Okay, so you’ve made the decision to renovate and you’ve called to schedule an appointment but what now? How do you prepare yourself so you get the most out of your first design appointment and ensure it’s a productive part of the process? Our Mint experts have put together their tips on what you can do to get ready before you meet your preferred kitchen and bathroom designer.
- Don’t be afraid to think big
At this stage of the process don’t limit yourself with trying to pinpoint exact products and design styles. Use as many resources as you can to look at a wide range of ideas and start to compile any you like – this can be online or on paper. Don’t worry at this stage about whether they match, or limiting yourself to a specific style – think of this as the “big picture” stage of the process. You’re creating an inspiration guide that will give your kitchen or bathroom designer some clues as to your style and this will serve as the jumping off point for your first appointment.
- Ask yourself lots of questions
Would we consider moving or removing walls to create a new space? Do we have any long-term plans for our home that need to be taken into consideration? Will this be part of a larger extension and/or renovation? What currently works in the space (and what doesn’t)? What do you currently like (or dislike) about the space? What’s on my “must have” list? What could I live without?
- Do your research
There are lots of kitchen renovation and building companies to choose from and it can feel overwhelming but do some research before you start making calls to book in an appointment. Ask for referrals from friends and family. Search for online reviews of the company you are considering – how long have they been in business, have they won any significant awards, do you like the look of their work? Check licences – if you’ll need building work done make sure the relevant builders licence is held by the company. You can also do an online check with the Victorian Building Authority.
- Budget, budget, budget
Think carefully about your budget – know exactly what you can spend and always allow for a contingency. Don’t be afraid to share this figure with your kitchen or bathroom designer. Although it can seem scary, it’s actually the most cost-efficient way to ensure your designer applies this budget to get the most from your design. Think carefully about where you’re prepared to compromise and where you’re not. Share this with your designer and let them make suggestions about where best to invest your hard-earned dollars.
- Who are you?
Your kitchen or bathroom designer will need to know a lot about you and your family to ensure they design a space that works to suit your individual needs, so prepare a summary of your family and how you live, work and entertain. Cover off on areas such as how many people live in the home, what ages are they, do you regularly have visitors to stay, do you entertain on a regular basis, do you employ caterers or the like, are there specific cuisines you prefer to cook, are there any specialist styles of cooking you like to undertake, do you have many items to store and access, do you buy in bulk, do you have particular needs relating to your religious beliefs. These and many more questions will really help your designer develop a feel for how to design a space that’s just for you.
When you attend the design appointment keep an open mind about your options. Remember, you’re meeting with a specialist designer with years of experience and who keeps abreast of developments in products and technologies. You may have your heart set on a particular brand or colour but your designer might be aware of a new product or option that would suit better or they may even suggest something you haven’t considered.
Your designer is able to advise you on all aspects of the project, including technical considerations, to come up with solutions you may not have contemplated but that can transform your space into a room that meets all your criteria.
If this will be your first renovation, or even if you have previous experience, it’s likely you’ll find the meeting a bit overwhelming. There will be lots of information provided to you and plenty of options discussed so consider taking a notebook to jot down any details you may need to refer to later. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make all your decisions at the first appointment – there’s plenty of time to work through the design process to clarify your goals and ideas and start to narrow down your choices.
The best designers know how to listen so don’t be afraid to talk! Yes, they are the experts but this is your home, and your family will be living in the space for many years to come so it’s important you feel comfortable with what’s being proposed. And, on the flipside, the clients who feel most satisfied at the end of the process are those who know when to defer to the experts and take their advice.
At the Mint Kitchen Group, our focus is on our relationship with our clients. We work hard to pay attention to your opinions and, in turn, provide expertise in various areas to develop a trusted partnership. We invite you to visit one of our showrooms to view a wide range of display kitchens and bathrooms, take a look at our multi-award-winning projects on our website, and speak to our professional specialist designers about your dream space.