7 Things Designers Wish You Knew

Updating a kitchen can add major value to a house, so it’s all too common for homeowners to simply gut the existing design and plop in the latest trend. Not so with Jason Urrutia and Martha Cavalho of Urrutia Designs. Jason and Martha work with properties “full of character and potential” and infuse their design aesthetic to create something truly wonderful.


kitchen design

Photo: Thinkstock.com.


Jason says his style, which is “definitely a blend of past, present and a tad of future,” is based on his “appreciation of classic, older architectures and keeping in touch daily with what’s new and exciting.” And Martha, his partner at Urrutia, agrees. “I tend to have a warm, contemporary approach to most of the spaces with which I work. Whenever possible I like a balanced infusion of glam for contrast.”


Our friends at Urrutia Designs spilled the top 7 things they wish homeowners knew. When you’re ready to work with a designer, make sure you’ve checked off each of these seven items for a better working relationship.


1. Have a prioritized wish list of changes ready to kick off the initial conversation with your designer. A good designer can help with suggestions, insight, cost and reprioritization when necessary.


2. Be realistic about whether you have chemistry with your designer—can you truly work together? The process becomes pretty intimate while you create, destroy or change your cherished home, your castle.


3. You need to work with a designer you can listen to and trust. If you like a designer’s look, are you ready to give up enough control to achieve it? Or do you want to play co-designer? The designer wants to please you, but stay true to the firm’s uniqueness to create a good product in the end.


4. Understand the value that the designer brings to the job. Let the designer design and the builders build. The designer has the overall vision for the project and is the one person who can tie it all together with the budget, the timeline, the contractors and the homeowner.


5. Know your budget, but expect to get a crash course when it comes to what you can actually achieve within that budget. The designer can guide you through costs, cost expectations, cost management and so on.


6. Select a general contractor (GC) early in the process. The GC can be quite helpful in streamlining the budget and can help the designer put together the best overall game plan.


7. Talk to your designer about a firm decision-making process. Nothing can cause more time delays and money issues than a long back-and-forth decision process. But be sure to pick a time frame that makes you comfortable.


by Margaret Kavanagh

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