Most of us are familiar with the home improvement television shows where a team of people feverishly complete an elaborate kitchen remodeling project in what seems like record time. Although it may appear to be easy on camera, the reality is that renovating a kitchen is no small undertaking. Several factors must be taken into account, including structural issues, building codes, aesthetics, plumbing, electrical/mechanical considerations, and workable space. For this reason, consulting with a professional kitchen designer is one of the best choices you can make in order to ensure the success of your renovation project.
A professional kitchen designer or coach has the experience, training, and know-how to take care of the many details involved in renovating your kitchen, but they will need your input in order to bring the project to life. A good first step to take is to schedule an initial consultation so you can hash out the details of your ideal renovation and solicit their feedback as well. They’ll use the ideas and suggestions you give them to develop a design plan that will represent your unique style and preferences. In order to make the initial consultation as productive as possible, here are a few things to bring to your first meeting with your kitchen design coach:
A List of Likes and Dislikes (Current Kitchen)
It’s always good to get your thoughts out on paper, especially what you like or dislike about your current kitchen. For the “likes,” what about your current kitchen seems to be working out well for you? This could include items such as the layout, style, materials, appliances, etc. There may be certain elements that you wouldn’t mind keeping or incorporating into your remodeling plan. For the “dislikes,” focus on the things that you would consider to be pain points, i.e., lack of adequate counter space, worn-out cabinets, outdated appliances, etc. These items will become the priorities around which the remodeling plans will take shape.
A List of Project Considerations
More than likely, there are certain must-haves that you’ve already established for your project, but it helps to answer the following questions as well to ensure that you’ve taken a well-rounded variety of factors into consideration.
- How do you and your family use your kitchen space? Is the kitchen used strictly for preparing and eating food, or is it a hub for all sorts of activity?
- On a typical day, how many people do you need to accommodate in the kitchen? What type of access would they need to different areas of the kitchen, and what type of workspace would they require on a regular basis?
- Do you regularly entertain guests, and if you do, is it normally a small or large group? Are your gatherings formal or informal?
- Do you require seating in your kitchen? Do you utilize stools at a counter, or do you eat at the kitchen table?
- What type of storage will you require? Is your current storage accessible? Do you have adequate pantry space?
- Will you need more floor space, or room for your pets?
- Are your appliances working efficiently for you, or will you need them to be upgraded/replaced? Are you satisfied with how your appliances look?
An “Ideas Binder”
Your “Ideas Binder” is basically a collection of pictures, ideas and information that will help describe what you would like to include in your project. You can make a physical binder and use excerpts from kitchen design books and/or magazines, as well as information and photos from various websites that offer the type of appliances, cabinets and other kitchen-related products that appeal to you. You can also create a virtual “binder” on Pinterest or Houzz. The ideas you’ve collected will serve as a handy reference for your kitchen design coach.
You should definitely have a specific budget in mind before you meet with your design coach. This figure will give the team their parameters, so they can make the appropriate recommendations that will accomplish the objective while staying within your spending limit.
Renovating your kitchen may seem like a daunting task, but you can accomplish it with the help of a seasoned professional kitchen designer. The tips listed above will help you make the proper preparations for your first meeting with your design coach, and it will also set the stage for a successful and enjoyable kitchen remodeling experience.
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