The (usual) Design Process

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Hello! On today’s blog we’re going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our design process. We’ll take you from the moment a client steps through the doors to installation of the finished product. We are very lucky to have a team of talented and creative designers from all sorts of backgrounds and though each person has a different process that works for them, this is generally how things go:

1. Initial consult

We have showrooms in both Lake Cowichan and Victoria that showcase our products, hardware, and storage innovations, such as pull-out pantries, magic corners, and various cutlery and utensil inserts. We explain how our cabinets are constructed and what clients can expect from us in terms of product quality, service, and timing. The initial conversation between a designer and a client usually covers the scope of the project, potential hardware and appliance choices, suggestions or desires for specific finishes (including cabinetry, tile, and backsplash), and layouts for each room. Once a few initial details are settled the designer moves on to the next step…

2. Drawings and floorplan

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Drawings are now drafted up according to any layout details that have been discussed or suggested by the designer. Once the client agrees on the rough layout, pricing is done up based on that layout; once the job is put into production we’ll head out on site and take final measurements, with production drawings to follow. Our plans are either drawn by hand or done on the computer; it’s a personal choice that varies from designer to designer, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. In either case each plan will contain to-scale information about location of hardware (ie. magic corners and microwave drawers, as seen above), storage options, appliance placement, and even configuration of drawers and doors.

However, the designer always wants to make sure that they’re on the same page as the client, and an additional way to do that is to move things on to the next step…

3. 3D Renderings

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Rather aptly, step 3 involves 3D renderings. 3D renderings are exactly what they sound like – line drawings that have been turned into 3D representations of each component of the room. In a 3D rendering the designer can project the cabinetry at exact heights, use an in-program app to insert exact appliance models, and import saved finishes so the client can picture how well the cabinets complement the floor and/or countertops, how the backsplash looks, and what lighting options work best. This is often the most time-intensive part of the design process, but it is invaluable when it comes to clear and detailed communication between the client and the designer.

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Tara working hard on some 3D renderings

4. Finishing Touches

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As you can see above, sometimes the 3Ds will directly inform how the kitchen turns out in terms of cabinetry configuration and design specs. Once the job is built to the previously discussed specifications, the designer makes sure the clients are happy and provides any further suggestions for placement of inserts, handles, or kitchen hardware. Their goal is to design a kitchen that is practical, long-lasting, and as close as practically possible to what the client was looking for. While the customer is always right, sometimes it also pays to listen to the designer 😉

I’ll let you “process” (haha) this and leave you with a few more images of the work that’s been done with our 3D rendering programs. We’re always posting progress shots on Facebook, so keep an eye out for more amazing designs. See you next time!

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