A kitchen project, be it a brand spanking new kitchen for your new construction home, a remodel or simply a facelift is quite the undertaking. As we have talked about many times on this platform there are so many decisions to be made, items to consider and dollars to allocate, so it is really no wonder a lot of people find themselves drowning in stress before it is all said and done. In my opinion, an undertaking as expensive, time-consuming and invasive to your daily life as a kitchen project is one that requires, nay deserves, professional assistance.
Kitchen help can come from many sources, the internet, books, even blogs but the best way to get personalized assistance is to enlist the help of a kitchen designer. Kitchen designers can typically help as little or as much as you want and will be extremely useful when it comes to layouts, selections and priorities, monetarily speaking.
Kitchen designers are experts in the field of kitchen and bath design and can really make your life easier and your project more fun and less overwhelming. BUT if you decide to utilize one please let me make a suggestion: really use them and don’t get in your own way. Below are 5 tips to ensure you get the most bang for your buck with your kitchen designer.
1. Be Selective – There are a lot of kitchen designers out there all with their own set of personality, style, and experience to bring to the table. Before selecting one, do your homework to figure out which person is best for you and your project. Today you can really find out a lot about a person without even meeting them. Peruse their websites and or check out their Instagram accounts to get a first-hand glimpse of their work and their style.
2. Be Prepared – Once you have made your selection make the most of each meeting by being prepared. Have inspiration photos, budgets and any other information you have gathered together to share with your designer. Once you are a few meetings in the designer may give you homework – anything from designs to review to appliances to pick out.
Be sure to stay on top of your homework so you can move forward with each meeting.
3. Be Clear – Be clear and upfront about…well, everything. The kitchen designers job is to bring your dreams to reality and to do so within the parameters you are comfortable with. Budgets are a big part of any project, so be very forthright about what is and what is not feasible for you. There are also elements I like to call “non-negotiables” that come with every project. From colors to finishes to what walls you are or are not comfortable removing, to the barstools you are going to use no matter what, make any and all of these topics known from the beginning so the kitchen designer can plan accordingly.
4. Be Open-Minded – As your kitchen designer brings ideas and concepts to the table for you to consider, try your best to be open-minded, this is especially relevant for kitchen renovations. It can be difficult to see a space for anything different than what it currently is, especially when you live in it every day. When I begin working on a kitchen renovation I prefer to generate initial designs before ever seeing the kitchen in person. I find that my creative juices flow more freely when I can look at a space on paper with dimensions and pertinent information regarding adjacent rooms and then consider what the best layout for the space is. This is not to say it is the only way, but just to suggest that sometimes it is easier to see what will work better when you are not influenced by what already is. If you are going to invest the money for the opinions and expertise of a kitchen designer, then be prepared for them to bring ideas and concepts to the table that you may not of considered, that may be out of your comfort zone, but that also might be just the solution you were looking for to make your space the best it can be.
5. Listen – Listening to ideas and suggestions does not mean you have to agree or even implement the concepts, however, not listening is really short-sighted especially if you are paying money for said ideas and suggestions. Kitchen designers see kitchens, the good, the bad and the ugly everyday and often time will bring certain thoughts and opinions up based on experiences they have seen first hand. So listen up!