The Kitchen Design Process
Step 3: Why Work with Professionals?
Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. It is the heart of the home where memories are created and where families come together to talk, share and laugh. You also only have one of them, so it’s natural to be a little overwhelmed by the idea of remodeling and of planning such an important project. If you’re cautious and hesitant about jumping in an experienced eye that does these types of projects every day is the right course of action However, before you hire a professional, take a look at the considerations and tips below for guidance on choosing a capable designer to deliver on your dream.
Hiring a kitchen designer can be crucial to the success of your renovation. They take the guesswork out of your entire kitchen renovation project, and dive deep into your needs and style preferences to create the ideal gathering place for you and your family.
Kitchen designers focus on the layout and functionality of your kitchen, while providing you with guidance on aesthetic design, kitchen storage solutions, decorative enhancements and more. They take into consideration the various work zones and maximize every square inch of space in your kitchen, ensuring that everything fits perfectly together and is designed to function properly.
Before meeting with a potential designer, think about what you want to accomplish with your kitchen renovation. Be prepared to provide ideas, preferences, functional needs and other information. This will enable the designer to better understand your vision. Some ideas to help you get started:
- Illustrate your kitchen design preferences by gathering images from magazines or searching online for rooms that you love. Choose those that reflect your personal style, show areas of function that would meet your family’s needs, etc.
- Get inspired with the KraftMaid Inspiration Guide.
- For more ideas, visit your local KraftMaid retailer.
- Take pictures of your kitchen and highlight things that you currently like about it.
- Have your kitchen measured and note specific areas for plumbing, gas, and electric.
- Make a preliminary list of your storage needs; what you store today and create your wish list for tomorrow.
- Consider how you use the room. Do you entertain a lot? Do you need a message center for paying bills, telephone/PDAs, recipes? Do you need a place for homework or projects? Do you cook a lot?
- Consider your family’s cooking style. Is there more than one cook at a time? Do you love to bake?
When meeting with a potential designer, be sure the following topics are covered:
- Be sure that the kitchen designer precisely measures your kitchen. This is important because in order for them to design appropriately, they will need exact measurements.
- Ask them about any local building codes that may affect your kitchen and home.
- Communicate all of your wants and needs for your future KraftMaid kitchen.
- Ask to see their portfolio and get at least three or four recent references. Give them a call.
- Set priorities early to determine how much you can invest in your kitchen renovation.
In the end, choose the kitchen designer that you feel most comfortable with - one who seems to best understand your style and your vision. Then, though it can be a challenge for an eager homeowner, make sure you let the designer do his or her work. Maintain good communication throughout the process. Be specific about how you feel, and if you don’t like something, express specifically what it is you don’t like so that you both have enough information to move forward together. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results when you trust the designer to bring your personality and style to life.
Interior designers and decorators draw upon many disciplines to enhance the form, function, and aesthetics of interior spaces. However, they are primarily focused on decoration. They’re trained to help you define your style and select materials, styles and colors as well as the appropriate appliances and accessories to complement your overall look.
Interior designers and decorators also study the scale and proportion of your room so they can recommend furniture and cabinetry that complements the size of your room. They are experts in space planning, and can make recommendations so your space is functional, maximizing the workspaces and enabling good traffic flow. Most importantly, in partnership with your kitchen designer, they will help to ensure that your space is designed to meet your family’s day-to-day needs.
As with your kitchen designer, be sure to come to your first meeting with a potential interior designer prepared to share your ideas and inspiration. Make a point of reviewing their portfolio and obtain references. Discuss fee structures, timelines, and overall expectations to make sure you are in alignment. If all else is in line, ask yourself if you feel comfortable with and trust the person you’re about to hire.
A beautiful, well-planned cabinetry design will look mediocre at best if your cabinets and accents have been poorly installed. Everything from inaccurate measurements to a bad molding cut can result in unfavorable results and added costs to your renovation project. KraftMaid recommends hiring a professional to install your cabinetry. An industry professional, such as a cabinet contractor or general contractor who specializes in kitchen cabinet installation, can help you easily achieve your design vision while saving you time, money and frustration. In addition to installing your cabinets, a professional installer will provide concise measurements, verify that all materials have arrived in good condition and clean up and remove your existing cabinetry after the project is completed. They may even be able to help you install appliances and support modifications on plumbing and other existing electrical connections.
When meeting with a potential installer, you’ll want to:
- Review their portfolio and ask for a list of references to call.
- Agree on expectations and a plan of execution before signing anything.
- Ask how many kitchen cabinet installation projects they have completed in the past 12 months.
- Discuss the time span for the project, their availability for meetings and all fees that are associated with their services.
- Ask your cabinet installer to do final measurements on the space and sign off on them.
- Ask if they will install any appliances and modify plumbing.
- Discuss daily cleanup and removal of old cabinets.
- Ask if the sinks will be working during the installation process.
- Ask if they can help you set up a temporary kitchen.
- Request copies of insurance certificates showing the installer’s coverage. Some states also require licensing and registration. Check the expiration dates on these forms to make sure they are current.
- Ask about local building codes and if you will need a permit for your project.
Once satisfied with their responses, ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the person you’re about to hire.
Finding a Professional
- Ask friends and family for referrals, particularly those whose homes you find appealing.
- Contact a local KraftMaid retailer.
- Search the internet for qualified professionals.
- Visit online home and lifestyle magazines and visit their web sites.
- Contact the local branch of professional organizations:
- Interior Designers
- ASID – American Society of Interior Designers
- IIDA – International Interior Design Association
- IFDA – International Furnishings and Design Association
- NARI – National Association of Remodeling Industry
- Kitchen Designers and Installers
- NKBA – National Kitchen & Bath Association. This association certifies kitchen and bath designers with the credentials, CKD or CBD.
- NARI – National Association of Remodeling Industry
- Interior Designers