Hiring a Kitchen Designer? What to Know Before Getting Started

Hiring a Kitchen Designer? What to Know Before Getting Started

Kitchen Remodeling
Kitchen
By Dikran Seferian August 20, 2022

The kitchen of any home is definitely the most popular room of the house. It is the central hub, the first choice for any sort of conversation, and of course the place where you can find delicious morsels to pop into your mouth. We gather with our friends and family in the kitchen, we celebrate holidays and special meals in the kitchen, and kids often use the kitchen to do their school work or make art with crayons. 

Because of how integral the kitchen is, it is usually the very first room in any home that undergoes remodeling. Home owners recognize its importance, and also recognize that revamping their kitchen design can greatly increase the value of their home as well.

You have paged through the home design magazines in search of the best kitchen designs. You have scoured for information online to get ideas and prices. But you still cannot quite envision the entire project falling together. It may be time to find a kitchen designer for a bit of help and inspiration.

Misconceptions About Hiring a Kitchen Designer

A lot of homeowners believe that they should have a clear idea of what they want before consulting a kitchen designer. However, this is far from being true. It is the job of a designer to help you determine your preferences and ideate a design that meets your needs and reflects your style.

Another misconception is that kitchen designers can be overly expensive when, in fact, you’ll actually be saving money by hiring one. Designers will often come up with better alternatives to help you get your desired look for less and will have connections with trustworthy contractors. As such, they will allow you to dodge unnecessary expenses throughout the project and down the line. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Kitchen Designer

Handling Your Project

One major advantage of working with a designer is that they will manage the entirety of your kitchen remodel project. This includes helping you dream up the design, coordinating with the contractors, and making sure everything goes smoothly. A kitchen designer is a lot like a project manager responsible for making sure everything goes according to plan.

Helping With Design and Layout

When choosing materials for your new kitchen, it helps to consult a seasoned kitchen designer.

When choosing materials for your new kitchen, it helps to consult a seasoned kitchen designer.

As the job title indicates, a designer will help you envision the kitchen layout design that reflects your sensibilities and suits your needs. From selecting the perfect countertop to pairing it with a stylish kitchen backsplash, a designer will make the space look as good as it functions. They will devise a layout with your lifestyle in mind. And if you’re revamping your kitchen with the intention of selling, they will make sure it looks as attractive as possible.

Allowing You to Stay Within Budget

It goes without saying that renovating a kitchen can be expensive. That being said, it is important that you spend your money wisely. A kitchen designer will help you stay within your budget while finding the best materials. They often have connections in the business and can source products that aren’t available in big box stores. A designer will also help you get more value for your money by obtaining better deals. Their expertise, combined with their connections, will help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams using the budget you have.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Besides helping you stay within your budget, a kitchen designer will also help you avoid unnecessary expenses. Their skills and experience often come in handy when it comes to preventing mistakes such as layout problems that affect the practicality of the space. For instance, they will always make sure to implement the triangle rule when designing a kitchen. If there’s too much of a distance between the sink and the stove, you may find yourself looking at another expensive renovation pretty soon. 

A professional kitchen designer will account for every detail of the renovation project.

A professional kitchen designer will account for every detail of the renovation project.

Giving You Peace of Mind

Ultimately, hiring a professional designer will give you peace of mind knowing that the renovation is in good hands. Your designer will essentially oversee everything from point A to Z. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have throughout the project. And when it comes to making critical decisions, the kitchen designer will often have the best advice. 

How Much You Should Spend on Your Kitchen

The return on investment of a kitchen remodel is something you’ll be benefiting from for many years.

The return on investment of a kitchen remodel is something you’ll be benefiting from for many years.

Before hiring a designer, it’s a good idea to have a clear idea of your overall budget — taking into account designer or architect fees. Pinning down the cost of an average kitchen renovation, however, might not be as simple as you’d think; but it helps to estimate the value of your kitchen. As a rule of thumb, your kitchen should be worth 10 to 15 percent of the total value of your home. If your property is valued at $200,000, for instance, you should ideally be able to spend around $30,000 on a kitchen remodel.

You may also bear in mind the return on investment that comes with a newly renovated kitchen. Not only does it boost the resale value of your home, but a kitchen remodel also improves how the space functions. 

Average Cost of Hiring a Kitchen Designer

Kitchen designer fees can amount to up to 10 percent of the overall costs of a renovation project. On the lower end of the spectrum, the cost of hiring an independent designer ranges from $1,500 to $3,000. Many independent designers often charge an hourly fee which can be anywhere from $65 to $250. If that’s the case, you may want an estimate of how long the designer expects to work on the project.

On the other hand, there are companies that provide design services along with the sale of a specific product — such as cabinetry. The designer fees are essentially rolled into the overall price. Should that be the case, make sure to inquire about the design services that come with other features like tilework or lighting. Chances are a kitchen cabinet designer, for instance will also do the backsplash, the kitchen flooring, and other elements.

Independent kitchen designers will often charge by the hour.

Independent kitchen designers will often charge by the hour.

Finding a Kitchen Designer

Everyone from architects to interior designers to kitchen designers (obviously) is known to design kitchens. If an interior architect or designer is already working on your home, you may have them do the kitchen too. You can also rely on design-build companies — which take care of both construction and design — for your kitchen project. 

What to Consider Before Working With a Kitchen Designer

Before reaching out to a kitchen designer, consider making note of what aspects of the kitchen are most important to you: do you really need two sinks? Are you dying for more counter space on a daily basis? List what you want most first, right down to what you want least. This will help the kitchen designer know what to focus on, and will also help you plan out your budget for this project. You may also want to ask yourself exactly how environmentally safe this project must be so that you are happy, and how both your goals and those of the kitchen designer match up.

The kitchen designer you hire will ideally understand the vision you have in mind.

The kitchen designer you hire will ideally understand the vision you have in mind.

Along with the designer being open and receptive to your own kitchen design ideas, be sure that they have glowing references and good examples of past work so you can approve of their workmanship and style. It is also important for you to ensure that their licensing and certifications are valid and up to date. If everything seems to be matching up, then you and your designer will soon be embarking on a new and exciting kitchen venture.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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