Main Line Kitchen Design
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Financing A Large Kitchen Project Is A Big Commitment

Kitchen renovations are one of the most expensive home remodeling projects. And, regardless of economic conditions and interest rates, financing a large home renovation can be challenging.

Kitchen Financing

A  recent development helping homeowners to pay for large renovations is online banking institutions offering nearly instant financing at competitive rates.


One option, to maximize your borrowing power, is to use a locally based company called RenoFi. RenoFi created the first home equity loan built specifically for renovations! Unlike standard home equity loans, the RenoFi loan uses the expected value of your home post-renovation to allow you to borrow the most money at the best possible rates. Their loan does not require you to refinance your first mortgage, thus offering significant savings if you have an existing low mortgage rate locked in. RenoFi partners with local and established credit unions to offer the typical 5,10,15,20 year lending terms. You can apply for a RenoFi loan here.


A very quick way to apply for a loan online would be to use the SuperMoney portal link here and at the bottom of each page of the Main Line Kitchen Design website. SuperMoney assists people in getting bids from financial institutions for loans. Much like KAYAK does for hotels, SuperMoney does not loan you money directly, it simply submits your loan information to qualified responsible financial institutions and assembles a list of loan offers for you to consider. The SuperMoney website discusses additional financial information that could be useful. And SuperMoney gets very good reviews on consumer websites and with the Better Business Bureau.


Another lending route is Lightstream.  We met a Lightstream representative at the January 2016 National Kitchen and Bath Industry Show KBIS in Las Vegas. Below is a video about Lightstream from KBIS 2016. Lightstream gets good reviews from the consumers that qualify for their loans.

YouTube Video on Lightstream Lending

YouTube Video on Lightstream Lending


Homeowners should beware of predatory lenders offering free financing for 12 to 18 months and then charging retroactively over 20% interest rates on the balance. Many kitchen companies and home centers promote this deal to their customers through lenders like General Electric. There are much better alternatives to this type of loan and Main Line Kitchen Design would never participate in one of these type lending agreements.


Hoping you find reasonable financing for the project of your dreams……and of course…


Bon Appetit!

Paul, Julie, John, Stacia, Tom, and Ed

Main Line Kitchen Design

Every type of wood has different characteristics. Recently we received the edited inquiry below on our blog.

2017 Swarthmore PA Kitchen



I am looking for cherry wood cabinets in a light stain. I do not like it when a door has very different shades of color. I read all your posts and agree that getting a veneer panel will give me a more consistent color. However, looking at photos of Kraftmaid and other brands they still have very different shades between the panel and the individual parts of the frame on the doors. What cabinet line would you recommend?


Here is an edited version of our response:


All wood pieces on a cabinet door will have color variations between each piece of wood. Cherry wood in particular. While not as severe as hickory or walnut, cherry has more color variations than many woods. Another property of cherry wood is cherry pits (small holes on the surface of the wood). These characteristics are natural and while some more expensive custom cabinet lines will have slightly less variation in their cherry cabinetry than say the Kraftmaid line you mentioned, you must expect any cherry kitchen to have these properties.


Customers that can’t accept the properties of the wood they select for their kitchen can be a nightmare for kitchen designers. Maple has mineral steaks, oak and birch are consistent but people like the grain and colors of other woods more. You can not have your cake and eat it too as the saying goes.


I think that you should not be looking for a cherry kitchen but for a wood that can look like cherry or at least be stained to a cherry-like color but that will be more consistent. Some people select maple cabinetry and a stain that has a red cherry-like tone. In the Kraftmaid line you mentioned the chestnut finish looks cherry-like on maple. Or Alder is a wood that can be more consistent than cherry, and look like cherry, but you would need a more expensive manufacturer to avoid the knots that can also be found in alder.


All good kitchen designers explain the properties of the wood and finish a customer selects to that customer. It is incredibly frustrating coming to a customer’s home to go over their concerns about their cabinets to find dozens of pieces of blue tape on cabinetry marking variations in the grain, wood tones differences, pits, or properties of the stain and glaze that were selected and that customers should have been expected. These blue tape customers will usually tell us that they “feel” that they should have gotten more consistent cabinetry for the money they spent.


When I have explained or even warned a customer repeatedly about their selections before they order their kitchen and they then have these unrealistic “feelings”, I tell them that I “feel” like I should be 6 feet tall but am actually 5’9″ and shrinking with age. While very few enjoy the joke, they get the point and we compromise from there. Replacing 3 or 4 doors that are fine but have characteristics a customer doesn’t like for an entire kitchen is fine and par for the course for kitchen designers. Customers that want more than that will find some cabinet dealers more flexible than others.

2017 Warrington PA Kitchen


Below is a list of the most common types of wood kitchen cabinetry is made from, and the properties of each type wood. And here is a link to wood descriptions from Osborne wood products.

Cherry – Larger grain. Medium to high variation in wood color. The lighter the stain the greater the variation. Cherry pits.

Oak – Large grain. Less popular today for kitchen cabinetry. Medium color consistency.

Quartersawn Oak– More popular than regular Oak. Very tight grain and very consistant in color

Maple – Light graining. Consistent color. Mineral streaks (grey blemishes)

Birch – Consistent tight light grain.

Hickory – High color variation between pieces. Expect “stripes” on your cabinets. Also large grain and some small knots are possible.

Walnut – Available in custom cabinetry. The most extreme variations in color.

Bamboo – VERY consistant VERY tight grain.

Mahogany – Usually actually Liptus wood today. Tight consistent grain.


Main Line Kitchen Design wants all our customers to love their completed kitchen. But please make sure you understand the properties of the wood you are selecting and keep the blue tape within reason.

Bon Appetit!

Paul and Julie

Main Line Kitchen Design’s second office and selection center will officially open Tuesday October 23rd. Unlike the Bala Cynwyd offices which are appointment only, the City Line Office will greet customers stopping in to make appointments and have a few questions answered prior to beginning our design process. Office Hours will be Tuesday through Saturday and posted after the October 23rd Opening.

Main Line Kitchen Design says “come on in!”


Our Bala Cynwyd offices will remain our primary design center with two offices and 3 design stations. The City Line Office located on the corner of City Ave and Barclay Rd across from the Havertown Post office has two offices but one design station. All Main Line Kitchen Design orders and projects will be expedited and scheduled out of the City Line Office primarily manned by our designer Ed Sossich. Our designer Tom Shannon, who like Ed also lives in Havertown, will find the new location convenient.

Recently completed kitchen in Malvern Pa


Customers using Route 1 and West Chester Pike, Route 3, will save travel time for meetings at our new location. Our Bala Cynwyd location remains easily accessible from The Schuylkill Expressway, Lancaster and Montgomery Avenues, and is only one block off of City Avenue.

Our new office will also share space with General Contractor AD Panaccio. Al Panaccio and his staff have been a pleasure to partner with on our many kitchens together. They were a great help setting up the new office and I know they enjoyed  watching kitchen designers try their hands at construction.


Customers who choose to hire Main Line Kitchen Design as their project management team and General Contractors will be under the AD Panaccio umbrella even though the project will be bid by and managed by Main Line Kitchen Design. This partnership will help keep our fees low and will give us an added ability to keep jobs running on schedule.



Official Main Line Kitchen Design Update


Our Web Pages, Social Media Pages, and our listings on  Houzz, Angie’s List, Porch, Home Adviser, Yelp and all other internet platforms will be automatically updated on Tuesday October 23rd.


As our company tag line says . . .

The world of kitchen design is changing .  .  .


Paul, Julie, John, Ed, Stacia, and Tom

Main Line Kitchen Design






Selecting appliances when renovating a kitchen is more complex than many people might guess. Even what appliances you are shopping for may differ from your initial thoughts once you consult with a kitchen design professional.

For example, homeowners will frequently select the type and size appliances they want without considering how those types and sizes effect their kitchen design. Sometimes even making the mistake of buying those appliances before they have met with a kitchen design professional.

Putting ten pounds of sausage into an eight pound wrapper is a common mistake. Extra wide appliances need long walls to go against, and since most homeowners are also wanting to open up their kitchen space and possibly remove walls, the longer appliances they think they want won’t fit in the revamped space they insist on.



Selections like wall ovens and cooktops instead of a range will eliminate countertop space and usually adds more than $3000 to the overall cost of a kitchen. These are the types of considerations that often are left unaddressed until resolving them can become frustrating when homeowners go shopping for their cabinetry and kitchen designer later rather than sooner. The correct sequence of events is to meet with and consult with a kitchen design professional and have them measure your space long before walls are removed and appliances are even considered.


If you have a large kitchen or a large appliance budget than it is even more important to understand how appliances you might not have originally considered such as steamers, coffee makers, speed ovens, and convection steam ovens might be attractive to you and alter your design. Attending a free cooking demonstration might also make sense. Click link here.


Once you have narrowed down your appliance selections to what can work and fit in the kitchen design you create with the help of your kitchen designer, shopping for the models you want will be much easier. The kitchen designer will also know good appliance sales places and salespeople to recommend if you would like. And researching models will be far less time consuming when you have additional direction. Main Line Kitchen Design for example usually recommends Kristin Costa and Keiffer’s Appliances to our customers.



As far as reviewing appliance models and gathering information on appliance models and brands these two web sites are great for gathering information:


Yale Appliances in Connecticut. Reviews of brands, rankings, and relevant blogs.

Brisbane Appliances. For the international perspective on appliances.



Hoping you reach out to and find a great kitchen designer BEFORE you start removing walls, buying appliances, and handcuffing your designer with decisions made prior to getting the professional help all kitchen renovations and new homes need.


. . . and of course . . .

. . . Bon Appetit!



Main Line Kitchen Design asks the question: “Do crazy kitchens have anything in common?”


I was looking for an unusual topic for this months blog, possibly with a humorous bent, and so I was inspired to try a Google image search for “crazy kitchens”. Not surprisingly there was no shortage of search results. The 6 photos of kitchens below were the oddest and most unusual.


Being a kitchen designer for going on 30 years, I suspected  the results I would find would all share some common traits on top of just being wild looking. Namely:



  1. The kitchens would all be modern, contemporary, or eclectic in style.
  2. The kitchens would use strange and unconventional colors,  I am not labeling them as tasteless, although some critics might.
  3. The kitchens would not be very functional or convenient to work in.
  4. Useful storage would be at a minimum.
  5. They would not obey NKBA (The National Kitchen and Bath Association) guidelines.


Each of the kitchens below do in fact have these characteristics in common.


How could I predict the offending kitchens would all share these traits? Because the inexperienced people who create the worst kitchens are most often architects and interior designers and these styles and lack of  design considerations are common among those professions.  As the saying goes “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”


The worst design offenses for each kitchen are listed below each photo.


Image result for crazy kitchens


No storage areas for food. Improper venting of cooktop. Freezer door hits wall not allowing complete access. Faucet on side of sink ruins work zone. I suspect cabinetry is not being properly supported.


Color Crazy Kitchen


An eclectic mix of cabinetry and appliances that looks ridiculous. Little storage space for food, plates, and glassware. Drawers  on back of island pull out under countertop overhang. Sink and cooktop are too close. Inadequate cooktop ventilation. Sink faces wall with window too high to see out of. Many more issues.


Interior Designs: Chameleon Crazy Kitchen


Sink faces wall with no good work space on either side. Cabinet left of the sink will be ruined by water damage, Refrigerator door sweeps counter left of sink Freezer door hits cabinet. Window and curtains next to cooktop are a fire hazard. Lack of useful storrage. Seating extends into work area. Just curious, why not put the sink in front of one of the windows?



Tasteless mix of color. Sink faces wall. Inconvenient storage. I suspect cabinetry is not properly supported. Venting of cooktop uncertain.


Image result for crazy kitchens


Effective design for a live-alone octopus. For human beings, not so much. The biggest crime here is that the materials for this tiny kitchen exceed $40.000.00 Other issues include once again no venting for cooktop and most of the function issues listed in the previous kitchens.


Image result for crazy kitchens


Why the posts? They are in the way and prevent a decent work area on either side of the cooktop. Refrigerator placement has door hitting counter and everyone going to the refrigerator interferes with the people at the sink and the cooktop. Storage issues, and like all the poor kitchen designs above, this would be a terrible kitchen to work in.


The bathroom above won Best Bathroom  in the 2014 NKBA national competition.


Unfortunately this demonstrates that kitchen designers and the professionals judging kitchen and bath competitions can be just as crazy as the designers for the kitchens we highlighted above.


At Main Line Kitchen Design we try to do more than fulfill our customers’ dreams, we sometimes try to temper them. A dose of common sense can make the difference between something you might see in a design magazine but would never want your home to look like, and a kitchen you love that you would want to spend time in and enjoy every day.


Hoping your kitchen designer has the strength and common sense not to design you anything like the designs above!


And of course…

Bon Appetit!


Main Line Kitchen Design


Intro: In addition to decades of experience designing kitchens, each of our designers has many outside interests. We hope you enjoy this account of a recent break Stacia took from working with our clients. Talk about Bon appetite!!


I recently had the unique pleasure of dining at the Grant Achatz restaurant Alinea in Chicago. This experience was not just another sit down dinner, but a performance! If you who haven’t heard of Grant or his restaurant, Grant Achatz is one of the greatest chefs in the world, specializing in molecular gastronomy. Grant’s cooking creates a food experience that leads to course after course of surprises that are beautiful works of art. His accolades include a James Beard Award for “Best Chef”, three Michelin Stars and Alinea ranked in the San Pelligrino Best 50 restaurants in the World (just to name a few).


I had first heard about Grant Achatz on the radio during my kitchen design related travels. The story revolved around how this amazing chef was diagnosed with mouth cancer within a few months of opening the doors to Alinea. Yes, all of that is a story in and of itself, but what piqued my interest was his exploration of creating a dining experience that played upon the senses.


The radio story inspired me to read his book, Life on the Line, and to add Alinea in Chicago to my bucket list. Over the July 4th weekend, we made a slight detour from time with family to experience Alinea ourselves. The restaurant was in an assuming part of town marked only by the address. And don’t let me mislead you  you have to purchase tickets on line months in advance.



Our meal began with the menu in the form of a word search. Minutes later, the wait staff activated a bowl of orange halves on dry ice with a hot pitcher of water.  As the mist from this unusual and spectacular center piece covered our table, we were served a smaller and illuminated bowl of small kumquat like fruits with cocoa butter.  Each bite of this first course turned out to be filled with a spiced citrus liquid.



The courses kept coming and the amazement continued. In the third course, dumplings made from scallops rested on top a bouquet of lavender over a smoldering fire. Later, the waiter dug into the salts from this fire to find a potato that was used to create a table-side deconstructed clam chowder. Following that, we were taken from the table to the kitchen for a cocktail playfully mixed with the elaborate contraption seen in photos below. Once in the kitchen I could only imagine what behind the scenes magic we would get to see!



I certainly didn’t expect the kitchen to be as quiet as a library with our next course being prepared with tweezers. There were no burners of bubbling concoctions or the gas flames I expected.



It seemed as if each course was more intriguing than the next. One included a test tube placed in front of each guest. The liquid inside was a pineapple infused citrus and the open end was corked by a red gelatin. Once you embarked on the journey you had to commit. The gelatin popped into your mouth and gravity took over with the pineapple infused liquid. What a divine surprise. And if all of this wasn’t enough, I knew there was another surprise to come for the grand finale…


No matter the guest or the age everyone was handed a balloon – an edible balloon made from what could only be described as a green apple taffy. And, it was filled with helium to put the entire experience over the top.



Munchkin giggles came from some of Chicago’s most elite. The evening was complete. And as much as I threatened the need for a deep dish after all of these small bites, we left beyond satisfied.


I still haven’t met Grant Achatz but hope to, and to return to Chicago and experience Grant’s next and newest endeavor.


Stacia Fischer

Senior Designer Main Line Kitchen Design




NOTE: Due to recent tariffs we have begun updating (increasing) the value ratings on some of the US lines. There are still more updates to follow.

Below are our updated 2018 cabinet reviews including additional cabinet lines from our very popular 2017 cabinet ratings blog. If you value this blog then take a moment review our top blog LIBRARY on the column to your right . This lists the blogs that consumers find the most helpful.

If you are outside our service area we are happy to answer any questions on this blog’s comment forum.  But please do not contact us on our web site contact page.

All the designers that gave us input on the cabinet lines below have greater than 20 years experience in our industry. When possible all construction specifics were double checked on the web sites for each cabinet line.

Main Line kitchen design acknowledges that we are dealers for the following cabinet lines: Wellsford, Bishop, Brighton, Fabuwood, 6 Square, and CNC.  We could be prejudiced towards ranking these lines more favorably, but we have tried to be impartial. However, since the cabinet lines we carry were chosen specifically for their construction quality and value, our ranking them well should not be a surprise. 


Below is our comprehensive list of the top selling cabinet manufacturers in the United States and how they rank for construction quality and  for value considering the price point of each cabinet line. Price point is rated from 1 to 6 with 6 being the most expensive cabinetry on the market.

We rate cabinetry assuming each line is upgraded to the top level of construction available. A grade of A for construction quality will not be equal across different price levels, as the more expensive price point cabinets will have far nicer finishes and construction options.

Note: The highest grade for Quality in any frameless European style cabinet line is a B. While frameless cabinetry is easier to access and is sleeker looking, it is also less durable than the best made framed cabinetry.

The value grade we give is not a rating about the quality of the cabinetry but a rating of how good an investment a cabinet line is considering it’s cost. For example, many of the most expensive well made cabinet lines receive lower marks on value even though as designers we think the cabinetry is the best in it’s class. These lines receive lower grades on value simply because there are competitors offering the same quality at slightly lower prices.

Cabinet line Price level 1-6     Quality Value
21st Century 1 A A-
6 Square 2 B+ B+
Adelphia Kitchens 3 B B
Adormus (frameless) 3 B B
All Wood – framed 2 A A
All Wood – frameless 1 C C
American Woodmark 3 B B
Aristocraft 2 C C
Bertch 4 A A-
Bishop 4 A A-
Bishop Frameless 5 B B+
Bremtown 6 A+ B
Brighton 4 A A+
Brookhaven closed A B
Brubaker 5 A A
Cabico 4 B B
Candlelight 4 A A
Canyon Creek 3 B B
CNC 1 B+ B
Collier 5 A B-
Crystal 5 A A
Decora 4 A A
Desginers Choice 4 A A
Design-Craft 4 B B
Diamond 4 B B
Durasupreme 5 B+ B
Durasupreme frameless 3 C C
Dynasty by Omega (frameless) 4 B B
Dynasty Pinnacle (framed) 5 A B
Echelon Cabinetry 2 B- C
Executive (frameless) 4 B B
Fabuwood 2 A A
Fabuwood (frameless) 3 B B
Fieldstone 4 A B+
Grabill 6 A+ B
Haas 3 B B
Hanssem framed 1 B+ B+
Holiday (frameless) 3 C C
Holiday Kitchens 4 A A
Homecrest 3 B+ B+
Homestead Custom 4 A A-
Ideal Cabinetry 2 B A-
IKEA (frameless) 1 D C
Innovation 2 C C
JSI Cabinetry 1 B+ B+
Kabinart 3 C+ D
Kemper 3 B C
Kitchencraft (frameless) 3 C B
Kith 3 B+ C+
Kountry Kraft (framed) 6 A B
Kountry Kraft (frameless) 6 B B
Kountry Wood 2 C C
Kraftmaid 4 A- A
Legacy 3 B+ B
LifeArt 1 C+ A
Marsh 2 B B
Marsh (frameless) 2 B- B
Medallion 5 B+ B
Merillat 2 C D
Merit Kitchens 4 B+ B
Mid Continent 2 C C
Mouser 5 A A-
Mouser (frameless) 5 B A
Ovation 4 B C
Plain and Fancy 6 A B+
Plato Woodwork 4 A A
Poggenpohl (frameless) 6 B C
QuakerMaid (frameless) 4 B B
RD Henry 4 A A
Rutt 6 A+ A
Schrock 3 B B
Schuler 5 B+ B
Shenandoah 3 B B
Shiloh 4 C C
Showplace 3 B+ B-
Siematic 6 B C
Signature Custom 5 A+ A+
Solid Wood Cabinets 1 A- A-
St. Martin (frameless) 4 B B
Starmark 4 A B+
Stylecraft 5 A A
Thomasville* 4 B B
Timberlake 3 B B
Ultracraft (frameless) 2 C C
Village 5 A A
Waypoint 2 B B
Wellborn 4 and 5 A A
Wellsford 5 A+ A+
Wolf 2 A B+
Woodharbor 4 B+ C
Woodmode closed A A-
Yorktowne Now an Elkay CO 4 B+ B

* Note: Home Depot can change who manufactures this line although Masterbrands has been manufacturing the line under the Thomasville name for over ten years.

Remember that choosing the designer, the cabinet dealer, and the installer you are working with is just as important as the cabinet line.

Below is a more general review of cabinetry from 2015 explaining types of cabinetry construction:

To celebrate the high school and college graduation season Main Line Kitchen Design gives some tips on how to graduate  Summa Cum Laude in Kitchen Renovations.


Tip #1  Like all graduates you will need to do some studying and research to get your diploma. One of the  best first steps will be to go on the web site  to look at photos of kitchens to determine the styles, materials, and colors you like. Making an Idea Book on Houzz or a board on of kitchens you like will help communicate your style to the designer you eventually chose to work with.



Tip# 2  You will next need to research to find the best kitchen designers and cabinet dealerships in your area. or will a list the profiles of all the kitchen places close to you with reviews of each company you can read. It’s a good idea to Google the places you are considering too, in order to find out what people say about them on line.



Tip #3  Once you have selected a kitchen designer to help walk you through the steps involved in renovating a kitchen you will have a professional directing you. They will help you find contractors if you need it or many can run the project themselves should you prefer. Here is a list of the steps involved in a kitchen renovation. Your designer will help you focus on the next step for your individual project. Here is also a breakdown of how long your renovation might take. This is an average kitchen renovation and smaller jobs would take less time and larger jobs more time.



Note: Trying to speed things up beyond what is reasonable will usually backfire and you will never graduate at the top of your class rushing. You might even be left back!


Successful kitchen renovation upon completion.



Once you have made these first big steps on your kitchen renovation things should proceed smoothly and you will be on your way to the top of your class.


Congratulations to our designer Stacia Fischer for recently achieving NARI’s CLC certification.


And . . .Congratulations to all this seasons graduates.



Main Line Kitchen Design

Paul, Julie, John, Stacia, Tom, and Ed




The best procedure for renovating a kitchen is often different from what homeowners believe. Because of this home owners can mistakenly buy materials or hire professionals in the wrong order. Unfortunately doing so usually wastes money and hurts the final result.


Below are the most common mistakes and misconceptions:

  1. Hiring an architect first.  Often because homeowners know that they want to remove a load bearing wall or add an addition onto their kitchen they start their project by hiring an architect. This is putting the cart before the horse. Yes an architect or engineer may be needed for the project. But designing the space and the kitchen is the first step, and architects are not kitchen designers. Initial drawings done by architects are usually poor kitchen designs and so the entire project needs to be reworked to create a better kitchen. Often the homeowner has invested thousands of dollars on a design that is nearly worthless. Hold off hiring the architect until the kitchen plans are nearly completed with the kitchen designer and the contractor is selected. The contractor may recommend an architect he likes to work with and the costs for the drawings needed will be less and only need to be done once. Home centers and some less experienced kitchen design firms may not be comfortable designing larger construction projects but the more experienced showrooms and cabinet dealers will, and this is where we would recommend beginning the project.
  2. Getting bids from contractors before your design with the kitchen designer is finalized. Contractors need plans to estimate a kitchen renovation. Having them bid on a project before the kitchen design is done and they can see the scope of the project will make their final estimate higher. You only get one bite at the apple getting a contractor’s most competitive estimate. The more information you give the contractor the more accurate the estimate will be. And comparing estimates between contractors is easy when everyone is bidding on the same thing.
  3. Thinking it saves money and time buying everything through the kitchen showroom or cabinet dealership. Kitchen showrooms and cabinet dealers usually have  several designers and carry several cabinet lines. They have samples of all the cabinetry they sell and of their design work. As discussed, this is where you should begin working on your project. However kitchen cabinet dealers will have a poor selection of appliances, flooring, tile, and fixtures. Buying these materials through the cabinet dealer will be more expensive, and while most kitchen designers would have helpful advice, they are not the experts you need in each area. Appliance, flooring, and tile sales people will be more knowledgeable about the products they sell and their showrooms will offer the largest selection. Some cabinet dealers such as Main Line Kitchen Design pass on their trade discounts at these locations to their customers. Buying these products through the kitchen showroom just adds an unneeded middleman as well as the possibility of added confusion.
  4. Buying natural stone countertops through the Cabinet dealer. Artificial countertops such as Engineered Quartz or Corian are usually selected from samples and so it can save time and money buying these types of tops through your cabinet dealer. However viewing the slabs of natural stone is required when buying tops such as granite, marble, quartzite, or soapstone. Since the individual granite yards own the stone and install it themselves it makes little sense to buy the countertops from your cabinet supplier. Adding a middle man here will cost you more and increase the likelihood of misunderstandings. Some cabinet dealers such as Main Line Kitchen Design will pass on their trade discounts at stone yards to their customers.
  5. Starting demolition before the kitchen design is finalized. Without a kitchen design finalized it makes no sense beginning a renovation. Work can be done more efficiently when the complete plans are available. Since any quality cabinetry always takes at least a month to arrive after it is purchased, wait until the cabinets are ordered to start construction. It won’t slow you down and it could save time, money, and big headaches.
  6. Buying appliances before your kitchen design is finalized. Handcuffing your kitchen designer with appliances you purchased before you knew what design choices the designer might recommend will never help and could hurt your finished kitchen. Many people mistakenly believe that they know the design and appliances what they want before they begin working with a kitchen designer. In fact it is often the first thing they tell their kitchen designer. As kitchen designers we know that the more certain a customer is about what they want the more likely there will be aspects of the design that haven’t been considered. Considering that 80 percent of our customers get very different kitchens from what they originally expected, buying appliances before working on the design with a professional isn’t helpful.

Hoping your renovation proceeds in the right order . . .

. . . and as always. . .

Bon Appetit!

Paul, Julie, John, Stacia, Tom and Ed

Main Line Kitchen Design

The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on what they partially create.” Wikipedia


The IKEA effect was identified and named by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School, Daniel Mochon of Yale, and Dan Ariely of Duke, who published the results of three studies in 2011. In these studies researchers found that consumers valued their own work product far above what would be considered reasonable or rational.


As Kitchen Designers this effect is troubling for a number of reasons. IKEA cabinetry is poorly constructed and not a particularly good value, yet due to this documented effect home owners rate IKEA cabinetry above all other brands in nearly every Consumer Reports and JD power ranking. Even more concerning to kitchen designers, IKEA and others now supply complimentary and extremely rudimentary kitchen design software. Due to the same IKEA effect consumers who create their own designs using this free software can believe their designs are equal to or better than far superior designs created by knowledgeable and experienced kitchen design professionals.

Experienced kitchen designers know that it takes at least a decade of exclusively designing kitchens to become a competent designer. Why is it that people accept that they can’t fix their transmission – or even cut their own hair without professional training and, yet, believe that they would be competent designing their own kitchen?


As a kitchen designer who studied Engineering for 4 years at The University of Pennsylvania and ran a construction a company specializing in kitchen renovations, I know that my own kitchen designs from 20 years ago were simplistic and uninspired compared to the designs I do today. It took me many years working exclusively as a kitchen designer to become a good one. And part of becoming a very good kitchen designer is being able to help a customer spend the money they have budgeted for their renovation effectively.


Helping customers understand what options they have within their budget is not intuitive to anyone without extensive experience as a kitchen designer. The following videos elaborate on this in both an informative and humorous way.


Please enjoy them, beware of the IKEA effect, and of course . . . Bon Appetit!


Paul, Julie, John, Stacia, Tom and Ed

Main Line Kitchen Design





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