Post details: Hire a Kitchen or Bath Designer - Part 2


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Hire a Kitchen or Bath Designer - Part 2

How to Find a Pro

Ask family and friends for references. Personal referrals are a great way to obtain a list of professionals to consider.

Interview several candidates. Look at portfolios of their work; better still, arrange to see some of their work in person. This will give you an idea of the scale of rooms they've worked in and the types of ideas they've implemented. Get references and talk to past clients whenever possible.

Check credentials. Make sure your candidates thoroughly understand kitchen or bath design. Cabinet salespeople, interior designers, and architects may not match the expertise of someone with specialized training or extensive experience in kitchen or bath design. You can find certified designers in your area via the National Kitchen and Bath Association (877-NKBA-PRO).

Do your homework. Whether you're hiring a designer for hourly consultation or looking for someone to coordinate the project from start to finish, be prepared. Develop a list of goals for the remodeling, and have a rough budget in mind as well. (See next page for how to find inspiration.)

Draw up a plan. Show the dimensions and layout of your existing space and make a mock-up of what you're envisioning. This way, a potential designer will understand the scale of your project.

KnowingKnowing What You Want

Clear communication with your architect, designer, and/or contractor is the best way to ensure you get what you want (and are paying for). Pictures can be invaluable when it comes to conveying your intent.

Start collecting visual images that embody aspects of what you want your kitchen or bathroom to look like. Keep a notebook or folder for ideas you like and photos that show your favorite design and product possibilities.

It doesn't hurt to have some photos of rooms you dislike as well; just be sure they're clearly marked that way before your designer looks at your notes.

Attend open houses and take notes; visit showrooms and pick up manufacturers' brochures. Then you'll have plenty of concrete examples to help you communicate your ideas and preferences to your contractor, designer, or both.

From the information you compile, develop three lists:

- On one, write down all the features you definitely want to include.
- On the second, note any features you know you don't want.
- Finally, compile a wish list of items to be included if the space in your home and bathroom and your budget allow.
- It's a good idea to add up a rough budget, too, before you start interviewing professionals. Do plenty of browsing in hardware stores, home centers, and bathroom-furnishings shops to see what things cost.
- Don't knock things off your initial wish list just because of money. You can always pare down your wish list later to fit the budget; the time to dream is in the beginning.

Better Homes and Gardens



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