Have you ever wondered how a professional Kitchen Designer conveys their vision to their client? Obviously, samples and swatches give a sense of the colour scheme, finishes, and overall feel of the final space, but how do they make sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to the layout? And how can they be sure their clients understand – and are happy with – what working in their new kitchen will be like?
The different design approaches
Each kitchen designer will have their own way of working. Some are ‘old school’ and prefer to hand draw their ideas. Others embrace technology and use specialist software to develop and display their plans.
Regardless of their preferred working style, all designers understand the importance of being able to communicate both the idea behind the design and how it will practically function.
For those with a more analogue approach, this may be done through mood boards and sketches of the floorplan and key features. For the more tech-savvy, this could range from simple computer-drawn layouts and elevations to virtual tours via a detailed 3D ‘walkthrough’ – it all depends on the software they use.
The different types of software
Whether you’re a design professional or a renovation rookie, there is a range of technological tools to help you with your planning. As with any software, each Kitchen Design program has its strengths and weaknesses and will be better suited to certain uses.
Broadly speaking, kitchen design software can be broken into three main types:
- Free design programs: As a quick Google search will show, there are a number of tools all builders and renovators can access for free. These programs are usually web-based (i.e. they do not need to be downloaded) but require users to create an account. They also usually have basic graphics and functionality, with the option to upgrade to a paid license for more advanced services.
- Brand-specific tools: Many major retailers have realised the potential marketing power of design programs and offer tools to help customers visualise how their products might fit into their home. These services are usually free, but most require an account to be created and only feature products from the supplier’s range.
- Professional design software: For more serious designers, there are a range of tools that allow users to develop detailed plans, often including technical elements (structural and engineering requirements, etc.). These programs usually have a licensing fee and generally require a high level of experience to use effectively. As such, they are most commonly used by experts in the construction/renovation industry.
When choosing software to help with the planning of your renovation project(s), it’s important to consider the scale of the work you’re undertaking, how tech-savvy you are, and how detailed you need the plan to be (i.e. are you just looking to design the general layout, or do you want to produced detailed technical documents your builder can use?).
Also bear in mind that even if you can use these tools, it doesn’t mean you should. Unless you are an experienced Kitchen Designer, you are better speaking to a specialist Kitchen Designer who is experienced, understands legal requirements, knows what mistakes to avoid and who can help solve any issues you might have with storage and functional space. Getting your plan wrong might end up being more costly than getting it right the first time.
Your budget and any specific fixtures and finishes you’d like to include may also make certain programs more suitable than others.
The benefits of a virtual walkthrough
At Zesta Kitchens, our experienced team uses specialist 3D design software for every kitchen consultation. This allows us to take our customers on a virtual tour of their updated space, giving them a sense of what the floorplan and flow will feel like when it’s done. It also helps us show how different colours and materials will work together and what impact changing a finish will have on the overall look.
It’s like seeing your kitchen before it’s even built.
If you’re considering a kitchen upgrade, but need some help designing your dream space, give Zesta Kitchens a call or book a consultation.