Where do you start when working with an interior designer, builder, or architect? What is the best way to prepare for your first meeting? What should you bring? What should you do beforehand to get the most mileage out of your preliminary session? Here are five tips that will help you get the most value out of your design consultation for your kitchen, bathroom, laundry or other room renovation:
1) Make your own idea book or dream board. You should start by pulling photos from books and magazines, printing images from online or from our gallery; and creating your own compilation of designs your like best. It’s highly important that you write notes on each photo as to why you pulled that particular photo. Write what you like about the picture at the time you pull it, because it has been our experience that once you have a library of 20 or 30 of these, it's easy to forget why you selected it. Sometimes it might be the light fixture, it might be the hood, or perhaps you had a question about the backsplash tile you liked. It may not have been the overall kitchen, it may not have been the cabinets, but there was something about it that you found particularly appealing at the time you pulled it out. Therefore, it is very important that you capture that reason on a note attached to the photo.
2) Write up a wish list. Your wish list should include specific things that you’re trying to add or change about your existing room. Analyze what you like and don’t like about your present space. Make a list and leave it in the room for a couple of weeks. Are appliances outdated? Is the space unattractive? Is it inefficient? Do you need more counter space? Do you want more storage? Write it all down. Do you like the lighting? Do you want to keep the garden view? Write that down too.
3) Go appliance shopping. Research appliances online and go shopping to get an idea of what kind of things are out there, and what kind of budget range there is in your appliance selection. This will help you establish a general category you want to be in. Your kitchen designer will help you refine your final choices based on his/her experience and knowledge of those appliances. Your kitchen designer can give you a good comparable that might be a better choice, or fill you in on customer feedback by telling you what previous clients liked or didn’t like about features of the appliances they selected. Because there is such a broad range in price, we like to send you out there to get an idea first. There are $900 refrigerators or $7,000 refrigerators. You need to determine how much money you want to allocate and what features are important to you.
4) Measure your existing kitchen or bring in blueprints if you have them. Measure your existing kitchen to the best of your ability. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Take pictures of the room, digital or on your phone, to help us visualize what you have measured. Bring these with you to the meeting.
5) Think about the budget you’re considering for the whole renovation. Then, call to make an appointment for your complimentary deisgn consultation. Allow for a 1 to 1-1/2 hours discussion during your design consultation.
If you come to your consultation with all this information, we (and most professional designers) will be able to give you a wealth of additional information, design themes, style ideas, and redesign possibilities. We will talk about functions and features that may help your particular situation and have a general discussion about kitchen budgets relative to your wish list.
Professional design advice will help save you costly mistakes later.