The kitchen is the most used room in the house, the place everyone gathers, AND it can be the MOST expensive investment you make should you update or remodel it. There is a lot to consider yet it’s totally doable. You don’t need to be overwhelmed. I’ve worked with hundreds of homeowners to transform their kitchens. Over the years I have learned watching thousands of others make mistakes. From all this I have figured that there are some simple, basic but often overlooked things to think through BEFORE you get started. Here they are!
Before you speak to a contractor, designer or other professional who will take your money, first figure out what you like and don’t like about your kitchen. Are you a cook? What’s important to you? What don’t you like about your space right now? Ask yourself all these questions. No need to figure out the solutions yet. That will come later. Get a real good idea of what’s important to you.
Next, find pictures or real examples of kitchens you like. Be discreet (or not!) when you’re with neighbors, and use your phone to take pictures if you like what they have. Check out magazines-House Beautiful, Signature Kitchen and Baths, Kitchen and Bath Design, to name a few-at supermarket checkouts. Bookstores and Amazon have great books for kitchen designs. Plus you can look online for ideas. On my site you will see some samples on the home page and then under the “door samples” tab, you’ll see hundreds of ideas and samples through the links I’ve provided. This is your time to explore and have fun as you look for Walnut Creek cabinets or cabinets wherever you live.
Now you’re ready to choose your first professional. Find someone who can help you design it. Experience is important. Don’t go with someone who is new or a part-timer. This is NOT the project to hand over to your nephew or uncle who is in-between careers. Sixty to seventy percent of the time homeowners work with a kitchen or interior designer. That’s a service we provide. In thirty percent of the cases architects are used. Whichever way you go, I can help you get started. I specialize in Walnut Creek cabinets and can provide them in any home in the Bay Area. In twelve years of doing cabinets in this area, I have gotten to know the best in the business.
Choose the best way to get the work done. In situations where the project is not too complicated-meaning you are not tearing the room down, moving walls, etc.-you can save some money (now that’s a good idea!) by working with your designer to bring in the right sub contractors to do the work. I do this regularly with my clients, because I’ve developed relationships with service providers I can trust. With other projects that are bigger is scope and require a contractor to manage it all, I can make some suggestions. You’re going to want to pick someone that fits you. You’ll be living with this person and his team for a period of time. So, find someone who communicates well, has a great reputation and fits your style.
Finally, be smart about the product you purchase and whom you purchase it from. You have two basic ways to go. One way is to go to local retail stores or cabinet builders. The other is to deal with service providers like me. As the owner of Cal Cabinets, I am your point of contact from conception to completion. You won’t be handed over to a salesman without skin in the game. My success is based on my reputation, so I treat my work seriously. Also, while I can provide hundreds of samples, there is no big retail showroom to add overhead. I keep that low and pass the savings onto you. You’ll have the best possible furniture-quality finish and the largest selection compared, for example, to local cabinets makers. My suppliers build “custom look” product for the most beautiful homes nationwide. What’s the bottom line? Get help in buying the right product. This doesn’t always mean the most expensive, but you’ll want to get great guidance because without it, this step CAN be overwhelming.
I’ve kept it simple and clear. After working with hundreds of homeowners and watching thousands others, it gets down to some simple, but often overlooked basics-things to think through BEFORE you get started.