Kitchen Remodel Series Part One: Planning Your Renovation with a Kitchen Designer

A kitchen renovation may seem daunting – but don’t be overwhelmed. Riverhead Building Supply is here to help! This is part one of our Kitchen Remodel Series. In this series, we will offer you the best advice in the industry when it comes to planning and navigating through the design process. And who better to ask than the experts? We have asked each of our Riverhead Building Supply Kitchen Designers to share their experience and the best practices for each stage in the planning process. At Riverhead Building Supply, we pride ourselves on not only providing the finest products but on making sure you have the best kitchen remodeling experience possible.

Enjoy The Ride – What a kitchen renovation should be!

The kitchen is the hub of the house. Does your kitchen work for your current lifestyle needs? If not, it might be time for a kitchen renovation. Kitchen renovations are one of the most popular types of home improvements. Yes it is an investment of time and money, but it will all be worth it once you have the kitchen you’ve always wanted!
A kitchen renovation is YOUR chance to finally have the kitchen of your dreams! The experience of remodeling your kitchen should be a fun and amazing experience. You are in the captain’s chair and can finally make the space everything YOU dreamed it could be. RBS recommends choosing a kitchen designer as the first step of a kitchen remodel. If you aren’t using one or already have one, stay tuned for the second post in the series focusing on choosing your kitchen style.

How to Find the Right Kitchen Designer

The kitchen designer will set the stage for your kitchen renovation process, so it is important you work with someone who is the right fit and with whom you feel comfortable and confident. A kitchen designer can help you put all the elements of your kitchen together, which include everything from cabinet and countertop materials to hardware, flooring, lighting, plumbing, appliances and more.
RBS Kitchen Designer Barry Gano suggests that you interview different kitchen designers and look for someone who will “listen to your wants, needs and budget.” Ask for referrals and view photos of each designer’s past work. Find someone you connect with and who has experience with your type of project.

What to Expect When Working with a Kitchen Designer

Once you select your kitchen designer, you can expect a series of meetings. Here’s a breakdown of the typical process:

  1. Your First Meeting

JoAnn Lyles, Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) said that during a first meeting with a client, “I will ask you good questions that make you think about your family needs, your lifestyle, your storage needs, cooking style, and your pets. All of these elements are intertwined in designing YOUR kitchen, which is the most important space in your home.”
Nelson Schneider, kitchen designer, said the first meeting with a client lasts about 60-90 minutes, “as this is a comfortable length of time for them so they don’t feel overwhelmed with the design process.”
“I take notes as we speak, writing down their wants and needs,” he added. “When I am doing their design I make a conscious effort to incorporate these desires into the design using my knowledge and creative ideas.”
“I am a good listener, so when meeting with my customer I pay attention to what they are saying. I ask a lot of questions to discover their lifestyle and family life. I explore the reasons why they want a new kitchen and what they are expecting from their new kitchen.”

“Think about what doesn’t feel right in your kitchen. If you have measurements, bring those and a list of appliances you are hoping to incorporate…”

What Should You Bring

Having a clear understanding of what is important to you will help your first meeting with a kitchen designer be productive. Here are some thought starters:

  • What is your lifestyle? Do you have children? Love to entertain? Are you a baker?
  • How many cooks do you typically have in your kitchen?
  • What are your frustrations with your current kitchen?
  • Is there any wasted space?
  • Is lack of storage a concern?
  • Do you experience workflow congestion when preparing meals?
  • How often do you prepare big meals? Daily, weekends only, holidays, etc.?

Think of your needs now, as well as what you may require in the future.

Share Your Vision

Lyles suggests bringing aspirational Houzz photos as well as any magazine clippings to the first meeting. In addition, she said, “Think about what doesn’t feel right in your kitchen. If you have measurements, bring those and a list of appliances you are hoping to incorporate… All of these things are very helpful to get started on a great design that works well for you.”
Barry Gano also recommends starting a Houzz or Pinterest board with your favorite pictures. Make a note of what you like about each kitchen design element such as the look, lighting, colors, etc. Share these with your designer.
Schneider had similar advice. “I ask clients to bring any materials they have collected in their search for a new kitchen or project.”

The Walk-Through with Your Designer

Your designer may want you to meet first at his or her office, or the designer might come to your home. The first time your designer visits your home is when he or she will be introduced to your kitchen. This is the opportunity to share your likes and dislikes. Your designer will take all of the pertinent measurements they will need to build your design. Have fun brainstorming ideas together!

  1. The Big Reveal – unveiling your dream kitchen design

You’ll have several meetings with your kitchen designer. Each one progressing closer to your dream kitchen. Once the designer presents your new kitchen design, you’ll have an opportunity to review your layout, floor plan and design elements and make final changes.

  1. The Final Meeting – reviewing your order

Once all the changes are made, you’ll get a final review of all the layout and design features you discussed during the planning phases. Your designer will draft the order and agreement and present you with a contract for you to sign. This will also be the time where you will place the deposit for your order, walk through the delivery timeline and finalize scheduling with your contractor.
Renovating your kitchen is an exciting endeavor. Be sure to read our upcoming blogs in the series which will detail the kitchen remodeling timeline and give you tips on planning your budget, choosing your kitchen style, and more.

This article is Part One of our Kitchen Remodel Series. Part Two is entitled “How to Determine Your Kitchen Style“.

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