The Skills You Need
to Become a Kitchen Designer

See also: Creative Thinking

What does it take to design the kind of kitchen that brings the family together around food while looking effortlessly stylish?

Design chops! The best kitchen designers have the ability to put together chic and functional kitchens because they have the right skills for the job.

What are those skills? Read on to find out.

1. Creativity

The vast majority of kitchen designers have the same thing in common- a love for creativity and art! This underpins their passion for interior design and since the kitchen is one of the most challenging parts of the house to design, a lot of creativity is required. Basically, to create a beautiful kitchen, you need a beautiful vision.

A great way to get those creative juices flowing is through brainstorming, which allows for ideas to flow unencumbered. This process might seem messy at first, but as better ideas start to emerge, you will find that there is a method to the madness. Brainstorming is surprisingly effective at enabling you to see things from a different perspective, so that you can access a whole new world of ideas.

Alternatively, you can try your hand at a more structured approach known as “lateral creative thinking” which requires you to use your imagination to view the space from various perspectives.

2. Mind the books

If you’re someone who is creatively inclined, then you’ll do well as a kitchen designer. But, there’s a lot of administration involved with this work, so you must actually enjoy all aspects of the process. For instance, you must ensure that your kitchen design specifications are acceptable to local regulations and these are usually set out in the local authorities’ website.

You’ll also want to do your due diligence on partners that you work with to make sure that they are duly accredited and as experienced as they claim to be. Not to mention budgeting for the project. All of this can take hours in front of the computer screen and, even if you have an assistant, you must sign-off on certain documents yourself. So, it’s important to educate yourself on the technical and administrative aspects of kitchen design.

3. Technical skills

It is also beneficial for a kitchen designer to have some technical skills in order to use design software and understand how to interpret architectural plans. This is because you’re going to be working with other professionals to bring your vision to life, from architects to lighting designers and contractors.

So, you must be able to communicate your plans with them in a way that they will understand as you work together to breathe life into your ideas. You want to express your vision accurately and in a manner that your technical partners can understand.

Basically, as a kitchen designer you must be involved in all aspects of the process from planning and design, all the way to applying the finishing touches.

4. Be a reliable communicator

As alluded to earlier, you are going to work with a lot of different people during the process of designing each kitchen, so it helps to be an effective communicator. You must be able to communicate with the clients that you are designing for to get a comprehensive brief that allows you to channel their personal tastes perfectly.

This requires being personable, open, warm, friendly, and professional. The last thing you want is a misunderstanding with the client whose kitchen you are designing as mistakes can be costly.

5. Project management

There is a lot of coordination involved in kitchen design and so you must be a good project manager. You must liaise with suppliers to source materials and hardware, architects to plan the structure of the kitchen, as well as the contractors that are going to build the whole thing.

You also have the responsibility to manage your own internal team to ensure that everyone is working cohesively and effectively.

6. Know how to work with light

Lighting plays a big role in the way we perceive and experience the spaces we live in. It radically affects the appearance, geometry, and emotions as well. For instance, neutral light creates a friendly, clean yet inviting atmosphere which is perfect for the kitchen space, especially one that does not have a lot of natural light.

You should also be knowledgeable about lighting design and the different types of lighting that are available for different kitchen styles. A glamorous chandelier probably will not work for a rustic farm-style kitchen while task-lighting must be placed in specific parts of the kitchen. 

7. Spatial awareness

As part of the client brief, you will receive information about your client’s style preferences and personal tastes, and should be aware of the latest kitchen trends. Your job is to properly interpret this brief in order to integrate the client’s lifestyle into the project. The goal is to create a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

This requires spatial awareness, which allows you to understand what sets the space apart as it is. Does it have great lighting? High ceilings? A unique shape? This is the starting point of the design process and will affect all other aspects of the project.

It’s a Wrap

Proper kitchen design can completely transform a space and bring the entire house to life. After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home.

When designing a kitchen for someone else, you have an opportunity to deliver a kitchen that they are going to like, and nothing beats the feeling you get when you put a smile on someone’s face. You also get an opportunity to express your own unique creativity at the same time.

However, while there are lots of fun aspects and creativity involved in kitchen design, you will also spend a lot of time in front of the computer, rendering layouts and plans to make sure that the kitchens are as structurally sound and functional as they are aesthetically pleasing.

We’re not saying that you should be a Jack of all Trades but having a variety of skills will go a long way to helping you become an effective kitchen designer.