Kitchen Secret #11

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Kitchen Secret #11
Why will a Kitchen Designer often decline a request?

If a kitchen designer is ‘doing his job properly’, he’ll – and it is normally a he – have a good idea of how much money you want to spend.

If he knows how much money you want to spend, then he’ll know how he can adapt the kitchen floor plan with a view to arriving near to your budget. By adapting, everything that he’s doing is increasing his chance of a sale.

He’ll know when to tell you no – when to advise on changing your initial plans to something that might just be more ‘beneficial’.

Often kitchen floor plan companies will vary their offer on appliances due to suppliers. This means that depending upon what products might be available; the most cost efficient method of kitchen design might change. For instance, if the kitchen company has received some discounted integrated laundry drying machines from its appliance supplier, then this could feasibly mean from the designer’s perspective the prospect of an appliance costing less than a cupboard! Sounds absolutely crazy, I know… but it happens. This means that designers who are dealing with potential customers who already require such an appliance have an easier job.

However, this of course doesn’t happen very often. It is therefore imperative for a designer to always have a positive and a negative reason in the back of his mind for a customer to have / not to have a particular part of their kitchen floor plan. For example, double ovens in a tall oven-housing unit are great for families with small children – they reduce the danger of burns by not being located at a lower level. They are however more expensive – especially when you include the tall oven-housing unit, with a cupboard at the base as well as the top. The flip side of the argument from the designer’s perspective is two-fold…

A designer might say “Tall oven-housings look great in a showroom – in reality in most kitchens they’re not practical. They’re too imposing, casting shadows – also when you have a separate hob you’re loosing too much worktop – there simply isn’t enough food preparation space.”

The reality is that the designer thinks that the customer can’t afford it. In this instance, the designer is therefore trying to sell the customer something he thinks he can afford.

In terms of appliances, there are also other examples of positives and negatives that a designer is able to influence customers with. If there are no reasonably priced integrated washing machines that the kitchen company can supply, a designer might tell the customer “If you’re thinking of selling the house at some point in the future, then most people are now looking for the washing machine to be out of the kitchen – it reduces the noise & it’s more saleable to say ‘with laundry room'”.

The designer might then give the same reason to have a dishwasher – that even if it’s not wanted by the customer, when it’s time to sell the house, it’ll sell much more quickly because it has that particular integrated appliance. Again, the reality is that the designer only wants to sell the dishwasher because it happens to be cheaper than the more useful cupboard.

There are many ways for a designer to be a cost-cutter. Another way is to forget about symmetry. It’s always generally good practice to ‘match’ the wall units with the base units.

If a base unit, which is 500mm (20 inches) wide has a matching wall unit of the same width directly above it, then the kitchen generally looks more professional as well as being more efficient.

A kitchen floor plan can however also be designed with the lowest cost-per-storage-space in mind –

To achieve this, a designer will only utilise the largest possible cabinets – and the largest possible covering of filler panels! For instance, when encountering an 800mm (32 inch) wall space, unscrupulous kitchen designers might place a 600mm (24 inch) wall cabinet in the centre with two 100mm (4 inch) filler panels either side. Whilst doing so, the designer would probably mark ‘FP’ next to the filler panel. This would indicate to the kitchen company that the filler has been discussed with the customer when it probably hasn’t. There is one other method of secretly saving money that a kitchen designer uses…

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