Why hire a professional kitchen designer?
Recently, I was speaking with a young professional and asked if he would ever consider hiring a professional kitchen designer. He looked at me with a little tilt of his head and asked why he would need one. “After all,” he said, “there is so much available online. Why wouldn’t I just try to do it myself?” This was the perfect opportunity to explain why he should hire a kitchen designer.
Making wise choices
Designers help you make wise choices when designing your home. A professional kitchen designer is a specialist for that part of the home. I truly love designing and bring a wealth of knowledge that I’m eager to share with my client however, it is my responsibility to help create a realistic budget, a beautiful functional kitchen, and avoid mistakes.
Steps to hiring a designer
Step 1: Do your homework
First, make sure you hire someone that is certified. Certified designers have to meet specific criteria based on education, experience, exams, continuing education and professional references. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (nkba.org) is a great place to start your search. HOUZZ is another great resource to view portfolios, see budgets and read client reviews. Get names from friends and neighbors and browse magazines that feature home design in your area.
Step 2: Have a meeting
Schedule a meeting and come prepared. If you are meeting at the designer’s studio, bring the dimensions of your current space and photos of spaces you like. Make sure you see examples of the designer’s completed work and not just manufacturer’s photos. For instance, Thyme & Place Design, has our own brochure with photos of actual installations. Always ask for references. Good designers should have happy clients who love to talk about their experience. Ask about how they work. Check out our “How We Work” page for some ideas.
Step 3: Develop a project relationship
Not every designer is for every client,after your first meeting, you may decide that designer is not a good fit. The perfect project relationship must be based on honesty, communication, respect, and teamwork. For that reason you should have an honest discussion about the budget. Better quality products tend to mean a bigger price tag. Make sure you feel comfortable enough with the designer to discuss these things. You will be working together in your home for several weeks and you want to the project to run smoothly.
Step 4: Have a Detailed Contract and Specifications
Designers offer a wide range of services from design only through complete remodeling. Some offer “free” design consultations and some charge for initial consultations. Always make sure that roles and expectations are clearly defined. Payment terms should be stated and completion schedules noted. Spelling things out in detail can help eliminate disagreements.
Finally, I am sure you can see why a professional kitchen designer’s expertise will save you time, money and even more, eliminate frustrations. They have access to planning tools and technology which most homeowners are not aware of. They are aware of trends, building codes,and technical details which will make the job run smoothly. Above all, everyone wants the same thing, a beautiful well designed kitchen for family and friends to enjoy.
Like what you see visit us online at Thyme & Place Design