20 Reasons Why You Need a Kitchen Designer
A kitchen remodel is a huge project. You will need a kitchen designer to bring your dream kitchen to life and help you navigate the process to get it.
The skills and expertise required to put together all the parts of the project are very specific. And a kitchen designer has both skills and experience. He or she is a specialist who understands design, materials and finishes found only in a kitchen.
The kitchen is one of the most complicated rooms of the house to lay out. They are filled with appliances, doors, windows, walkways and utility lines. Kitchens aren’t like a family room or bedroom; they are functional workspaces. And because cabinets are built in, you can’t move the kitchen around once it’s built, like furniture in a living room. That makes it especially important to get it right.
This is why you need a kitchen designer.
What Exactly is a Kitchen Designer?
The job description for a kitchen designer states: “Kitchen designers create kitchens for clients, including cabinets, flooring, counters and appliances. They use their skills to determine a client’s project goals, prepare final plans and create a timeline for the project.”
To accomplish these tasks involves extensive experience, training, math skills, attention to detail, construction knowledge and product knowledge, all coupled with an eye for design.
In a nutshell, a kitchen designer will:
- Ask you questions to get an understanding of your goals for a new kitchen
- Research alternatives to help you make informed decisions
- Help you make the right decisions so you can stick to your budget
- Work with contractors and suppliers to keep project on track
- Deliver what you want and need, on time and on budget
- Offer solutions to problems
- Design a quality, efficient, beautiful kitchen that is built to last
A kitchen designer is not necessarily an interior designer (although many kitchen designers are also interior designers). People ask: “Why do I need a kitchen designer? I’m already working with an interior designer.” The answer is simple: A good kitchen designer supports your interior designer’s vision for your new kitchen and brings in specialized knowledge of what makes a kitchen work well and function efficiently. As well as look beautiful.
Kitchen Designers Help Determine Your Budget – And Stick to It
Many homeowners have no idea how much a kitchen remodel costs. Consequently, they have unrealistic expectations of what they can get for their money. If this is you, the kitchen designer can educate you about what things cost.
The subject of money has to be discussed at the beginning of the project. A kitchen designer understands you would rather talk about the results you want and share pics of the products you like. You may even wonder why they need to know about your budget.
However, they need to know how much money you can spend so they can define the scope of your project. Your budget will determine the products that will go into your new kitchen.
Designers can offer helpful insights when it comes to remodeling on a budget. While they can’t make miracles happen, they can better tailor their designs to your needs if you’re up front about your budget from the get-go.
Qualities A Kitchen Designer Needs
A kitchen designer has to be both analytical and creative, meaning they must be equal right brain and left brain. They need to enjoy working with people and teaching, since they must explain why things can and cannot be done.
In addition to having great design skills, a kitchen designer must be good at:
Communication is important for two reasons.
- If a kitchen designer cannot explain their vision and the resulting details to you, no matter how perfect this kitchen is, you won’t be able to agree to the vision.
- A kitchen designer needs to explain their vision for your new kitchen, in a totally different terminology, to the contractors who will execute the kitchen plan.
Psychology is needed so the kitchen designer can understand what you are looking for, to figure out what you really want. Often, people do not know themselves what they want. How can you know you want something if you have never heard of it? As the saying goes: You don’t know what you don’t know.
To get this information, the kitchen designer must be able to present new information that you can understand and analyze, then decide if you want this in your new kitchen.
A kitchen designer must be able to memorize a lot of information. You don’t want to wait while your designer looks up the answers to every one of your questions.
Organization involves keeping everything straight, including:
- the details of the design
- what has changed and what hasn’t
- client requests
- product orders, has it been ordered and when will it be delivered
- contractor information
- problems addressed
- issues reviewed with the client
Math skills are required because every feature (walls, windows, cabinets, soffits, light fixtures, plumbing and gas lines, etc.) must be measured to the 1/16th of an inch.
20+ Reasons Why You Need a Kitchen Designer
It’s difficult to sum up all the skills and advice a kitchen designer brings to your project. But here’s 20 good reasons.
1. Kitchen Designers Offer Personal Advice
A kitchen designer will help guide you through the kitchen remodeling process. Whether this is your first or fifth remodel, you will want personal advice. Many homeowners say that working with their kitchen designer was one of the best parts of their remodeling project.
2. Kitchen Designers Create Beautiful Spaces
Kitchen designers create a beautiful space that fits your style. They are knowledgeable about trends, styles, and colors that work well in kitchens.
3. Kitchen Designers Spend Time On-site
A design professional stays with you from before construction begins till project completion. You probably won’t be around to answer all of the contractor’s questions. There will be questions! The designer will coordinate your project’s progress with the contractor.
4. Kitchen Designers Have Project Management Skills
A kitchen designer sees the big picture down to every little detail, and knows how to manage the project, so it’s done right and on schedule. The designer will make sure:
- measurements are taken correctly
- you see the plan well in advance of construction
- elevation drawings are created so you can see everything that will go into your kitchen
- materials chosen are within your budget
There are a lot of logistical issues that need to be considered, such as door and window placements, electrical, lighting, plumbing, venting, heating, flooring, and other mechanical issues. A designer has the experience and know-how to ensure that all these pieces of the puzzle come together.
5. Kitchen Designers Guide Style Choices
The designer is aware of popular kitchen styles and can help you decide what’s best to fit your space and lifestyle. What’s “in” and trendy, and what’s classic and has lasting value. They will guide you toward choices you won’t regret.
6. Kitchen Designers See Your Kitchen Layout with “Fresh Eyes”
Many homeowners have trouble seeing beyond the kitchen’s current layout. The designer doesn’t have that issue and can configure the room with the best working layout to maximize the space.
7. Kitchen Designers Help with Appliance Selection
Appliance choice at the beginning of the project is crucial since the kitchen design depends on the measurements of your choices. In addition to guiding you toward the best appliances for the kitchen you want, a designer will help you choose the right finish.
8. Kitchen Designers Source Better Materials
There’s a huge range of products out there. A designer recommends high-quality kitchen products you won’t find in big box stores, including cabinets, countertops, appliances, hardware, plumbing fixtures, and more.
A kitchen designer has in-depth knowledge of materials and understands the best choice for each application. Many options exist these days, and your designer will offer recommendations on the materials that will work best and have enduring value.
9. Kitchen Designers Recommend Products That Last
Kitchens are not just for preparing meals. They are where guests hang out, kids do homework, and pets are fed. A kitchen designer will guide you toward materials that look great and will stand up to daily use.
10. Kitchen Designers Improve Your Lighting
Every kitchen needs task lighting and ambient lighting. Under-cabinet and in-cabinet and in-drawer LED lighting has changed the way kitchens are lit. A kitchen designer will help select and lay-out the lighting.
11. Designers Guide You to the Best Color Choices
A designer will help you decide on the best colors to use and where they should go. However, in the end, it doesn’t matter what colors are “in” and what colors are on the way “out” – it’s your kitchen and what you like and want to live with are all that matter.
12. Designers Help You Avoid Costly Mistakes
Kitchen designer can offer valuable insights to help you save money and hassles. As one example, they will help you make the best choices for materials at the beginning of your project because making changes is expensive. Both in terms of time delays and change order penalty costs.
13. Designers Create Efficient Layouts
A kitchen designer’s specialized expertise means he or she is especially well-suited to finding the best possible and most efficient layout for this hardworking room.
14. Designers Help Upgrade Your Space for Re-Sale
A remodeled kitchen is high on many buyers’ wish lists. Make your home stand out with a kitchen that goes beyond builder-grade basics. Kitchen designers know what appeals to buyers. Their experience and expertise makes them ideal to guide your design decisions when you want to sell your home.
15. Designers Show High Tech Plans
3D renderings and drawings of projects give you a realistic picture of what your finished space will look like before signing a contract. Many designers offer virtual reality experiences so you can “walk through” your new kitchen. This can save you headaches and scheduling delays, not to mention can reduce unnecessary spending.
16. Designers Understand the Challenges of Remodeling in an Older Home
Historic design elements, slanting floors and out-of-square walls can make updating an older house a challenge. An experienced kitchen designer can help you navigate this tricky process smoothly. In addition, they can create a style in keeping with the historic nature of the home.
17. Designers Create Kitchens Designed For You Alone
Whether it’s a countertop made the right height just for you or cabinetry designed to fit your cookware collection, you’ll get details in your new kitchen that were created just for you. With their knowledge of everything from space planning to custom designed cabinetry, kitchen designers are experts.
18. Designers Help You Find More Kitchen Space
A kitchen that’s too small can prevent efficient meal prep. A kitchen designer can help you creatively gain some extra space. They can come up with innovative ways to reconfigure your available space.
19. Designers Understand if Style is Important to You
If style, looks and current trends are important to you, a kitchen designer is the person you want guiding your kitchen design. Designers specialize in what’s “hot” in kitchens and can offer a much wider range of fixtures and finishes than anything you could get from a big box store.
20. Designers Work with You One-on-One
The kitchen designers at a big box store work under challenging circumstances. They are told to push certain products and to meet quotas for those products. Their desks are located in the middle of the aisle with washers and dryers. People are walking by constantly, talking and interrupting. Not ideal working conditions for quality concentration on you and your project.
Compare this to kitchen designers who either have a showroom or will come to your home. It will be you and the designer working together in comfort and quiet. So, you won’t need to worry about bad advice that comes from being distracted or overworked. From selecting the materials to envisioning the final outcome, kitchen designers have the skills necessary to guide you through remodeling your unique space.
Is CKD Important?
Designers who become a certified kitchen designer (CKD) must pass difficult training and experience requirements to get their certification. Kitchen designers certified through the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) must have five years of full-time kitchen design experience, 60 plus hours of NKBA professional development courses and pass the NKBA certification exam.
As a result, the CKD designation shows an above average dedication to kitchen design.
A great kitchen designer brings your ideas to life. They transform your space and the way you use it. They are experts at accounting for the details, while creating a beautiful design.
Every project is unique. Your designer will define and refine your plans using the guidelines of the results you want to achieve and how much you want to invest.
Putting your kitchen remodel in the hands of an experienced kitchen designer provides numerous advantages over what you will get from a big box store, and with a huge project like remodeling your kitchen, you want to be sure everything is done right.
KDP exists to offer insight and advice about all things related to kitchen remodeling. Our goal is to connect homeowners with talented, experienced kitchen designers who live and work in their communities. We are a serious resource for anyone preparing to remodel their kitchen so they can make the best possible choices about designers, contractors and products.