What Makes Our Design Process Different
We didn’t bring kitchen design online just to eliminate the showroom markup. We saw it as an opportunity to bring more convenience to our clients, streamline the end-to-end experience, and ultimately create the most personalized design process – for both our homeowners and our designers.
July 26, 2022
We sat down with one of our senior designers, Stacie – who worked in the traditional showroom environment for many years before – to hear firsthand how the FORM design process is truly different than the traditional ones.
Before we get into the FORM-specific process, what makes kitchen design, in general, different from designing other rooms in your home?
Kitchen design can feel stressful. This is the heart of your house, you know. This is where you have romantic meals with your spouse, this is where you feed your kids, this is where you entertain your best friends and your family. And this is where you have Thanksgiving dinner and all these other special life moments.
Honestly, at the end of the day, designing a kitchen is about solving problems in a beautiful, candid, and thoughtful way. We’re almost like your kitchen doctor, in the way that we consult with a client about their issues and help them form a solution to ease the pain. So, as a designer, you actively have to listen and pay attention, and you have to get to a place of trust and understanding so you can truly empathize with what’s important in the new space and what has to happen. You really have to build a relationship of trust to get to a great solution.
How does the FORM approach set clients and designers up for success?
I think because the process ends up happening from your house – on Zoom with one of us – you just get a very different dynamic. As a client, you’re more comfortable because you’re in your own home and not a traditional showroom. This creates such a transformative atmosphere; and comfort is so key to the creative process, for both clients and designers. Getting to that place of trust and rapport allows for a meaningfully better and more personalized design. It allows you to think more honestly and critically about the project.
Not to mention, we don’t have any of the typical showroom distractions when we meet. No other customers coming in, no pressure to move quickly, you have a pure opportunity to tell your customers story through design. We really get an hour or more to sit down and talk deeply about what you want in your new space. And that focus and that environment is just something you can’t get in a showroom. The dynamic is just so different, and better.
How do you feel different as a designer by not being in a showroom?
I’ve run 13 showrooms at different times in my career and I can say, this is just a much better set-up for me.
I get to truly be me at the end of the day. Much like the customer, I am in my home office, my comfortable environment. And I think it really contributes to the rapport and creativity. We’re both so comfortable and honest. I don’t have other coworkers pulling me away from our design meetings. I don’t have other customers asking me questions. It’s just me and the clients, 100% attention and focus from me, and from the customer.
All these elements and factors make both the customer and I feel really engaged and makes the process a holistic one. I take the process very personally. I am honored that I have been digitally invited into someone’s home to work on this very important room and I treat it like it’s my own kitchen.
So ultimately, I think you get this client-designer connection that I just haven’t experienced elsewhere in my career. And that’s the best part of the job – to get to have that kind of impact on people through design, every day. The process unlocks joy for both sides.
Ensuring that we have such a focused environment allows for such deep, creative work. I can really get lost in my designs and come up with solutions that I would not have otherwise if I didn’t have such a distraction-free set-up for truly designing.
So with this new type of connection and with this intimate environment, you just get work that is pretty darn personalized and special.
Anything else you would call out about the FORM process?
I would call out our rendering power. It’s just explosive. If you speak to any architect, and we work with several architects on the trade side, and they say how good our renderings are.
To have those kinds of visuals in the design process is just a game-changer. You’re truly trying before you buy. You get to see what your new space will look like in the context of your house without having to buy the kitchen.
It’s hard to imagine your new space from just samples or low-fidelity renderings. Now that I work with this type of rendering power, I can’t imagine doing the design process any other way.
I would also call out the people. Everyone here at FORM brings a level of passion and care to their work that is so unique. All the designers, like I said, really take the designs personally. But everyone across the experience is dedicated to doing the best by our customers. I am honestly blown away by the team and love working alongside everyone.