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About the city

Pietermaritzburg is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the second largest city in the province. The discovery of gold in the 1800s eventually led to the city being founded in 1838, and Pietermaritzburg was claimed as the hotspot for many Brits, which influenced its architectural style.

Even though Pietermaritzburg is still relatively young, it is home to a rich collection of Victorian and Georgian architecture. One of Pietermaritzburg's earliest dated buildings was built and used by the Voortrekkers: The Church of the Vow, which is still in its original location. A variety of other churches and mosques can also be discovered in the city, some of which are older than a century.

What does a kitchen planner / designer do?

A kitchen planner / designer helps to plan and execute the design project for a kitchen, whether it's for a residential space (like a house) or in the commercial industry (such as a hotel or restaurant).

Similar to an architect and an interior designer, a kitchen planner must understand the needs of the client and what they expect from their project in terms of functionality and visual aesthetics. The professional must also be skilled at establishing costs, working with budgets, and informing the client of financial issues throughout the project.

The tasks of a kitchen planner

No two kitchen-design projects will be the same, which changes the type of responsibilities that a kitchen planner will face. However, the following tasks are generally what all kitchen planners undertake:

  • Assisting clients with the design of a kitchen, whether it's a brand-new build or renovating an existing culinary space
  • Verifying the designs, materials, costs, finishes and appliances with the client, Project Manager (sometimes the kitchen planner will fulfil the role of Project Manager), suppliers, and other relevant professionals working on the project
  • Performing accurate measurements and ordering materials
  • Promoting installation services
  • Completing the design and scale of the client's project.

How can a kitchen planner / designer benefit you? 

  • Basic kitchen layout: Depending on the client's available space, their kitchen might need to be renovated in order to achieve a more functional layout (i.e. U-shaped layout versus an L-shaped layout, or even an open-plan design). kitchen planners are well versed when it comes to deciding on the best possible layout for the client.
  • Kitchen design strategies: In addition to layout, a professional kitchen planner will also consider all the other elements that make up a functional and visually pleasing cooking space, such as flooring materials, lighting fixtures, countertop surfaces, etc.
  • Project management: Sometimes a kitchen planner will also oversee the project from start to finish and be present on site every day to ensure the project proceeds effectively and without any complications.
  • Correct measurements: Everything from appliances to window treatment needs to be properly measured to ensure a perfect new kitchen – something which the professional is fully responsible for.
  • Shopping services: Seeing as the client is not always available, the kitchen planner can save the homeowner time and frustration by acquiring the right products and materials for their kitchen's new style and design – within budget.

6 things to do before meeting with a kitchen planner

Always check if your kitchen planner charges a consultation fee for a first meeting. And make sure no precious time is wasted (either on your side or theirs) by preparing the following:

1.    A wish list: Draw up a list of things that you WANT for your new kitchen, as well as things that you NEED.

2.    Your priorities: Knowing what you want out of this project (i.e. a bigger cooking / prepping station, more room for dining) can help you contain your costs.

3.    Ideas and photos: Make use of homify and Pinterest (and the rest of the Internet) to collect images that reflect what you want from your new kitchen. Be sure to take this to your first meeting so the kitchen planner can get on board with your personal style and likes.

4.    List of appliances: Will your kitchen remodel include all new appliances, or just replacing one or two? Inform your kitchen planner of this so it can be factored into the budget.

5.    A budget range: Speaking of costs, inform the professional of what you can spend on the project.

6.    Questions for the designer: It always helps to ask the kitchen planner a few questions to help determine if they're the correct person for the job. Your questions will depend on the size and scope of your project, but some good ones to keep in mind can include:

  • How can we maximise my kitchen's efficiency?
  • Where can the appliances be placed?
  • Who will take charge of my project?
  • Can we factor pantry storage into the new layout?
  • How should the cabinetry be organised?
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