How to Research a Potential Kitchen Designer

Ask for images from the company's portfolio.
Ask for images from the company's portfolio.

So you think you've found the one. The kitchen designer who gets your aesthetic and promises to make your dreams a reality while coming in under budget. But, before you sign on the dotted line, take a step back for a day or two, and take some time to further research a potential kitchen designer before you make any commitments. Here are a few ways to make sure the designer you're planning to work with is reputable, reliable, and offers high quality products and services.

Review their portfolio.

The easiest way to get a true feel for a company's capabilities is to review their portfolio. An experienced company should have dozens of projects ready for you to look at, including ones that are similar in scope and budget to yours. If the company can't show you examples of past work done in the style you're after or the budget you've outlined, you might want to consider moving on.

Check their design certifications.

Ideally, your designer is not only trained in interior design and/or architecture, but is a Certified Kitchen Designer, or CKD as well. A CKD designation is given by the National Kitchen and Bath Association to professionals who has completed at least 60 hours of coursework in kitchen and bath design, has at least five years of experience, and passes an industry exam.

Ask for references.

Getting references from prospective kitchen designers might seem a bit formal, but it's an important step. References will be able to confirm the company's claims about its level of service, offer insight into the timeline and costs associated with a project, and answer questions you might have about the process.

Look for awards and press coverage.

Kitchen designers who do high-caliber, industry-leading work will often have it featured in magazines or on blogs, or submit it for regional and national awards. Check the press or awards section of your potential designer's website to see what they have in their trophy case.

KitchensKaitlin Madden