January 23, 2009, Newsletter Issue #36: Make the Most of Your Kitchen Showroom Visit

Tip of the Week

If you are planning a kitchen overhaul, you know there are many details to consider -- not only cabinet choices but appliances and precise measurements. The showrooms of more innovative cabinet makers will likely have experts on staff that can help you through the somewhat confusing remodeling process.

If you can, find a Certified Kitchen Designer, or CKD, as these professionals have strong relationships with manufacturers in the industry and up-to-date ideas. The best way to hash out the details of your new kitchen is to meet with such an expert one-on-one. These showroom appointments can even be free of charge. But, keep in mind that a kitchen designer will have lots of questions to cover during such an appointment.

To get the most out of this meeting, plan ahead and be prepared for these questions. Take photos of your current kitchen and put them in your idea folder, paying close attention to entrance and exit ways. Make a wish list of every feature you would like to have and then number them in order of priority. If you have selected appliances, take the model specifics and measurements. Take measurements of your kitchen as well. If you have fabric swatches, and paint or flooring samples, bring those along. Establish a budget before you meet with a kitchen designer and stick to it during a meeting. If you have chosen some decor items, such as collections of glass or pottery, take photos of those as they will help a designer understand your style preference. The more homework you do before you meet with a kitchen designer, the better.

However, don't panic if you haven't made color, fabric or other style choices. If you aren't sure which way to go, a designer can guide you. Finally, be prepared to answer specific questions about your cooking and entertaining habits as well as the types of food and cooking item storage you require.

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