Hi! I’m Your Personal Designer…
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM AN ARCHWAY DESIGNER?
Working with a professional designer can seem daunting if it’s something you haven’t done before. How do you select a designer? What do they expect from you? How much should you be involved? The questions can be endless. And while each designer has his or her own style and process, at Archway we understand not every design is the same, so here are a few basics we’ve outlined for you, to ensure the first meeting is a productive one.
PREPARE FOR THE FIRST MEETING
Even if you are just beginning to think about renovating your kitchen, there are things you can do to ensure the first design meeting is productive. From clipping images you like and making lists, to measuring the space and outlining a budget, it’s important to gather materials that will help communicate your vision to the designer. Savvy with a computer? Look up designs online, get creative with sites like Houzz and Pinterest and create Idea books of your favorites. Have them ready and email them to your personal designer. At Archway we understand a little inspiration can go a long way. After all that’s is why you called us!
VISUALLY COMMUNICATE YOUR IDEAS
Even as you begin to dream about your new space, you can put together a file folder of images that reflect your lifestyle and your vision for the new space. Photos, magazine clippings, ads, articles and samples will help the designer to visually understand your tastes and preferences. Again although online media is a great tool for this sometimes it might not be the most convenient, so grab a pencil and pad and sketch out what you would like to see. Even if your not the next Vincent Van Go communicating some ideas of your style is all you need for your designer to understand your taste.
DO SOME HOMEWORK ABOUT YOURSELF
Assessing your current home project over a period of time, both its positives and negatives, provides your designer with invaluable information. Likewise, making note of your habits – buying in bulk, number of weekly trips to the grocery, recycling, avid cook – is critical to helping them understand how you live in your kitchen. Check out our blogs on Kitchens 101 and how to survive homes without kitchens.
IMAGINE YOURSELF IN THE NEW SPACE
How will you use your new kitchen? Is it a social gathering place for family and friends, or an efficient cooking utility? What spaces you will use the most and what space is allocated to cooking tools. Honest answers to these types of questions will suggest the functional capacities you require.
SELECT YOUR APPLIANCES
Surprisingly, appliance selection is a critical first step. An extra large refrigerator, freestanding freezer and double ovens can dramatically impact space allocation throughout the room and providing these preferences to your designer early is best. Already know what you want for appliances or using your vintage masterpieces? Send photos and measurements over to your designer or have them stop in and take a look.
PROVIDE BASIC MEASUREMENTS
While your kitchen designer will take thorough measurements before offering you a binding quote, you should note dimensions of the room, indicating any doors, windows or hallways that impact the space, to facilitate your initial discussions.
OUTLINE YOUR BUDGET
Kitchens come in many shapes and sizes, and range from simple to luxurious. Sharing an initial budget outline with your designer tells them a lot about your project and the parameters they will be working within. When you outline your budget, be sure to factor in installation costs. Archway designers understand quality work can be done at a quality price. Our designers and vendors work with you to bring you the best result.
UNDERSTANDING TIMELINES IS A TWO-WAY STREET
Once your designer measures your space, design development typically takes two to three weeks. Some designers will request a retainer to initiate work; a fee that serves to confirm your place as a current client that is often applied to your order once it is placed. Any scheduling deadlines you may have – a wedding, graduation or holiday, for example – should be communicated at this first meeting so it can be considered as the project timeline is developed.
HOW THE FIRST MEETING ENDS
Your homework is done. Measurements have been taken and appliances selected – this is a lot to cover in a single consultation! Often, your designer will suggest meeting a number of times at the beginning of your relationship in order to thoroughly understand your vision, preferences and needs. Be prepared for each meeting and know that it is always appropriate to ask questions and request samples of door style, wood and finish details before you place a cabinet order.
WHAT KIND OF DESIGNER DO YOU NEED?
At Archway all of our work is offered with in-house interior design services. You need this for a number of reasons, including the size of your project and your design, it is important for your relationship with your personal designer to be a close one. If you decide to engage with your own interior designer, make sure that they are involved in the process upfront. You should meet with your designer before starting to understand what area they specialize in, do not be afraid to ask questions or samples of other work.
WHAT IS THE DESIGNER’S ROLE IN MY PROJECT?
An Archway designer will provide you a design layout based on a detailed understanding of your needs, cabinet knowledge and cabinet expertise, along with recommendations on door styles, matching accessories, and custom treatment for appliances. Once you have a selection, you need not stress, our designers will coordinate the entire project and keep you posted on progress. Your designer will show you the final outcome before the project even starts and only after you give the ok will our work begin.