When investing in a professional design service, you should feel confident that the person designing your new kitchen or bathroom:
- is well aware of the innovative hardware available on the market, and will advise on systems most appropriate – for you and your budget;
- is knowledgeable about the practicalities (or otherwise) of surfaces and materials; and
- shows evidence of continuing professional development. In an industry which is ever evolving, a commitment to ongoing training and product research is essential. Building Codes and contractual requirements change, appliances and materials are continually being developed, and trends come and go – you need to know your designer is at the cutting edge.
A new kitchen is a big investment, and you need to be sure that the decisions you make will lead to a beautiful and practical space.
Engaging a professional designer is advisable; a good kitchen designer will help you define what a kitchen is to you, and will marry your needs and wants with a practical, beautiful and value-adding design solution. They will consider:
- orientation of the home: what are the areas/rooms adjoining the kitchen, and from which directions will the kitchen be accessed?
- physical restrictions or safety concerns: will access to an under bench oven be difficult? Will overhead cupboards be within reach?
- cooking styles: are most meals prepared on the stovetop, baked in the oven or reheated in the microwave or steam oven? Is space required for a slow cooker, bread machine or top-of-the-range food processor?
- storage requirements: is shopping done in bulk? Will a new fridge be required now, or should it be allowed for in the future?
- budget: will the kitchen investment be in line with the value of the home?
Engaging a specialist bathroom designer will make planning the perfect bathroom a lot less stressful.
Your ideal bathroom may be very different to your neighbour’s. To some, it is the ultimate retreat – a place to seek solace and soak away the worries of the day. To others, it’s like Central Station – churning out the family one by one as each prepares for the day ahead. Some prefer the bathroom to be minimalistic; others seek solutions to a storage crisis, and have cupboard space high on the list of priorities. It must always be easy to clean, and a safe place to be.
The best bathroom designers will:
- assess your family’s requirements – no point having a stunning bathroom if it does not meet its users’ needs
- pay great attention to waterproofing, drainage, falls to floor wastes etc, and have an excellent understanding of the relevant Building Codes
- advise on the suitability and availability of products, such as tiles, stone, laminate, glass and lighting. A myriad of materials can be worked into a successful bathroom design, but they must be practical in their application