Measuring Up to the Truth? Virtual Kitchen Planners

Virtual Kitchen Planners and Visualizers are addictive to the DIYer.  Using start from scratch templates, they can create floor plans where they select, drag and plop in kitchen cabinets and appliances. These “planning tools” tend to be a bit tricky as some basic knowledge of cabinetry and appliance dimensions are necessary. The easy and fun ones are playing in the pre-designed templates where you get to select from various countertops, cabinet finishes, backsplashes and flooring materials to mix and match until you can “visualize” the combination you like best. It looks great on your computer screen… but doesn’t seem to really translate to reality.  Lighting is a huge factor. Recently, a prospective client was showing us pictures of kitchens she liked and custom cabinetry ideas she hoped to incorporate in her new design. She was in the preliminary stages of her remodeling plan and made it clear she knew what she wanted. She didn’t want an all white kitchen and gravitated to our selection of stained and/or specialty finishes, happily taking home several samples in various wood species to evaluate. Less than an hour later she called back in exasperation. “None of these work! Everything I thought would look good is too dark for this space! I need your help.”

Help means coming to your home and seeing it in person– evaluating your space and listening to what you want to accomplish. Natural light makes your home interior colors look different and professional designers know how to augment the look with the right finishes and design elements. Cabinetry using translucent glass and/or mirrors can artfully help define a space with the illusion of more light. Additionally, the placement and type of artificial lighting elements can dramatically change the overall effect. This is the type of professional help you get when you work with designers who can personally see your space.

Bottom line? Have fun playing with the visualizer tools.  When you’re ready to remodel at least educate yourself on what is possible. Come visit us… and if you’re ready, let us come see you, in your home! Then we can really help you decide the direction you want to go.


*There are dozens of kitchen-specific visualizers online. Here are two that were super easy to use.  (Pick a style of kitchen then play with combinations of cabinetry color, backsplashes, countertops and flooring) (Limited to Caesarstone products but fun to play with countertop and backsplash options)

** I also tried out, Lowe’s Virtual Room Designer, Planner and Ikea’s Planner= all a lot trickier and require more in depth dimension and size knowledge. I believe their goal is to get you to work with their remote planner (who will never set foot in your home) and purchase product with or without ever having seen a sample.

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