What Questions Should Your Kitchen Designer Be Asking YOU?

June 28, 2017

I think we’ve all read plenty of articles and blog posts about “How To Select A Kitchen Designer”. You consider their credentials, review their portfolio, talk to some references, and generally decide whether your personalities “mesh” well enough to move forward with the design process. Simple, right?

But what questions should the right Kitchen Designer be asking YOU? The reality is, you AND your Kitchen Designer will be designing your Kitchen. Done correctly, it’s a very interactive process with no surprises when construction begins. Your Designer should ask you as many questions as you asked them in the beginning for the best approach from start to finish – to include:



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1. What’s Your Style? 

A visit to your home will be helpful, not only for final measurements – but for seeing how you decorate, colors you are drawn to, and the style that appeals to you (or the style that no longer appeals to you that you’re trying to replace with new and improved Kitchen gorgeousness). If your home isn’t a good indicator of what you’re going for, then your Designer’s portfolio will be a great place to start. Review each of their completed Kitchens and discuss the parts of each that you like. Another great style resource is Houzz.com – you can search thousands of Kitchens with simple keywords (i.e. “White Kitchens”, or “Contemporary Two Tone Kitchens”) and send your Designer links to your favorites. A good Designer can accommodate many different styles – from an elegant French Country to a sleek Contemporary.



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.

 2. What Do You NOT Like About Your Existing Kitchen?

I’ve heard the answer “everything” quite a bit, but most clients have one or two real complaints or issues they really want addressed.

Some examples include:

  • “I have NO storage space and keep half of my serving pieces in the basement. I want an easily accessible place for everything I use in my Kitchen.”
  • “I hate the layout – my spouse and I are constantly running into each other while preparing a meal. We need a Kitchen that accommodates two cooks.”
  • “It’s outdated and hideous. Please make it all go away.”

Your Designer should listen carefully to your answers, and take these issues into account when designing the new space. Out with the cramped, the poorly planned, the non-functional, and especially the ugly.



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


3. How Do You Use Your Kitchen?

Sounds like a silly question… doesn’t everyone know what a Kitchen is used for? But how do YOU use yours? Do you cook every day? Does anyone else cook with you at the same time? Are you right handed or left handed? Who handles the clean up? How often do you entertain, and typically how many guests are there? Are family meals eaten in the Kitchen every day? Do you bake often? How many small appliances do you need conveniently accessible to you daily? These are just a few of the questions a good Kitchen Designer should ask you prior to getting started on any design. The answers will determine several important elements of your design; including major Kitchen appliance placement, the types of storage cabinets that work best for you, the ideal amount of seating at an island, and much more. I always ask my new clients to fill out the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) Kitchen Design Survey for me before starting any design. I call it their “homework”, and although it might be tedious to fill it all out, it gives me details that make a huge difference in their Kitchen’s functionality. NKBA-Kitchen_Design_Survey_Form



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4. What Is Your Budget?

We all have one, and it’s important to establish your investment comfort level up front. For example, I work for a Design/Build firm that handles the design and the construction – and our process includes establishing an investment comfort range up front before even moving into the design phase. We work toward keeping our clients within this targeted range while in the design phase, and continue to work toward staying within these parameters when we assist with finish material selections like cabinets, countertops, flooring, etc. A good Designer should be able to work with you to create a Kitchen that works within a pre-determined and agreed upon budget range. Remodeling Magazine issues their “Cost Vs. Value Report” for each region in the United States every year, and has listed the DC Metro area’s average Kitchen remodel cost at $63,537 to $124,385. This is a large range that starts with a mid-range Kitchen up to a luxury Kitchen. However, it’s important to understand that your design and the finish materials you select directly impact where your final cost will fall in with this average cost range. You can see this report here, and compare our area to other areas on the East Coast. Cost Vs Value-DC Metro-2017



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If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page. 

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