Meeting with a Design Pro and Apple Crumble Pie

Last week we discussed the reasons why you should work with a design professional. This week we take a look at how to prepare for a meeting with a designer.

Getting Ready

  • Do Your Homework.  Arrive with a general idea of the look, flow and equipment you want. Bring a floor plan of your current kitchen, a wish list for cabinets and appliances, and any magazine photos you’ve gathered that indicate your style preferences.

  • Establish a Budget.  If you can afford pro grade appliances and high end finishes your designer needs to know that from the start so they can integrate those ideas into the design.  On the flip side, be honest about your financial constraints. Good designers will have the know-how to stretch your dollars as far as they can go.

  • Questions to Think About.  A good designer will want to know lots of things about what we call your personal kitchen style.  Questions will include: Who’s in your family?  Who uses the kitchen? What’s your cooking style?  (solo, just the two of you, lots of helpers). Do you want a computer center? Will kids do homework there?  Are there ergonomic and accessibility issues?
This elegant kabi kitchen was the result of homeowners knowing what they wanted and relying on professional advice to make it happen.
  • Questions to Ask.  Request photos of actual projects the designer has worked on—not brochures from manufacturers.  Ask if they have done any project similar in size and scope to yours and what it cost. You should also request information regarding payment schedules, contracts, and timelines. Ask for references and be sure to call them before you sign anything.

  • Go with Your Gut.  Of course you want to hire someone whose work you like but beyond that the ideal designer-client relationship is based on honesty, trust, communication, respect, and a sense of teamwork.  Remember whoever you chose is going to be in your home and disrupt your lives for as long as it takes to get the job done. Trusting and liking the person you hire will go along way toward making the design or remodel of your kitchen a positive experience.

Apple Crumble Pie
Part pie, part crisp and totally delicious.

1 (9 inch) pie crust, unbaked
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups apples, cored and sliced (about 5 small, Granny Smith apples work well)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter

1.   Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set butter out so it will be at room temperature.
2.    Line 9" pie pan with unbaked crust.
3.    Core and slice apples.
4.    Sprinkle the apples with the lemon juice.
5.    Mix in the sugar & cinnamon.
6.    Fill pie shell with apple mixture.
7.    In a small bowl, mix the topping's flour, sugar and cinnamon.
8.    Rub the topping ingredients and butter together with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
9.    Sprinkle topping over pie.
10.   Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until crumb topping is browned and apples are soft, approximately 50 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream of desired.