Our Professionals Can Help You
You might feel intimidated by the thought of working with a professional designer. That’s probably because you have certain expectations about the professional and you probably feel they have expectations about you. To help you collaborate better and ease you into this process of working together, we’ve written this short guide to prepare you for meeting the crew and enjoying an exciting process.
About Different Types of Designers
The interior designer focuses on working with space that is already there, making it more effective and functional. They will look at a room from a holistic viewpoint. They do more than just rearrange some furniture and decorations; they look at lighting, acoustics and ambiance to create an atmosphere that is ideal. When the owner gives their approval to the designs, then they will hire an architect and the designer will work in tandem with the architect to fully realize the space.
Interior designers are best suited for working with individuals, particularly in a residential space. When your room or house has to become a reflection of your own individual style, then an interior designer can help you realize that goal.
Bathroom and Kitchen Designer
Your bathroom facilities are the focus of bath designers. They work in both commercial and residential spaces, and they should have a portfolio of finished work to show you what they are capable of. They usually aren’t concerned about what the rest of the building looks like. They focus single-mindedly on one room and try to implement the owner’s wishes for that individual area. If you just want a bathroom or kitchen remodel or redesign, then these designers are the way to go.
Certified Kitchen Design
All Certified Kitchen Designers (CKDs) have full certification with the National Kitchen & Bath Association. That means they have extensive experience and training and they are highly qualified to work on complex and demanding projects. Certification actually requires that they have at least 7 years of work experience. They also have to pass a certification regimen.
When you have some out-of-the-ordinary design requirements for your kitchen, CKDs are perfectly suited to the task. You may want all customized features or nontraditional elements that may be hard for a typical designer to implement well. That’s when you want to consider a CKD for the job.
Designers as Dealers
You will find that many interior designers work with cabinet dealers. Inversely, many of the cabinet dealers also double as designers, offering a small range of services that may cover what you need. If you are working with a dealer and a designer, be sure they know about your partnerships. That will allow them to be more productive and effective while also smoothing the transition that takes place between designing the room and ordering the cabinets you need.
What the Designer Does
While the designer actually crafts the full design, they will take input from you and incorporate it into that design. Your ideas should be important to the designer, but it will be their knowledge and experience that will be able to put all the pieces together and make everything work. Your designer will make recommendations as to what trims to use, what brands to buy, which materials will work best and what kind of styles will suit your needs.
The designer should be working with you from the concept stage all the way through to the very end of the installation process. The role of the designer won’t always be the same. Some designers do more of a hands-off approach, only giving you the initial design and letting you move forward from there with the contractors that will do the physical labor.
Make sure you know how involved your designer intends to be and choose your designer according to your needs. It is best to have a relationship established between the designer and the dealer so that you end up with the right cabinets for your area.
Preparing for the Initial Meeting with Your Designer
If you want your first meeting with your designer to be productive, then you can do a few things to prepare. Creating a collection of pictures that you like or think might be a good fit for your kitchen is a good idea. Just cut out pictures from magazines or the internet and compile them to show to the designer so you can talk about what you want in a way that illustrates to the designer the exact look you are going for.
Look at what your current space offers you, considering the advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you have some idea of what you are going for before you talk to the designer.
Express Your Ideas Visually
You should try to put together a vision of what your new space should look like. A file folder of pictures is a great place to start, and you want to refine it as you get closer to your meeting. Toss out the ones that don’t fit or that you decide you don’t like. The more concrete examples you can show the designer at your meeting, the more productive it is going to be.
Make Sure You Face Every Flaw in Your Current Kitchen
You should give your kitchen an assessment, looking at what it lacks and what you love about it. Also examine what your habits are – how you use the kitchen, what you tend to buy and how you live. An examination of these facts will reveal what kind of kitchen will work best for you.
Envision the New Room(s)
Think about how your new kitchen is going to be used. Do you have plans to use it as a social gathering space or do you just want to become more focused on developing your cooking skills. These two choices will create very different kitchens, so knowing what your goal is with the kitchen is vitally important.
Choose Kitchen Appliances – At Least Plan the Size
One of the biggest steps in designing a kitchen is choosing the appliances that will go in it. If you know early on how large the appliances will be and have some sense of what they will look like, that will help your designer create a more appealing and personalized kitchen.
Get Some Accurate Room Measurements
Your first discussion with the designer will be more productive if you can provide some basic measurements for the kitchen. The designer will take measurements at some point, but having those dimensions to talk about on that first meeting can prove helpful.
Create a Budget for the Project
Having a budget for your new kitchen is also important. It sets a boundary and tells the designer what you have to work with. Keep in mind that a variety of things affect the final price. If you have to replace the flooring, move walls or add in additional space on the house to accommodate the new kitchen, the costs will be significantly higher than if you were to do a more conservative design.
You might not realize how little some of the changes you want will affect your budget. Variations in countertops and cabinets may not cost you very much, and you may have more options available to you on your budget than you realize.
Set a Timeline for Your Remodel
Make sure you are talking with your designer about when everything will be finished. Don’t just guess in your head and get your hopes up that the kitchen will be finished by a certain time when you have no concrete timeline in place. Just developing the design can take several weeks, and you will need to make sure the proper fees are paid at the right times to keep the process moving along.
If you have a deadline in mind for the process, then make sure your designer knows. Be sure to figure in some extra time just in case you change your mind about something or anything occurs that holds up production.
Ending That First Design Planning Meeting
The initial meeting is likely to cover lots of ground and leave you feeling excited and ready to go on to the next step. You should have an idea of what the budget and timeline will be, and there may be additional meetings scheduled by the time that first one ends.
Your designer may ask for more information, so be sure you have that ready for the next meeting so that nothing holds up the design process. Finally, keep in mind that it is vital you ask any questions of your designer that you may have and that you not be afraid to request changes when you think they are needed