All designers are not created equal so you need to do your homework!
It’s extremely important to hire a designer whose expertise is compatible with your scope of work and focuses not just on aesthetics but makes functionality and practicality a priority. There are many designers who can make your space look beautiful, but how qualified are they to do extensive plumbing, electrical, and cabinet plans?
Photo Credit by Diversity Journal
In the summer of 2019, my husband and I were ready to remodel our kitchen. At that time, I knew nothing about the design or remodel business, and was one year away from being offered a job at Living Space Designs handling Client Relations. I was clueless as a first-time renovator about the importance of picking the right designer who not only can make the space look beautiful, but also knows the construction side of the design process. Call it luck of the draw or fate, but when we met with Helen, managing partner and lead designer at Living Space Designs, we knew we’d hit the jackpot!
For kitchen remodels, look for a designer who is extremely competent in cabinet design which is essential to ensure your space is maximized for storage and functionality.
Your final kitchen cabinet design should specify what organizational items are going in most drawers, cabinets, and pantry. Recently, our studio got a desperate call from woman named Kate who wanted us to help her redo her brand new kitchen cabinets for which she paid top dollar.
Kate discovered--after the fact--most of her designer’s experience was in closet cabinetry. AH HA…This explains why the designer fell short designing kitchen cabinets according to Kate’s needs. Photo Credit by Rev-a-Shelf
For a master bath renovation, seek out a designer who is experienced in electrical and plumbing.
Whether you want a “car wash” effect with shower jets, a free-standing tub, or a wet room, your designer needs to understand how the different plumbing products work based on water pressure, splash patterns, and where to best place the fixtures depending on what’s happening inside the surrounding walls and floor.
To ensure you have excellent lighting for grooming and make-up application, your designer needs to place the electrical strategically, and to understand Kelvin temperature to give you the best lighting results at different times of day and night.
Aside from hiring a designer with expertise based on your scope of work, make sure you choose a designer with whom you feel a deep level of comfort and connection. Working with a designer is an intimate process requiring transparency, directness, and empathy.
You deserve to feel safe speaking your mind and having your questions and concerns valued and understood.
Here are some questions you may consider asking when meeting and interviewing designers. You should always be offered a complimentary consultation.
How long have you been a designer?
What is your area of expertise?
How many kitchens, baths, (or whatever spaces you want to remodel) have you designed/remodeled in the span of your career?
Please explain how your design and remodel process works if I was to become a client.
What’s one of the biggest challenges your company faces, and how do work to resolve it? (Finding qualified subcontractors, supply shortages, etc.)
Planning on remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, or any other living space is exciting but the process can be overwhelming--Finding the right designer should provide you with a clear vision, organized plan, and a newly remodeled space that makes you say WOW every time you walk into the room!