Can you design your own kitchen or bath? Sure you can. In fact, you’re an expert in your home and how you use it. You know more about your home and family than a designer ever will.
But you might also make some “rookie mistakes” that could be costly or lead to layout choices or design decisions you’ll regret later. A good kitchen and bath designer listens first and asks a lot of questions, then they adapt your ideas and goals into a design.
We see too far many kitchens and bathrooms that look nice but lack the kind of personalized storage and cabinet options that really make it an enjoyable place to work and entertain. Too many designers and contractors rely on “off the shelf” solutions and don’t research new styles and products. It leads to an “average design”. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not great.
An “outstanding” kitchen or bathroom needs to be efficient to use, easy to keep clean, and attractive all at the same time. You want a room that perfectly suits your lifestyle, and is welcoming to family and friends.
A Balancing Act
Designing the perfect kitchen is not easy. There are many, often conflicting, considerations to take into account. For example, kitchens need plenty of storage, yet they house large appliances, which take up a lot wall space. And, ideally, they should be bright and airy, but that usually comes with big windows and openings to other rooms which, you guessed it, takes up a lot of wall space.
So, what should take priority? A big open airy kitchen or a kitchen with lots of storage? If you’re like most homeowners, your quick response is both! But can it be done? An experienced kitchen designer can get you as close to yes as possible, helping you design a kitchen that’s anything but average.
Building Your Dream Team
For a full kitchen or bath remodel you there are different skill sets needed for different parts of the project. You want to build a team of people who can guide you and implement the project successfully.
A Contractor is regulated profession that requires special licensing. The term can be confusing because many tradespeople call themselves contractors, even though they are not licensed by the state. Contractors are responsible for implementing what is drawn on the plans. They will get bids from subcontractors and provide a quote to your design team. Then they manage and coordinate all of the sub-contractors, maintain the project schedule, get permits, and deal with any jobsite issues.
If the project you are considering is going to take longer than a week, requires multiple sub-contractors and permits, a Contractor can be a huge asset. McManus Kitchen and Bath is a State Certified Residential Contractor.
Interior Design is also a regulated profession that requires special licensing. The term is often used interchangeably with Interior Decorator but Interior Decorating is not a regulated field and does not require licensing. Interior designers are trained in interior architecture, envisioning the whole and implementing a cohesive plan.Interior Designers are responsible for the selection of the finishes as well as ordering and coordinating their installations.
You many need a designer if your project involves multiple rooms or the whole house. You want to work with a designer that will work well with your contractor as the two are notoriously well known for butting heads!
Kitchen and Bath Designer is a special subset of Interior Design. While many Interior Designers work on kitchens, Kitchen and Bath Designers specialize specifically in kitchen and bath design. These designers have specific knowledge about different cabinet brands, countertop surfaces, plumbing fixtures, appliances and other items essential to the space. Kitchen and Bath Designers can offer design solutions, provide cabinet layouts and are usually responsible for the ordering and coordinating of the installation as well. Kitchen and Bath Designer is licensed profession but there are many well respected certification programs for this field.
If you are remodeling a kitchen or bathroom the expertise a specialist can provide is very valuable. We have qualified Kitchen and Bath Designers in our showroom.
What To Expect from a Kitchen and Bath Designer?
When remodeling, mistakes are costly and sometime irreversible. Most people only remodel a kitchen once every 15 years so decisions made now will have a lasting impact.
The services of a professional kitchen designer represent a small portion of your budget, but the expertise you receive in return can make the difference between a successful project and one that falls short of your expectations.
A good designer should:
- have all the latest planning tools, including digital design software
- be knowledgeable on the latest kitchen trends and materials.
- Have good relationships with local and regional suppliers
- Have plenty of samples to show you.
- Educate you on the quality of different products at different price points
A designer assists you every step of the way and makes sure you have a satisfying experience. Some of the areas a designer covers includes:
- Lighting design, including, general, task, and accent/mood lighting.
- Storage solutions and organizers
- Functional design/layout.
- Audio visual and “smart home” components.
A designer can also help you avoid potential mistakes by exploring all your layout, design, and material options upfront. And they often get you much more for your budget than you could get on your own.
A little About Our Showroom
We don’t have a “Retail showroom”. Instead, we have a “Selection Center showroom”. The difference is subtle but important. Our showroom is designed to allow us to show you cabinets and fixtures at 3 different price points, what we call our “Good, Better, best” system. We’ll show you the difference between a “good” cabinet and the “best cabinet so you can decide which features are important to you.
Most showrooms are designed for walk-in traffic. Our showroom is appointment only. Not because we are trying to be exclusive but because it allows us to focus only on you and your project when you visit us. No walk-in distractions or interruptions. It also allows us to be fully prepared for your visit. We’ll have an initial design ready for you when you walk in, based on our phone conversations and pictures you send us.
Most showrooms sell products but do not do the work themselves. We are full service.. design and installation. We are state certified contractors so we build all our designs ourselves. Being a design/build firm has a lot of advantages. It’s more efficient and save time not having to run around to 3 or 4 difference showrooms to choose tile, plumbing, cabinets, lighting etc. It also simplifies the installation, reduces communication errors and mistakes.
At McManus Kitchen & Bath, we offer two ways for you to meet with our designer – in your home or at our new showroom. We highly recommend visiting us in our showroom, where we can talk about your project, give you some design ideas, and show you some of your options.
After your first visit, you will leave with two things… A “good, better, best” budget for your project and an initial design to take home and consider.
If you’re ready to start the kitchen remodeling process for your Tallahassee area home, or if you’d like to learn more about how a kitchen designer can be the right choice, drop us a line today. We look forward to meeting with you.