By Kate Cunningham

If the idea of renovating the hub of your household has kept you in the same kitchen since you built, it may be time for an upgrade. Understandably, the kitchen remodel can be a daunting prospect as budget, style and time all play a part in the decision to move forward. It is a lot easier to endure the notion with the help of a professional kitchen designer and the right contractor. Some prefer to find a contractor first while others prefer to ask the designer whom they recommend.

Either way, both are a good idea as they will keep the project on track. It is up to the contractor and designer communicating with you to help maneuver through the process of design, order, and finally installation as seamlessly and painlessly as possible.

The main goal of the designer is to create the space that works for you. Whether it’s new construction or a remodel of the bathroom, kitchen or entertainment space, a good designer will be able to show options and narrow down the decisions with you based on product knowledge and special requirements. The information provided by the homeowner is invaluable as it allows us a glimpse into how your home functions and your vision for the end result. The more you bring to the initial meeting, the better. Magazine pages, online photos, sketches, and even rough dimensions of walls and appliances will help tremendously on our end. It allows the designer to get a sense of your style and what you are looking for and starts the process off in the right direction. Don’t have any ideas? That’s OK too. We’ll start with the basics and move forward from there. Most homeowners have an idea of what they want their kitchen to feel like before they even begin the process. Thanks to the proliferation of design shows and social media such as Pinterest, we receive a lot of requests such as: “I want an island,” “I want my kitchen to be painted,” “I want shelves that pull out,” “I want marble countertops.”

Then there are the people who know what they don’t want: “I don’t want dark cabinets,” “I don’t want my wall cabinets to be curved on top,” “I don’t want marble countertops.”

This is where we come in − the kitchen designer. We work hand in hand with you and the contractor/installer to make your project look great and go smoothly.

The designer narrows down your selections based on what you do and do not want as well as what the contractor can and cannot do. Together we select door styles, finishes and construction options based on your style, functionality, and budget. A lot of what we do is education on cabinet and countertop options. There are reasons why you may not want marble countertops, or reversed raised panel doors. Not only do we explain the differences, but we provide you with options that you may not know existed, which will make your kitchen still look exactly as you wanted and remain functional – all within your lead time and budget.

As designers, we are also behind the scenes, worried about space, basic building codes, and balance. We generate the outcome based on measurements, appliances specs, and the different cabinet dimensions available to create the best possible layout for utilizing the space, while keeping it within your style and budget requirements.

Finally, using all that we know, and everything you want, we can then discuss the options for functionality of the individual cabinets, trash pullouts, roll-out shelves, utensil drawers, pots and pan drawers, and more – in order to implement what should be the kitchen of your dreams in a relaxed joint effort.

A kitchen remodel − while always disruptive − should be exciting and fun, not stressful and infuriating. It should be a reflection of you, the homeowner, and it should be a process in which you can examine your use for your kitchen and help it along to flourish into a masterpiece where you find yourself cooking, entertaining, and creating memories.

Kate Cunningham is a Kitchen Designer with Mid-Cape Home Centers’ Plymouth Showroom. She can be reached at kcunningham@midcape.net or (508) 760-4455.