Kitchen Plan… a good designer will unleash the full potential of your kitchen.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Most of us will have a good idea of what we want to achieve from a new kitchen. But using a good designer will fulfill the potential of your room and ensure the layout works. Our very own designer Scott Trainor, designed this award winning kitchen featured in this blog. Years of training and experience give a designer such as Scott, the know-how and instinct to create a kitchen that will suit the space and your lifestyle. They can also attend to those easily overlooked details, such as creating neat lines along a run of cabinets, ensuring prep space is just where you need it.
WHY USE A DESIGNER?
Nowadays many people have a genuine interest in design and have been gathering kitchen ideas for years. The designer’s jobs to structure these ideas, offer sound practical advice and find solutions to any problems. Most designers will be able to provide photorealistic CAD drawings or floor plans, which will show exactly what you will be getting. And don’t skimp if your budget is limited – having a talented designer on board can save you money by identifying potential pitfalls and sourcing less expensive solutions where necessary.Even the best designers need their clients
to be able to answer initial questions regarding their must-haves, the way they live, or aspire to live, as well as any areas of possible compromise. It helps to make a list, ironing out any conflicts with your partner in advance and narrowing down your overall preferred style. Nothing has to be set in stone at this point, but any insight into your tastes and preferences will speed up the design process. Then you can take all your ideas and inspirations to your kitchen designer and let them give you the benefit of their experience.
FINDING A GOOD ONE
As with researching any professional service, it’s hard to beat a personal recommendation. Contact friends or family, the more local the better, who have recently installed a new kitchen. Quiz them about the pros and cons, how smoothly the process ran, time frames, and the designer’s willingness to resolve any technical issues. Many people are reluctant to talk money but it can be a great way to find out if the designer works within your budget.
Take cuttings from homes magazines, trawl interiors blogs for anything at all that inspires, and gather every fabric and material sample that catches your eye. Interiors magazines and newspaper property sections are great sources of inspiration and often list kitchen stockists by area. ‘Pick up as many magazines as possible. Whether you like ultra-modern, eclectic, period or country homes, there’s a magazine to suit you and your style.
AT THE SHOWROOM
Pictures will capture your interest but seeing the actual product and getting to meet a designer in person is essential. ‘It’s key to see the detail that goes into each kitchen – something that’s not always portrayed in a magazine image. Equally important is getting to meet the designer you’ll be working with.
MAKING A CONNECTION
While you can’t expect to bond instantly with your designer, if they aren’t at least on the same page after an hour or so of discussing your preferences, either ask to see another designer or walk away. Planning a new kitchen is a long journey so never underestimate the importance of having a good connection. You will spend many hours together, so it is vitally important that you find a designer you can work with and who can translate your ideas well, Always check references, and ask to see past work or speak to previous customers before you start.
WHAT TO ASK
Every company operates differently but it’s always best to get difficult questions such as costs and budget constraints out of the way first. Find out if there are any design charges involved and the level of service on offer, and at what price. Also ask about installation. If the contractors are out-sourced, ask who is responsible for rectifying any problems during and after installation. Also find out who will prepare the site, remove the old units, sort first-fix services and do repair work on walls and floors.
Ideally you will spend a good two-hour session with your designer, discussing what you have in mind. Listen carefully to advice regarding appliances and fittings – your designer will know all about the latest innovations, but don’t be afraid to ask about more affordable solutions if you’re on a budget. Once you have found your designer, then talk and keep on talking. The quality of the kitchen lies in the plan and the ability of the person you’re talking to, to turn it into reality.
THE NEXT STEP
Once you’ve ironed out your core requirements, arrange a site visit to measure and photograph the space. This will allow you to discuss the layout in more depth, and reiterate what you love and hate about your existing kitchen. You can expect to receive initial designs within a week
or so. Go through them with the designer and request alterations. One of the main ways to delay installation is to change your mind at the last minute, so run through every eventuality and stick to your guns once the designs have been finalized. Once agreed, you’ll need to sign the confirmation forms and provide a deposit that secures your order.