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Why You Need (and Should Want) a Kitchen Designer

A CliqStudios kitchen designer at her desk working on a kitchen floor plan and renderings

Working with a professional kitchen designer means your new kitchen will be safe, functional and beautiful.


A good, realistic design crystallizes your ideas and inspiration and turns it into an executable kitchen plan. Your design tells you the exact location of each appliance, the color of each cabinet, and the dimensions of every surface. Design is a reflection of your personality, your budget, taste, and how you use your space.

Content

  • Why Do I Need a Kitchen Designer?
  • What Is the Value of a Kitchen Designer?
  • What Do I Get if I Sign up for a Design?
  • How Do I Work With a Designer?
  • What Makes a Kitchen Layout Simple, Functional, and Efficient?

Why Do I Need a Kitchen Designer?

So, why do you need a kitchen designer? Though there are many online tools that homeowners can use to design their kitchens by themselves, it’s best to have your design and layout created for you by a designer.

“Designing your own kitchen is like doing your own dentistry,” says Dan Jones, CliqStudios’ kitchen designer trainer. “You definitely want a specialist for the job.”

Creating a layout on your own could lead to a long road of headaches and regrets. A kitchen designer is knowledgeable of the common mistakes and pitfalls that remodelers fall into. If you go it alone, and a structural or functional issue shows up later, fixing it will be costly and painful. Work with an expert to acquire a sure-fire plan that will prevent problems down the road.

Lastly, since you can work with a professional designer online and for free, why wouldn’t you?

An example of bad kitchen design - a dishwasher placed in the corner prevents a cabinet drawer from opening.

Small design errors can cause big headaches. Here, the dishwasher obstructs the cabinet drawer.

What’s the value of a kitchen designer?

1. Kitchen Safety

“The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house,” writes the Complete Home Medical Guide of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Yes, it’s true that cuts, scalds, electrical shocks, and fires can occur in the kitchen. However, a good kitchen design minimizes hazards by creating a thoughtful layout.

2. Functional Design

The primary task of design is to make the environment work. Designers make your kitchen functional and comfortable by considering body movement, space, and light. It might be something as small as knowing whether you’re right- or left-handed to improve your reach to a dishwasher, or creating a work space that enables multiple cooks to pass through the same lanes.

Designers help make your space suit your needs. Whether it’s creating a space suited for cooking and entertaining, future-proofing the design to accommodate wheelchairs, or creating a multi-functional space. “Kitchen environments are not just counters against walls,” writes architect and designer Johnny Grey. “They need to be humane places that reflect our personalities and respond to future needs.”

3. Beautiful Space

The majority of kitchen designers can advise you about trends, styles, and colors to suit your home. A designer envisions how even the odd corners, features, and obstacles in your room can be transformed into useful and beautiful space.

What Do I Get When I Sign up for a Design?

A kitchen design from CliqStudios comes in an extensive packet which includes:

  • A custom kitchen layout with floorplan and exact measurements
  • Colored 3D renderings of your kitchen
  • An itemized quote with the final cost for each cabinet

Click here to view a sample packet.

Animated GIF showing a progression from hand-drawn kitchen measurements, to kitchen floor plan, to 3D renderings, to the final kitchen

Starting with simple measurements, your design will become the blueprint for your new kitchen.

How Do I Work With a Designer?

We have more than 130 designers here to work with you, whatever your pace or place. Your designer will work with you by email, telephone, online screen sharing, or even snail mail!

You start by measuring your kitchen. Then, a designer will call you to discover basic information about your project: your remodeling goals, features of the project, and measurements. They will ask you some questions about your wants and needs.

  • Are you moving any walls?
  • Have you created a budget?
  • What cabinet colors and door styles interest you?
  • Do you know what size appliances are you purchasing?

After the first phone call, you will receive an initial design. You can change and revise your design until you’re perfectly happy with it.

What Makes a Kitchen Layout Safe, Functional, and Efficient?

Short answer—a kitchen designer!

Long answer—there are many things to consider when designing a functional kitchen. More time is spent in the kitchen than in any other room of the home. In addition, the kitchen accounts for the greatest cost per area, so its design requires careful and detailed consideration. Here are just a few of many guidelines for building a functional kitchen.

The kitchen work triangle, consisting of the sink, the stove-top, and the refrigerator.

The kitchen work triangle creates an efficient working space.

  • Work Centers. The main work centers of a kitchen are the sink, the cooktop, and the refrigerator. Together, they form the kitchen work triangle. In an efficient kitchen, the length of each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet. The total of the distances between work centers should not exceed 26 feet. This principle also holds for a kitchen whose work centers are arranged in a straight line.
  • Traffic Control. No major traffic patterns should cross through the work triangle. Work aisles should be at least 42 inches for one cook, and at least 48 inches for multiple cooks. Walkway widths should be at least 36 inches. Doors and doorways should be at least 32 in. wide, and shouldn’t interfere with work centers.
  • Clearance. Vertical clearance space is important for usability and safety. There should be at least 15-inches between countertops and cabinets. Cooking surfaces and range hoods should have 24-inches of vertical space between them. In addition, kitchen seating areas should incorporate clearances between the tables/counter and the seats.
  • Landing Areas. The sink, the refrigerator, the microwave, and the oven all require a different amount of nearby or adjacent open countertop space. These landing areas are necessary for placing food items, dishes, or cookware.
  • Space and Storage. Differently sized kitchens require different amounts of countertop space and cabinet storage areas. For countertop spaces, a total of 158 inches of frontage is needed. The recommended shelf/drawer frontage for storage is 1,400 inches for a small kitchen (150 square feet or less); 1,700 inches for a medium kitchen (151 to 350 square feet); and 2,000 inches for a large kitchen (more than 350 square feet). Read: How much storage do I need for my kitchen?
  • Safety. Do not place the cooking surface under an operable window, or any window with flammable treatments or covers. A fire extinguisher should be located near the exit of the kitchen away from cooking equipment, and commercial cooking appliances should not be installed in residential kitchens.


Learn more about kitchen design:

3d rendering of cliqstudios kitchen design with white shaker style doors and green tea leaf kitchen island with seating

Ready to start your free design?

Send us a sketch with your kitchen measurements

and we’ll connect you with your personal designer.

Showing 6 comments

  1. Chuck Hahn Reply

    It sounds good =, but I am very leary of making such a major purchase without actually seeing and putting hands on the product. I have explored Kraft Maid, but was surprised how costly a 10×10 kitchen cabinet package can cost. We are remodeling a home to relocate to in North Carolina. I have read reviews from a number of cites about cliqstudios, but want to see and handle the product. Do you have any ability to accommodate that?

  2. Carl Reply

    There must be a cost for this service. What would be my obligation to your company if I signed up for a kitchen design? Do you do bathroom designs?

    • CliqStudios Reply

      Hi Carl, we often get that question, “What’s the catch?” It’s a valid response since expert design services can be a significant cost up to 10% of a kitchen remodeling budget. So why are kitchen designers with 10+ years of design experiences offering their services for free? Here at CliqStudios we are dedicated to providing a simpler, smarter and better solution for homeowners and professionals to purchase cabinetry for kitchens and bathroom remodels. That said, there is no catch and no obligation to purchase cabinets with your complimentary design.

      Take a look here to see some of our bathroom vanities and designs.

  3. Melinda Marsh Reply

    I would of loved to have input on a design but unfortunately this was bypassed for us with a kitchen remodel with Lowes. Old kitchen is gone, new cabinets were placed but didn’t fit in several areas. Lowes has been here but we are in limbo for the last 6 weeks and I’m looking for my options. We are real close to having them to refund my money, take their cabinets and starting over. I’d appreciate any advise.

    • CliqStudios Reply

      Oh gosh, Melinda. That experience sounds so frustrating, if not downright discouraging. If you’re looking to start over with cabinets, then once your return is successful, we would be happy to work with you – just give our design studio a call at 888-350-1242. Do you have a contractor who can help take and verify your room measurements? Our designers will can ensure that your cabinets fit and you don’t run into this problem again.

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