As industry experts, we know just how daunting the task of remodeling a kitchen can be. From deciding on affordable kitchen cabinets to choosing the color of your walls, it’s easy – and normal – to agonize over decisions both small and large. The important thing to remember, however, is that you don’t have to go through the process alone. To help you create a space that you’ll love for years to come, hiring an experienced designer is becoming the norm – and for good reason! Not only will the advice of a professional help you narrow down your choices and stop you from second-guessing them, but you may also receive new insights into how you could transform the room for the best.
But while designers are often the key to creating the kitchen of your dreams, they’re not psychics. In other words, they can’t design a space that you’re guaranteed to like out of thin air – they need to build on your initial vision, as well as your requirements and restrictions. So, don’t keep your designer guessing! Prepare for your first meeting by carefully considering the following five points.
1. Assess Your Current Kitchen
Before dreaming up a new space, evaluate what you currently have. Equipped with a piece of paper and a pen, stand in the room and create two lists: one of what you like about it, and one of what could use improvement. These lists can include everything from the material of your countertops and floors to the overall layout of the room. Could your appliances use an upgrade? Do you have sufficient storage? Is the style still working for you? As you move forward with your remodel, you’ll discover that casting a critical eye over every inch of the room and jotting down your likes and dislikes was a critical first step, helping you identify your priorities for the space.
The fun part’s next: collecting ideas for your dream kitchen. Before you start worrying about whether or not your ideal space is realistic, spend some time browsing through magazines and compiling a wish list of appliances, surface materials, etc. You may even find yourself evaluating your friends’ or family members’ kitchens, making mental notes of aspects that appeal to you. To compile your thoughts, we recommend creating a mood board, which may also help your designer get a better sense of your style.
3. Set a Budget
While you’ll want to be 100% happy with your new space, you don’t want that happiness coming at the expense of a depleted bank account. Before meeting with your designer, setting yourself a carefully considered budget is essential. This will not only help you further evaluate your priorities, but will also enable your designer to give advice that’s financially feasible. You may want to return to your initial brainstorming ideas and ask yourself what you want and what you actually need. For example, will you only be satisfied with the newest, most expensive coffee maker? Do the affordable kitchen cabinets meet your requirements?
4. Pay Attention to the Appliances
Having a general sense of what appliances you’re considering before your first meeting goes a long way. Will they be counter-depth? Are you keeping any of your current appliances? Are you a fan of built-in microwaves? Your designer will need to have the answers to these questions before planning out your cabinetry, as its dimensions will be dependent on the height, width, and depth of your appliances. While you don’t need to be set on particular brands or models yet, arrive with your initial ideas in place – and ensure that your plans are in line with your wishes, but still affordable. Kitchen cabinets’ size and layout will then follow naturally.
5. Ask Questions
It pays off to do your homework before the meeting, but that doesn’t mean that you’re expected to have all of the answers. If you come across a few stumbling blocks along the way, write them down and don’t hesitate to pick your designer’s brains. For instance, you may be unsure of how to maximize your storage space, how to create a layout that’s both practical and energy-efficient, or where to find elegant yet affordable kitchen cabinets. In addition to giving you a clearer idea of how to approach your remodel, asking your designer these questions will also give him/her a better sense of your priorities and requirements. So, don’t be shy and ask away!
Remodeling can pose challenges, but working with a qualified designer is certain to lighten your load. By following the five steps above, you’re sure to get a clearer picture of your wishes and needs, and enable your designer to create a kitchen that meets – and even exceeds – your expectations. Ready, set, plan!