Ask the Expert - Richard W. Clift
Richard W. Clift is the owner of Signature Design Group. With 30 years of experience, his kitchens and bathrooms have been featured in a variety of different publications, including Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, and New York. Signature Design Group provides quality designs using the latest technology, and they will suggest the appliances, countertops, and finishes that are right for each individual client. Specializing in kitchens, the company’s design process creates a functional, finished product with a timeless look that homeowners can enjoy for years to come. Signature Design Group is an authorized dealer of five custom cabinetry lines with designs that range from traditional to contemporary.
What are some of the latest trends in kitchen design?
A lot of people are looking for transitional designs with clean, contemporary lines that still capture a warm, traditional feel. We’re still seeing a lot of crown molding, columns, and mullions on glass doors, and with everything in a painted finish instead of a wood stain.
Most importantly, today’s consumer is looking to develop a better understanding of the longevity of a product; they want to know all about the material, the background of the company, and exactly where it’s coming from.
What are some considerations for a homeowner before beginning a kitchen renovation project?
You have to start the process by doing as much research as you can. The main element in a kitchen renovation is the design, and you want to start with the best foundation. It’s a very personal process, and you want to connect with a designer who listens to what you want and can customize the right design that will fit seamlessly into your home.
You’ll also have to think about things like the size of the house and the kitchen, in addition to what your daily lifestyle is like.
What advice would you offer homeowners in terms of choosing the best design and products for their kitchen?
First and foremost, you have to think about how the kitchen will function in your life. People with young children or pets may lean towards different cabinetry than those with grown children, while someone who loves to cook will have different design needs than someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Even though your cabinets are a big ticket item in the renovation, they’re not necessarily the most important decision you’ll make. Appliances are also very important because you don’t want to have to constantly call in a technician, or have to replace everything in 10 years. You can rest assured that certain designs and kitchen features will stand the test of time; built-in units can become as timeless as a good car, and even though the technology may improve over the years, you won’t see major changes to the look.
What can homeowners expect from the installation process?
You want to make sure you’re working with a team of qualified professionals who listen to your vision for what your dream kitchen should look like, and will give you an estimated budget right from the beginning — and stay close to it.
Depending on the designer you’ve chosen, you may be able to shop around to find the best products and manufacturers to fit your vision. To prevent any issues when it comes time to install, you should never buy your cabinetry without also investing in installation from the same company.