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Certified Kitchen Designer
Old 09-25-2016, 10:10 AM   #1
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Certified Kitchen Designer

Beginning to plan a kitchen remodel for next year. Don't consider ourselves very creative, therefore unsure about tackling the design ourselves.
Anyone used a "Certified Kitchen Designer"?
Good or bad experience? Worth the extra expense?

We would like to replace all countertops. Not sure what to do with the cabinets (replace, refinish, or resurface. Replace sink, fixtures, etc. Keep existing floor and appliances. Not moving any walls or anything of that scope.

Look forward to your comments.
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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The one and only kitchen reno I have done was in 1994. I had a small, old kitchen with too many doors. I hired a certified kitchen designer and we worked together using an iterative process to come up with a plan for a French country kitchen with light, great storage space, counter space and even a breakfast bar. She was able to recommend the best craftsmen. Then we visited suppliers where she had trade discounts. The result was both stunning and highly functional, and the project came in on time and within budget. And I was able to keep the original oak floor. The real estate agent who helped me buy the house said it was the best small kitchen in the area and that the value of my home had just gone up by more than the cost of the work.

So I had a highly positive experience with a certified kitchen designer!
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:29 PM   #3
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I used a CKD twice. I'd definitely use one again.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:30 PM   #4
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Not me, but before I met her, DW had exactly the same experience as Meadbh. That was in about 85 or so. I saw the finished product and agree it was probably worth what she paid for it.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:13 PM   #5
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I started my kitchen, 3 baths and laundry room remodel in 2015. My first interior designer was Kitchen & Bath Certified and I fired her. The second designer I used was not certified but was very experienced and I saw her work. She was perfect and I love my 'new' house . Even DH grudgingly admits some of her ideas were perfect.

Interview several designers, look at their portfolios as well as their actual work. I know what I like but can't pull it together. The designer I fired wanted me to do things her way. The second designer steered me in the right directions to help make my vision a reality.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:33 PM   #6
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It all depends if you're satisfied with your current cabinet layout and how the cabinet casing suits your needs.

I'm in the process of hanging 32 raised panel doors and drawer fronts. The biggest problem was priming and painting them--front and back. We already had the granite cabinet tops installed.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:08 PM   #7
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We did a complete kitchen reno two years ago, replaced everything! I don't know if our kitchen designer was a CKD, but she had a (4 yr degree) Bachelors in Interior Design from a very well respected university, and we were thrilled with the results. She was only about 30 years old, so she couldn't have had more than 10 years experience. She patiently listened to us, but politely made a lot of suggestions, we would have made quite a few bad choices had we not listened to her. Highly recommended IMO.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:17 PM   #8
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We used a CKD when we did our kitchen remodel in 1991 - a complete gut and rebuild job. The designer we worked with came up with some very clever ideas for use of space that we would have never considered and that worked very well. This was with a standalone kitchen design store, not someone who works with Home Depot or Lowe's. It was expensive but worth it.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:09 PM   #9
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I'm not sure if they were CKD, but when we did an extensive remodel with a small design firm, we would no WAY have come up with the ideas the way the company we hired did - and I consider myself a savvy artsy designer-y type person. Sure, you can think "i like this cabinet and fridge and this granite..." but if you want to change the space, even within the walls it has?

I had one of those kitchens, I knew one day if selling, you would walk into and go "I cannot buy this house". Now it's "oh yes I don't need to even see the rest of the house". It was a dark cave leftover from the 70's. Now it's HGTV-ready.

They came up with tons of ideas. lifted the ceiling, found ways to increase overall footage on the kitchen without reducing other space (19" depth on one wall instead of standard 24") , removed some upper cabinets to create more flow, put in lazy suzannes in corners, lighting everywhere, changed the shape of the wall/ceiling on the ways in/out, etc etc - stuff I would not have imagined. completely changed the space. Sure, I still picked the stone, and the finish, and the back tile, and the appliances...

totally the best thing ever.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:25 PM   #10
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Have you considered designing the kitchen yourself? I have done two in ten years and designed the kitchens myself. Both were gutted. It is really not that hard and it becomes one big puzzle. Cabinets are built on the 3" sizing, ie 12, 15, 18, 21 inches etc unless you want custom cabinets. Uppers are 30, 36, 42 inches tall. I worked up the design then went to a building supply company's kitchen dept and they refined my drawings with a software program then ordered the cabinets through KraftMaid. If I would suggest anything it would be to purchase a counter-depth refrigerator. Nothing looks worse than a standard frig that sticks out too far after spending big bucks on the cabinets.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by check6 View Post
Have you considered designing the kitchen yourself? I have done two in ten years and designed the kitchens myself. Both were gutted. It is really not that hard and it becomes one big puzzle. Cabinets are built on the 3" sizing, ie 12, 15, 18, 21 inches etc unless you want custom cabinets. Uppers are 30, 36, 42 inches tall. I worked up the design then went to a building supply company's kitchen dept and they refined my drawings with a software program then ordered the cabinets through KraftMaid. If I would suggest anything it would be to purchase a counter-depth refrigerator. Nothing looks worse than a standard frig that sticks out too far after spending big bucks on the cabinets.
I'm in the early stages of designing a new house with my fiance. I'm knowledgeable about plumbing design, and have a general construction industry knowledge. When I gutted my current house, it hadn't been touched since the late 70s/early 80s. I had hired a degreed interior designer off of Craigslist who helped give me some suggestions on colors, and also had a few suggestions for the kitchen layout - but I came up with the concept that I ended up going with. It works pretty well. My goal at the time was to try various things in preparation for one day building my 'final' house to live in for the rest of my life.

I might use a CKD for the kitchen, but I already have a working concept for the entire house (including a great, functional kitchen) that fits on the lot. So I don't feel the need that I would have to use a CKD...but given the house value and the fact I don't want to remodel this thing in 15 years, I'll probably spend a few bucks to see what they say as an insurance policy. But I'll go for an independent, not one that is working for a kitchen place that will tell you all about just the stuff they say.

My fiance and I will still get a freelancing Interior Designer for color guidance, since they can be worth their weight in gold.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:30 AM   #12
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I changed out a kitchen floor, counters, backsplash, myself, so after doing one, here are my random thoughts.

Take tours of new homes to see some ideas.
Consider changing the lighting maybe ?
Backsplash - tile/glass/metal ?
A change in counter top, sink and taps is not complex, where you might benefit from an experienced person is changing the layout, move the fridge/stove/microwave/dishwasher , add or remove an island.

Once you pop the counter off the top of the cabinets you see they are really just cheap boxes stuck together. Kind of disappointing really.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by check6 View Post
Have you considered designing the kitchen yourself? I have done two in ten years and designed the kitchens myself. Both were gutted. It is really not that hard and it becomes one big puzzle. Cabinets are built on the 3" sizing, ie 12, 15, 18, 21 inches etc unless you want custom cabinets. Uppers are 30, 36, 42 inches tall. I worked up the design then went to a building supply company's kitchen dept and they refined my drawings with a software program then ordered the cabinets through KraftMaid. If I would suggest anything it would be to purchase a counter-depth refrigerator. Nothing looks worse than a standard frig that sticks out too far after spending big bucks on the cabinets.
While I agree on some of the technical aspects, I still think most people can benefit from a professional designer in terms if color, texture, material, paint selection as well as component quality (cabinet, appliance, countertop costs vary dramatically). And while I had my own layout right WRT cabinets, the designer knew way more about all the trim and accessories needed to go with the cabinets. FWIW
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:59 AM   #14
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....... If I would suggest anything it would be to purchase a counter-depth refrigerator. Nothing looks worse than a standard frig that sticks out too far after spending big bucks on the cabinets.
Excellent suggestion. That is a problem for me. The cabinet above the fridge is way to low, hard to find a fridge to fit. It's a good time to resize that cabinet to accommodate a counter depth fridge.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:12 AM   #15
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I changed out a kitchen floor, counters, backsplash, myself, so after doing one, here are my random thoughts.

Take tours of new homes to see some ideas.
Consider changing the lighting maybe ?
Backsplash - tile/glass/metal ?
A change in counter top, sink and taps is not complex, where you might benefit from an experienced person is changing the layout, move the fridge/stove/microwave/dishwasher , add or remove an island.

Once you pop the counter off the top of the cabinets you see they are really just cheap boxes stuck together. Kind of disappointing really.
Thanks for the good ideas. I have been looking at models and homes for sale while visiting the Palm Desert area earlier this year. That's what gave me the energy to get started.

The backsplash and sides of my island are mysteries to us. This is where a decorater more than a designer could help me.

I've visited quite a few slab yards looking at granite, quartzite, quartz. Unfortunately, the color/pattern I really liked turned out to be Travertine. Not a good choice for kitchen countertops.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:29 AM   #16
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If I would suggest anything it would be to purchase a counter-depth refrigerator. Nothing looks worse than a standard frig that sticks out too far after spending big bucks on the cabinets.
they don't hold that much, I have one - and two refrigerators in the garage
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:19 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jonat View Post
We used a CKD when we did our kitchen remodel in 1991 - a complete gut and rebuild job. The designer we worked with came up with some very clever ideas for use of space that we would have never considered and that worked very well. This was with a standalone kitchen design store, not someone who works with Home Depot or Lowe's. It was expensive but worth it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by check6 View Post
Have you considered designing the kitchen yourself? I have done two in ten years and designed the kitchens myself. Both were gutted. It is really not that hard and it becomes one big puzzle. Cabinets are built on the 3" sizing, ie 12, 15, 18, 21 inches etc unless you want custom cabinets. Uppers are 30, 36, 42 inches tall. I worked up the design then went to a building supply company's kitchen dept and they refined my drawings with a software program then ordered the cabinets through KraftMaid. If I would suggest anything it would be to purchase a counter-depth refrigerator. Nothing looks worse than a standard frig that sticks out too far after spending big bucks on the cabinets.
You never can tell what you get from a place like Home Depot, but the layout work was free. I gutted the kitchen and family room in my last house and redid everything. Moved cabinets and appliances but not major walls. The young lady who did out cabinet layout at Home Depot was just finishing her interior design degree and did a great job on cabinet selection and layout following our thoughts and ideas. We installed KraftMaid cabinets. The experience with the cabinet installer through Home Depot was a disaster. He double booked his time and couldn't put our cabinets in when scheduled. I took a couple of days off work and installed them myself so I did not loose the measuring and sizing appointment with the countertop folks. It all worked out and was a very nice looking and functional kitchen. The house later sold in eleven days in a slow market.
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:51 PM   #18
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I don't know if the kitchen designer we used was certified or not, but she listened to us, came up with a great design and had ideas that I would not have come up with on my on. She worked for a local shop. I also went to Home Depot and Lowes. I was not impressed with the layouts that they came up with. I also checked with two other local shops..one flaked out and didn't get back with me and the other had a poor quality of cabinet. Oops forgot the third local shop...their prices were out of line.

Don't discount a local shop...I found comparing quality level to quality level that their prices were in line with the big box stores. Consumer Reports has excellent info on kitchen remodeling.


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