3 Benefits to Creating a Kitchen Mock-Up During the Design Phase for Multi-Family Residential
Even at a time when virtual and augmented reality tools are becoming more commonplace in sales centers as a way to showcase design features and finish options, seeing is still believing when it comes to multi-family kitchens. And while it’s still common for developers to put a kitchen mock-up in the sales center for the benefit of potential residents, building one earlier in the planning stages for the developers also offers advantages. Here at Bristol Design Group, we create mock-ups for about 80 percent of our multi-family customers. And, we do it at our cost because we believe it is a critical part of the kitchen design process. Let’s take a look at three reasons why we think this is a worthwhile investment:
Does it work the way it was intended?
Building a mock-up in the initial design phase allows both developers and designers to see the almost-finished product – specifically any custom-designed elements – as well as trouble-shoot any issues and confirm the kitchen functions as intended. For example, one of our recent kitchen designs included a refrigerator with a pull-out freezer drawer on the bottom. When we built the mock-up, we saw that the top of the freezer drawer was not in alignment with the door height of the cabinet fronts, disrupting the clean lines of the design – which was a glaring aesthetic flaw due to the kitchen’s open layout. This was a simple fix – we built a small platform that elevated the refrigerator just enough for everything to line up properly – but would have been a nightmare to address if we hadn’t discovered the issue until installation at the property.
Is the color/texture correct?
When picking colors and textures for cabinets and countertops, we make decisions based on small color swatches. Even designers haven’t seen every possible combination of cabinets, colors, textures and countertops in a built-out space, so a mock-up helps confirm that the look is the right one. It’s proved to be a beneficial strategy. In one instance, we determined, with the client, the countertop we loved in the sample size simply wasn’t the right color choice when installed and made the kitchen look drab. We helped them identify a different option that suited the overall design aesthetic.
Seeing is Believing
When clients walk into our showroom and see the mock-up for the first time, it’s always exciting for them to see the design concepts we’ve been discussing translated into a physical space. Prior to that moment, all the designs have been two-dimensional. This “working” model provides a valuable visual tool. It allows the design team and the client to walk through the kitchen and open and close all the drawers, cabinets and appliances. Together we are able to confirm this is what we expected or identify changes that need to be made prior to placing the final order for the materials.
Have you ever used a mock-up in the design phase? What was the most interesting thing you learned from that process?