The Kitchen Design Process
The first step in planning a new kitchen or bathroom is one you may have already made, probably because it's such a natural place to begin. Build an idea file. This is nothing more than a collection of things that appeal to you. Look through magazines and tear out photos of rooms, products and surface samples that catch your eye. Keep an open mind about what you can afford at this point. The purpose of your idea file is to help you create a vision, a look and a feel that best reflects your personal tastes. The idea file will act as a constant reference point for your plan.
Keep in mind as you begin that nothing is written in stone and there are no unbreakable rules. For example, the standard height for kitchen counters is 36", but that doesn't mean you can't have them higher or lower. Other modifications or adaptations you may want in your kitchen or bathroom are probably available also.
Careful observation of how your family uses the kitchen or bathroom is a critical step in creating a successful new design. Note existing traffic patterns and determine how accessible the important features are to all family members. Question everything, don't overlook the obvious. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Are you a one-cook or multi-cook family?
- Does everyone join in the cleanup or is it one person?
- Should your plan include an eating space?
- Are your meals elaborate affairs, or do you eat and run?
- Do you have enough storage space?
- Are your cabinets adequate and logically planned?
- What small appliances do you need ready access to?
- Do you need a message center?
- Do you want a range or a built-in oven?
- Would you like to recycle?
As you make your observations, it also helps to map out your routine on paper. The best way to evaluate the functionality of a space is to give yourself a clear picture of what works and what doesn't work. As you do this, be sure to note all the obstacles that keep your current kitchen from meeting your needs. Here are some of the things to look for as you walk around your kitchen. Dozens of others will come to mind as you get into this process.
- Is this a one or two person kitchen?
- Do you have a comfortable work triangle?
- Is your work triangle out of a major traffic pattern?
- Are your counters at convenient heights?
- Do you prefer a window above the sink?
- Is the lighting adequate?
Your initial meeting with our designers will most likely be at our showroom. The ideas come after the designer visits your home to survey the space and take careful measurements. It's important to note where all of the architectural features are in order to integrate them into the new plan. When you sit down with our designer, you will be asked various questions about your project and lifestyle. We are going to listen and work one-on-one with you to make sure the finished room reflects both your personal taste and how you use your home.
The next step is to decide how much of the project you want us to coordinate. Our company will take on as much of the project as you wish. However, we usually leave the additions and structural remodels to other contractors. We also have established working relationships with quality subcontractors, other tradesmen and wholesalers. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, we will be happy to provide materials only.
Our experience tells us that a major element of success is communication of details from one trade or supplier to another. Working together with one set of specifications can make your dream kitchen everything you thought it should be.
Our professionals have years of experience in the design and construction of kitchens and have mastered the process. We know how to make the most of a space, how to spot and prevent problems and how to get the job done right. All of our showrooms have portfolios or photographs that will demonstrate the level of expertise we can bring to your project. An interview with our designer could be the most important step you take in this process.