While it’s common for people to feel intimidated around a designer at first, it’s important to remember that their #1 priority is designing a room that you’ll love. With that in mind, here are a few basics we’ve outlined for you; including things you can prepare to ensure the first meeting is a productive one.
The Home Depot offers in-house design services to help guide you through the process, or you may want to work with your own contractor or designer. Depending on the size of your project and your design needs, either scenario will help you arrive at your ideal space. If you engage your own interior designer, make sure that they are involved in the process from the beginning and have them work directly with The Home Depot to ensure a smooth transition between the design and order process.
The Home Depot designer is responsible for creating a floor plan, elevations and perspective drawings, based on a detailed understanding of your needs. They will have the cabinet knowledge to recommend door styles, wood selections, interior components and decorative trims. Typically, a Home Depot designer will be with you from the first conversation until the last piece of trim is installed. If you are working with an independent interior designer, their role may be more or less involved, depending on their knowledge of cabinetry components. Either way, it is paramount that a relationship is established with a Home Depot designer who will ultimately be responsible for the cabinet order.
There are several things you can do to ensure the first design meeting is a productive one. Start a folder of clippings from magazines of kitchens and details that you like. Start looking at appliances, get a feel for what you like and how much they cost — this will help to determine a budget. Become more aware of how you live in your current space—assess the good and the bad. This will help communicate your vision to the designer.
Even as you begin to dream about your new space, you can put together a file folder of images or, find images that reflect your lifestyle and your vision for the new space on Pinterest or Houzz and bring your tablet or laptop to share with the designer. These images, photos, magazine clippings, ads, articles and samples will help the designer to visualize your tastes and preferences.
Assessing your current kitchen over a period of time, both its positives and negatives, provides your designer with invaluable information. Likewise, making note of your habits — buying in bulk, number of weekly trips to the grocery store, recycling, avid cooking — is critical to helping them understand how you live in your kitchen.
How will you use your new kitchen? Is it a social gathering place for family and friends, or a place to prepare quick meals? Some consider themselves a gourmet in the kitchen, while others admit that takeout is more their style and they just need a good looking space to warm it up. Honest answers to these types of questions will suggest the functional capacities you require.
Surprisingly, appliance selection is a critical first step. An extra-large refrigerator, pro-style range or double ovens can dramatically impact space allocation throughout the room. Having this information at the start of the project ensures that all of your wants and needs are met, and moves the design process along in a timely fashion.
While a Home Depot designer will take thorough measurements before offering you a final quote, you should note dimensions of the room, indicating any doors, windows or hallways that impact the space, to facilitate your initial discussions.
It is important to establish a budget, taking into consideration all of the factors that will contribute to the project — such as demolition or additional purchases like appliances and countertops. Share an initial budget outline with your designer early to give them a good idea of your project and its parameters.
Your Home Depot designer, contractor and installers will all begin working on their own timelines, so it’s important to always keep communication open. Also remember to research and plan your timeline based on your particular project (such as acclimation time for certain materials). Whatever date you set, make sure to give yourself an additional two weeks as cushion.
You’ve covered a lot of ground in your first meeting. Your hopes and desires have been noted, a timeline and budget have been discussed as have your style and finishes. Depending on the complexity of your project, additional meetings may be required to get the design just right. If the designer requests additional information, make sure to get details together before a meeting to avoid any holdups. Never be afraid to ask questions or request that the designer change something you aren’t comfortable with. To ensure all elements are coordinated, ask for door and finish samples before you place the cabinet order.