It is very obvious to me when a kitchen has been designed by a great interior designer, versus the average general contractor or fabricator. There are 3 things that give it away:
1. It is DIFFERENT
When I see a kitchen unlike any I have seen before (or will ever see again), I know that a great designer was involved. That kitchen will stop you in your tracks and really make you LOOK.
2. It is COMPLEX
Whether Minimalist or Victorian, the design of a superior kitchen will involve many elements, both obvious and not obvious. Your average contractor or even kitchen and bath fabricators will tend to have the design consist of three things---cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes. The end result, regardless of price tag, usually looks bland and lifeless. You wouldn’t buy a car based on whether it has four wheels and an engine. You would look at the dozens of details that combine to produce a superior quality vehicle. Engine/transmission quality, MPG, handling, aesthetic quality, extra technological features, etc. Do you want a silver Corolla or an emerald green Aston Martin? Hmmm. I'd go with the Aston.
A superior kitchen is very similar to a luxury vehicle. There are many individual details that make it unique, such as cabinet orientation, cabinet material, countertop material and shape, backsplash type, lighting, flooring, ceiling design, color, additional seating, etc. The design does not stop at eye level. Which brings us to reason #3
3. It is ENGAGING
An engaging kitchen is one that makes you feel good. It has a visual energy that impacts the user in a positive way. Your eye will be drawn throughout the space and whether you realize it or not, it engages you. That is superior design. Now, not everyone will enjoy the same design style, but that is where the designer comes in. They are paid to make sure that your newly designed kitchen will be engaging for you! A successful kitchen design will inspire you the moment you walk in every day. A good interior designer will accept nothing less.