I am planning on remodeling our very tiny galley kitchen and adjoining
room by expanding out about 8 feet. The problem is, neither one of
us has an eye
for what goes together. We both know what we like/don't like
when we see it, but
just aren't creative enough to coordinate things on our
So, are we better off getting an interior designer's perspective first, or
hiring an architect? Are architects trained in any way to help people
things like what countertop color looks best with a particular
On the flip side, would an interior designer be aware of
things like plumbing &
electrical requirements/codes? This is the home we
plan on staying in for at
least the next 15 years, until our children
finish school, so we'd like to make
it very much "ours".
Can anyone help?
On Fri 07 Nov 2008 11:35:33p, monix denix told us...
Start with a Kitchen Designer. A good one will know how to ask the right
questions that will reveal what you do want and need. They will be aware
of cabinetry, appliances, and other equipment specific to kitchens. They
will also be able to work with an architect or construction firm to define
the details of the actual expansion. Most also have computer software that
can show you what your new kitchen will look like.
(correct the spelling of "geemail" to reply)
Both good ideas. Kitchen design books/mags can give you some ideas of
what you like and a kitchen design company can also give you ideas and
lay it out for you.
If it's a simple 8 foot extension that you're considering, I would not
start with an architect. Depending on the local laws, what exactly is
being done and whether the kitchen design firm has access to an
architect to stamp plans, etc, you may need to get an architect
I'd only start with the architect if you were considering more
extensive remodeling of the house.
If you have an expansion in mind, you must have a rudimentary plan in
by shopping the big box stores for styles and special cabinets and
like. Many of the brochures have layout sheets that allow you to cut
what you like. Cabinet mfgs. have automated sites that allow you to put
colors, flooring, etc. Also take into account the primary uses ...
the sink if kids are going to be doing a lot of "warm-up" meals - that
primary meal style on school nights with busy schedules for all. An island
with a small sink and second disposal was part of my dream kitchen for
preparing company meals (survived without it).
We redid our kitchen, updating old built-in-place cabinets several years
Initially we went to Home Depot, planning on entirely new cabinets. We
got through the measuring stage, and cancelled there. They offered us our
$100 deposit, which we didn't expect to get back. You might explore their
planning services ..... that is all they do, and worth $100 but be
careful what you commit to.
I have never used an architect or designer and think it is about as likely
to satisfy and be worthwhile as any other in the trade ... gen'l.
kitchen contractor, cabinet maker, etc. Tile, glass and appliance shops
can give you good ideas, too. We worked with a glass shop to get a
"new" backsplash behind our cooktop....cemented counter laminate to
the wall over old metal tile and then patterned pressed glass over that.
Love it! Much easier to clean, cheap to replace.
I can tell you from years of experience that most architects and Interior
designers get along like cats and dogs. Unless you get them both from the
firm (and even then there might be conflict) be prepared to have a
cold water to separate them. Get the architect first. He/she will
recommend someone for the colors etc.
On Nov 8, 12:35 am, monix denix <monix[dot]denix[at]gmail[dot]com>
At this stage try a small local architect, it will be well worth the
price and he will get you the most square footage at the lowest cost,
get you safely past your permits and inspections, get your plumbing,
electrical, framing, windows, hvac, right, etc. After you have a
gutted shell then worry about the colors and get the kitchen design
done for free (included) by the cabinet supplier. Insist that the
designer come do the kitchen plan at your residence itself with a CAD
program included in the cabinet price. Reputible cabinet suppliers
all have great design knowledge on kitchens and what will work best.
But because you are doing a bump out get an architect first, I woldn't
even think about colors, materials, or decorating yet.
I'd have to take exception to that. The time to be considering where
the cabinets are going to go, where the windows are going to go, do
you want an island, the traffic flow, where the appliances should be
located, etc, is at the beginning. The empty shell approach would be
a good idea if the kitchen were already there and they were not
An architect can certainly do kitchen design, but it's not necessarily
their specialty. I would consult a kitchen design place first,
because they are the most up on what makes a kitchen great, what new
features are available and that people want, etc. Also, as far as
pulling all the necessary permits, etc, a good kitchen design company
will do that too. It's their business to completely gut and remodel
kitchens. And I would say there is a big difference between a
cabinet supplier doing a design for free and the services you can get
from a real kitchen design company.
If you're just changing cabinets, the free cabinet design could be a
good idea. But I would not think I was getting a bargain by relying
on a free cabinet design company to guide me in a $100K+ kitchen
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