Some thoughts about kitchen and bath designs…
We at iKitchens, Etc. believe that if the kitchen is the heart of the home, then a good design is the heart of your new kitchen. We want to work with you and create a design that is right for you, your home, and your budget.
Sometimes clients will say:
“I have a small kitchen – it’s a simple design.”
Yes, a small kitchen may require only a few cabinets. But, it often takes more time and creativity to come up with a functioning design for a highly constrained space.
Or they may say:
“I am just replacing my existing kitchen, so the design is already done.”
The sizing of the new cabinetry that will be used in your kitchen remodel is usually not the same as the cabinet sizes found in an older kitchen. Reworking the layout may be needed to make best use of the physical space. When you remodel your kitchen, this is the time to think about how you would like to use the space and how the kitchen can best support you and your lifestyle today. Sometimes a slight change from the existing layout will improve the functionality of the kitchen for you. The end result of a design consultation is a design that you love and specifications for your new kitchen.
Similarly with bathrooms, often the layout is predetermined if you do not plan to expand the bathroom. With that said, there are many decisions to be made based on budget, function and materials. The design specification specialists can help streamline this process and move you to a newly remodeled room.
Although we call it “design”, we operate much more as a design and specification consultant. We can advise you on all aspects of your project including countertops, flooring, appliances, lighting, paint color, plumbing fixtures and more. We are unique in the kitchen industry because we design with form, function and affordability in mind. A remodeling project can be overwhelming with the number of research and decisions that are required to specify a project. In a casual consultation meeting, homeowners are usually surprised at how many decisions they can make about the project in a very low stress meeting with one of our professionals.
Form and Function
Form is defined as the outward appearance or shape/structure of an object. It is what the kitchen looks likes that makes people comment “What a beautiful kitchen!” Our designer will work with you to make sure your kitchen is gorgeous.
Function is how an object works. In a kitchen design, function is the key to an enjoyable cooking experience. A good example of function that we almost always use in our designs is a dual pull-out trash bin near the sink, never under it.
Affordability means the best value for your money. For example, we sometimes see plans for customer-designed kitchens that have a separate cooktop with a wall oven underneath. It is a classy look but can be very expensive to implement. This is due to the need to purchase two appliances, run two electrical (or gas) lines, buy/install an extra cabinet, pay for extra countertop square footage and a cooktop cut-out. This choice can cost $1500-$2000 more than a nice slide-in range. For some customers, it is worth it while others may choose to allocate their resources to a different aspect of the kitchen.
We want to work with you to create a design/specification the fits your goals, including your budget priorities.
What you should do prior to the initial meeting with our design consultant
- Be prepared to talk about a budget for your project. This is a critical aspect of establishing guidelines that will help us help you.
- Gather together your notes, ideas, pictures from magazines about spaces you like, Houzz.com is a great resource.
- If possible, tell our designer the type of look you want – minimalistic, contemporary, sleek, country, traditional, cozy, colorful, monochromatic
- If we are coming to meet you about your kitchen
- Think about how you use your kitchen now and how you would like to use it in the future. Do you cook with kids? Do you entertain? Warm up take out?
- Do NOT clean it up and organize it. If you have piles of mail beside the fridge, leave it. We want to see what works and doesn’t work in your current space.
- Begin thinking about appliances you need or want– features, size, color, etc.
- Typically, the design/consultation begins with scheduling an appointment. Usually the appointments are during the day on Monday-Friday. Exceptions can be made for an evening or weekend appointment. The fee for the appointment is set at this time.
- A design/specification contract is brought to your home and signed at the time of the consultation. The design consultation fee is paid at this time. Most designs are handled inside of the original fee, however, for more complicated processes, there is a possibility of additional fees charged at an hourly rate. If addition costs are expected, then the additional time is agreed upon between the homeowner and the designer and is paid for prior to being utilized. This rarely happens, but is an option for projects that require a larger timeframe for the specification process.
- The space is measured and photographed. This includes a panorama of the room, electric panels, plumbing fixtures and piping. (Often pictures of the pets are taken, because our designers love critters.)
- The process usually takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. The conversation involves discussing your goals, budget, personal style, vision for the space and needs, how you cook, family cooking vs 1 person cook, who cleans up, appliance needs, countertops, space utilization, etc.
- Information is brought back to the iKitchens office to be worked into a design specification portfolio and is built into a PowerPoint presentation.
- The PowerPoint presentation will include:
- 3D color renderings
- top down layout
- elevation drawings
- material options
- design considerations
- See the example document
- The design portfolio is sent to you for review. After you receive it, a phone call needs to be scheduled for review of the design with the designer. Often, changes to the design are requested, and those changes are added to the initial presentation. (See the Design Portfolio example.)
- Once a design is approved by the homeowner, an estimate is put together covering the anticipated cost for the entire project, based on the scope of work requested by you and reflected in the design. This completes the design process.