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Why it’s Good for Our Customers When Our Kitchen Designers Don’t Listen to Them.

At Main Line Kitchen Design ninety percent of our customers come to us believing that they know the kitchen design that they would like. Customers are confident that they just need to shop around for cabinet lines, styles, and colors. Surprisingly the vast majority of our customers end up getting very different designs than what they asked us for initially. Why? The answer might surprise you!

It’s because we don’t do the designs our customers ask for in the initial design, we present to them.

peninsula with table attached to it

When customers tie the hands of the professionals helping them with pre-selected layouts, appliances, and colors they will never see the best designs for their kitchen and will probably pay more than they needed to for their renovation. If the kitchen design professional measures and works on redesigning a kitchen space independent of the client’s initial wishes customers often select those designs or ones close to them.  Additionally, because customers don’t realize that subtle color and style changes can reduce cabinetry costs significantly designers can save money making small compromises in color or style to free up other money.

Kitchen view looking at sink area

The common consumer strategy of asking 3 different kitchen designers at three different cabinet dealers to price out a layout not done by an expert in three separate cabinet lines usually results in making poor choices beyond just the kitchen design.

bar area

I advise customers to treat selecting a cabinet dealership and their kitchen designer like they would selecting an auto mechanic. You want to hear the mechanics advice and you want to shop for the garage that gets the best reviews. You don’t want to tell the mechanic what to do without his or her input and I always let the mechanic recommend the parts and manufacturer they think best serves my needs. This way I take advantage of the expertise of the professional who has spent a lifetime learning their trade.

bathroom sink

At Main Line Kitchen Design all our designers are instructed to do their first designs to achieve the best kitchen possible within a customer’s budget. Even if they have to ignore requests made by the customer.  There is always time to make the changes that our customer wants. We know from experience that compromise and collaboration is what creates the designs people love most. Just giving customers what they ask for is the easy and less professional path.

Hoping your kitchen designer is brave enough to show you beyond what you ask for.

and as always . . .

Bon Appetite!


6 Replies to “Why it’s Good for Our Customers When Our Kitchen Designers Don’t Listen to Them.”

  1. 808kitchen

    Mahalo for your expertise! 7 months ago I paid over $3000 to get a kitchen design estimation with Bellmont 1900 series cabinetry. I finally was hinted that my 28 boxes are costing over $62,000. This doesn’t include handles, counter top, floors, lighting, misc. etc for my redo kitchen plans. I am not breaking down any walls or changing the floor plan. Only my island is turning to face the windows. To include construction and other materials to finish this kitchen redo… it’s will cost over $170,000. Is this normal?
    I feel like I’m constantly waiting for my designer to answer my questions and finish this project. Are designers normally slow? I’ve been waiting over 4 weeks now for her answers… and now I just sent her another dozen questions. She says we should get together next week to talk. Why don’t designers just give me the written specs and drawings … so that I can work with something hardcopy? Am I wrong to expect this kind of professionalism?
    Please can you tell me if Hertco Cabinetry or Nouveau Thomasville cabinetry might be equivalent to Bellmont 1900 series? I can not find another other brand in Hawaii that offer frameless European style cabinetry.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hawaii is very expensive for cabinetry. Still spending so much money and not changing your design sounds like a bad idea. And not getting plans and drawings after spending $3,000 doesn’t sound like you are working with a company that has your best interest at heart. Frameless cabinetry also is not as durable for such a big investment. Lots of red flags here. I’d stop paying and throwing good money away until you can get drawings and maybe email them to us to see what problems you might have with the design. Laki maikaʻi

  2. Lfenton

    Thanks for your informative web site. I am currently in the process of a complete kitchen reno. Do you have any experience with Sunny Wood cabinets based in California? Their name is not mentioned in your 2018 or 2017 cabinet reviews. I came across their name on a couple RTA distributor sites and cabinet reviewer blogs. I’m wondering if their product is worth taking a hard look at.
    Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We don’t review cabinetry that only comes RTA because even though the cabinetry has the potential to be constructed well it is always a terrible idea to not have a professional kitchen designer helping you design a kitchen and the manufacturer build the cabinet. Thinking that you don’t need this help guarantees that you are not competent doing it. For example many contractors believe they can design their kitchen and build the cabinets but they are always the least experienced and least able contractors. Smart quality contractors know they need design help and know it’s not worth their time assembling cabinets that the factory would only charge $20 a cabinet to assemble. The whole idea that you are competent as a non expert doing this is described as the IKEA EFFECT.

  3. DDearborn


    The problem with your argument is that “good” kitchen designers are very few, and even further between. While those few “good” designers who actually put the customer ahead of profits are even fewer, thus making them the exception.

    Your numerous articles and comments attempting to portray this hypothetical, almost mythical creative genius called the “designer” as the rule, is a good example of the exception to the rule fallacy…….

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      You are right that most kitchen designers are not great, or necessarily competent, which is why it is so important to do research to find the best designer. If people spent the time they did researching designers that they do cabinets they would be far better off. But any experienced designer would almost certainly be superior to even the most talented non professional kitchen designer. Just because finding a creative genius is hard doesn’t mean that you should not endeavor to find the closest you can.
      Fortunately there are many review sites, search engines, and platforms that rate designers and cabinet dealers. For example, Angies List, Google, Bing, Yelp and others. And any good kitchen design company will display their work on their web site as well as their Houzz page to help you judge their ability.
      We have even given you a great start buy recommending cabinet dealers across the US. Link Below:

      Or if you are in our service area contact us.

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