People buying the most expensive custom cabinetry, or very expensive professional appliances often have surprisingly poor kitchen designs. Expert kitchen designers know that it makes NO SENCE to be paying for huge material upgrades without first making layout improvements like moving plumbing, walls, doors and windows to create the best kitchen design.
Unfortunately good design is often overlooked with home owners considering the most expensive cabinetry and appliances.
This is true for a number of reasons.
First, because homeowners aren’t experienced kitchen designers themselves, and only expert kitchen designers will be able to create the best designs, homeowners don’t realize when better designs are possible. Second, when customers have really big budgets they can be used to being in charge, and less likely to accept advice. Third, many designers are wary of alienating high end customers and jeopardizing a huge sale. Finally, customers with largest budgets often start the design process with architects, and because of this, get off to a terrible start. See why below:
All kitchen designers will tell you that the worst designs we see come from architects. This is because “a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing”. It takes many years of exclusively designing kitchens full time to get good at it, and architects have very little kitchen design experience when compared to even novice kitchen designers. And architects know nothing about kitchen cabinetry, since they don’t design in a cabinet line or sell cabinetry.
The best kitchen designers learn quickly to be careful and to worry about the details, while architects are usually encouraged in college to value their own ideas above cost and tradition. Their training actually impedes their ability to create sensible, functional, and aesthetically pleasing kitchens.
Architects love to draw on paper and let others figure out how to make their drawings a reality. They are trained to be bold, and on paper, before results are seen and experienced first hand, forcing as much cabinetry, seating, and appliances into a tight space can be judged a success. For the people that design and sell the cabinetry, the finished functionality and esthetics of the design is what we are judged on, and held accountable for.
As a kitchen designer, it is rare to see a good design from an architect, and good designers can be hampered by previous design work. Home owners understandably become frustrated when the design decisions they made with their architect need changing. Telling a homeowner that the design they worked on is bad, will not only upset the customer, but the architect will never bring the cabinet dealer any more business.
Kitchen designers that work at showrooms and cabinet dealers that specialize in catering to the builder, contractor, and architect trade are put in a lose/lose situation. The kitchen designers that work at these companies can risk their jobs if they correct the mistakes of the professionals that bring their clients to the showroom. This got me into hot water on a regular basis at the last showroom I worked at, before starting my own company.
This is why Main Line Kitchen Design only works with professionals that send us their customers very early in the design process, before major design decisions are made. The builders and the few architects that we work with accept that they are not kitchen experts, and home owners get much better kitchens as a result.
At Main Line Kitchen Design we wish that our customers would come to us sooner, rather than later. And so . . . . we hope to see you soon 🙂