Many of our clients are renovating a kitchen for the first time. As we get acquainted, we like to focus on discussing the renovation process and make sure they are prepared for the road ahead. Typical questions revolve around processes, schedules and budgets.
Recently, I was with a client who asked a question I have never received before: “What should we avoid doing?”
It was a terrific question, one I didn’t have an answer for. And as I spent time thinking, I realized there are three common design obstacles homeowners create for themselves are focusing on:
- Individual components
- Existing patterns
- Desired storage features
Good design totals more than the sum of the parts. However, many will focus on each piece separately. They will select Counter A from this supplier and Backsplash B from another and hoping they will add up to a beautiful design. The end result is a mismatch that doesn’t tell a cohesive “design story.”
Solution- Focus on the “feel” of a space, and let your design team source the individual elements to tell that story.
Just like designing around individual components, laying out a kitchen is not as simple as finding a home for each item. We want to create a space that functions in many different settings and for a few specific workflow patterns.
Many homeowners can be resistant to change, especially if they have spent a few years in the home and have developed patterns for cooking and entertaining.
Solution- Keep an open mind to ideas presented by your design team, and give them time to sink in. For example, consider the big picture of the space. and the total gains by making a recommended change.
Desired Storage Features
Maybe it’s a cool gadget you saw in a showroom, or a nifty storage feature from your neighbors home- and you have to have it! These features are good solutions designed for a specific problem; fortunately, it is a problem you don’t have.
Forcing these magic corners and slim pantry pullouts can wreak havoc on a design. They cut down the function of your storage, as well as the flow of your space.
Solution- Let these features come organically. Create the best design with the most efficient storage, and use the complicated mechanisms as solutions when necessary.