Top 6 Reasons to Hire a Certified Kitchen Designer

Here's why hiring this design professional could make the difference between a kitchen dud or realizing your dream.

By Jan Soults Walker

Today's kitchen is more than just a cooking and dining space—it is often the heart of the home.  If you're considering more than just a facelift for your current kitchen or are designing an entirely new room, a certified kitchen designer can help you make the most of the space while incorporating efficiency, functionality, and beauty.

Here are six important reasons to use a certified kitchen designer for your new kitchen.

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1. Benefit from experience.

A certified kitchen designer has years of training and experience in planning and bringing to fruition a new or remodeled kitchen—created with your specific needs and wants in mind.

Kitchen designers certified through the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), for example, must have seven years of full-time and related kitchen design experience, plus 60 hours of NKBA professional development courses or approved college coursework. Additionally, to be certified, a kitchen designer must pass the NKBA certification exam and provide two client references and two professional affidavits.

2. Look beyond beauty.

Hiring a qualified kitchen designer isn't just about getting the look you want. "We have the experience in balancing both the functional and aesthetic elements of the kitchen," says certified kitchen designer Susan Serra, president of Bornholm Kitchen and blogger for The Kitchen Designer. "Easier said than done, these two elements are often in conflict and require serious study by a design professional, who can ensure both aspects ultimately coexist in a unique manner for every family."

Your kitchen designer will interview you to understand your sense of style as well as your cooking habits, how many cooks and helpers use the kitchen and their abilities, how you entertain and how many, what you need to store and access daily, and so much more.

3. Save money.

"A kitchen designer is committed to helping you achieve your budget goals," Serra explains. "Ask your designer how and where money can be saved in cabinetry, appliances, countertops and more, and you will be pleasantly surprised at all the design and product choices you will receive to keep your budget in check. Creativity can be beautifully expressed at any budget level."

4. Gain inside information.

A kitchen designer searches tirelessly for the best products to create your dream space. "Since a kitchen designer works on kitchens every day, he or she has an abundance of resources of products and materials that you are most likely not aware of," Serra says. "Therefore, your kitchen designer can help you make your kitchen a truly personal expression. Kitchen designers have relationships with many product fabricators to further customize your kitchen design."

5. Realize attention to detail.

Barbara Hyde Evans
There's more to kitchen design than choosing countertop materials, a great sink, appliances, and cabinetry. "A beautiful kitchen consists of an enormous amount of logistical issues such as door and window placement, electrical, lighting, switching, plumbing, venting, heating, flooring and other mechanical issues," Serra says. "Your kitchen designer has experience in working with and around all of these important pieces of the kitchen puzzle."

Make sure you also read Questions to Ask Before You Redo the Kitchen.

6. Enjoy the journey.

A qualified kitchen designer lifts the burden of achieving successful results off your shoulders so you can simply appreciate the transformation process. "The wealth of experience and information a kitchen designer brings to your project adds a sense of security and lowers the stress level of your project," Serra says. She sums up saying that designers work methodically, creating specific drawings, collaborating with allied trades professionals and suppliers, and considering the entirety of your space. They are the top point person for your kitchen project.

For more home design ideas and advice, check out:

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