As the only designer in the country to have won the 2 biggest kitchen design awards in the UK, Janice Sutherland is about as good as they get. Her first ever entry into the UK’s KBB design award and the Designer magazine award in 2011 saw her win both competitions.
Janice’s eye for detail and personal tastes go a long way to set her apart from the competition, but the relationship and trust that grows between her and her customers is key to getting the most out of the design. Often and understandably there is a real fear or caution when a design is more daring, as the customer will have to live with it for many many years. Janice’s experience, professionalism and of course results allow her clients to take that extra design step with confidence.
What should someone be doing before they come to you?
Try to think about how you want to use the room, is there dining? Is it casual? What sort of cooking do I do? What is family life like and what might it be like in the future? Also, if you are able to know what style appeals to them. modern? Traditional? Or a bit of a mix! Critically, they should try to establish how much they don’t want to spend, there’s understandably no such thing as an open budget!
How can you minimise any unexpected situations along the project?
Keep the lines of communication open as much as possible, the timescale of pulling together a replacement kitchen or for a new build can sometimes be stretched. Be honest with yourself and don’t rely on perfect weather or take the most optimistic estimates as fact. If clients are vague - sometimes you end up ruling out what they definitely don't like to get to the end result of something they love.
What is your role as a kitchen designer when a couple come to you with a vague idea of what they want from their kitchen?
From the outset it is absolutely essential to listen. As a designer I need some foundations upon which to progress the brief. This will lead to more and more questions and in turn will develop into something substantial for me to take and create a plan and presentation.