Designing the Perfect Kitchen
Kitchens are the heartbeat of the home, the place where families gather on a daily basis and where friends are welcomed. Having an efficient, aesthetically pleasing and functionally designed kitchen can make a world of difference in creating harmony within the space. Every designer at Main Line Kitchen Design has dozens of years of experience. Together, they bring an innovative and cost-effective way to design kitchens, specializing in remodels.
Main Line Kitchen Design has all of the perks of a large showroom, without the showroom. By minimizing space, while maximizing options, they are able to offer more affordable prices for their clients. The process begins with a phone call with one of their four principal designers. By taking into account the size of the kitchen, residential area and desired style, the designer can generate a rough estimate of the cost. From there, customers can meet with the designer to delve in further. A custom design requires a deposit of $150 and includes eight hours of design work and meetings. “The client meets with the designer, who is measuring, asking questions, going over designs, then pricing everything out,” explains company president Paul McAlary. That deposit, along with a second deposit of $350, should the client continue to move forward, is applied to the cabinetry, should they choose to purchase.
It’s helpful for the designers if the client has a style in mind ahead of time so they can gear their designs accordingly. “You can have a modern kitchen—your cabinets might not be wood; they might be metal, glass or zebrawood. If you want a French country kitchen, the cabinets have scrolls, ornate legs, big moldings, and lots of accent pieces. Those different styles are dramatically different and require a completely different kind of kitchen design,” explains McAlary.
Creating a Design
Many of Main Line Kitchen Design’s clients are looking to remodel. Older kitchens were often created by builders, not kitchen designers, so function and form weren’t priorities. The design team takes into consideration what the client is looking for and must correct any problem areas, such a stove placed near a doorway or underneath a window, which doesn’t meet code. After making those changes, they want to place three key elements: the sink, cooktop and refrigerator. “You want them all to be accessible and far apart so that people aren’t interfering with one another,” explains McAlary. From there, it’s about maximizing space. Many clients think adding cabinets is the solution. “If you’re making the space too tight to work in, it doesn’t make sense,” says McAlary. “Making cabinets in more sensible sizes saves more money than moving a doorway or window. The biggest concern is moving everything around to make the kitchen designed well.” To make a kitchen look larger, the Main Line Kitchen Design team strategically places cabinetry, especially oven cabinets, refrigerators and pantries to open up the space.
Modern amenities in kitchen cabinetry not only make better use of space, but they can also make life easier for the homeowner. Rollouts in cabinets are quite popular today. “You don’t have to reach into cabinets and you’re not losing much space,” says McAlary, making them a popular and simple addition to designs. Islands are also popular additions. Those who don’t have space for one have options. “A peninsula or another design might work better and be more functional,” he says. Those spaces can help break up a kitchen while also adding seating.
Be Wary of Gadgetry
McAlary recommends clients carefully consider all of the modern gadgetry available in cabinetry, whether that’s a pull out mixer stand, a cadi-corner cabinet that folds and pulls out, or even chef’s pantries. While convenient for those with space, he cautions that these types of cabinets can lose up to 60 percent of the usable interior. “People often think gadgets will allow them to have more space,” he says. “They love them, but it might not be the most effective use of space.” McAlary says he is happy to incorporate them if it’s what the client wants and says they work especially well in large kitchens, but suggests taking all of the factors into consideration before committing. Regardless of a client’s choice, “we want to tell them the good and the bad,” he adds.
Whatever the goal, Main Line Kitchen Design will help clients through the process, from creating an ideal design to recommending contractors. The entire process, from the initial phone consult, through subsequent appointments, to installation, varies in the amount of time required, but always results in a beautiful and functional kitchen.
Main Line Kitchen Design