What Does A Kitchen Designer Do & Do You Need One? Definitely, Maybe
As home design evolves, the kitchen space continues to become more important than ever. Over the last few decades, it has sealed its role as the gathering, resting, working, meal-planning, cooking, and eating place. The kitchen layout has grown to encompass larger islands, more countertop space, and additional storage. Because homeowners want to add value to this room, they cite their kitchen remodeling priorities are to improve design and functionality over anything else, according to a Houzz study.
But the kitchen is not a cheap room to renovate especially when looking to improve the flow and to upgrade the core elements like cabinetry, surfaces, flooring, lighting, and appliances. Therein lies the question, do you go at it alone and hope you are checking all the boxes safely and efficiently, or do you hire a professional who has experience, knowledge of systems, resources, and connections? If the kitchen project costs over $1K, it is probably time to relinquish control to a pro.
What Does a Kitchen Designer Do?
A kitchen designer will help you not only visualize what you want in a new kitchen, but they have the resources to bring your vision to life, no matter if it’s a simple cosmetic makeover or an entire renovation. A standard kitchen designer job description is an interior designer with a specialty in kitchens who meets with clients to explore their remodel or new build goals. They will work directly with your remodeling contractor (if you have one) and will communicate any challenges along the way.
A professional has accessible planning tools and technology that are necessary to redesign a room. They have studied styles and trends of kitchen color schemes, backsplash ideas, cabinetry design, countertop and flooring materials, and lighting design. They can help redo the flow of your kitchen and address any safety concerns to best suit your lifestyle.
Types of Kitchen Designers and Kitchen Designer Jobs
There are kitchen designers who will assist with the entire remodel, and there are specialty designers who only help with different aspects of the project. They may be part of an architectural or design firm, work independently, work for a contractor or retailer, or they might be a professional working in a design center. Here is a breakdown of kitchen designer careers:
- A certified kitchen designer has a designation from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) which requires five years’ experience. They must pass an exam and meet continuing education requirements. These will be the costliest as they are highly experienced.
- An independent kitchen designer will still be up-to-date on trends and have knowledge of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems, but they may have less experience or choose not to work for a firm.
- Retailers are the “in-house designers” at big box stores. These retailers may not have specialty design training and might try to work beyond their expertise to make a sale. There is often a fee for their service, as well.
- Professional showroom and design consultants (who might be certified) are versed in offering personal attention like that of any designer. They can guide you in planning layouts and in choosing materials and finishes, and they can give you assistance in other areas of design. There is typically no cost to this option if you are purchasing their products.
How Much Does a Kitchen Designer Cost?
Once you know your budget for the project, you can decide who is best for you.
HomeAdvisor places a typical kitchen remodel at around $150 per square foot with the average cost being $23,812.00. A major upscale kitchen remodel, however, could cost upwards of $100K. Money.com suggests the kitchen remodel should cost 10-15 percent of a home’s value. So a $36,000 spend is average for a $300,000 house. A high-end designer can represent up to ten percent of your project cost. The national average for kitchen design is $12,250.00; but you might be able to find an independent designer for $3,000.00, depending. While some charge hourly rates that average $150, others will charge a flat fee.
A kitchen designer can assist with not only the aesthetics but the functionality of your space, as well. This includes aspects you might not think of like kitchen safety, workspace clearance, traffic control, usable landing areas, and storage additions. Our knowledgeable and skilled showroom and design consultants can assist with your kitchen design far beyond countertops. They can help you select, measure, and oversee the installation of new kitchen counters as well as help pair backsplashes, flooring, cabinets, sinks, and faucets. Find professional kitchen designers near you.