You’re considering buying a new kitchen. You’ve arranged to meet a kitchen designer to discuss you new design. What things should you be thinking about before you meet?
How are you going to use the kitchen?
Are you going to use your kitchen solely for cooking or to have a living kitchen design where people will also sit and socialise together? How many people are in the family and how is the kitchen typically used?
Are you a keen cook or is your kitchen somewhere to make a quick meal?
This is an important consideration because it will influence the layout of the kitchen from a functional perspective, influence the appliances that you do or don't need, and the amount of storage required.
Are you going to need additional building works?
If you want a living kitchen design is the current kitchen large enough or will the project involve either opening space into an adjacent room or by adding an extension?
What other works will be required?
Following on from above, do you have trades people arranged to carry out the associated works or do you need to ask the kitchen designer to assist you with this? Even if you are not planning an extension or to take out a wall what other works are likely to be required? For example, new ceiling lighting, sockets, plastering, tiling, moving radiators, new flooring?
What do you like and dislike about the design of your current kitchen?
What works for you? What elements would you like to retain? What annoys you? What would you like to reposition? What would you like to change?
What cabinet features would you like to incorporate?
Do you want corner pull outs, pull-out larder, spice and oil pull-out, drawers or cupboards, integrated bin, oak drawers? These things can be incorporated into the design and should be included in the designer’s brief. The designer can then explain the options available to you. Browsing kitchen magazines, brochures and interiors websites such as Houzz and Pinterest are all great sources of ideas of what is achievable in terms of layout design features.
What appliances do you want?
Do you know the type of appliances and features that you want, or would you like some advice? Are you going to have freestanding or integrated appliances? If you have not purchased appliances recently you may be pleasantly surprised by the range of options and features that are available to you. An experienced kitchen designer will be able to talk you through the pros and cons of all the options.
What kitchen style are you interested in?
Whilst you may not have finalised the door design and colour you want (that's one of the things to do when you visit your suppliers showroom) it is beneficial to have a general style in mind. This is so the designer can take account of the door Style when producing the overall design scheme and move more quickly to the options available which suit your taste. Supplier brochures, magazines and interiors websites such as Houzz and Pinterest are all good sources of inspiration at this stage. Remember, there is no right and wrong choice, there are so many choices available because people’s tastes vary so much. A good designer will help you choose an overall scheme that fits your tastes and your budget.
What type of work surface would you like?
There are many different work surface materials to choose from. These include quartz, granite, laminate, wood and solid surface (Corian). An experienced designer be able to explain the pros and cons of each as well as being able to give an indication of the relative cost of each option.
What is your budget?
Don't be afraid to tell an experienced kitchen designer your budget. It helps them produce a design and specify appliances and accessories which fit with your price range. If you’re worried that the designer will over price the kitchen then you may need to think about whether you’re meeting the right designer. If you purposefully under price your budget, then the designer may well produce a design and specify appliances which are not what you want because of that reduced budget. If you don’t know what price to expect, just ask.
How much should you tell the designer?
Some people don't want to give the designer too much information and instead leave them to come up with their own design. The problem with this approach is that the designer won't be able to take proper account of your wants and needs. It also risks wasting both your time and that of the designer. An experienced kitchen designer can take account of your design brief when creating a design whilst also making their own additional proposals and changes where appropriate. The product should be a design which truly meets your requirements than a design where the designer has been left to second guess your wants and needs.
In summary, we suggest the following:
Consider the factors above;
Make a note of your thoughts, take magazine cuttings or create a mood board (physical or using Pinterest) to give the designer your own design input;
Make sure you cover your points during the design meeting.
If you’re not sure of anything the designer says or suggests, ask them to explain it to you.