Even if you've already completed a new design for your kitchen, you
might want to hire a kitchen designer...whether you're contracting out
the work or doing it yourself.
You might be thinking, "HEY, WAIT A MINUTE! All through this website you've been telling me I can design it myself!"
You CAN be your own designer. But a pro does more than tell you where to put stuff. Consider this:
A designer not only gives you a fresh pair of eyes to make sure your design will result in the dream kitchen you really want, she can help with budgeting, material choices, coordinating the whole project...and actually save you money!
If you just can't envision what to do with your kitchen, or you're stressed out by too many choices, hire a pro.
OR...if you want an UPSCALE LOOK ON A MODEST BUDGET, a good designer can get you there!
Laura Wallace, of Kitchen Design by Laura, designs beautiful kitchens in Southwest Florida - and brings her unique mobile showroom to her clients' homes.
Check out the oodles of B4 and afters on her site.
(Photo courtesy of Kitchen Design by Laura)
WHY HIRE A DESIGNER?
There's an art to kitchen design, like placing the work triangle. When the kitchen remodel is done, you may find you have to take too many steps. A good designer can help you design your kitchen so it's a more comfortable, better working space.
A designer actually saves you time and money. She's done the
comparison shopping, the research. She has a network of quality
carpenters, electricians, plumbers - and knows what they charge.You get a complete price from beginning to end, so you know what the whole project will cost.HIRE AS A CONSULTANT ONLY OR FOR THE WHOLE JOB?Most people I meet who want a consultant end up
hiring me for the whole job. The ones who don't often say, "I regret
not using you for the whole job," because their kitchens have problems I
could have helped them avoid.WHAT ABOUT KITCHEN CONTRACTORS WHO SAY THEY DESIGN, TOO?Don't hire a contractor to design your kitchen!
Professional kitchen design needs a kitchen designer. A contractor
won't do for you what a designer does.WHERE DO I FIND A DESIGNER?Word-of-mouth referrals are best. A business built on reputation is the best one to hire.WHAT DOES A DESIGNER CHARGE?I charge on a percentage basis - each kitchen project is different, so prices will vary too.But here's how to look at the price you pay for a designer: you're going to save money overall. Not just helping you avoid design pitfalls, but also in situations like this:Say your granite company tells you you need six more square feet
they didn't include in their original estimate. You end up paying more
for that extra granite. You are a one-time customer to that company.
They'll probably never see you again, so they get away with things like
this.I, on the other hand, am a regular customer of that
company. They want me to come back again and again to bring them
business. They won't try to pull a fast one when I'm involved.WHAT QUALIFICATIONS SHOULD A GOOD DESIGNER HAVE?Knowledge of materials. Expertise in layout.
Experience as a coordinator. And LOTS OF REFERENCES! Four or five aren't
enough. I give prospective clients a list of 25-30 references, and more
if they ask.
SHOULD I HIRE ONLY A CERTIFIED DESIGNER (CKD)?
No! A good designer has more natural talent than school talent. Some CKD's have tunnel vision - they can only design one way.A good designer is an artist - you see things other people don't see.
HOW DO I KNOW A DESIGNER IS THE RIGHT ONE FOR ME?
You need a person you really connect with, who is upfront with you.
I set people straight right from the start: I'm the most opinionated person you'll ever meet! I give you the pros and cons of everything. I have the knowledge and the expertise. But the final decisions are always yours. I want your project to be right - and you to be happy!
If you feel instinctively you've met the right designer for you, one you trust and like, then you've found your designer.
Thinking of remodeling?
Keep a notebook or scrapbook of notes, clippings and ideas.
Kitchen magazines are expensive - look through them in the grocery checkout line. If you see pix of a kitchen you really like, buy that magazine.
Stop in at home centers and pick up any free cabinet manufacturers' catalogs.