Judy is a 20 year veteran of the industry and has been with Deslaurier since 2002. She is the cornerstone of Deslaurier's condo design market and, as such, has been the proud recipient of 10 GOHBA awards.
A Day In The Life Of A Kitchen Designer
“Wow, that would be a great job! What is it like to be a Kitchen Designer?”
When I tell anyone that I am a Kitchen Designer, I always get the same answer, especially if the person asking is a woman: “Wow, that would be a great job!” My practiced answer is: “Yes (insert pregnant pause), sometimes…”
Even after being in this business for over 20 years, I still get surprised of what can happen on a job site and that I can still forget to order a piece of toekick!
You know when you drive by a construction site in the middle of winter, when it is -30 and say “Those poor construction workers working in this weather!”; well think of the poor Kitchen Designer who has to measure in that cold. Yes, as a Kitchen Designer, you must go to construction sites in both summer and winter. I put on my long-johns and wool socks and hope that there will be no issues so I can get in and out. Let me tell you, that metal tape measure gets pretty cold in -30 degree weather!
When I took my kitchen design course, the first thing the instructor wrote on the white board was “ASSUME NOTHING, TRUST NO ONE”. Strong words. However, in this profession, they are very true. As a Kitchen Designer, do not assume that the client will understand everything. Drawings with notes and more notes are mandatory. You cannot assume that any of the appliances will be “standard”. You should take your own measurements. You have to remember that you’re designing for real life, not in a fantasy. Clients will come in with dreams of their new kitchen. They will want every new gadget that they have seen in magazines. Function versus aesthetics. What’s the point if you can’t use it?
Being a Kitchen Designer is sometimes like being a therapist: you hear all about what the spouse does or doesn’t do in the kitchen. The client will tell you why they do things this way or that way. My job is to listen and use all that information to design a kitchen that will work for the client, not what I feel would work for me. I can guide a client to what I feel is the best option, but in the end, it is the client that will be sitting in that room every morning with their cup of java, looking around and saying “I LOVE MY KITCHEN!”
I get to see many beautiful homes. Meeting so many people, some of which have become longtime friends, is a great perk. Making a house a home for a client is very rewarding. Seeing a renovation from start to finish is an awesome part of being a Designer. Sometimes things can go wrong, like an unexpected beam hiding in a bulkhead, a quartz top that is backordered for 6 weeks, or a wall that is so out of square that the Installer curses you! So when someone says “Wow, that would be a great job!”, I answer: “Yes, sometimes…”