“We thought we knew how our kitchen design would turn out before we called Tran and Thomas.
Boy, were we wrong… and we had done our research! We couldn’t believe their questions and
how much they changed our kitchen for the better. We couldn’t be happier in any way and it is more
than we had ever hoped!” – Clients A. and T. Pallons
A highly functioning kitchen is a feeling like no other. Serving great dinners, prepping little lunches, baking chocolate chip cookies and pouring wine for friends… Kitchens are so much more fun when they are beautiful, welcoming and work like a breeze. However, when it comes to designing them the old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know” ends up costing kitchen owners in both money and daily frustration for years to come. Our advise? Find the most experienced professionals you can to help you design the most “design decision dense room in the house.”
The 7 heavy hitters of great kitchen design:
Layout: The Work Triangle is Kitchen 101. It must be applied taking the scale of the kitchen’s footprint into consideration and adjusted accordingly. From that triangle, the layout can go in many different directions, but should be led by the intended future use of the kitchen. As cliché as it may sound, all families and individuals use their kitchens differently. Therefore, it must then become a study of the people that will use the space.
“I couldn’t believe how much my stress dropped after our first kitchen meeting with our [Tran + Thomas] designer.
It was fantastic!” – Clients C. and N. Barnett
Custom vs semi-custom cabinets: (Both can be provided by T+T) While many homes require 100% custom cabinets, a wonderful look can also be achieved with semi-custom cabinets. There are many benefits to each and your designer can guide you through what the best solution can be for you and your goals. Durability, materials used, methods of construction, hinges and drawer mechanisms questions MUST be asked.
Cabinet finishes: Should we paint our cabinets? Will white be in style in 10 years? What about staining them? Which wood do you recommend? With so many stains, paints and other finish options for cabinets, it is no wonder it can be so difficult to decide which is the best option for you. Durability? That is another huge concern. Part of this decision falls back on the sources of the cabinets, so they must be addressed simultaneously to be sure the right selections are made. “Paint grade” wood versus “Stain grade” wood can make a huge difference in the cost of a room of new cabinets.
Cabinet styles: There are three primary cabinet construction styles: Full overlay, partial overlay and inset. Each of these differ based on the complexity of their construction and the level of craftsmanship required to make them look their best. The style on the doors is created with the addition of panels or trim pieces and/or the number of times they are machine routed to create their look. The more labor and materials required, the more the cost will go up. Navigating these looks can set the stage for the majority of your kitchen’s style and door simplicity can be a good way to help control costs.
Appliances: Should we go with stainless fronts? Do we need all the same brand of appliances? What about placing wood panels on the front? Gas or an induction stovetop? Drawer microwaves? So many questions! Appliances are tough to choose and should be selected with great care. There are very different reasons for selecting each and knowing how you like to cook and work in the kitchen is the place to start We enjoy touring our clients through the showrooms we know so well, to ensure they get the perfect performance they demand and get the look that will be beautiful in their new kitchen.
Lighting: One of the many ways you can tell a dated kitchen? It is too dark! There are so many options available today to make cooking much more pleasant such as ceiling can lights, LED strips, pucks, under cabinet lighting, in cabinet lighting, chandeliers, pendants… so how can you be sure there is enough lighting in the right spots? It must be done right, as adding lighting later (and cutting back into the ceiling) can be very costly and messy. We create RCPs (Reflected Ceiling Plans) for our clients that address each fixture’s exact locations and actual light fixtures we recommended. This allows our clients to then create everything from romantic evening and entertaining lighting to holiday cookie decorating lighting to check-the-Thanksgiving-turkey-to-be-sure-it-is-perfect lighting!
Countertops: We have seen it before; countertops in kitchens that never should have been used in a kitchen. They may stain, chip, show dirt and seams or even burn! There are a lot of solutions out there and it is essential the right one be the surface you work directly on every day. Listen to your designer so you get the performance you need and the timeless beauty that will add value to your home.
So many more design details to consider:
Tile and back splashes
Ceiling treatments and textures
Flooring types, color and layout
Dining tables and eating surfaces
Seating of bar or counter stools
Rugs and barefoot comforts
Artwork and countertop accessories
Conversation and lounge furniture
Window treatments for privacy, light control and beauty…etc.
Ready to begin your kitchen’s beautiful design story? How would your dream kitchen feel? Let’s talk about your thoughts and get you inspired! Just reach out to Jill at [email protected] or call our office at 913-268-9595. We are excited to elevate your home and improve your daily life!
All of our clients receive the absolute best designs, solutions, product, customer service, and handholding in the industry.
Once our clients experience our level of care, expertise, resources and ideas, they are T+T clients for life.
We have a long list of clients we have worked with for over 25 years!
About Tran + Thomas
Built on the foundation of a 30-year, family-owned Interior Design business, Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas opened Tran + Thomas Design Studio in 2011 bringing a combined 36 years of experience to their projects. They work on both residential and commercial projects across several styles. Interested in their services? Call (913) 268-9595 or schedule a consultation below.