What to Look for in a Kitchen Designer
A kitchen is the heart of a house. It’s where families eat together, talk to other family members, and even play games. Given the amount of time spent in the kitchen, the space needs to be both functional and beautiful. This is where a kitchen designer can be helpful.
What is a Kitchen Designer?
A kitchen designer is a special type of interior decorator who works with clients to update, remodel, or create a kitchen area in the home. Kitchen Designers discuss materials, layout options, themes, colors, and patterns for a new kitchen. They then produce sketches or drawings for the client based on what the client wants. This serves as the plan for the remodel or creation of the new kitchen.
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) is one organization that provides kitchen designer certification. To be eligible, they recommend six years of interior design education and work experience combined. The NCIDQ then tests professionals to ensure the designer meets their standards. Once certification is obtained, continuing education is required to maintain the certification.
Advantages of Hiring a Kitchen Designer
Small jobs, such as replacing cabinets, or appliances, can be done without professional assistance. However, when a job is larger and involves the whole kitchen, it is a good idea to hire a kitchen designer. A good designer will listen to the needs of his client and work with him to create a dream kitchen while staying within a budget.
Before meeting with a kitchen designer, it’s important to have a budget in mind. Kitchen designers often charge between five to ten percent of the total cost of the design. Also, consider the added cost of architect and professional designer fees. The average kitchen costs about $150 per square foot, but there is a wide range of kitchen materials and appliances to choose from. If the cost of your remodel is more than the budget or amount saved, consider taking out a personal loan to help with the expenses.
Contractors and Retailers
A contractor can offer options and advice, but unless the contractor’s company has a dedicated kitchen designer, the big decisions about design, materials, and layout will be up to you. Local home improvement stores will provide advice and assistance in choosing cabinetry and appliances, but decisions about layout, lighting, and other accessories will not normally be covered. This service might fit the budget for some people but may feel like a sales pitch for another client.
Showroom and Design Centers
A showroom or design center offers services somewhere between those that a kitchen designer and a contractor or retailer offer. A showroom or design center may help configure all of the parts of the kitchen, including flooring, lighting, and cabinetry, but they do not usually work with the contractor to make sure the final product turns out correctly.
Designing a kitchen can be complicated and costly. The bottom line is that you can get help designing a kitchen from many places, but the most complete and customized service will come from a certified kitchen designer.