I remember visiting a store several years ago.  The designer there had several beautiful hand renderings hanging up in her office.  This woman was seriously talented.  When I asked the store’s owner what kind of sales volume was coming out of the department, he let me know the numbers were woefully low.  Seems her talent for design didn’t translate well to the customer.  It got me thinking…

Design is subjective.  What’s beautiful to me may not be beautiful to you.  Creating a beautiful design is really only about 10% of what a great designer does.  Creating a beautiful design that works for the client, meets their needs, hits their planned investment and leaves the client feeling happy and grateful is far more important than pretty pictures.

Here is what I recommend looking for when choosing a designer:


  1. They ask lots and lots of questions: They want to know how you use your kitchen currently, what you love about it, what you hate about it, why you’re renovating it and how much you’re planning to invest in the project.
  2. They listen more than they speak: A great designer will listen to your answers and build their design around them.
  3. They ask for your feedback: Designers can get lost in their own art and put a package together that doesn’t necessarily work for you, the homeowner. A great designer will ask you for feedback and adjust.
  4. They use your money wisely: A designer can design a space to cost you anywhere between $4,000 and $40,000, give or take. A good designer understands your priorities and finds ways to make your money work best for you and your needs.
  5. They don’t blow smoke: Listen, there are times when a client’s wants just cost more than their budget will allow. A good designer should let you know when your expectations are unreasonable, help you navigate choices to help you make the best choices based on your specific needs.

Working with a great designer is the surest way to end up with a finished product you love.