Working With a Kitchen Designer

Working With a Kitchen Designer

If you’ve never worked with a kitchen or bath designer before, you may be wondering what to expect. While it is true that every cabinet designer has their own style and process, there are a few universal basics to know that can help you start out on the right foot.

Finding a Kitchen or Bath Designer

Many UltraCraft cabinet dealers offer in-house design services, and you’ll be able to work directly with them. Others partner with independent interior designers. You can visit our dealer locator to find dealers in your area. Depending on a number of factors, including the size of your project and your kitchen design needs, either scenario could work.

If you engage your own interior designer, make sure he or she is involved in the kitchen design process up front and that the dealer you are purchasing from knows that you have forged that relationship to ensure a smooth transition between the design and order process.

Credit – Designer: Debbie Davis, CMKBD, CAPS; Kitchens by Wedgewood. Photo by

Setting Expectations Between You and Your Designer

The 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, material selections, interior components and decorative trims.

Your designer will look to you to provide insight on how you will use your new space, what habits do you have that you need to accommodate (buying bulk, recycling, etc.), what design styles, colors, and materials you are drawn to. We’ve compiled a list of things to consider before your first meeting with your designer, to help you gather the information that they need.

Credit – Builders FirstSource/ProBuild; Jay Greene Photography

Understanding timelines is a two-way street when you work with a kitchen designer. You may have scheduling deadlines of your own, but you’ll also need to consider the schedules of the installers and other contractors. For instance, October is too late to start a special order kitchen remodel that you want in time for Thanksgiving.

After the initial cabinet dealer consultation, design development can typically take two to three weeks before an initial room layout is presented. The products you choose may also impact the total project timeline. Wood floors, for instance, need an acclimation period of several days prior to cabinet installation.

Identify a completion date, then add two weeks as a cushion for unforeseen hiccups that always happen in a project. Your designer can recommend a schedule that is workable for everyone involved.

During Your Project

After your hopes and desires have been noted, and a timeline, budget, styles and finishes discussed, much has been accomplished at the meeting. Depending on the complexity of the project, additional meetings may be needed to get the design just right.

Throughout your cabinet consultations, never be afraid to ask questions or to request that the designer change something that makes you uncomfortable. To ensure all elements are coordinated, ask for door and finish samples (which may need to be ordered for a fee) before you place the cabinet order.

Credit – Design: Ute Vandenberghe, AKBD, Denver, CO; Photo: