09 | 19 | 2013An alarming trend!
Have you visited a locally owned and operated kitchen design showroom in the southeastern Massachusetts area?
If so, you were probably greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable kitchen designer. Most certainly the designer would go over all of your kitchen cabinet and countertop choices while explaining the pros and cons of each. They would also have taken precise measurements of your space. With that information they would design and price your kitchen or bath remodeling project. That kitchen designer would be your go to person from the design and quote phase all the way through the construction phase.
There’s a new trend brewing in the big box kitchen departments and it is already showing up in Massachusetts. For many years the big box home improvement companies trained and staffed each location with kitchen designers, much like local showrooms do here in MA. Some of these designers were full time and some were part time. However, it seems the big box stores are facing turn over in the design staff and it has prompted them to make a cost saving decision.
Instead of training new design staff at each location they are hiring designers at their corporate offices to handle kitchen designs for all of their locations. This central design center allows them to place traditional sales staff at their retail outlets more easily. This sales staff is trained in how to sell cabinetry but not how to design kitchen layouts. The advantage to the homeowner is that there will most likely be a designer with more experience working on the design. The disadvantage is that the designer is not local and will never see the actual space being remodeled.
Another disadvantage is that the homeowner is relying upon the sales person at the local store to relay all of the pertinent information to the designer. This can lead to some misinterpretation that could show itself during the construction phase. It’s just like verbally sending a message around a classroom, the message will change more the further down the room it travels.
Is this a bad model? Not really, however, it does require a greater awareness from the consumer so they can be sure the message being conveyed is heard correctly by all people involved.
How do you know if the person you meet at the kitchen department will be designing your kitchen themselves? Just ask!!
Also, be sure that any designer you decide to work with visits your home to take measurements themselves to be sure the design being offered will fit the space available!