When a person decides to redo their kitchen, they are investing a great deal of time and money into their home. They typically have special lifestyle needs that their current kitchen does not meet.
Over the years, we have designed kitchens, baths and home remodels for clients from all walks of life. People who love to cook; people who love to entertain; people who love to spend time socializing; affluent; not so affluent; from Long Island, NYC, China, Israel, Russia, Italy... almost everywhere. Why do they choose professional kitchen designers? Because we listen to their needs and have the ability to visualize and design a kitchen that will thrill them visually and functionally. Each lifestyle requires a special design slant. Professionals have access to boutique custom brands that Big Box & Contractors cannot sell.
Consumers who choose a Big Box (like Home Depot) or a Contractor to design their kitchen typically believe they want the same kitchen they have. They just want updated cabinetry. Many people think they save money going this route instead of going to a professional. We have two thoughts on this. Small dealerships sell many of the brands in a Big Box (or comparable brands). Often times there is no cost savings. However, if they go to a professional they may get a wonderful idea for a better layout or more desirable aesthetics for the same or similar budget.
When the consumer chooses a Contractor to layout their kitchen and who also sell them cabinets (with no brand name), they need to make sure they are getting what they are paying for. Did they want particle board? Did they want Chinese cabinets? Did they get a warranty in writing from an established, reputable cabinet company? Did they want cabinets with no warranty? Do they know the reputation of the brand they are getting? Finishes? Cracking? Will the Contractor warranty the cabinets and replace defective doors, etc..?
Most big box cabinet salespeople repeat the same cookie-cutter kitchen they design for everyone or sell cabinets in the same layout that the client already has.
There is a big difference between professional, talented kitchen designers and kitchen cabinet salespeople who lay out cabinets. The cabinet salesperson or Contractor may not be versed on important elements such as universal design, smart home features, current trends that increase home values, proper ergonomic design, special materials, available options...
Kitchens not designed for your specific desires can be in anyone's home. Most consumers want a kitchen customized for their lifestyle needs. A kitchen has different elements based on age, cooking style, home size, storage needs, family members. One size does not fit all in the most important room in the home.