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
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?
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
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.
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
If you send me some room dimensions can i can design what you want at a very
low cost to you.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The best kitchen designers tend to be the best "salesmen", and work on
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
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.
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.
Laughable. Good ones in both genders, just like butt-heads in both genders
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?
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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