My 9-5 (ok 8:00 – 4:30) job is being a kitchen designer. I really love my job (most of the time). I love being able to take a space and work out the puzzle to get everything back in there and have it look great. Dealing with people on something as personal as a kitchen project can sometimes be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels impossible to clarify what you mean and communicate with people. Even though I explain something several times in several different ways people still only hear what they want to hear.
This week I had a customer tell me they wouldn’t have ordered the cabinets they did if they would have known what they were getting. We have the items on display in our showroom, we looked at the quality several times, you can see from what is on display that they are near the bottom of the quality scale. I’m not sure what else I could have done to explain what was being purchased. I feel bad when people aren’t thrilled with their purchase. I would want to be thrilled with my new kitchen!
I work directly with home builders, contractors and homeowners on both new and renovation projects. Sometimes a client will have their own designer who they bring along – that is always interesting. Try telling someone who already knows what they are talking about what you are able to offer. If they are just helping pick colors great – if they want to have a say on anything else I get a little stressed!
Working directly with a homeowner on a project is also very rewarding. To see a before and after kitchen is really cool. Here are two of my favorites:
What a difference right? In the first kitchen we moved the range and it made a HUGE difference. The second kitchen we opened up soffits that were like 4′ tall and removed some old shelves to really open up the space. Both of these families were wonderful to work with and love their new kitchens.