Very few homeowners have the knowledge to design, build and install a new kitchen. That’s why many of us employ an expert kitchen designer. But how do you know if you are choosing the right kitchen designer to work with? It comes down to a bit of research and gut feelings. Design mistakes are costly, so it’s worth connecting with more than one kitchen designer to get a feel for the designer who is right for you. Consider the following eight tips when choosing a kitchen designer:
- Design ability and creativity
How do you know just how good a given designer’s ability is? Check how long they have been designing kitchens. Ask to see some examples of their work. Will they be able to show you 3-D visuals of designs they create for you before going ahead with any work? Conceptual design can look amazing, but you want a designer with an eye for the practical realities of kitchen life too.
- Technical knowledge
Your kitchen designer should have architectural drafting and construction experience. He or she needs to have a good knowledge of buildings and industry trends to bring you a state-ofthe-art kitchen design.
- Product knowledge
Providing the right products and appliances for your kitchen also requires knowledge and skill. Good kitchen designers will know trusted cabinet makers and appliance firms to work with.
Everyone has to start somewhere, but for making such a big financial investment in your home, you want to choose a designer with experience. Ask to see examples of your kitchen designer’s work.
- The ability to understand client needs
Be clear about all the aspects of kitchen design you want. The best kitchen designers will offer advice and support and guide you to achieve a kitchen design you are completely happy with. They will want to listen to all of your ideas and concerns. Your designer should be asking questions about your living space, your lifestyle, your cooking style and your kitchen needs. Always remember that you are the client, so you can set the terms.
- Communication skills
Kitchen designers will need to communicate clearly with building contractors, electricians, plumbers and other professionals to get your job done on time and on budget.
A recommendation by friends or family is a good place to start, but don’t let that be the only factor informing your decision. Ask your preferred kitchen designer if you can speak with one of their previous clients. Check whether your designer kept to deadlines and responded promptly to any concerns.
- Qualifications and credentials
Make sure your kitchen designer has the qualifications and credentials claimed. You want to know that your designer not only has an eye for great design, but that they’ve studied and understand construction, plumbing and electrical technologies. They should adhere to a professional code of conduct as well.