Kitchen Family Room Remodel

Kitchen Design: an Interview with Designer Jo Gifford

Remodeling a kitchen requires proper planning, time and effort, and of course, a eye for design. Today we are sitting with DFW Improved designer, Jo Gifford, talking about kitchen design.

Tiffany: Let’s talk about what goes into a kitchen design when we are remodeling a home – materials, layout, and trends you’re seeing. Where do you begin?

Jo: Many times when a client is contacting us, it’s out of dysfunction and frustration with their kitchen. High on their priority list is, how can we make this space work?! Another hot point with them might be that it’s so outdated and dark, how can we brighten it up?! When it comes to dysfunction and cosmetic updates, there are so many different ways to begin. Having a professional designer and contractor come help lay that out can be super helpful. In the long run, this will make the functionality and design work better together and be more cost effective.

Tiffany: As a designer, how do you get a feel for what your clients are looking for?

Jo: One of the values of our remodel process is the home visit – seeing the adjacent spaces, if they have a favorite room or new décor or furniture that they want to introduce into a new space. We often encourage people to look at our website gallery, Pinterest and Houzz before we come out. This way, we can bring materials that they’ve shown interest in so the client can visualize them in their own space.

Tiffany: What are some of the things that you try to help a homeowner think through when they’re choosing kitchen materials?

Jo: We’ve talked before about life stages. Myself, I’ve got young children at home. A marble countertop in the kitchen is absolutely not going to work for us. We spill juice, spaghetti sauce, wine and all of those things can really tear up the marble. So, right now, my lifestyle is probably a better fit for a quartz or a granite product. They’re just more durable and have less opportunity for staining and scratching. These basic concepts really apply to cabinets, hardware, flooring and finishes.

Tiffany: What are some of the features that DFW Improved values in a kitchen layout?

Jo: We talked a little bit in the beginning about functionality. Oftentimes, clients may see a layout or feature at someone else’s house that they just love, but that doesn’t always work in their space. Talking through functionality is key – how will they use the space, how many people live in their home, and what features are most important to their family. This really determines how useful a layout will be in their home.

Tiffany: What are a few kitchen features that everyone is asking for?

Jo: The trash pull-out seems to be on everybody’s wish list! They want to find a home for the trash can. Tucking it away simplifies the look of the kitchen, without being distracting.

Another request we’re seeing is pull-out drawers, adjustable shelves, and pot drawers. These features allow for a lot of storage and easy accessibility.

Tiffany: Can you tell us about a kitchen that DFWI has done recently? What is it that you love about it?

Jo: So, we’re currently working with a couple that is engaged to be married. In their new home, the layout was fantastic but needed some cosmetic updates. We have updated the color scheme throughout the entire house while focusing the most effort on the kitchen. New state-of-the-art appliances, plank flooring and relocation of the island to make the workflow better. It has been really incredible to see the finished product.

In summary, when planning your kitchen layout, think about functionality and efficiency. No matter what size or shape kitchen you design, it’s essential to create a kitchen that makes life easier and more efficient.

An Eye For Design

Do you want to learn more about the materials we love? Schedule a visit to our new Design Center.