Coastal Style

How to Use a Kitchen Designer

November 8, 2018

Whether your kitchen needs a minor face lift or a comprehensive gut occupation, soliciting help from a certified kitchen designer can be well worth the investment. The rule of thumb: When a kitchen job costs more than a few hundred bucks, it could be time to call in a pro.

Not only do kitchen designers have access to planning tools and technologies that most homeowners do not, but they’ve the inside scoop on trends, new materials, building codes and technical quirks. As well as their kitchen remodel experience can save a great deal of time, frustration and money. Use our tips to help the process flow smoothly from start to finish.

Connected: How to Remodel Your Kitchen

Gast Architects

Know the different types of kitchen designers. If you are ordering cabinetry and more via a nationwide chain or other merchant, there likely will be designers on staff that can help you plan. The principal benefit: Frequently, there is no additional cost for their services, although some charge a percentage of the entire sale or work under another charge arrangement. Other designers operate independently at an hourly rate or per-project rate. Because they’re not affiliated with a particular store or manufacturer, they can sometimes be more objective about substances.

If you choose an independent professional, request recommendations from friends and others in your community, and navigate the professionals directory or the National Kitchen and Bath Association website for reputable designers in your area.

In any situation, ask to find examples of the designer’s past work and request customer references in order to ensure he or she’s a good fit for your needs.

The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

Notice that the pros and cons of your current space. Perhaps your kitchen functions just fine, however, the finishes are long past their prime. Or maybe you’re arranging a soup-to-nuts renovation and don’t have any clue how to retool the space. Be prepared to share with the kitchen designer what you like and what you aspire to change to give a business place to start.

How to find your kitchen style


Do your homework … Your initial meeting with all the designer will proceed more smoothly in the event that you have an overall idea of the look, flow and equipment you desire. Browse decorating websites and magazines to get kitchen layout photographs that speak to you, and reveal them to a designer. A picture can convey clearly what you might struggle to catch in words.

Browse thousands of kitchen photographs

Susan Serra

… but stay flexible. The kitchen designer can spot holes on your wish list or nix substances that will not work for you regardless of how much you adore them. Conversely, they could introduce you to options you had never considered. And he or she will prevent you from sacrificing function for attractiveness, which can be a recipe for misery down the road. Be open to ideas — after all, experience is why you recruited a designer.

Susan Serra

Know your budget. Have a firm idea of what you would like to, and are able to, invest to avoid a disconnect between plans and reality. If you have the means to get pro-grade appliances and high-end finishes, your kitchen designer may work those into the scheme from the start. If you do not, make it known upfront. Although miracles might not happen on a shoestring, a designer has the expertise and the know-how to stretch your dollars as far as they’ll possibly go.

TEA2 Architects

Settle on a time line and a number of draft plans. Kitchen designers do not expect to pinpoint it on the first try — some back and forth is usually built into the process. Agree upon how many drafts of this plan you will see before you sign a contract and a part with any money. You should also confirm a time line for the work, though conditions beyond anybody’s control can throw even the best-orchestrated tasks off program.

Weaver Custom Homes

Keep changes minimal. Based on how far along in the process you’re, change orders may be anything from a mild annoyance to a significant matter. Not only will they hold up progress, but they’ll also put a dent in your pocket. That said, if there is a shift that should be made that you enjoy and use your revamped kitchen how you intend, it is far better to talk than to end up dealing with the flaw on a daily basis.

Stacy Curran

Be patient. A good kitchen plan takes some time to create, and thus does bringing it to life. Putting in effort on the front end, from picking finishes to thinking through the work zone, will pay off in the long term. And the last thing you want is a hurried construction job, so don’t hurry the contractors — regardless of how anxious you should set your brand new kitchen to work.

How to Remodel Your Kitchen
Find kitchen designers near you

See related