Finding a Kitchen Consultant

Susan Chwan, Designer, Harrisburg

Finding the right kitchen consultant is as important as selecting products for your new kitchen. When my sister, who lives in Florida, recently asked for pointers on choosing a kitchen consultant, I gave her the standard industry recommendation—interview a few candidates, get some estimates and check references. But as I thought about my advice, I realized I left out a few key points.

When you interview candidates, note who takes his time with you. Does he walk with you through storeroom displays? Ask you questions? Follow your instincts because he will have to take time to get to know you in order to give you a good design.

Be wary of a consultant who draws you a design at your first meeting without researching aspects of your “want” and “need” lists.

Ask about years of experience and special talents he can bring to your design. A description of some unique design problems he has solved will give you insight. Your consultant should have experience working on projects that are similar in price and scope to yours. If you’re remodeling, don’t choose a consultant who has only designed new kitchens. Also, choose a consultant who is comfortable designing in your style whether it’s contemporary, traditional or eclectic.

Experience is important. From surprises behind the walls to extra layers of flooring, each project usually has a few challenges and an experienced consultant can anticipate or quickly resolve these.

A good consultant will be with you every step of the way, from concept through completion.

If your consultant is connected to a product supplier, ask frank questions about what they offer. Do they have something that will fit your budget and design needs? Why does he feel good about using the products they offer? A consultant with several years experience will also have greater expertise regarding what’s available in certain cabinetry lines.

Remember, pictures of completed projects and references will help you confirm your instincts as well as the information your consultant provides during the interview.

At Swartz Kitchens & Baths, we have several experienced kitchen consultants with a variety of styles, interests and areas of expertise. We invite you to stop in our showroom or make an appointment so we can dedicate time to help you find the right consultant for your project.

Read more tips from our experts here.