Is a kitchen designer online worth your money? Good question! Many busy homeowners or first-time buyers trust professionals to turn their kitchen dreams into a reality. More than 50% of homeowners have previously used professionals to support them. Since the pandemic, virtual support has become increasingly popular. In this blog post, we will discuss:
Virtual Design Services offered by an Online Kitchen Designer vs. In-Person Consultations
differences between the various online kitchen design services
costs of kitchen design online services
Table of content:
Typical design process on your way to your dream kitchen
Experience | Expertise with kitchens & space design
Deliverables | Level of Detail of floor plan & other visuals
What is a virtual kitchen planner?
Kitchen designers online are specialized professionals who offer virtual services. They help you design different layouts, select suitable materials, and maximize functionality. At the same time, they will keep the aesthetic appeal in mind. Your needs and wishes are the centers of their design work.
How does a kitchen designer online help?
All you need to take advantage of their expertise is an internet connection. During consultations for assistance, your designer will use online kitchen design software. This helps them to create 3D floor plans and 3D rendered kitchen plans. The Professionals will work closely with you to help you with your kitchen project. Some Services offered may include basic kitchen packages to a more comprehensive approach. Services offered may include:
Development of kitchen spaces
Creating 3D Renderings
Selection of kitchen cabinetry & kitchen doors
Selecting and consulting on kitchen materials
Collecting kitchen estimates
Read here to learn more about their service offerings.
Typical design process on your way to your dream kitchen
Designing a new kitchen involves many steps. Below we will address the different stages you will experience during your project.
Inspiration & Research:
If this is your first kitchen you may have to start from scratch. Finding inspiration is your first step. Do online research or visit local kitchen showrooms. This way you will get a better idea of what you want. You can create mood boards and save pictures of your favorites. Once you know what you like, start exploring quality & costs. This part can be a bit more difficult. This part can be a bit more difficult. There are many kitchen brands available on the market. Getting a general overview of offerings, quality, and costs can be time-consuming.
Contact Kitchen Cabinet Supplier:
Once you've done your homework it is time to contact your local supplier. They will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have. It is a good time to experience the products firsthand. Depending on the store the staff will offer you a first preliminary draft.
Conduct & Review Quotes:
If you like the products, you saw it is time to request a quote. This way you will get a first idea of what it will cost. Many stores offer you one complimentary kitchen estimate. The better you can express your needs and wishes in this stage the better the cost estimation will be.
Commit Cabinet Brands & Hire Other Trades:
Once you conducted your estimates it is time to decide on which cabinet brand you would like to work with. Many brands commit you to a retainer. Such enable them to measure your current kitchen space and develop more detailed plans and 3D Kitchen Designs. Those can cost you oftentimes several thousand dollars. Yet, once you place the production order it will be set against your down payment. Further, you will need to find a General Contractor and an Architect if necessary.
Detailing & Final Specifications:
In this stage, you will complete your Kitchen design plans and create your ideal kitchen. You choose appliances, countertops, and other accessories needed. Your General Contractor and Architect will work on permits and other documents needed with your Kitchen Expert. At this point, you will receive the updated pricing. Please be aware, that this may vary from your initial estimate. Especially, if you had many changes in layout, material, or scope of work from the first draft.
Place Production Order:
At this point you will sign off on the final plans and your cabinets will go into production. The cabinet supplier often times prepares a mechanical drawing for your Contractor. Your Architect will do the same if you work with a Millworker for example.
It is time to get your room ready. This phase can take a few weeks to several months depending on the scale of your project.
Your new functional kitchen cabinets arrive!
Design help & support offerings for virtual kitchen design
A design specialist will be able to support and guide you through your kitchen design project. They offer many online consultation services. To deliver their services, they use a variety of kitchen design software and tools. They are experts in kitchen planning. Their online kitchen design service can go beyond providing you with kitchen ideas. Find an overview of possible services offered below. Yet, be aware, the level of support may vary from designer to designer. Read more about the differences here.
Online Kitchen Design Services
Conduct Cost Estimations
o Suitable kitchen supplier
o General Contractors
o Other trades necessary
o Kitchen supplier
o Appliances distributor
o Accessories distributor
o General Contractors
o Other trades necessary
Benefits of virtual kitchen design vs. traditional home designer
Professionals play a crucial role when considering a kitchen project. Many homeowners opt to work with designers provided by local stores or millworkers. Yet, in recent years, online designers have become a popular alternative. We will explore the benefits of an online consultant versus traditional designers.
One of the main benefits is convenience. By taking advantage of virtual meetings, you can meet your designer from the comfort of your own home. This eliminates the need for in-person meetings. This is especially beneficial for busy homeowners. Avoiding long travel distances can save you a lot of time and travel expenses. You will end up having more time for your family and friends.
Be flexible when scheduling your meetings. You can communicate via email or video chat. Different time zones or a busy schedule are no excuses anymore when choosing your preferred designer.
Online professionals often charge less than traditional designers. They don't have to run a physical studio or account for travel time. This can result in cost savings, especially when working with a tight budget.
Access to Expertise:
You will get access to your favorite designer. No matter if you live in the same state or time zone. Further, the designers often have a broad range of expertise and experience. Working independently and across borders helped them gain broad expertise.
By being independent contractors, they are not tied to a specific cabinet maker. This means they can offer unbiased recommendations. They can suggest a wider range of choices that isn't limited to a particular cabinet brand or maker. This can result in a more personalized layout that better suits your needs and wishes.
Are there differences between service providers?
There are many virtual designers out there, that offer you, their services. But how do you determine if they are a good fit? Well, in the end, it depends on the service and level of support you need. If this is your first kitchen project, you may need more support as someone who has gone through it before. Either way, before committing to someone you should find out about:
their service offerings & level of involvement,
their experience and expertise,
as well as the level of detail in their deliverables.
Each of these factors will impact the costs. Read more about the costs of a virtual kitchen designer here.
Service Offerings & Level of Involvement:
Online designers offer a range of service offerings. Affordable kitchen design services often offer only basic consultations while others offer a more comprehensive service. The support can range from developing a basic kitchen layout to supporting you throughout a whole kitchen remodel. How much support do you need? Do you only need help with the development of kitchen spaces? You can use such basic design ideas as a starting point for discussions with furniture brands. If you are looking for a more comprehensive approach you might want someone that offers more service. It's important to discuss your expectations. This way you can determine if their offerings meet your needs before committing.
Experience and expertise with kitchens & space designs:
Online designers come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. Some may have formal training. Others may have gained experience through working in the field or personal projects. It's important to review the designer's portfolio and experience. This allows you to get a better understanding of their style and knowledge. Inexperienced and noncertified designers may come with more attractive price points. It may be worth it to invest in someone with more experience. Those are often trained at high-end companies that focus on every aspect of kitchen design.
Deliverables | Level of detail in floor plan & other visuals:
The deliverables provided can also vary in the level of detail. Review the deliverables offered and determine the level of detail you need. It is important you get a clear understanding of what you get. See below what to look out for.
The presentation of your kitchen varies a lot. Some designers may provide basic sketches, basic floorplans, 3D Images, or use professional renderings. You may even find interactive floor plans and 3D Walkthroughs. Such visualizations bring your kitchen to life and are a great way to plan your perfect kitchen.
There are multiple stages when developing a plan. A step is exploring a possible kitchen shape. More detailed planning stages include studying appliance integrations, tolerances, openings, and aisle clearances. Ask your kitchen Designer Questions about the level of detail: Does the plan show kitchen measurements? Does it specify, kitchen materials, colour options, kitchen worktops, cabinet types & sizes? Are the appliance types & appliance locations specified? Are kitchen accessories such as lighting, faucet & sink specified?
How much does a virtual kitchen planner cost?
When you hire an online kitchen designer consider their fees and pricing models. Here are some of the most common pricing models used by online designers and what to look out for:
Some professional designers charge a one-time flat fee for their services. This fee can vary depending on the level of service provided. Those can range from basic to more comprehensive packages. The custom kitchen design packages often focus on creating a layout and elevations, with some offering a 3-D floorplan visual as well. They are a good starting point for discussions with your kitchen dealer & contractor. In general, packages are an attractive and safe choice since you exactly know what to pay. Yet, it is important to understand what service you will receive.
Costs: $495 - $15,000 or more.
You know exactly how much you will have to pay.
It is difficult to understand & compare the service levels provided with others.
They often don't provide you with enough service if you are looking for a hand-over project.
Some online kitchen consultants charge an hourly rate for their services. This can be a good option if you are looking for more personalized and in-depth help. But it is important to understand their hourly rate and the time needed for your project. Hourly rates vary depending on the designer's experience and expertise and other factors. See here. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict the time needed to complete your project. Your designer may be able to share the average hours needed for each project step. Yet, your needs and wishes may require more time than expected and calculated. Your designer will bill you every hour he worked on your project.
Costs: $75 - $500 per hour.
You only pay for the time spent on the project.
You can customize the online kitchen design services as you wish.
Get as much support as needed & do as much as you want in DIY work.
The cost can add up if the project takes longer than anticipated.
It can be difficult to predict the final cost of the project.
Percentage of Project Cost:
Some online kitchen designers charge a percentage of the total project cost. This is also a good option for a more comprehensive process. Such an approach is more common with local kitchen designers. If your kitchen planner lives in your area you may be able to get a hybrid option. Your designer takes charge of all aspects of your kitchen project. With this approach, you can use the designer as many hours as you need to. Yet, be careful. You should have a clear understanding of the total project costs. Allow for the designer cost in your budget.
Costs: 5% - 20% of the total project cost.
You can use as many kitchen planner hours as you need.
The cost can add up for larger projects with high project costs.
It can be difficult to predict the final cost of the project and your costs may get out of control.
No incentive for the kitchen planner to keep the project costs low.
Request your online kitchen designer today!
Are you considering hiring an online kitchen designer and need a design appointment? Kitchen Design NYC offers online kitchen design. Those allow you to work with a professional designer from the comfort of your own home. You will receive personalized help and advice. All without the hassle of scheduling in-person meetings. Whether you're a busy homeowner or a first-time buyer, we guide you through the entire process.
How to reach out to Kitchen Design NYC?
Requesting a comprehensive design appointment online with Kitchen Design NYC is easy. Visit our website and fill out a brief form outlining your design needs and preferences. From there, our team will match you with an experienced online kitchen planner. We also offer hybrid solutions for homeowners in the NYC area.
Don't let a busy schedule or distance stop you from achieving the kitchen of your dreams. Request a design appointment from Kitchen Design NYC today and get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can design a kitchen?
There are different professionals who can design a kitchen. Your selection depends on the project's complexity and your needs. Some of the most common professionals include:
Kitchen Designer: They are professionals who specialize in the design and layout of kitchens. They have expertise in creating functional and aesthetic spaces. Those are based on your needs and preferences. They work as independent contractors or as part of a local kitchen store.
Interior Designer: Interior Designer can design a wide range of spaces, including kitchens. They can help with the aesthetic of the space. Including materials, color scheme, and lighting selections. While they don't have the same level of expertise as a kitchen planner, they are still a viable option.
Architect: An architect is a professional who can design entire buildings, including kitchens. They can help with the layout, structural elements, and design of the space. Yet, architects may not have the same level of expertise as a kitchen designer.
When you choose who to work with, consider your specific needs and the complexity of the project. A kitchen planner may be the best option for a full kitchen remodel. Yet, interior designers or architects may be suitable for smaller projects.
How do I find the best kitchen designer online?
Finding the best kitchen designer online can seem like a daunting task. But, with the right approach, it can be straightforward. Here are some steps to help you find the right online kitchen designer for your needs:
Research online: Do a search for online kitchen designers and look for reviews and testimonials. Check their websites and social media profiles. Read through their online portfolios to get an idea of their design style and experience.
Check credentials: Look for designers who are members of reputable professional organizations. Such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Other credentials include work experience with a reputable kitchen design company or brand. These credentials indicate a high level of expertise and professionalism.
Look for a personalized approach: A good online kitchen designer will work 1-on1 with you. This will help him to understand your specific needs and preferences. Look for designers who offer a personalized approach. Are they willing to take the time to listen to your ideas and feedback?
Check the communication channels: Communication is key when working with an online kitchen designer. Look for designers who offer many communication channels. For example, via phone, email, and video conferencing. This ensures that you can stay in touch and get updates on your project as it progresses. Consider what service level you need and whether they offer the services you need.
By following these steps, you can find the best online kitchen designer for your project. This will ensure a smooth and successful design process.
Do you tip your kitchen designer?
Tipping a kitchen designer is not a common practice. But, if you feel that the designer has gone above and beyond you may consider a small appreciation. Such can be a gift card or a handwritten thank-you note. Ultimately, tipping is a personal choice and not an obligation. It is important to remember that a kitchen designer's fee is already included in the contract.
How do I prepare for a online kitchen designer?
Preparing for your online kitchen designer is important to ensure a successful collaboration. Here are some tips on how to prepare for an online kitchen designer:
Gather inspiration: Before your consultation, gather inspiration for your kitchen design. Browse through websites, social media platforms, and home design magazines. This will help you to communicate your ideas and preferences to the designer.
Set a budget: Determine your budget for the project. Be upfront with the designer about your financial limitations. This will help the designer to suggest design options that are within your budget.
Measure your space: Measure the dimensions of your current kitchen space. Take note of any potential obstacles such as kitchen windows, the kitchen door, and plumbing fixtures. This will help the designer to create an accurate plan.
Identify your needs: Make a list of your needs and wants for your kitchen. Such can include storage, counter space, and appliance needs. This will help the designer to create a personalized design that meets your needs.
Communicate your lifestyle: Communicate your lifestyle to the designer. Such as your cooking habits and entertaining needs. This will help the designer to suggest design options that fit your lifestyle.
Be open to suggestions: Keep an open mind to suggestions from the designer. They have expertise in designing functional and pleasing kitchens.