Homeowners are often confused as to what experience and education qualifies someone as a professional kitchen designer. The most basic qualification is simple.
You aren’t a professional kitchen designer unless you are working full time designing other people’s kitchens and selling them cabinetry.
Real kitchen designers know that you can’t even begin to be qualified at our job unless you design kitchens and sell cabinetry as your profession. Professional kitchen designers will measure and begin working on designs with several new customers each week. Their many appointments with these customers devoted to refining designs in the cabinet brands the dealer sells makes them experts selling those lines and knowing what designs are possible in any particular space. Over a year, the average full-time designer will have worked on over 100 different kitchens.
When a non-professional kitchen designer tells me that they have expertise designing kitchens, they usually are equating designing a few different homes with the vast experience acquired by a full-time kitchen designer over years in our field. This would be like someone who does their own taxes each year claiming that they were an accountant.
Architects, Contractors, Real Estate Agents, Engineers, and Interior Designers who aren’t working as kitchen designers also often feel empowered to design kitchens. Their work, as nearly all professional kitchen designers will tell you, is often so poor it’s painful for us to see. In fact, homeowners with no experience can, and sometimes do, create far better designs. This is because people with no experience might be humble enough to research what they don’t know and will learn the fundamentals of kitchen design before attempting it. While related professionals who are equally in the dark about kitchen design, will feel entitled to break every design rule they didn’t bother to learn about. As the saying goes “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
Many of the best kitchen designers, in fact, do have backgrounds in architecture, engineering, construction, or interior design but those educational and life experiences were what drew them into the field. Once these same designers began working as kitchen designers full-time, they quickly realized how much they still had to learn. Personally, I have found that designers often need to make a mistake to understand how not to make it the next time. There is no substitute to the trial by fire that beginning kitchen designers go through on the way to becoming experts in our profession.
Simply working as a kitchen designer doesn’t make you great at it. But you can’t be competent at it without doing it professionally. The designers at Main Line Kitchen Design have different educational and employment backgrounds but we all have many years of kitchen design experience in common. We also need to be detail oriented, cautious, and good teachers in order to educate our customers.
All the best kitchen designers work on commission so in order to succeed we must design beautiful and functional kitchens mistake free, while making the process enjoyable for our customers. This is why most of our designers are funny and why I miss the in-person company meetings and lunches that we have forgone due to Covid.
Sometimes our customers express things better than we can. That’s how we
all feel about this 5-star review from Houzz.com
Ed’s design skills and industry know-how are rivaled only by his endearing personality. From the moment we had our discovery call, Ed struck the perfect balance of professionalism and humor, setting the tone for a casual yet constructive dialogue that allowed him to educate us on the design/build process (which we were desperately in need of and thankful for) and create a forum for us to ask the many, many seemingly stupid questions – typical of first-time homebuyers/renovators – without feeling like morons.
We look forward to designing you a great kitchen and if you laugh with us along the way don’t be surprised.
The kitchens shown above were created by the designers listed. Photos and short Bios of our designers can be found on our website’s ABOUT page along with their contact information and LinkedIn profiles.
Stay safe and of course . . .
Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, Lauren, John, Tom and Stacia