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David R. Bartlett, CKD, President of The Kitchen Center of Framingham, addresses common issues related to kitchen and interior design. Do you have a question for him? Please e-mail him and we'll post your question –– along with David’s answer –– on this page.
How To Get A Magnificent Kitchen
In addition to having several full-scale kitchens on display, The Kitchen Center of Framingham features a wide array of door, finish and countertop samples.
Cabinets, countertops, appliances, ventilation, sinks, faucets, backsplash, work triangle, flooring, lighting, hardware, function, features, aesthetics, accessories, specifications, details, details, details … Stop!
Before you start pulling out your hair, remember that the kitchen is the hub of activity in most homes as well as the most complex room in any home. Therefore, you must allocate more time and research to planning for this room than for any other.
When you approach the planning in a haphazard way, the process will take much more time and you may not get the desired results. Proper planning requires homework, starting with notes and pages of magazines that you clip or index. An important point to remember: Any visual aids that you compile will help you to communicate better with your design professional.
Choose a design professional
That said, the most important step in achieving your dream kitchen is to choose a design professional. Look for a kitchen designer who:
- Is both experienced and affiliated with the National Kitchen & Bath Association.
- Remains current with the industry.
- Attends seminars and workshops on an ongoing basis.
- Has earned the Certified Kitchen Designer designation, which is acquired by meeting criteria such as length of time in the industry and extensive training and testing.
- Is regularly earn Ongoing Professional Development points through continuing education in order to maintain the CKD certification.
The kitchen designer, along with the network of industry professionals that he or she has assembled, will be your guide in navigating the planning process.
A major visual aid
The kitchen showroom is another key factor because it provides a major visual aid in the planning process. A good showroom should do the following:
- Show a wide range of products to meet your budget.
- Make cabinetry and countertops the primary focus, with many design ideas and a wide array of features and accessories also on display.
- Act as a guide for you to view styles, woods, finishes, moldings and details.
- Be an aid with respect to spatial considerations, clearances, work areas, design heights and sizes.
Seek out references
Last but not least, seek out references. Remember, nobody gives out bad references –– and references are only as good as the integrity of the person providing it. Your best reference is the one you find on your own. Ask family, friends and coworkers. Also check with other industry professionals who have been around for a while. They will at least know somebody who is reputable and has had work done by the kitchen designer in question.
This is not to say that references supplied by kitchen designers lack any value. In fact, they can be quite valuable when you ask probing questions and solicit more than a “yes/no” response. For example, ask how the kitchen designer handled problems, questions or concerns that arose during the project. Expediency and the end result should be the main factors in rating how the designer addressed these issues. Remember, a kitchen is a complex project. And questions –– sometimes lots of them –– are to be expected.
In summary, choose your kitchen designer wisely. When you do enough of the right homework, your experience will be much more pleasant –– and the result will be a Magnificent Kitchen.