A beautifully designed kitchen is the heart of any home. Working with a professional kitchen designer can help turn your dream kitchen into a reality. Here is everything you need to know about working with a kitchen designer to create your perfect cooking space.

Selecting a Kitchen Designer

Choosing the right kitchen designer for your project is one of the most important decisions you will make. Here are some tips for selecting the best kitchen designer:

Check Credentials

Look for certified kitchen designers who have passed exams to earn credentials like Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) or Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer (CMKBD). These qualifications indicate extensive training and expertise.

Review Portfolios

Evaluate the designer’s previous work by looking through their portfolio. Make sure they have experience designing kitchens similar to what you want.

Conduct Interviews

Sit down with 2-3 potential designers. Ask about their design process, pricing, and what sets them apart. Make sure your personalities mesh.

Verify References

Speak to references about their experience working with the designer. Find out if the designer delivered on time and on budget.

Confirm Licensing

Kitchen designers should have a business license. Designers doing structural work may need additional licensing.

Choosing a designer you connect with and whose work matches your vision is key to success.

Defining Your Needs

Providing details about how you cook, entertain, and use your kitchen allows the designer to craft the optimum layout.

Discuss Cooking Style

Do you bake elaborate cakes or microwave frozen meals? Let the designer know so they include the right features.

Review Storage Needs

Think about how much shelf space you need for small appliances, pots and pans, and pantry items.

Consider Traffic Flow

Determine high traffic areas. A kitchen used by multiple people needs better flow than a single-cook kitchen.

Decide on an Aesthetic

Share the look you love with your designer – modern, rustic, contemporary. Bring inspiration images.

Clearly conveying your needs and lifestyle is crucial for your designer to create the perfect kitchen.

Key Elements of Kitchen Design

Several important components make up a well-designed, functional kitchen.


The layout impacts how you move through the space during food prep and cleanup. Smart kitchens have triangulated work zones – each area should form a triangle between the sink, stove, and refrigerator.


Cabinets provide storage solutions. Custom cabinets designed for your space maximize usable storage. Evaluate your cabinet needs and options like pull-out shelves, lazy susans, and drawer dividers.


Select a countertop material that is durable, easy to clean, and fits your budget. Popular options are granite, quartz, laminate, butcher block, and solid surface.


Ceramic tile is a backsplash staple, but glass, metal, and stone offer beautiful alternatives. Coordinate your backsplash with countertops for a cohesive look.


Kitchen flooring endures heavy traffic and spills. Top choices are wood, tile, vinyl, and linoleum. Consider ease of cleaning along with comfort underfoot.


Proper lighting illuminates tasks and sets ambiance. Include overhead lights, decorative pendants, under-cabinet lighting, and natural light.


Evaluate how you use your cooktop, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc. Consult your designer to select energy-efficient models suiting your cooking habits.

Planning Your Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling your kitchen is a complex project requiring careful planning.

Have Realistic Expectations

Understand that renovating a kitchen takes significant time and financial investment. Set a realistic timeline and budget.

Get Required Permits

For major changes, your local building department will require permits. A designer can ensure you get the right permits.

Schedule Contractors

Your designer can coordinate work schedules for the various professionals – electricians, plumbers, cabinet fabricators, countertop installers.

Plan for Disruption

A kitchen remodel means living without a kitchen for weeks or months. Make arrangements for cooking and cleanup.


Maintain open communication with your kitchen designer throughout the process. Adjust plans promptly if needed.

Advanced preparation makes the remodel process smoother and reduces headaches.

Working With Your Kitchen Designer

Collaborating effectively with your kitchen designer results in a space tailored to your vision and needs.

Have a Clear Vision

Ideally you will have defined your preferred design style, features most important to you, and budget parameters.

Be Open to Suggestions

A professional designer has expertise about what works well. Be open to their recommendations for improving flow or adding useful features.

Review Multiple Plans

Your designer will provide different layout options. Review together to choose the best one. Refine as needed.

Communicate Changes

Inform your designer promptly if you change your mind about certain materials or your vision shifts.

Approve All Decisions

Carefully review all material and appliance selections before giving approval. You are the final decision maker.

Maintaining ongoing dialogue with your designer results in their maximum understanding of your perfect kitchen.

Costs of a Kitchen Remodel

Several factors impact the total investment for your kitchen project.

Layout Changes

Moving walls, plumbing, and electrical can add substantially to renovation costs. Keep existing infrastructure when possible.

Material Choices

Higher end finishes like granite countertops, premium cabinets, and hardwood floors increase budgets. Know costs before final selection.


Home chefs wanting top brand high-end appliances will spend more. Energy efficient models can yield long term savings.

Contractor Fees

General contractor overhead plus kitchen designer fees contribute to the total price. Get quotes from multiple providers.

Unexpected Issues

Demolition can reveal unforeseen problems like mold or faulty wiring. Leave contingency funds to address surprises.

Careful planning and budget tracking helps avoid financial surprises during your remodel.

FAQs About Working With a Kitchen Designer

How do I find a qualified kitchen designer in my area?

Search industry directories like the National Kitchen and Bath Association to find designers. Check qualifications and read reviews. Ask neighbors for referrals too.

What background should a good designer have?

Look for kitchen designers with interior design education plus training in kitchen workflow, building codes, lighting design, and spatial planning.

Will my designer do the renovation work too?

Typically a designer creates plans but does not do the actual installation. You hireseparate contractors for plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc.

What is the process for designing my kitchen?

The designer will survey your space, discuss your needs, develop layout options, help select materials, and finalize technical drawings for the contractors.

How long will my kitchen remodel take?

The renovation timeline depends on the scope. Cosmetic updates may take 2-3 weeks. Knockdown renovations often take 2-3 months.

How much will my kitchen remodel cost?

Costs vary widely based on location, size, materials, and changes made. Budget $125-$250 per sq. foot for a midrangemajor remodel of an average sized kitchen.

Hiring a professional designer is an investment that yields dividends in your dream kitchen.


Creating your ideal kitchen means hiring the right designer to turn your vision into reality. Finding a qualified pro with experience, defining your lifestyle needs and priorities, establishing a clear direction, and maintaining frequent communication are keys to success. Investing in smart planning and design will result in a beautiful, highly functional kitchen you can enjoy for years to come.