Port Elizabeth, also known as "The Bay" to locals, is situated in the Eastern Cape Province. The city is about 770 km east of Cape Town and 1,600 km south of Johannesburg. With its oceanic climate, Port Elizabeth is regarded as one of South Africa's prime holiday destinations. It is situated between the Western Cape's winter rainfall, Mediterranean climate zones and the summer rainfall regions of eastern South Africa.
The city flaunts a rich variety of "old-school" architectural styles, most notably Late Georgian, Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian. Even though these building styles were copied by the respective builders from their mother countries, they also helped to bring about South African's local style, which was a mixture of the original, modified by the available materials and suited to our climate. Think of the Cape Dutch style, which is a unique combination between the Dutch Baroque style and the Rocco styles.
Unfortunately, a lot of these old-school structures are demolished or renovated in modern times, resulting in their original character getting lost.
Kitchen planners / designers work in the interior design industry, yet their core focus is the creating, remodelling, or updating of a kitchen. They discuss building materials, themes, colours, décor, furnishings, and room layout with a client before drawing up a design.
In addition to working in an office, a kitchen planner is also required to travel, whether it's to a design site or meetings with the clients / other professionals who will be working with them on a project (such as architects or Floorers).
As for key skills of a kitchen planner, ideally, he/she needs to be creative, have a good eye for detail, possess good listening skills, be able to draft drawings and layouts, know how to use the relevant computer software, have a knowledge of buildings and industry trends, plus have excellent communication- and administrative skills.
1. They spend time on-site. As most clients have a day-to-day job, they don't have the capacity to be at the building site all the time. With a kitchen planner, you know that a professional is there to keep an eye on crucial parts of the project, such as the installation of new cabinetry.
2. They know all about project management. A kitchen planner can simultaneously focus on the bigger picture (i.e. the finished look of the kitchen) and the smaller details (such as the window treatment, type of appliances, etc.). This professional also knows how to manage a project so that the tiniest details (like the measurements) are correct and planned well in advance of construction. In addition, the kitchen planner is schooled on working with costs to ensure the project stays within the client's budget.
3. They guide style choices. kitchen planners, like interior designers, are expected to stay up to date with the latest design trends. Thus, they are fully aware of how a modern kitchen compares with a contemporary one, for instance, or what the latest materials and finishes look like.
4. They see your kitchen layout with fresh eyes. While a lot of homeowners struggle to see beyond their kitchen's currently layout, kitchen planners are skilled at being able to see the potential of a space. This includes not only the layout, but also additional items such as flooring material, new lighting fixtures, cabinetry, etc.
5. They can help choose the best appliances. There's more to choosing between two stoves, for instance, for a new kitchen. One also has to take into consideration the finish, size, model, trend, and cost.
6. They can source better materials. Since kitchen planners work in the design industry, they have a range of sources at their disposal. That means they know exactly where to find the right element for the right client (such as shaker cabinets, marble countertops, stainless steel appliances) while staying within the budget.
7. They can stave off wear and tear. kitchen planners are well aware that we do more than cook in our kitchens. It is also the space were we socialise, work, etc. In households with children and pets, kitchens are more prone to wear and tear, which is when a kitchen planner becomes even more vital to help guide the client towards materials that not only look superb, but stand a better chance of surviving an onslaught.
8. They know lighting. Since it's a working space full of sharp knives and scorching surfaces, a kitchen requires the right layered lighting (such as ambient, task, etc.). kitchen planners are well schooled on the best lighting fixtures for the right areas (like pendants over an island or under-cabinet lighting to illuminate a counter). Plus, it is their job to work with the electrician to ensure all lighting fixtures are installed (and operate) correctly.
9. They can guide you to the right colours. Trends come and go, and that definitely influences colour palettes. Fortunately, kitchen planners are similar to interior designers in that they know which colours (and patterns and textures) go best with monochrome schemes, wooden surfaces, etc.
10. They avoid expensive mistakes. The main aim of a kitchen is to be practical, not only to look pretty. A kitchen planner takes functionality into consideration (like the work triangle of a kitchen), as well as how the client plans on using his/her kitchen before starting on their designs. With a professional kitchen planner in charge, the odds of making costly errors diminish considerably.