The Chaos of Kitchens Complex Concepts for Your Home
Last week I did a final walk-thru with a client. She was very happy with her beautiful new kitchen and I was extremely happy with the outcome. When I returned to the office, I upload the photos I had just taken and compared them with the before photos. Talk about a shock! I’d forgotten how far we’ve come in such a short period of time.
Yes, it’s the client’s kitchen, but without the hard work and dedication of all the people who had a hand in it, it would not have come to pass. At the final walk-thru, as long as the client is happy I’m proud of the work we did and I can’t help thinking about all the many people involved to get a project completed.
I’ve had people say to me, “Your job seems so fun.” Yes, it’s true that designing is fun for me. I would respond with, “Yes, and it’s a lot of hard work.”
All that most people see is an entertaining 60-minute remodeling show on HGTV, but the reality is that the design process has countless hours associated with it before, during, and after the project.
Initially, there’s the face time and meetings with the client, the design concept, revisions to the plans, cost estimates, knowledge of building codes, and select products and finishes. Once a contract is signed, the project management team and the designer order all products and then schedule all the tradesmen who will be doing the labor.
During the installation phase, the project management team is in constant contact with the homeowners and the tradesmen to keep everyone up to date and in the loop. The mix of people and personalities also shape a project. It starts with the designer, who has to match the personalities of the client and contractor.
Some clients want hand-holding and constant updates and explanations while others work better with less contact with the tradesmen. All this needs to be managed on a day-by-day basis. At Nicely Done Kitchens, at least five people will work on a project at any given time internally and at a minimum, the same number of people is at the job site.
After the final walk-thru of the kitchen, photos are taken and the accounting is done. This is also the time for the lessons-learned portion, which helps to make each project better than the last. This can be as simple as when to remove the yard sign at the end of a project, but we are constantly trying to improve our process.
As a kitchen designer, I’ve found the combination of art and business to be a winning combination for me. Vision, artistry, and design combined with the practicality of organizing a project from concept to final reality. Without these two elements, the project will not be successful. Without all the wonderful and talented people who facilitate the process along the way, this job would not be quite so fun.