There are a lot of elements involved in a new kitchen build or renovation and choosing a kitchen designer who can execute the perfect design, build and install is crucial for making your kitchen dreams come true. “So, how do I find the perfect kitchen designer?”, we hear you say. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find our top tips for choosing the perfect kitchen designer.
Professional kitchen companies typically have varying degrees of strengths and priorities when it comes to their specialties and range of service offerings. When choosing a kitchen designer, you don’t usually expect to receive identical product and service across the board. This is because there are so many moving parts that go together to make a successful kitchen renovation or install. What really hits the mark for some, may be completely different to what is best for you and your kitchen project expectations.
So, when you are in the market for a new or renovated kitchen project, how do you make the decision when it comes to choosing a kitchen designer who will suit your requirements and work with you to achieve the best outcome? Our team at Harrington Kitchens have put together this handy list to help guide you in the process of choosing your perfect kitchen designer.
Design and Manufacture
When choosing a kitchen designer, look for a company who offers fully-qualified designers or consultants who take the time to understand your needs; offering the right balance of listening and providing assistance and expertise on how to achieve the best result for your budget. This ensures that you can have creative input into the project with the reassurance that your kitchen designer will have your back when it comes to professional suggestions for gaining maximum impact and functionality.
Some questions you might want to ask yourself, or your designer:
- What examples and imagery can they provide to help visualise solutions for your design – do they have a showroom you can visit or a portfolio of competed kitchens across a range of styles?
- Do they have a professional website that offers helpful design information and kitchen design visuals?
- Are you offered design plans and quotes that are drafted on professional software or hand scribed and hard to decipher or visualise?
- Where is their cabinetry manufactured and can they show you how they manufacture?
Locally manufactured kitchens not only support local business and industry but can often result in shorter lead times as well as a higher level of quality product and workmanship. Locally based manufacturing can also make things a lot easier when it comes to executing last minute changes or addressing any errors. Consider that if you choose a kitchen designer who manufactures their cabinetry offshore, while it may initially look cheaper on paper, you may be in for longer lead times or additional problems with timing of replacements, etc, if anything arrives damaged or incorrectly supplied.
Although usually very tempting, terrific new fads and trends are not always the answer.
Ensure that you choose a kitchen designer who is not only abreast of current design trends and kitchen materials and technology, but also has proven experience to know what works best when it comes to optimising long term function and benefits from a new kitchen. The perfect kitchen designer can combine the best of both – accommodating your wants and needs while incorporating the latest trends with your individual style.
First Impressions Count – Communication Skills and Customer Service
When it comes to choosing the perfect kitchen designer for you, first impressions definitely do count for a lot. How do you feel about how your initial enquires, questions or concerns were handled? How timely are their responses and did you get all of the information you needed? On the flip side, do you feel that you were given enough time to think through your responses without being rushed into any decisions?
How comfortable do you feel with the team as a whole? While the designer is certainly an integral part of the process, it takes more than one person to build a kitchen. Consider not just the designer but the rest of the team that you have interacted with too. How was the receptionist on the phone? Or the person that greeted you in the showroom? Were they clear and concise?
A great company is built on great processes, and that starts from the very beginning. Remember that first impression is usually a good reflection on the company itself. It is important to feel comfortable with your communications, the people offering the service, and that you feel valued as a client. As you embark on the wonderful journey that is building a new kitchen, you need to be sure that this is the team you trust to come along on the journey with you.
Choose a kitchen designer who is honest with lead times too, and this is particularly important if you have a kitchen project that needs to be completed swiftly. Local kitchen designers often have it over those who use foreign manufacturers, due to basic geographical constraints, however local manufacturers can also have longer lead times over busy periods. Always ask for information on current lead times so that you can have a clear picture of what to expect as the project moves forward.
Level of Expertise, Experience and Relationship with Suppliers and Clients
The amount of time that a business has been in kitchen design and manufacturing industry may not seem like a huge factor when you are choosing a kitchen designer. However, those who have been in the industry for many years will generally have built up rapport and established solid working relationships with suppliers and tradespeople and that is something that can have a huge impact on the success of a kitchen project. Over time, experienced kitchen designers will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly and have plenty of learned experiences. This not only ensures that their current processes are well and truly tried and tested, but also that they are much more agile and armed with solutions when it comes to pre-empting and troubleshooting when things don’t quite go to plan. While no-one will ever be perfect, it is safe to assume that the more experience a kitchen designer has, the less likely it is for there to be huge problems to deal with, as things will be addressed systematically and methodically, meaning that anything that might pop up along the way is quickly addressed and resolved before it gets out of hand.
Does your kitchen designer have client testimonials and a strong base of repeat clients who put their trust in the company and its processes?
Assurance and Reassurance
It is important to choose a kitchen designer who can offer you plenty of reassurance in the form of product warranties, quality after sales service, and workmanship guarantee. Knowing that they are committed to quality and are willing to stand behind their work and not just walk away once the last door is on its hinge gives you confidence that you are engaging with someone who is just as passionate as you about the fact that your kitchen should not only be perfect now, but into the future too.
Choosing a kitchen designer that is perfect for you ultimately comes down to a combination of the experience, skills and service standards of the kitchen design company and a good balance of communication between company and client. Whilst you might prefer the personality, product or design style of a certain designer or company, it is important to consider the overall offering of the company as a whole. If they don’t have the experience or resources to deliver what you want on a variety of levels, then you owe it to yourself to keep searching for one that does.
Harrington Kitchens make choosing a kitchen designer easy. Our expert team have over 20 years’ of kitchen design, build and install experience with a commitment to quality products, workmanship and exceptional customer experience. Our company is Australian owned and operated out of Narellan manufacturing facility with a second showroom in Bowral, in the Southern Highlands. We are proud to offer local, on-site manufacturing of premium kitchen products, backed with a great product warranty and after care sales service.
Visit the Harrington Kitchens website and discover our outstanding gallery of kitchen projects. There’s also plenty of kitchen design tips, tools and testimonials. Submit an online booking request or give our team a call on 1300 662 112 to schedule an appointment and start your new kitchen journey with us.