Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SOME THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE!

As I looked around a crowded restaurant in New Jersey yesterday I was shocked by what I saw...no, not the huge hair or overdone makeup, but the amount of people face-down in their phones.  While technological advances have quantum leaped us into places I never thought possible, they've certainly come at the cost of good old conversation and human interaction.  That said, it's shocking to see how many classes I DIDN'T need to take in college as today they are completely obsolete thanks to several, some free, design apps.  Ten years ago...heck FIVE YEARS AGO...it would take me no less than two or three hours to create a simple 2D floorpan of a room.  Today with the help of many apps on my computer and iPad I do the same designs in front of a client in less than five minutes.  So, what if you still are technologically challenged or just don't want to take the time and/or don't have the money to hire someone like me?  More and more companies today are offering free design services hoping to slap away the first, often terrifying step in approaching any design job.  While I'm not thrilled about these companies luring away potential clients, here are a few hints to get you started:
HIGH EXPECTATIONS AT LOWE PRICES:
I've mentioned Lowe's kitchen design services several times here and I continue to use them.  Prices are getting a little higher than other cabinet shops, but make an appointment and an employee will spend time making both 2D and 3D renderings of your space at not cost to you.
IKEA:
While a TV cabinet can take ten years off of your life putting together and make you never want to see a Swedish anything AGAIN, their kitchens are quite impressive.  Log onto www.ikea.com and click on the kitchen section then scroll down to the design app (download to design your own kitchen).  As you design the app automatically prices everything.  The only problem with Ikea kitchens is you must live near one...there are NO direct lines to kitchen employees, so any questions must be answered in person.
POTTERY BARN:
One of my favorite chain stores has free design services if you live within a hundred mile radius of a store with NO OBLIGATION TO BUY.  Live further away? No problem, schedule and appointment and pop into a store for a personal in-store design lesson.