Due to rising interest rates and economic uncertainty, many homeowners are deciding to stay where they are for the time being rather than looking for new homes. With that often comes a desire to make changes so that your home better meets your needs.
One of the areas people first look at for remodels is the kitchen. The question can then become how much of the project you can manage on your own and when you need professional help.
Kitchens tend to be complex projects because you’re planning plumbing and electrical and appliances, fixtures, lighting, and work areas.
A kitchen designer can help bring your vision to life, but do you always need one? Not necessarily. For some kitchen projects hiring a kitchen designer could be an unnecessary expense, so how do you know which option is right for you?
The Benefits of Working with a Kitchen Designer
If you hire a professional to help you with your kitchen design, you might worry that you’re giving up creative control or you won’t be able to design the space of your dreams. In reality, the kitchen designer can help you bring to life what you’re envisioning, potentially more efficiently than what you could do on your own.
A study from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recently found that of the consumers who said they’d remodeled or were currently remodeling their kitchens, 54% used a designer.
While you will of course pay the designer, so that’s technically an added expense, you might save money if they help your project go more smoothly.
Scenarios When You Might Need a Professional
Kitchen designers are not only able to manage your project and help you with the technicalities, but they also stay up-to-date on the biggest trends in kitchen design.
Situations where you might think about hiring someone include:
- There’s a problem with the flow of your kitchen. A kitchen designer excels in finding solutions for flow issues that will make your space more functional and usable.
- You do plan to sell your home at some point. If you’re designing a kitchen because your home is your forever home, that’s one thing, and designing it to add value is another. A kitchen designer will excel at knowing what would appeal to potential buyers in a kitchen.
- You’re interested in the newest technology for design. A kitchen designer can bring plans to life with 3D software to get a highly realistic image of the space before you commit to anything. That can make a massive difference in the process and save you time.
- If your house is older, unique challenges can arise in a remodel, and a designer might be able to help you navigate those. For example, some people want to retain the original elements of an older home and combine them with new features. There are also more likely to be problems lurking under the surface in an older home, so a designer could help you navigate these issues.
- When your kitchen is tight and cramped, a designer can help you rethink the space you do have available and make it feel larger and brighter.
Types of Professionals
If you are going to think about working with a professional, there are specialized kitchen designers, but interior designers and architects also do kitchen design.
There are certified kitchen designers if you’re only doing your kitchen and want a high degree of specialization.
NBKA offers professional designations, including a Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer and a Certified Kitchen Designer.
For these designations, a professional must have five years of full-time professional experience as a designer, and they must demonstrate knowledge of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.
It’s not easy to become a certified kitchen designer. They have to go through a professional development program and then pass an exam. After that, they have to maintain their professional certification through continuing education.
If your project scope is on the smaller side or is primarily focused on aesthetics, you might not need a designer. If you want a floorplan that’s efficiently and thoughtfully laid out, you want good lighting, and you want to integrate ergonomic features and clever storage, you might, on the other hand, think about working with a kitchen designer.