Remodeling your kitchen can be a fun and exciting upgrade to your home. It can also be expensive, so you want to be sure your Kitchen Designer is experienced, knowledgeable, and involved beyond simply selling you the products. When interviewing a potential designer, be sure to touch on the following 3 facets of the kitchen planning experience:
A person does not need to have a degree to become a Kitchen Designer. Ideally, however, your designer would have a degree from a National Kitchen & Bath Association accredited program and have or at least be working towards an NKBA Certification in kitchen Design (AKBD or CKD) and have several projects under her belt, but many successful designers learn the trade in the field. A reputable cabinet dealer will have a website with pictures of projects completed by their designer and / or installers. Never assume that because a designer works in the kitchen department at a home store that they’ve been properly trained. Ask to see before and after pictures of their projects. Ask for references. Although it’s nice to have a big-name company backing their employees to ensure that mistakes are corrected, it’s better to avoid the mistakes in the first place by trusting an experienced Kitchen Designer.
How well does the designer understand the products that they offer? In order to create the best design for your space, the designer should be able to recommend a cabinet line, for example, that has all of the options to meet your needs and current trends. The designer should also be able to speak thoroughly about the cabinet line’s customer service. What happens if a cabinet arrives damaged? What if a hinge breaks 2 years from now? Will the designer help you with any issues that arise? Your designer should be able to give you peace of mind in your investment.
What will the designer’s role be before and after you’ve made your purchase? This is important for both DIY kitchen remodelers and those hiring a contractor. A Kitchen Designer should be actively involved during the project. Look for a designer who will come to your home and be present when measurements are taken. This is an attribute of an accountable designer. She wants to be sure the measurements are accurate to avoid costly mistakes which she would be responsible for. This will help avoid the delays, caused by reordering product, that keep you out of your kitchen! A kitchen is made up of several components and sometimes it isn’t clear where a piece was meant to go or how it was meant to be used. Will the designer be on site for the installation to guide the installers or at least be available by phone? Your designer should be available to you or your contractor to go over the design before you make your purchase and during the actual installation.
A great Kitchen Designer is experienced, knows the products they recommend and sell, and will be there through every phase of your project to make sure that you love the result.