Before the 1980s, kitchens were viewed as utility rooms, politely closed off from formal living areas. Fast forward to today and the kitchen is the main family gathering and entertainment center, complete with high-end appliances, gorgeous finishes and bar seating overlooking open living areas and backyard views.
Selecting the right appliances, planning food and drink preparation areas, and managing costs are more complicated than ever before.
That's the reason the finest kitchen and bath showrooms have in-house Kitchen Specialists. A kitchen specialist is expert in remodeling to current building codes, creating functional as well as beautiful kitchen design.
When you visit a kitchen showroom, you want to meet with the kitchen specialist to educate you about what's on the market in terms of appliances, countertops, hardware, and cabinetry. They can help you create a reasonable wish list and establish a budget.
For example, an appliance package alone can range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more. Cabinets have an even broader price range based on customization, finish quality, and convenience storage such as self-closing or refrigerated drawers, pull-out trays, and wall-unit coffeemakers.
Before you choose a plan or buy your first appliance, think about your lifestyle and the needs of your family and pets. This is the information you should share with your kitchen specialist:
How large is your family?
Who does the cooking? Will you need multiple work stations?
How much do you entertain?
How much space is available?
Do you want an eating area?
What is your budget?
Your kitchen specialist will have more questions, and many will be answered when she or he comes to your home to take measurements and draw up plans.
Next, the specialist will consider your space limitations and other problem areas so the refrigerator door doesn't block the passageway, or that the European commercial range you want doesn't overwhelm the rest of the kitchen. This is where the experience of your kitchen specialist really comes into play. Once she has your sign-off, and what materials to specify, the rest is a finely orchestrated delivery and installation so one tradesperson finishes and the next is ready to begin.
Depending on the level of service in your contract, the kitchen specialist will not only help you choose the right products for your kitchen, he or she will also oversee your installation like a contractor and make sure all appointments fit properly and are finished to your specifications.
Throughout the installation, the kitchen specialist will aid the installers, artisans, fabricators and other tradespeople. If something isn't looking good or working properly, she will deal with the subcontractors to make it right, so you won't have to. Think of a kitchen specialist as extra insurance; she makes certain the most expensive room in the house will be built or remodeled as smoothly and as painlessly as possible.
Few kitchen installations are trouble-free, but with a kitchen specialist to run interference for you, you'll find that once your kitchen is completed, you'll be able to truly enjoy your first meal with your family and friends.