What Qualities Make a Great Kitchen Designer?

With 20 years of remodeling experience, I have observed a lot of different situations. While each remodeling project is different, my experience has taught me there are distinct qualities that separate great and not-so-great designers.

Minneapolis Kitchen Remodel Drawing and Proposal

My experience has also taught me how important it is to seek out those qualities that set a great designer apart from the rest. Excel Builders aligns itself with skilled designers willing to follow through with each project from beginning to end.

On that note, I wanted to share what I look for when working with kitchen designers.

5 Qualities of a Great Kitchen Designer

Every designer is different, but there are five key qualities that help me determine if they’re the right fit for me, Excel Builders, and our clients.


A great kitchen designer can look at your existing kitchen and create a vision for the finished space. As the planning process goes on and they get a feel for your preferences and lifestyle needs, that vision will evolve.

We learn from every experience, whether it’s good or bad. Great kitchen designers are no exception. They apply the knowledge they’ve gained from past experiences to every new project they work on.


A kitchen remodel is about creating a space you love. A great designer is willing to collaborate to make it happen. Now, this doesn’t mean asking others for design ideas. It means building and utilizing working relationships with vendors, craftsmen, and custom cabinet makers to help bring your remodel to life.

Attention to Detail

Having a vision is one thing, but great kitchen designers also need to have attention to detail. This quality is essential for all phases of a remodeling project, including the behind-the-scenes work, creating the design, and coordinating with craftsmen and vendors. Designers who possess attention to detail will be there from start to finish to ensure your remodel is going as planned.

Listening Skills
When it’s all said and done, your newly remodeled kitchen should be just as functional as it is beautiful. A great designer achieves this by asking you about your needs, wants, and wishes. Most importantly, they listen intently and incorporate those things into the kitchen design.


Why Do You Need a Kitchen Designer for Your Remodel?

This is the million-dollar question and one I’m happy to answer.

Think of your kitchen remodel as a bicycle wheel. There are many spokes, all of which are connected to a hub in the center and an outside rim. Each spoke is one piece of your remodel. Together, the spokes make up all the work that goes into completing it.

Your kitchen designer is the hub at the center of it all. They are involved in each part of your remodel, from the design face straight through the construction phase.

Let’s look at how this pertains to three parts of the kitchen remodeling process.


Kitchen Layout

The kitchen layout is the foundation of your remodeling project. Nothing should start before the layout has been created.

When determining the kitchen layout design, the designer will answer the following questions.

  • Is the layout of the kitchen changing?
  • Are walls being removed to change the kitchen layout or make the kitchen larger?
  • Will windows be moved, added, or removed?

Cabinetry Design and Layout

Your cabinets are one of the biggest financial investments of your kitchen remodel. At Excel Builders, we believe choosing custom cabinets is the best way to make the most of that investment.

We’re so passionate about it that we started an in-house cabinet shop and custom millwork division. We provide our clients with cabinetry and millwork that exceed expectations. Best of all, the convenience of working with one company creates a more streamlined process.

A great kitchen designer will collaborate with cabinet makers to create a layout and finalize the details. The designer will also help you make decisions by asking questions like:

  • Will your cabinets be painted, stained, or a combination of both?
  • Do you want your cabinetry to include accessories like spice racks or cutlery holders?
  • What style and finish of hardware will complete the look of your cabinetry?

Excel Builders is skilled at working with designers and bringing their vision to life. Our custom cabinets are designed down to ⅛” to fit each space perfectly and feature dovetail drawers and pullouts. Stained cabinetry is available in a variety of wood species, including cherry, alder, maple, walnut, and hickory. We also have thousands of options for hardware, knobs, and pulls to complete your cabinetry.


Kitchen Millwork and Molding

Changing window casings, door casings, and baseboard is often high on the list of wants for our clients. Adding custom moldings, such as wainscoting or crown molding, can make your kitchen remodel unique to you.

A great kitchen designer will help select millwork and molding options that complement your custom cabinets and the overall design.

This is just scratching the surface of what goes into completing your kitchen remodel. In reality, hundreds of items need to be decided, each of which involves a different spoke of the wheel. Your kitchen designer will be juggling all these spokes throughout your remodel.

Ready to get the ball rolling on your next home remodeling project? We can help!

Excel Builders is the premier design-build firm for kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and basement finishing.

Get in touch with our team at (612) 306-4064 or info@excelbuildersmn.com to get started.