43-kitchen-designer-interviewIt’s finally here – time to create the kitchen of your dreams.  Many homeowners long anticipate the day when they get to turn their kitchen into the official favorite room of the house.  However, there are some things to think about before embarking on this journey.  Luckily, we have just the gal to help you think through some of those initial questions.  We interviewed Kelly Morisseau, designer and author, to get you started.

CV: What do you look for in a kitchen design? In your opinion, what is the most important component of a kitchen design?

KM: Safety first, then function. We’re still working in a room that has a combination of deadly heat, sharp items, and wet areas. You don’t want to bang your hips on corners, hit your head on sharp metal fan units, or slip coming around the island.

CV: Do you notice any common mistakes consumers make when designing their dream kitchen?

KM: Adding too many appliances is a big one. Kitchens we see in magazines or online  are sometimes quite a bit larger than many consumer kitchens. A kitchen with all appliances and no storage obviously isn’t functional.

CV: What would your advice be to someone who is deciding whether or not to update their kitchen?

KM: That’s a really big question. It depends on what they want!  If there are major problems — water damage, drawers falling out, peeling counter, then it’s time for a complete remodel.
If the only reason is because the colors are outdated, then partial remodeling — new paint, better lighting, new floor, refinishing the cabinets — can sometimes make all the difference in the world.

CV: What are the first steps a consumer needs to do before embarking on a kitchen remodel?

KM: Research, research, research before you meet your contractor or designer. As I’m fond of saying, “standard” kitchens no longer exist.  Almost every item in your kitchen is now custom, and not all the pieces fit together. Read blogs and forums and articles on what investment you require for a full kitchen remodel as well as what you can afford. As one designer aptly said, the price of a new kitchen is equivalent to a new car. The model of car is up to you.

Also understand that the jaw-dropping kitchens you see again online or in magazines are often six-figure award-winning (or close to it) designs that are created by the higher-end designers, contractors, and sub-contractors. I sometimes wish there was a magazine for the $ 20,000- $ 40,000 kitchens…

CV: What is the biggest waste of a designer’s time – in your opinion?

KM: A designer’s reason for being in this industry is to help you create something for your home that is beautiful, safe, and makes you feel wonderful as soon as you step into your home. The best designers spend a lot of time getting into your thought processes to give you the room you want, not what they want. There is nothing sadder than someone hiring a designer for their experience but ending up not listening to his or her advice. Waste of time for both parties.

CV: What is your favorite area of a kitchen to design?

KM: Tile-work, but really almost all aspects and how they come together are interesting. With all the choices today, there’s a lot of mathematics and puzzle-work involved — I’m certainly never bored.

Don’t miss part 2 of our interview with Kelly later this week where we will be talking about more design tips!