The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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Designing Your Kitchen - All in Due Time

I cancelled two appointments this week, one for Monday and one for tomorrow. I really don't like to, and therefore, rarely cancel appointments I think it sends a message that somehow I wasn't ready/organized/prepared, and so on. It gives me anxiety, like, oh, so many other little guilt-ridden things like this! (That's why I grow roses, to get outside and take a sniff of a fragrant rose.) OK, I take more than a sniff...I walk around the garden and take photographs when the mood strikes.

Last week, it seems I was out of the office more than I was in, and I had appointments with these same people also last week, at which time we scheduled for this week as well.  Oftentimes I have the weekend to catch up on my work. I'm an early riser 7 days a week, usually well before 5 am or sometimes (on a weekend!) shortly after, so I do have real good quality time to get things done.

This past weekend, with my kids coming in from the city for the Father's Day weekend, there really wasn't time, as I knew I needed to put in blocks of time for these clients. Long story short, I couldn't get my work done for either appointment, so I cancelled. I wrote to my clients that I didn't want to rush for our meeting, time went away from me, so could we reschedule. Of course, no problem.

Yes, there's a point here somewhere! I'm thrilled at the moment, and in fact, stopped my work to write this, (I promise I'll get back to it) because in delaying one appointment, I came up with a great solution to a problem kitchen that far surpassed my expectations. The kitchen is very small, the client specifically asked for a good corner solution (pressure!) with a much smaller than normal corner, making it nearly impossible, along with a list of other challenging items.

I LOVE when all the stars line up and I think of a solution that is different than normal, that pushes the construction and function of cabinetry so that it is customized for a specific need AND goes against conventional wisdom, that's the best. Love that feeling! I'm going to my meeting tomorrow with great excitement, with a solution I thought was not possible, is out of the box, and will enhance these clients' lives in the kitchen for many years, allowing them to not only have more room for precious storage, but they will be able to access their items in an effortless way. I'm really on a high! I didn't think it was possible, after going through all the "typical" solutions. Quality time absolutely permits one to venture beyond the "typical."

So, here's an analogy. Design work, like gardening, is about patience. Patience is important. You cannot rush a garden and you should not rush design work. If any of you out there has a designer who is cancelling an appointment, remember your design may be much better for it in the long run. All in due time...

And, here is one of my favorite roses that smells like ripe peaches, truly. I need to be patient, as I cannot see or smell this rose at all from November to June. But, eventually, good things will come. Here is the rose, "Abraham Darby." This image was taken in my garden this morning. Enjoy!



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Reader Comments (3)

I was facing a similar situation today, getting over laryngitis and facing general exhaustion from a very hectic schedule. The project in question had some really challenging space requirements and I had a breakthrough on Monday. I was torn today, the creative juices were flowing, and yet my body was telling me to slow down, I could barely talk above a whisper so I was going to cancel the appointment for today and take the afternoon to rest my voice. Instead, I kept the appointment with my client, who is excited as all can be about the project and wants results toot sweet, (ala "construction to begin this summer while she is off of work!) The pressure is on, knowing my lead times are 5 weeks out, I decided I can't postpone, so I boned up on Tylenol and Chicken soup. Mission today: to get my client on board to get this project into construction by the end of July.

The irony for me, is that even though the client wants results right away, the client isn't willing to forgo her standing appointments such as, horseback riding, her massage, her trainer, a week in the mountains, to be available to select products for order. If I can't order, it delays the start of construction. I had my "aha" moment today, my client is pacing herself and keeping her quality time, which I should have done for myself today!

June 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

My boss (me) doesn't let me take time off very often either. It's a misconception that when you have your own company, you have flexibility. I might not have a boss to answer to, but there's clients. And the buck ends here.

Good for you for calling your client and saying you need more time. Many people do not realize that it takes time to solve the design challenge, and forcing it does not make for good design. Also always better not to lie and make up a reason.

Sometimes you have to put things aside for the answers to come. For me a deadline is a good thing, sometimes I need the pressure of 2 am the night before a presentation for the answer to come. Same old schedule from my art school days.

I typically try to do appointments 2 weeks apart. Sometimes this is because fabric selection can take some time and the memo samples of fabric are not always in stock and have to come from N.C or elsewhere.But also it so I can mull things over and give them time to ferment so I am not rushing. Rushed design is not good design. That's for sure. In the design phase anyway.

PS beautiful flower.

June 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAbbeyK

In the end, things come up unexpectedly, time gets away from us here and there. It's in the client's best interest if we know there is more/better work to do before a meeting, that we reschedule. Even so, if I keep 98% of appointments and cancel 2% for the above reason, I think that's reasonable. After all, it's all for the cause!

Glad for the feedback, thank you!

June 21, 2007 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

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