How encouraging clients out of the comfort zone yields amazing results

KitchensFeatures Thu 12th Nov 2020 by KBBFocus

How encouraging clients out of the comfort zone yields amazing results

How encouraging clients out of the comfort zone yields amazing results

The Myers Touch was founded by Keith and Helena Myers in 2003 with the vision of opening a premium design studio that creates truly bespoke kitchen-living spaces.
Here Keith Myers explains why he believes kitchen designers are becoming more daring – and why you should encourage your clients to be daring too.

Keith Myers of The Myers Touch

The first question around this subject is to ask yourself who is the designer? Of course, we as kitchen designers lead each of our projects, but also recognise that our customers are increasingly very knowledgeable and yearn to be an extension of the project design team to ensure a successful outcome. 

So how have our customers become so design savvy? As the media has hugely influenced and educated consumers about interior design, architecture and the property sector, our customers now feel a sense of empowerment with an interest and opinion about interior and architectural spaces. With that in mind, often our customers are more willing to be more daring, risky and consider alternative options away from a ‘safe space’ and want to be stretched by a kitchen designer to create an interesting, individual and functional space for their individual needs. Online visual resources such as Pinterest and Instagram have also presented new, alternative design options for consumers and in our industry it’s often how a new design conversation begins with a client.

I am sure we have all had that ‘copy customer’ who has seen a single statement appliance or picture of a kitchen they love in a magazine – this is a great place for us as designers as it gives the customer confidence and more willingness to expand on their original idea, and consider more adventurous, personalised finishes or options. The next type of customer we identify is the ‘amateur designer’ – the customer who has a real interest and passion for interior schemes and has experience in completing successful room projects in their own homes. We love to work together with these customers as they are often greatly researched, and shortlist cabinetry styles or statement appliances, and will provide a real insight into what the final result looks like.

Like many in our industry, we also work closely with architects so that we can stretch those initial concepts to provide an outstanding result exceeding the customer's expectations of what could be achieved and the wider flow around the rest of the house.  

This design plays a part in drawing the whole space together – the custom breakfast bar is wrapped around the island, and the split-level floor joins the two areas of the house

This Bauformat design features contrasting door finishes of dark grey and rustic wood

So how do we designers avoid being ‘too safe’ with clients and push the boundaries to become more daring with our designs? It begins with the style or architecture of the client's house in my opinion. For example, if you have been asked to design a kitchen space within a farmhouse, you might automatically design a hand-painted kitchen with an Aga, or if you have a contemporary new build you might consider modern cabinetry with sleek stainless steel appliances. We can become more adventurous than this approach by introducing clients to a statement item and an adventurous choice of finishes and materials, while providing vital consultation at the design process stage to avoid costly mistakes – ending up with a kitchen that doesn’t sing!

We always consult and ‘test the architecture’ of a property, collaborating with the design team and client to achieve the best result. We thrive on constant ideas to excite, challenge and unsettle us, so we can provide bolder design concepts that clients might not have considered possible. We will continue to move clients to a place that they couldn't have gone themselves by applying our rule of avoiding predictable project designs so we can always surprise and exceed expectations.

The brief from this client was to design a kitchen island which resembled a boat – located in a penthouse apartment and with views overlooking the Solent, they wanted to capture the panorama within their home

Sleek SieMatic cabinetry let the island take centre stage, and Corian was used for the worktop the create the curved shape

Tags: features, kitchens, keith myers, the myers touch, siematic

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