The Kitchen Design Portfolio: A Peek Into How Designers Make Kitchen Dreams Come True
When it comes to a big-ticket home improvement project like kitchen remodeling, selecting the right kitchen remodeling contractor can save you time and money. Looking through your prospective remodeler’s design portfolio is one of the simplest, yet smartest, ways to do so.
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To the designer and remodeling contractor, their design portfolio is a showcase for their work — it’s a compilation of photos from past projects that exemplify their skill, as well as help them communicate ideas to prospective clients. To the homeowner, on the other hand, it’s an opportunity to see the designer’s use of spaces they can relate and compare with. At the same time, it helps them to gauge whether or not the designer would be a good fit for their needs and personal style references.
Why You Need It
Imagine all the time you spend in the kitchen, from preparing day-to-day meals to catering for special family occasions. The kitchen functions as one of the central parts of your home, so the thought of kitchen remodeling without considering your own inputs is untenable.
The portfolio shows you how the designer works with kitchen layout, color, lighting, flooring, decor, and the overall style and vibe. During the initial consultation, the portfolio will give you ideas and prompt you to ask questions about styles, materials, cost, and the overall work process. Think to ask: What did you seek to do with these kitchen modifications in the first place? What difference did the changes you implemented make? You may find that the designer lacks the experience working with spaces similar to yours, or inversely, find that his designs jump out and speak to you, simply by going through a portfolio.
Along with referrals, you need the design examples and information that a portfolio provides to assess not only the designer’s ability but also how well the remodeler’s services will fit into your plans and budget. This should help you tweak the original layout you may have had in mind.
What You Should Look For
As much as your kitchen remodel depends on what matters to you most as the homeowner, there are also a few things you need to consider to avoid problems in the future. Here are some of the things to look for:
- Scale: the size, portion, and proportion of things inside a space. The designer’s use of scale in an area like the kitchen is crucial. Does the layout make use of the kitchen space well? Is there a good flow between areas? A poorly-scaled design can make spacious areas look boring and plain, and a smaller rooms chaotic and messy.
- Cost: Based on the work your remodeler has done, he ought to have the knowledge of how much specific materials, fixtures, or supplies cost. It’s important to get a rough idea of how much it will cost for your own kitchen remodel.
- Service: Find out how involved the designer was with previous work projects. More than just choosing colors and arranging decor, designers should coordinate with the contractor and work in keeping with the image of the completed project in mind. Designers might not be the ones hammering or setting the tiles, but should still have the hands-on experience built upon overseeing the fine details and working around the obstructions that come up during the remodeling process.
About the Author
Gerry Roth is the owner and president of GM Roth Design Remodeling. In the 27 years since founding GM Roth, he has stayed true to the mission of taking clients’ wants and needs and making them a reality in their home. When he’s not busy supporting and directing his team on their projects, Gerry works with other business leaders in the construction industry to improve the quality of service for homeowners.