Finding the Right Kitchen Designer

This article is from Kitchen Views Magazine’s Premiere issue, Fall 2008:

Jamie Thibeault, Kitchen Designer, Mansfield, MA

Jamie Thibeault, Kitchen Designer, Mansfield, MA

“Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right” (A Kitchen Designer, that is!)

The relationship between kitchen designer and homeowner is like a marriage. You’ll spend a lot of time together, revealing intimate details of your home life and sharing your most hopeful kitchen dreams. If the chemistry works, the result can be a creative, beautiful experience. If not… a possible disaster.

So how do you find an expert kitchen designer who knows his or her way around the project and can help guide you through the entire process, from choosing cabinets to finding a builder? Take some advice from designer Jamie Thibeault, who knows his way around construction sites.

“Ask friends and family who they used for kitchen design and if they would use him or her again. Then ask those designers for other references you can speak with. If they can’t give you any, that’s a red flag. Ask to see other projects, one in progress, which will show you how things are going at a job site, and one from five years ago so you can see how it’s holding up,” says this straight-talking designer.

The next step is to do a gut check for chemistry.

“See if there’s a connection when you speak with them, and make sure they’re really listening to what you’re asking. Ask yourself if you feel they’ll be there for you every step of the way. Anyone can sell you a cabinet. You want more than that, you want a designer who understands your point of view.”

Ask about their background too – many of the best designers have an abundance of experience in the construction trades, architectural or engineering firms. For example, Jamie is a Master electrician who filled in designing kitchens when his wife went on maternity leave 18 years ago. He fell in love with the job and today he works closely with builders and contractors on all kinds of kitchens, from custom homes to multiple-lot subdivisions.

“Knowing my way around construction projects and time-frames definitely gives me insider knowledge that is helpful when planning kitchens,” he says.

Another way to evaluate a designer is to look at project photos. The bonus: you might pick up a few new ideas for your own project along the way!

Jamie Thibeault
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020
www.kitchenviews.com

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2 Responses to “Finding the Right Kitchen Designer”


  1. 1 Joseph November 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

    This is some excellent advice for those looking for a kitchen designer. I would also stay away from those who work in big box home improvement stores unless you’ve decided that cheap cabinetry is all you can afford. Even then, I would stay away from them because they tend to price the cabinetry low, then really make a killing on the installation fee.


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