Thomas’ Trans Am Mustang

Motorsport is more than a hobby for Barns, who is now giving back to the sport through means of sponsorship.

The Central Coast resident has been involved in a team manager role with CXC Racing and brother-in-law Dylan Thomas’ racing exploits for more than 10 years.

This role saw Barns as part of the squad’s Production Car program, as well the Bathurst 6 Hour, Toyota 86 Racing Series and most recently, National Trans Am Series.

Through a wide-ranging sponsorship, Sensational Kitchens branding features on Thomas’ Trans Am Mustang.

“I’ve obviously been involved with Dylan for a long time and have wanted to sponsor a car for many years,” explained Barns.

“We feel very lucky that at the moment we have the opportunity that we can help out the team with sponsorship, and the business and Trans Am being on television is definitely attractive.

“It works too. We noticed our website got more visits and our Instagram received more followers during the Bathurst 6 Hour weekend for no other reason than that.”

Networkcafe.com.au has been developed by Speedcafe.com as a valuable mechanism for the industry and its suppliers, sponsors, clubs and organisations in the current climate.

“Sponsoring a Trans Am car and having a presence on Networkcafe.com.au works hand-in-hand and helps out the team that I’m involved in, and it helps out my business,” Barns continued.

“If we can get more involved as we get bigger, we most certainly will.”

The end goal is for Networkcafe.com.au members to be doing business with each other and for the extensive Speedcafe.com readership to be considering the products and services of companies that partnered with Networkcafe.com.au and use the platform to make connections.

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