What is the process when working with a Kitchen Designer?
As the heart and hub of the home, the kitchen is the place where families spend most of their time. There are a wide variety of activities that take place in this space, from preparing food, to doing homework, to socializing, and more.
It should come as no surprise then, that the kitchen is the one room in the home where the most dollars are spent. That said, a Kitchen Designer can be the most valuable part of the team when designing a new kitchen, whether you’re building a new home from the ground up or remodeling your “forever” home.
The right Kitchen Designer will identify challenges, offer creative solutions, and guide you through a multitude of decisions. This person and the relationship you form with them will add significant value to the outcome.
Choose with Care
The first critical step is to select a Kitchen Designer that is right for you. There are many competent Kitchen Designers to choose from.
Kitchen Design Magazines
Look through some magazines. Pick two or three kitchens you like and review them with a potential designer as part of the selection process.
Browse the Website
Look over the website of the company. Do they have examples of their work? Do they have a blog with inspirational ideas and advice?
Call them. Do they answer the phone? Is your call met with interest and enthusiasm? You are excited about your project and you want the Kitchen Designer you work with to be excited too.
You will also want to gauge how open they are to your ideas and their willingness to share basic information.
Ask some questions that will help you to make a decision. Questions related to the cabinetry, general price points, timeliness of drawings, and estimated lead time for the cabinetry order are good basic questions.
With this type of conversation you will be able to understand if your project ideas are realistic. You will also start to get a sense of whether the Kitchen Designer shares your views.
Meet Face to Face
Today, we rely on texts, e-mails, and phone calls for most communication. When choosing a Kitchen Designer, however, the face-to-face meet is crucial. This may even be the single best way to determine if a working relationship is going to be a good fit for you.
A new kitchen is a big project, and you want to be able to talk openly and freely about your goals and any concerns you may have. You need your relationship with your Kitchen Designer to be comfortable.
Meet with the Kitchen Designer in their office or showroom. This will provide you with a good look into their business and work style.
How does this meeting flow–from being greeted at the door, to conducting an informative presentation worthy of your time? Do you feel heard and understood when discussing your vision? Do you like the examples they show you after learning of your goals? What do you think about their design style and creative ideas? If this meeting is awkward, then look elsewhere.
Explain Your Vision
Communicating what your dream kitchen looks like can be hard. You may not know all the terminology. Use pictures to help explain your overall vision for the project.
Use online resources such as Pinterest and Houzz to show examples. For each image explain what you like and also what you don’t like. This is valuable information for the designer. You want your Kitchen Designer to understand your preferences and all the tiny details that are important to you.
Be Open with Your Budget
This is sometimes not the easiest of conversations to have, but you want to achieve the most with the budget you have defined. Let the designer know the brands that appeal to you. If you desire top appliance brands such as Sub Zero or Wolf, you will need a budget to support this and your designer needs to know what that number is.
Your designer needs to be able to match your appliance choices with the kitchen cabinets, countertops, and other finishes. A well-done kitchen design will mesh these items together perfectly. Your designer also needs to know where you may be willing to compromise to meet overall design objectives. A Kitchen Designer will help you make decisions that will be budget-friendly and still meet your overall objectives.
There are creative design options within every price range, and you want to start exploring the best options right from the start. Your Kitchen Designer is key to helping make these critical decisions based on your priorities.
Listen to Your Kitchen Designer
You’ve selected the designer to help bring your kitchen ideas to reality. The next step is to see your transformed spaces conveyed clearly on floor plans, layouts, mock-ups or ideally with 3-D perspective views.
Some of the design mock-up images may match your vision and others may not. Keep an open mind. Explore and refine the suggested options on paper. This will minimize changes later when a change is much more costly.
Ask all the questions you need to ask to feel comfortable. Modifications to your original idea may be necessary due to structural limitations; or your original ideas may not make for the most functional floor plan. Perhaps Your Kitchen Designer has a creative, out-of-the-box solution based on years of practical experience!
Before there is a commitment to actual production make sure you’ve considered all your layout options. You may have started with 1 or 2 layout options that then changed to 3 and 4. Review them all one last time to feel comfortable with your final decision.
Once the architectural details, cabinetry, and appliances are laid out, the rest of the functional and aesthetic details follow naturally. A Kitchen Designer wants the flow and function to be the best possible for you. Take your time here to get this right.
If you watch kitchen makeover shows, you may have the impression that a new kitchen happens in a couple of days. That would be nice, but this is the real world!
If there is construction involved with the relocation of doors and windows, new electrical, and plumbing (which is most likely the case), a project timeline of 8-12 weeks may be appropriate. It is also important to note that kitchen cabinets will be one of the last items to arrive and install.
Your beautifully finished cabinetry should be installed toward the end of the project. You need all (or most) of the major construction work to be completed beforehand. This will prevent possible damage of kitchen cabinets and countertops. Your Kitchen Designer will help explain this to the contractor who may be pushing for the early delivery of cabinets.
Congratulations on a job well done!
When it comes to working with a Kitchen Designer, the result of choosing well is a beautiful, functional kitchen—one that exceeds your expectations.
KBC has been involved in kitchen design since 2003. We have installed over 30,000 kitchens.
We invite you to visit one of our three showrooms. Our beautiful displays can help to stimulate kitchen design ideas.
Our designers are not “know-it-all’s.” They seek to discover new ideas and concepts and are often stimulated by your vision. A KBC Kitchen Designer will help refine your design and achieve your objectives—your dream kitchen!
You may be interested in reading about other questions that people ask related to kitchen design–here is a link.