Rob Kircher: Here’s another edition of Kitchen Designer. The Kitchens By Ambiance showroom in Bonita Springs, Florida…and my good friend Jim Gerard.

Jim Gerard: How are ya Rob?

Rob Kircher: And we told the folks last time that we’re going to be talking about the design factor, right? And there is a new customer calling you right now.

Jim Gerard: I’ll get that later.

Rob Kircher: Now this is your design room, right?

Jim Gerard: This is our presentation room where we….once we go out and speak with someone about what they’re looking for, we measure and then we bring them in here and we show them their design. In choosing a designer, you need to work with a professional. The true way to pick a professional is you should interview him. You’re going to be engaged with this person. You’re going to have several meetings and then they’re going to be in your home for a period of time. This needs to be someone that you enjoy speaking with and enjoy spending time with. They need to ask you a lot of questions. They need to get to know you. Questions like:

  • How much do you cook?

  • Is this your main home?

  • Is it a part time home?

  • Do you like to bake? You know, bakers generally need a big slab area.

Rob Kircher: Like this right here. Yeah, exactly.

Jim Gerard: Your appliances…what is your appliance package? That makes a big difference. If you’re gonna put a microwave (a vented microwave) above the stove or you want to go with a hood and now you have to figure out where to put the microwave. So your appliances are very important. Do you have any physical limitations? Your height…

Rob Kircher: You know what? That’s a really important thing.

Jim Gerard: (inaudible). A lot of times these are the things you learn the hard way as a designer when you put something in and realize that someone is challenged, (vertically challenged) and can’t quite reach or see in the microwave.

Rob Kircher: That’s a real nice thing…vertically challenged….I like that.

Jim Gerard: (inaudible) But they should be dialed in to those things and ask you a lot of questions about your lifestyle.

  • Are you a drinker?

  • Are you a nondrinker?

  • Are you interested in some kind of a beverage center in your kitchen?

And if you’re dealing with someone that immediately gets to… “I’m just going to come out and, or design and put something together…” probably not a real good fit. They’re not asking enough….they’re not establishing enough groundwork to really put together something that will really fit your needs and maximize your space and increase your functionality in that kitchen space, which is what we should all be trying to do.

Rob Kircher: Well, like I was saying before, I’m a Foodie and my wife is a very good cook. So we spend a lot of time in our kitchen. But the main thing is that you got to feel good about it. You got to feel that this is a place where you can create art because every dish is really an art, if you will.

Jim Gerard: Exactly. And how to handle your trash. How to go from a dirty dish to a clean dish. Is it easy? Is it backwards? Are you going right, then left and crossing over?

Rob Kircher: That’s another thing that people don’t think about. You know…what’s to the right of you and what’s to the left of you?

Jim Gerard: Ideally what I like to set up is a situation where you can dump, rinse, and then load. So you just want to go from left to right over to your dishwasher or if it’s set up the other way from right to left. That helps with kitchen flow in terms of cleanup. So you gotta be conscious of that. But once a designer comes out and puts things together, they should be able to come back and show you pictures of your kitchen. 2020 is the software we use, but this is a shot at a kitchen from obviously back from the front room as you would come in. Here’s an overall shot, two walls, the refrigerator wall and the stove wall.

Rob Kircher: Well, let’s talk where really it’s amazing because it’s so realistic looking. And when you can really…you can see the lighting. You can see the shadowing and you can really get a good sense for, you know…what the kitchen is ultimately going to look like.

Jim Gerard: So then you can look at each individual wall here. And again, a good designer should talk about each cabinet. He’s designed this base cabinet over here where it has four drawers in it. Two “fats” and two “skinnies.” Highly technical term, Rob!

Rob Kircher: Or vertically challenged.

Jim Gerard: I mean another option with those base cabinets, you don’t have to have drawers. You could have doors. And that’s another question they should ask you. Do you like drawers? What do you want the front of your cabinets to look like? And a drawer on the top? Rollout trays below? You can have full height doors. Some people can visualize better than others. In fact, sometimes we have couples… he might be good at visualizing and she’s not. So this really helps her and vice versa. Sometimes neither one of them can visualize.

Rob Kircher: We’re going to get into this whole area here, which I think is pretty fascinating. That is really what you want to be doing (the first thing) is to really understand what your kitchen’s gonna look like and as Jim said: “Be comfortable with the designer that’s designing your kitchen.

Jim Gerard: It’s REAL important.

Rob Kircher: Yeah right?

Jim Gerard: It is. It’s very important.

Rob Kircher: Alright, so we’ll be back next week and we’re gonna get a more in-depth review, if you will, of how Jim and his folks actually can show you how they can design a kitchen for you. We’ll see you next time. Bye. Bye.

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