Cathy sent me an email and asked if I thought there was a design flaw in a section of her cabinet design. I had to write back that, yes, I agreed with her that part of the design was flawed. Unfortunately, it was a finished picture of the kitchen that Cathy had sent me, which made it even more uncomfortable for me to give my opinion. The kitchen was installed, and it looked like it cost a pretty penny. Here are words from Cathy:
I learned a big lesson the hard way and wish I had gone with my instinct to hire a kitchen designer during my kitchen design process.
My contractor convinced me that it would make more sense for him to design the kitchen layout because he was also working on the electrical, plumbing etc. so there would be a cost savings to me if he designed it and worked with his preferred cabinet company.
We decided to go ahead and in the end I thought the kitchen looked great until I noticed some design elements that look flawed to me.
I believe that a good kitchen designer would have done a much better job and the money I am thinking of spending to make some changes to the existing kitchen could have been used towards the cost of hiring a kitchen designer.
It is very basic when you think of it. You are paying a kitchen designer for their expertise, experience and knowledge. I even believe that a good kitchen designer could probably help a client with cost-saving plus time saving advice because they have all the resources and know where to look for all the elements that go into a kitchen design project.
If I had to do it all over again I would spend the money to hire an independent kitchen designer. I have learned so much and wanted to pass this on so that someone can learn from my experience. I am definitely an advocate for kitchen designers.
Here's my advice in terms of the medical profession, which just makes sense to most people:
The pediatrician knows a little about skin problems - go to the dermatologist instead
The orthopedist knows a little about heart problems - go to the cardiologist instead
The ob-gyn knows a little about head injuries - go to a neurologist instead
The architect has designed a few kitchens - go to a kitchen designer instead
The kitchen designer suggests a roof line change for a kitchen renovation - go see an architect
The contractor "lays out" the cabinets - find a kitchen designer
The interior designer discusses the size of a kitchen island - find a kitchen designer
The kitchen designer suggests coordinating, expensive fabrics for the kitchen - find an interior designer
The point is simple. Whatever someone does "every day" as a working professional, that's who you go to for expert advice. It means that you must interview several design professionals to find the right one. It doesn't mean that you do not listen to any advice, given by an allied professional. It means that you put the weight of consideration on the advice from the professional who works in a particular discipline every day, especially if you hired that person after a thoughtful interview process, considering others' advice very, very, carefully in the context of what THEY do "every day."
UPDATE: Cathy said I could post the images she sent me. Now, you may not see a glaring, horrible, mistake, but in my world, it doesn't have to be very obvious. I think the intention was to have "weight" on each end of the L, but to my eye, it doesn't work. Each end ends with an identical pantry, which, again, just doesn't make sense. The weight of the hood is sort of scrunched toward the left, and then you have a run to the right of lighter weight cabinetry. Everything is off. I would also have switched the oven and the refrigerator. Cathy will remove the lower drawers on the countertop cabinet, and it will be much better. Thanks, Cathy, for allowing us to look at this. You're a trooper!
UPDATE 2: Cathy emailed me to ask me to ask me to remove the images of her kitchen, so I did.