3 Things Professional Kitchen Designers Would Never Tell You for Free

updated Nov 21, 2019
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If you’re planning to undergo a kitchen renovation, hiring a designer can put a pretty big dent in the budget. Lucky for you, we have an in with renowned stylist and author Emily Henderson, who is one of the best designers in the biz. We asked Emily: What insider info do you keep under lock and key? What kind of tips do you reserve for paying customers only?

“If you know me, you know I basically give as much information away for free as I possibly can. (I’m big on talking about my mistakes.) But after thinking about this and talking to my design team, these are the tips we came up with,” she says.

1. You really should shop the sales.

You may want to make some decisions and buy things just to cross them off your long list of to-dos, but Emily says you shouldn’t make big purchases unless you can do it during a sale. (Especially when it comes to fridges, stoves, and dishwashers!) Here’s Emily’s take: “If you can, wait for a big appliance sale. One of my designers did this and it saved her literally thousands of dollars.” While we just missed Black Friday sales, there are bound to be more this time of year.

Credit: I Spy DIY

2. Be EXTRA sure about your lighting before it’s installed.

Changing your mind about something as important as your kitchen lighting can be super costly in the long run, so it would be wise to be sure about it before the fixtures are in. “It can seem intimidating to make a big decor choice [like lighting] that early on in the process, but once those junction boxes go in, it is super expensive to change their location.”

3. Don’t pick a countertop just because it’s pretty.

“When it comes to picking stone for your [countertops and island], be honest with yourself as to how much maintenance you are willing to undertake. Consider how durable it is. Does it chip easily? Is it porous? Will it stain? How heat- and stain-resistant is it? Don’t just go with what’s pretty unless you are VERY sure you won’t work yourself up about wear and tear.”

What advice do you wish you had before renovating your kitchen?