1. Find an experienced designer with whom you feel comfortable sharing your ideas, practical needs, and construction concerns. Helen Sharritt has proven expertise in project management as well as her design talent. Go to www.helensharrittinteriors.com to learn more and see examples of completed projects for clients. Call Helen at 707.569.7044 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment for a consultation.
2. Be prepared by bringing general room measurements, photos of kitchens that represent your taste & style, and an appliance “wish list” to your appointment. No artistic skill required, just a measuring tape.
3. Offer as much information as possible about your lifestyle and budget so we can help you to make good decisions about the design and selection of products. For example, the types of meals you serve (home cooked or take-out?), entertainment style (casseroles or caterer? frequent or occasional?), storage and display needs (Tupperware and/or Wedgewood?), and what you love and dislike in your current kitchen.
4. Determine what you need versus what you want. Make a “must have list” and a “wish list” to determine what is essential to those who will spend the most time in your new kitchen. Remember to include information about pets. Make added convenience a focus.
5. Give yourself enough time to enjoy the experience. Become an educated consumer and allow time to make thoughtful decisions. This will enable you to work within a comfortable budget. Late changes are likely to escalate the cost.
6. Don’t get hung up on the little things. Along the way minor details may not work out as planned due to issues you can’t control. Be creative. Work with your designer and your installer to find solutions to whatever pops up that will enhance your beautiful new kitchen.
7. Create a “temporary kitchen” in another room with your refrigerator and a place for the microwave. Gather paper plates (etc.) and groceries in the same place. You will be without your sink and possibly your stove and oven, possibly for weeks, during the installation. There are ways to get through the inconvenience — from grilling to ordering take-out. Think of it as camping… but with better sleeping arrangements.
8. During the installation, keep your designer’s phone number on speed dial and try to stay available to the installer. There will be unforeseen issues along the way that will need to be dealt with and decisions that will need to be made, sometimes quickly. It’s much better to be a part of the decision making, understanding why something needs to be done differently than planned instead of having the decision made (or not made) for you and wondering what happened after everyone is gone.
9. Patience is a virtue – a difficult concept to grasp in this day and age of well choreographed HGTV episodes. Rely on your designer and your installer to give you a realistic timetable and know that unexpected problems and unforeseen roadblocks are going to happen. Stay flexible. While our professionals can give you a pretty good idea – know that there are a lot of moving targets. Things can change quickly, be prepared for the “timetable” to become a time “estimate”.
10. Keep your eye on the prize – waking up and walking into your beautiful new kitchen.