Sunday, September 18, 2016

Why Working With a Designer Makes Sense:Part 2

One of my current favorite quotes is :
"Design is Where Art and
              Science Break Even
Robin Mathew

There is so much truth in this statement.  You can have a beautiful kitchen that does not function and you can have an functional kitchen that feels more utilitarian than anything else. A design home run in my book is a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but functions fantastically. If the person designing your layout does not understand how to bring the two together I encourage you to find someone who can. You will be glad you did.

Just recently I received a phone call from a gentleman (let’s call him Mr. Johnson) asking me to come and review 2 sets of kitchen cabinet plans they had received from 2 different cabinet companies. After a short chat we set up an appointment and met.  

At our meeting Mr. And Mrs. Johnson shared with me their story. They had recently purchased their home and wanted a larger kitchen similar to the one they had enjoyed in their previous home.  They had loved the layout and knew it worked well for them.  They had visited 2 cabinet shops, both having great reputations locally. They told me that both cabinet shops had visited their home, listened to their ideas, taken measurements and returned to them the proposed layout.  Then they asked what I thought of the plans.

Here are the problems as I see them

1. The kitchen in their previous house and the new kitchen space are not the same.  Therefore the design can't be identical and function.

2. The new kitchen and the adjoining eating area that is to be incorporated into the kitchen have two very different ceiling heights creating some significant design issues.

3. Both cabinet shops gave them an almost identical layout that had some serious design/ function issues.  Obviously based on the clients wish list and description but was not a well functioning layout due to inadequate work spaces.

4. Neither shop offered a better solution than what the clients asked for.

5. The clients had some ideas but in reality they were not going to be the strongest solution due to the issues listed in items 1 & 2.

 As we sat and talked about what they really wanted in this new kitchen there was very obviously in my opinion a different layout option that gave them the optimum dimensions and work space needed at the range, island, perimeter cabinets and would not bring attention to the change in ceiling height. They were thrilled. The comments "we never thought of that and what a good idea" was exactly what I hoped to hear. 

This is a perfect example of why starting with a kitchen and bath designer is such a good idea.  It can actually save you money in the long run and get you to where you want to be and more times than not exceed those expectations.

Here is my point.  Had Mr and Mrs. Johnson moved forward with cabinet shop A or B, There is no doubt they would have received a nice quality cabinet in the style and finish they requested.  What they would not have received is a kitchen that functioned at 100%.  It would never look as good as it could due to the design limitations existing in the space and in my opinion the lack of creativity and optimum layout knowledge offered by the cabinet makers.   

My number one goal as a designer is to create an environment that reflects the homeowners esthetic and hopefully elevate the finished product to a place they had not ever imagined.  I will always tell clients when something will not work well and why.  Then offer an alternative that does.  Most business's that sell just one piece of the puzzle don't always offer that same information.  In my mind that is the critical piece of the puzzle you can't afford to miss. 

How sad for Mr and Mrs. Johnson if they were to invest such a large sum in their kitchen and have it never be quite right.  Yet with a small investment up front with a designer they could end up making a solid investment in their home and lifestyle. It makes sense and will definitely save you some cents!