Working with a designer who works with us....

Page 1 of 2  
We're redoing our kitchen (entirely even!) and it's exciting but overwhelming at the same time, so I thought it might be nice to work with a designer; however, by our third meeting it was fairly clear that we didn't quite speak the same language.
Undaunted, I contacted another designer recommended to me. Our first meeting went well but by the end of our second sit down, I really didn't feel as if she grasped the concept of what we were looking for.
My husband and I sat down and asked ourselves some tough questions. Were we as clear as we could be? Perhaps we had competing visions? Were we ready for this? But I can't quite put my finger on what's been going on.
I don't want a designer to come into my home and push their vision of what my home should be. I want a designer that's going to sit down with us, get to know us, and help us transform our kitchen to our tastes, not theirs. It seems as if both of these women pretended to listen to us (taste, preferences, budget), nodded their heads in agreement, and offered us a design we couldn't relate to.
Has anyone else had an experience like this or is it just us?
Carol B.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just Another Christmas Carol! wrote:

I suppose that there are designers out there that do what you want them to do. I have never worked with one and I have worked with dozens of them. (Being a general contractor, I usually work with the homeowner, but the designer is often the one with the final say on decisions.)
I was present when a client told the designer that she wanted a light green paint on the walls of a dining room and the designer said: "No way, not in this house!" I was stunned and expected the client to argue, but instead, she just acquiesced.
I would have told her to go to hell, I want green! But that is just me.
I had an argument with a designer about window coverings for a bank that I built. The plans, the budget, and the material on site was for painted window trim. The designer wanted stained and the bank did not want to pay extra for anything. I made up a change order and handed it to the designer. I said if you will sign this (the change order stated that payment was to be made in advance of any work by the signer) I will begin the process to do stained trim. No more argument!
They are very useful sometimes and if I ever use one, I am going to get them to do a design, pick some colors, pick some fabrics, etc. As soon as I get all of the choices done, then I would send them on their way and either use their advice or not. I am not going to argue with them about my own house. They will do what I want, or hit the road.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have designed custom kitchens for 20 years & always listen to the client & give them what they want. If you want to see some of my current kitchesn's go to www.geocities.com/desgnr If you send me some room dimensions can i can design what you want at a very low cost to you.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 2 Jan 2008 12:00:38 -0800 (PST), "Just Another Christmas

Designers are for people who can't make up their mind on anything. You should just find the contractor who is doing the work and give him your vision of where you want to go. He will tell you what he can build and you can go from there. I redesigned our kitchen and the first suggestion I can give you is to get your traffic pattern settled before you start picking out the drapes. Make a functional kitchen design, then make it pretty. There are a lot of design resourses on the internet. Another thought is to get a simple program like 3d Architect to draw up your plans and that will help you be sure everything will fit. Certainly you can draw things by hand but a little math error and you could make a plan you can't build. If you have a garage you can chalk the whole thing up on the floor and see what it feels like moving around in there. That way you may avoid thigs like a fridge door that encroaches on getting to the stove and such.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Visio is another good program for drag and drop floor plans.
A visit to Home Depot or IKEA to talk to their kitchen designer might be another way to establish a preliminary plan. At least you'd have something on paper to scale. No matter where you go from there, it's a great start.
LR
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 2 Jan 2008 12:00:38 -0800 (PST), "Just Another Christmas

These people are idiots, and I agree with Robert Allison that you should not cave in to them. I am now working with a couple (husband/wife) that specializes in kitchen remodels, and they've been great about adjusting to our budgetary and cabinetry changes. Keep looking. Some good contractors advertise in the newspaper's local news section and in the real estate section, usually small ads, and that's how we found these people. Go for the ones who don't advertise on TV and who aren't super huge.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
in message

Forget designers. Find someone who does the hands-on work and communicates well. Ask everyone you know for recommendations. If your friends have no answers, ask your plumber, your electrician, your heating contractor, or anyone else you trust who might know someone good.
My one experience with a designer was pathetic. She asked us if we had any absolute requirements for the new kitchen. I said I had to retain the exhaust fan over the stove, which vented directly outside without ductwork. I said I was OK with putting in a newer one, but it had to be the same general type. The idiot says "Well, you may not be aware of this, but those fans don't really work, so it's a silly thing to insist on." WHAT?? I told her I'd been watching the fan pull steam out the vent for the past 10 years, and asked if I'd been hallucinating all that time. The discussion ended right then and there. Luckily, we only wasted five minutes with her.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 03 Jan 2008 01:58:27 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

Agreed, and this is what the husband/wife couple are that I'm working with: they're not designers, but remodelers with decades of experience and great attitudes/personalities.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Please email me their contact info. I may have an interesting project for them in the spring or summer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 03 Jan 2008 14:08:42 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

They're Four Points Remodeling out in Greece; you can find their ad in the local section of the newspaper or in the real estate section (has picture of the couple).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just keep searching, which is what we did.
Some choices we made. Put large drawers in lower cabinets to store pots and pans. Much easier to pull out a drawer and get something from the back than bending over and reaching into a space with shelves. This actually is fairly common in Europe.
On the upper cabinets with left and right facing doors we choose a design than didn't have a piece of wood behind where the doors meet. Must easier to get things out this way.
We choose a large double stainless steel sink with a side drain area. Visit the Elkay web site and look at the many designs.
The folks that did our kitchen were top end yet they told us things like. If you can find a faucet you like at Home Depot, buy it yourselves as it will be cheaper.
Good luck
in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Jan 2, 2:00 pm, "Just Another Christmas Carol!"

The best kitchen designers are almost exclusively male, and not gay. If there are more women on staff, run.
The best kitchen designers tend to have construction and/or remodeling experience.
The best kitchen designers tend to be the best "salesmen", and work on straight commission.
Women tend to be arty-farty "designers", more interested in "designing" than "selling". Men want to sell you a friggen kitchen, so they'll listen to you.
The best kitchen designers do not work at box stores, but the worst and least experienced always do.
Generally, the best kitchen designers do not hold a CKD, and have been too busy designing and selling kitchens to get certified, if they ever cared about certification, which they probably didn't because it doesn't pay a dime more. Women usually opt for the CKD, because they think it makes them "qualified", which it usually doesn't, because they don't teach you to listen to the client, as you may have already discovered.
If you design your own kitchen, and find your own installer, stock up on Kleenex, because you'll be doing a lot of crying, probably for an extended period of time. -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I'll add this: If you hire a guy who works his butt off all week long, prepare to pay him to come with you on Saturday to order cabinets, countertops or anything else that involves measurements. My neighbor tried this, offering the contractor $100.00 for each trip, which they both knew might be aggravating. The guy accepted the money once, but turned it down two other times. I guess the gesture was enough to convince him that my neighbor respected his weekend time. The $100 was probably worthwhile in terms of quality, since my neighbor wasn't functioning as an intermediary between the guy who did the actual measuring, and the shops that would be making the items in question. The kitchen turned out gorgeous.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Laughable. Good ones in both genders, just like butt-heads in both genders on usenet.

I almost agree. Remember the OP had issues with the attitude of the designers, not necessarily their experience. Are you claiming further that "good" designers need to have a direct background with these areas? Any experienced designer would have worked in construction or remodelling projects - that's what they DO. I'm talking designers, not decorators - as some folks tend to blur the distinction.

I call BS oin this one. Want a used-car attitude in your designer? Many designers are indeed in the number-crunching firms, where selling is the priority. That really who you want to work with? To say generically that they are superior is ridiculous.

Again with the sell. "More interested in "designing""????? That's what this is about - design - and now it's bad?. I'm not going down the woman/man stereotype path. Are you trolling?

Mostly true.

What a pile. I go back to my trolling suspicions.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mamba wrote:

I disagree with almost all of his assertions, with the exception of the advise to stay away from the box stores.
My biggest contention is with the "straight commission" statement. Straight commission on what? All they do is advise a client. What are they making a commission on?
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Robert Allison"

If it's something *simple* and I'm doing it myself, I have no problem with box-store prebuilt cabinets etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No argument there, most of us have probably done that. I guess all this discussion arises from a project complex enough that the original poster felt it necessary to hire a professional designer.
My earlier beefs were with the poster who labelled large groups of people with a broad and rather biased (or poorly informed) brush. I tend to have little patience with deliberately misleading postings like that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you just became confused by your limited ability to comprehend what you read.
I wrote, "the best", not "the good", and "almost exclusively", not "all".
Words mean things. You should consider learning what.
Men dominate (what is considered) best design, from skyscrapers to furniture, to kitchens, to the clothing of both sexes, to hairstyles.
The examples are far more numerous, and at least as obvious, as what you don't know about kitchen designers or sales, but seem compelled to reveal. -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

genders
Ahh. Someone calls your tripe by its' true name, and you claim they lack comprehension or knowledge of the subject. That fits nicely into my prior assessment. Except now I'll add that you appear to be a jerk as well.
Sorry, I don't play with jerks. Ta Ta.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.