Realizing your vision with a designer

You know what you want – you have certain expectations for your cabinets. All you need to do is successfully communicate your vision to a professional. Let this guide aid you in the process and help you to work properly with a design authority.

kitchen-2280062_640Start with what inspires you, enter the world of conceptualizing. You’ve already established knowledge of the basics, you have a reasonable scope in mind, and now you’re ready to collaborate and make it happen. This is the realm of custom cabinetry. Since you are not dealing with a ready-to-assemble scenario, it is imperative to completely examine and plan your proposed design process. You have a vision of how the cabinet will appear and function, but be ready to compromise. Your designer may have to tell you that you’re not being practical. Sometimes your original idea may undergo modification, but it’s all for the best.


When it comes to choosing the right person to work with for a kitchen remodel, they may be found in any number of obvious fields like architecture and design; or they may be builders or specialty cabinetmakers… what you are seeking primarily is proven skill. How many projects have they been involved in? How may have they actually designed? Naturally, you’ll want to see samples of their work. Speak to their previous clients; did you end up with what you visualized? How were they to work with? Are you satisfied? Prepare a list of questions that will leave no doubt as to the sincerity of the answers.

Let the designer know that you want their process explained in easy-to-understand terms, and you expect an open avenue of communication for the entire duration of the project. Upon sharing your vision with him/her, how do they react? Are they genuinely enthusiastic? Do you think a happy medium can be found between heeding your plans and offering advice? Be mindful that being a good listener is in your best interest, you’re dealing with an expert. If there is a flaw in your concept your new partner can help you resolve it.

Once you have chosen a designer, get started. There are countless style ideas to consider, try to narrow them down to one that appeals to you the most. Also factor in what primary function will your cabinets serve – are they decorative, for storage or fully functional in the day-to-day? Determine your priorities. Working as a team, you should be able to address them all equally. Once you’ve answered the questions and decided on a scheme, look closely and see if there’s anything you’d want to change.


A good designer will help you investigate any changes or concepts you want to implement. It’s how the details relate to one another that may determine what it is about them that suit you. Working from that theme, personification of your kitchen is within grasp. Your designer probably has a firm understanding of what you want at this point. Let them draft the designs, it usually takes about a week. Once you’ve received a set of drawings that meet your approval, take the time necessary to really look them over. You should be looking at a floor plan layout, and possibly a 3-D rendering. Digest it. Walk the room, take measurements. If everything looks good and feels right, sign off on it. At this point you may be comfortable letting the contractor take over.

A good designer knows that changes will be made after the first draft. If something feels amiss, bring it up as soon as possible. If it appears the designer is deviating from your expectations, ask them to address your concerns. It’s all a part of the process. If there appears to be resistance to your input, attempt to bring in another professional with the intent of communicating your concerns. Not only will this help resolve the matter, it demonstrates the lengths you were willing to go to make things right (in the unwanted case that things go wrong).


Any creative project involving more than one person becomes collaboration, with which you must expect some level of compromise. It’s par for the course, and should be expected, really. If your designer is not a builder, he can probably recommend an excellent cabinetmaker. They likely have a solid rapport and history. It would be fortuitous to trust them and their methods of working together. Of course you’ll want to seek out other recommendations and bids, but once you’ve made that decision, expect up to two months for the cabinets to be made. Once installation starts, it won’t be long before your vision is realized… and your patience rewarded.