“Beautiful & Functional Kitchens: Form Follows Function”
Utilizing the services of a kitchen design consultant in the creation of your new kitchen is essential to the result you want to achieve. Their job is to bring your vision and dreams about your new kitchen to life, combining all your wishes and solving all your little problems. They’ll learn how you use your kitchen, where you come in the door, where you will likely put your groceries down, where you place your purse, where people tend to congregate in your existing kitchen. How the traffic will flow in your kitchen when you’re cooking, entertaining or hanging out.
It’s incumbant upon a kitchen designer to very thoroughly understand not just colors and textures, but ergonomics, construction techniques, functionality of kitchen cabinets, counters, sinks, appliances and every part of a kitchen as a highly functional and complicated space. Since kitchen layouts and sizes are never the same, neither are their intended functions.
Some kitchens are designed to be focused on cooking areas for one, two, three or more persons. Others kitchens are designed primarily as central gathering and entertaining spaces – with the ability to prepare meals while hosting and entertaining. Still, other kitchens are designed primarily for entertaining where cooking functions are not a primary consideration – especially if most meals are catered or prepared off site and delivered. Meaning – you don’t cook a lot but want a beautiful kitchen!
In any of the potential uses of a kitchen, the layout and choice of key components – like the cabinets, sinks, appliances, lighting and countertop choices – become a consideration based on the real intended use of the kitchen – and its location in the home. For example, a kitchen can be centrally located, or have it’s own space independent of the main living area. A skilled and experienced kitchen designer will always first explore the intented use of the kitchen before anything else.
Big Box Store Kitchen Designers
Big box kitchen designers may potentially have the skill, but are limited by the inventory and the inherent limitations of their design tools, rigid customer service processes and their assigned service contractors. After all, often with thousands of locations, standardized by process and inventory, it’s impossible for them to completely meet your needs, without significant compromise – on your part.
What you need to keep in mind is that this option is not necessarily less expensive. You may think so, but their overhead costs and markup requirements usually mean that you’ll end up with unnecessary compromises at the same price as a custom kitchen designed and installed by a skilled local contractor with much lower overhead. Call us for a quote and you’ll see. Also, with cabinet sections and combinations being sold “by the running foot”, you’re buying inventory they need to move and need to find kitchens into which they will fit – yours. Think about it. How can you have a “custom” kitchen which addresses your own particular needs, tastes and budget when you’re buying a kitchen like you buy a carpet runner for your hallway? By the running foot.
Qualifications of a Good Kitchen Designer
A good kitchen designer can come from a number of backgrounds. Their skills can be rooted in interior design, decorating, graphic design, consumer science, and even engineering. What all these (and many other disciplines) have in common is a thorough understanding of human ergonomics, style and a clear understanding of function within each design concept.
Of course, experience rounds out the skill set. Being a full time – versus part time – kitchen designer is another essential part of a qualification you need to look for. A good and skilled designer is immersed in their craft on a daily basis. You don’t want to have a part time designer help you decide on your kitchen remodeling project.
It’s not reasonable to expect a big-box store employee to have the same level of experience or dedication as a local designer dedicated to serving your community and working with a quality local kitchen remodeling contractor. Local designers – usually part of a kitchen remodelling contractor’s in-house team – have a vested interest in providing top quality service. Their reputation depends on it.
Bringing Your Kitchen Design to Life
No doubt big-box stores can and do provide quality kitchens. As long as you understand the limitations of such a remodeling contract. Perhaps the other thing to keep in mind is that with a big box kitchen contract, the design process and the construction process are completely separate. Using a big box kitchen designer means you probably won’t meet the contractor until they show up and start tearing things apart, or maybe to take “final measurements” – and all based on a computer generated plan.
The contractor will never offer input for fear of losing the deal, or contradicting the designer. Even though they know there may be something that should be changed. And what if you don’t like the contractor? You’re basically not involved in the process as closely as you should be – and must be, if you want the results you expect.
A skilled and reputable local kitchen designer (like us) will work with you from the first meet ‘n greet to final handover. Everyone works as a team during the entire process. And you’re the star player and key decision maker. Kitchen remodeling can be costly – so it must be treated like the investment it is. An investment in not just the value of your home, but in your enjoyment of your cooking and entertaining for many years to come.
Typical Kitchen Designer Mistakes
If your kitchen designer is not skilled enough to be continually looking ten steps ahead, you may end up with nagging design deficiences that you’ll have to live with. For example, and there are hundreds, the location and type of sink can either make life much easier – or turn into a daily aggravation in the cooking process.
The choice between a double versus single sink does matter in how you prepare food – and the type of food you typically prepare. For the same reasons, the size of the sink matters. Again, for the same reasons, the location of the sink, in terms of proximity to the stove, fridge and pantry matter – based on the type of ingredients you use, and in what frequency.
Once you consider your work pattern while cooking, you’ll quickly see how you move between these areas. Then, the size and location of food prep areas are impacted by the choice and location of the sink. So you see, design and layout decisions which are not based on – experienced – foresight can lead to a domino effect of displeasure while using your new kitchen.
So call us today and we’ll make sure that your new kitchen remodelling project will perfectly reflect not just your vision – but your functional use of your kitchen area.
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