Many people who are planning to have their kitchen or bathroom professionally remodeled begin by touring home improvement stores and appliance stores for ideas on what materials to use for their “dream” kitchen or bath. Unfortunately, too much weight is often given to the initial cost of a given material. While cost is an important element to any remodeling project, it’s very easy to be penny-wise and dollar-foolish.
The fact is, if you’re going to remodel a kitchen or bath, planning it with the help of aprofessional interior designer is the best way to go. There are a variety of reasons for this.
Interior designers have access to planning tools and technology that most homeowners don’t even know exist, much less have access to. In addition to that, designers have insider knowledge on trends, new materials, local building codes and technical issues. These tools and expertise will not only save you a lot of time, they’ll open the door to design possibilities you’ll never see at the typical home improvement store.
Of course, using a professional designer doesn’t mean you can just sit back and let whatever happens happen. You need to be closely involved every step of the way to ensure that the end result is what you want. Remember, you’ll be living with it for a long time.
To start with, you’ll need to let the designer know what you like about the existing space and what you’d like to change both in terms of looks and functionality. Before you even meet with the designer, do some research. Visit some decorating websites and browse magazines for design photos that appeal to you. Show them to your designer. A picture can more clearly express ideas and concepts that you may struggle to capture in words. All this gives them a place to start.
As the design process unfolds, stay flexible. The designer may spot items on your wish list that really won’t work well in your space, or within your budget. On the other hand they may give you some great ideas you might never have considered.
Finally, know your budget. Have a firm grasp on reality in terms of what you want and need in the context of how much you can invest. And it is an investment. If you have the financial means to use top-grade appliances and high-end finishes, your designer can work those into the design plan from the outset. If not, clearly communicate that upfront. A good designer can work within your budget to maximize the results.