What’s the first thing you do when setting out to build new or redesign your existing kitchen? Look on the Internet? Travel from showroom to showroom? Buy magazines featuring Kitchens? Well maybe the answer is all of the above. But during this process the one thing that is not so easy to find like this is the right designer. While one would think choosing a good designer will cost more the opposite is usually true. A good designer will “hit the mark” with all of the customers wants and desires, recommend the right products based on the parameters of the project and will also probably make very few or no errors in the designs and ordering, which is common in this industry.
When speaking with prospective kitchen designers ask yourself these 10 Questions:
1. Are they really listening to me?
2. Are they suggesting things in the direction of my project or just trying to sell me something?
3. Are they a cabinet designer or just a “box” seller?
4. Do they understand how we live?
5. Is the designer going to layout lighting, plumbing, electric outlets hood ventilation, and small appliance locations?
6. Do they really understand how to structurally change things when removing walls?
7. Is this designer professionally trained? There are certifications through different associations that test the designer’s abilities to work with a customer correctly and even require continued education in order to keep this certification valid.
8. Consider who will be installing this kitchen and will they be on the same page with my designer?
9. Do they really understand all of the available products and installation techniques available to me?
10. Do I have a budget? This is probably the most important thing to consider because a good designer will direct the project correctly based on this budget.
One thing I tell all my customers is, “The kitchen I design for you is most likely a totally different kitchen than if I move a new family into the same home” Everyone’s family has different parameters, lifestyles, cooking, entertaining…”A kitchen is not 12” X 14”, but it is, 2 working adults, 5 year old boy, 10 year old girl and a large dog”… Your kitchen design is ”The Family”.
Finally, when teaching design courses I always recommend that the designer is to see through the eyes of your customer and truly try to stand in their shoes. All kitchen designers have different approaches and finding the right one is sometimes just a gut feeling but it is probably the most important part of your new kitchen. As they say, “The kitchen is the Heart of the Home”, and the right designer will give your home the “Healthiest Heart”.