Questions to Ask Yourself Before Meeting with Your Designer

At Ekko Custom Cabinetry & Design, our Calgary kitchen designers often find themselves trying to guess the budget needs and design priorities of our customers. After reading a “revisited” article in the February 12, 2018 edition of “Houzz” by Kelli Kaufer (originally posted Feb. 11, 2015), I decided to expand on the topic of "Questions to ask yourself before meeting with your designer" as it pertains to Ekko Cabinetry.

The focus of this article was to advise clients to do their homework before meeting with the designer. Determine what you want, what you need and your expected budget. Reflect on your lifestyle, how you use your space and who you expect to be working, living or visiting this space. NOW set your vision and your priorities.

Budget – this is often kept as a “secret” while the client lists off all their “wishes and wants”. Consider that a kitchen renovation can involve cabinetry, countertops, appliances, flooring, plumbing, electrical, tile, paint, framing and drywall. According to Kelli’s article, a total average kitchen remodel can run as much as $ 80,000.00 +.  OK, now pick yourself up and continue reading. You may not need all the above items but keep in mind that you MIGHT, and this is why clients must consider needs versus wants and be up front with the designer about their expected budget for everything. Not all design details and inclusions are equal and therefore pricing can vary greatly depending on the details, quality and products provided. Designing without a budget is like target shooting with a blindfold – you need to know and see the target. If the designer assumes an unlimited budget with a never ending “wish list” of features – the client comes to expect nothing less than the “full Monty” with a budget that doesn’t support that level of extravagance.



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Design Priorities:

Consider your expected and desired traffic patterns. You should always allow a minimum 40” clearance for all walkways and passage ways …… more is always better.  There is nothing worse than working in a crowded kitchen while carrying hot and/or sharp items – nerve wracking and dangerous.

Consider the best utilization of the current space available and options for expanding that space if the budget and building envelope allow.

Consider the utility and traffic flow benefits or drawbacks of designing in an island versus a peninsula.

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Consider all you lighting needs and options for necessary general lighting, task lighting and evening/mood lighting

Consider you storage needs – daily versus seasonal or occasional. This will determine the space required and accessibility to that space.

Consider the feel and look of the space you want. Do you want a consistent, uniform style and design or a combination of complimentary styles and colours that will often accentuate each component ….. and, open up your décor options now and in the future.


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Consider what you like about your existing space and what you don’t like .... what is likely motivating you to renovate in the first place.

Consider how much you want to be involved in the project or whether the selection and design process has reached your involvement limits. An excellent Project Manager can be worth every penny to keep your project on schedule and on budget !


At Ekko Custom Cabinetry and Design, we strive to exceed your  expectations.  Whatever the reason for your renovation, consider this as an investment in your life and home – do it right the first time – you’ll be rewarded in your quality of life and the ultimate boost in your real estate value. Our custom kitchen and bath design staff can help you through a process that will give you the space you have dreamed of …. and deserve.


T.E. (Tim) Pressey 

Ekko Custom Kitchen Cabinetry and Design of Calgary

32 – 4th Street N.E.

Calgary, Alberta    T2E 3R7

(403) 263-3556