The Design Experience – On the House

The Design Experience

By on May 10, 2019

I have been a remodeling professional for nearly four decades. Consequently, I know that there are three initial steps that are fundamental to the success of a project. The first step is planning. The second step is planning. And the third step is — you guessed it, planning!


This is especially true of a kitchen project where there are so many elements that must come together to produce the ultimate in both form and function. The finished product must not only look good, it must also be safe and functional. That’s where a seasoned design professional such as Carl Smith, CKBD, can use his design and layout expertise to make a project the best that it can be.

My initial inquiry with CliqStudios was followed up by a prompt reply from Carl informing me that he would be our personal project designer. Carl is one of over 100 CliqStudios professional designers — with varying expertise — spread over three CliqStudios campuses nationwide. Some designers specialize in kitchens and other baths.  The CKBD title after Carl’s name stands for “Certified Kitchen & Bath Designer” as designated by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.


It was clear to me during our initial consultation that I was in good hands and that Carl understood what my wife and I wanted out of our new kitchen [Where do I get the best design ideas?]. By the way, the design service provided by CliqStudios was completely complimentary. And there was no pressure from them to accept the first design. Carl wanted to make sure that we were happy with the layout and appearance.

Clearly, as a contractor, I am used to reading two-dimensional floor plans and elevations. My wife, like many consumers, has a difficult time interpreting this information. That’s why the full-color perspectives that CliqStudios provides as part of their design package made the process ever so easy. The elevations and perspectives were so real it was as if we were looking at a photo of our finished kitchen. They incorporated the door and drawer styles AND finish that we selected. Beautiful shaker doors with navy blue cabinets. They even included our countertop, tile splash, wood flooring, wall finish color and appliances. They are no strangers to technology and how to make the most of it to convey their message to folks like my wife and me.


Step one in the CliqStudios design process is to provide them with measurements of what exists. They want to know where walls, windows and doors exist and other considerations such as ceiling height, sink location and appliances that will be used in the new kitchen. Carl was careful to ask about desired countertop space, appliance locations, storage and pantry needs, and anything else that might be on our “wish list.” He also wanted to know what “bells and whistles” we might want that would make our kitchen more functional such as roll-out shelves, tray dividers, lazy Susan’s, a trash pullout and other accessories. He then interpreted the information that we provided to create a design solution that incorporated as much of what we wanted as possible, but, at the same time, make best use of the space. He calls it “getting 10 pounds into the 5-pound space.”

In addition to knowing all about what we wanted out of our dream kitchen, in order to really help us, he needed to know more about our budget or “threshold of comfort.” He didn’t want to create a package that was well beyond our budget, but at the same time he didn’t want to shortchange us [What does it cost to remodel a kitchen?].

It’s the luck of the draw when it comes to being assigned a CliqStudios design specialist, however, the deck is stacked in your favor because all CliqStudios designers are highly qualified to create your design solution.

Confident that he had everything that he needed, the design package — consisting of floorplan, elevations, perspectives, materials list and estimate — was turned around in only two days! The best part is that Carl said that he would be available to answer any questions during the installation process — and he was!

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