What makes me laugh in kitchen design.

Posted by Emily Charette on

It surprises me, but often friends ask me to tell stories about life as a kitchen designer. Funny stories usually involve customers not valuing our input as professional designers and the calamitous results. Or our punking other designers

Sometimes I’m astonished by how customers think. Like the customer, whose budget was stretched, and I provided a free double trash can pull-out. I just didn’t feel she should spend $80,000 on a high-end kitchen andto save a few hundred dollars, eliminate the trash can pull-out. After the kitchen was finished, she decided that she could live without a pull-out. She asked to return it for a refund?! When I reminded her that we gave it to her for free, she responded “Sure, but you can sell it to someone else.”  

 Another customer with a multimillion-dollar vacation beach home being built, talked to me from his car as he drove around searching for a gas station selling gas for 4 cents a gallon cheaper

Too often, our initial conversation with a customer starts with them telling us that they don’t need us. They tell us that they know what they want, and they just need us to price it out. We then begin asking questions which make it completely obvious that they have no idea what they want. Do they want custom, semi-custom, or stock cabinets? What kind of wood do they want? Do they want inset, beaded inset, full overlay, or standard overlay cabinets? Which of our 8 cabinet lines do they want? Which of the thousands of door styles and finishes?

 Every week, we also get calls from people who would like to make an appointment later today or tomorrow – same week appointments are rarely available with good kitchen designers. Often, these same callers have already ripped out their present kitchen, “just to get started”.

 One time, a customer called during a company meeting, upset and wanting an appointment “ASAP”. Her husband had ripped out her kitchen! One of our designers agreed to come out immediately following our meeting. Upon arriving, he realized he had measured and designed her kitchen 16 months previously – and her kitchen was ripped out then.

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