Merideth Sheahan March 13, 2020 Kitchen Design
Before you choose a kitchen designer, make as many general design decisions as possible. Setting clear goals, even if you can’t envision them in final form, will improve communication with your designer, and designers’ responses to your goals may determine your final choice of the professional whom you hire. General goals can include more light, an eating area, deeper counter space, a separate sink for produce and flower arranging, a baking area and home office space. Making a list before you choose a designer helps you clarify how you want your kitchen to function once the work is completed and helps a designer create a responsive overall plan. Decisions like blue vs. brown tiles will come later, but a complete list is key to creating a master design plan.
“If you’re an aspiring chef, are passionate about appliances, or just love to cook, then choosing your appliances before planning the rest of your kitchen remodel is best.”
Remember, the designer has a lot at stake in your project, too: Stories about bad experiences often travel faster than those of good experiences. Designers work hard to achieve the latter. Having a detailed contract from the start can eliminate or at least minimize disagreements. Contracts often include a mechanism for arbitration in client disputes. Designers also might carry liability insurance or, like White, include a ”due diligence” clause stating essentially that although the designer is there as a coach, you are responsible for the decisions you make.
The designer, in turn, will want to know about your lifestyle: Who’s in the family? What’s your cooking style? Where do the kids do homework? Do you pay bills in the kitchen? Are there ergonomic considerations — height or accessibility needs? Do you have pets? Are the cooks right- or left-handed?
Be discerning about the alphabet soup of professional designations that designers list on their business cards and websites. ”People need to be careful of fakers and learn what the initials mean,” says Gary White, a CMKBD and NKBA member in Newport Beach, California. ”It’s pretty easy to pick up initials by buying a membership in some organization.”
omeowners looking to remodel overwhelmingly gravitate toward this spacious and flexible kitchen layout, which is just what it sounds like—your kitchen and countertops arranged an open ”L” shape.
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