Main Line Kitchen Design
Call us at 610-500-4071

Posted April 29, 2018 by pmcalary

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, John, Stacia, Tom and Ed

Main Line Kitchen Design






  1. Vita Burdi, May 6, 2018 at 4:18 pm:

    Awesome, thank you so much.

    I’m amazed at the amount of money folks spend at the salon, and yet in their homes they become do it yourselfers.

    The cost of remodeling a kitchen “the correct way” while working with a budget is no small task. The Remodelers and your designer can be at it for 4-6 weeks with a team of professionals, just imagine if your hair dresser and colorist were at your home for those hours what the cost would be.

    Thank you so much for putting it so eloquently, experience is what you get with a seasoned designer.

  2. pmcalary, May 7, 2018 at 10:34 am:

    Thanks Vita,
    Many people get angry at us when we give them this analogy. My own kids made fun of me saying anyone could design a kitchen. They were both great students and went to prestigious colleges. So I gave them a kitchen test and designed a 3D kitchen with 34 major mistakes in it – 6 of the mistakes could cause fatalities. I offered them $10 each to find mistakes. They found a few but had to admit when I showed them all 34 and how doors wouldn’t open, cabinets would catch on fire, how people would easily injure or burn themselves that there was more to designing kitchens then they thought. Suddenly my job wasn’t so silly and to this day they respect it.

    We actually use the test I made to interview kitchen designers. You will not get hired at Main Line Kitchen Design unless you can find the majority of the errors pretty rapidly.

  3. Toni Saccoman, May 7, 2018 at 10:52 am:

    Thank you, I couldn’t have said this any better!

  4. Julie Schuster, May 7, 2018 at 11:20 am:

    I really enjoyed this article! Thank you for making it and I hope that potential clients also read and watch! Well done!

  5. pmcalary, May 7, 2018 at 11:50 am:

    Thanks Toni and Julie! We seem to be getting positive feedback on this blog which is encouraging.

Leave a comment


  Reviews for Main Line Kitchen Design

44 customer reviews

Average rating:5

  They Really Know...
We hired Main Line Kitchen Design for a kitchen...
by Amy H on 06/07/2017
  Excellent job!
I had an excellent experience with Main Line Kitchen...
by Karen G on 05/30/2017
  Great Experience
I had a great experience working with them. I hired them...
by Kathy M on 05/04/2017
More Verified Reviews

Wordpress Development and PA SEO by IntuitSolutions