Our Design Process

No matter how easy they make it look on HGTV, embarking on a remodel is a big undertaking.  What they don't always show on TV is all the time and hard-work that goes into planning for a remodel.  Before the work even starts there may be weeks to months (sometimes even a year!) of preparations leading up to demo-day.  This is definitely something to take into consideration with your project timeline.  The process varies among design firms, and it can also vary depending on the homeowner's decision making abilities.  At Robinwood we strive to make the process as stress-free as possible.  Below you can find a step-by-step guide about our design process and how we work one on one with all of our clients.

Step One: Complimentary Consultation

o   Initial In-Home Consultation

o   Discuss Design Ideas, Aesthetic, etc.

o   Budget

o   Kitchen Documentation (Measurements, Photos, etc.)

The first step in Robinwood Kitchens’ design process is to schedule an in-home consultation with our new prospective client.  At this meeting we take time to get to know you, your home, and how you use your kitchen or bathroom.  We’ll discuss your likes and dislikes with the current space, your wants and needs, and what kind of aesthetic you’re trying to achieve within the new space.  At this time, we will also document the existing kitchen with photos and measurements.  Typically, we like to schedule a follow up appointment in our showroom to review possible design options and pricing.

Appointments may be scheduled during a phone conversation, through email, or in person.  Some clients prefer to stop in the showroom to meet us prior to the in-home consultation.


Step Two: Design Review

o   Showroom Appointment to Review Possible Design Options

o   Designer/Homeowner Design Time Utilizing 2020 Drafting Software

A week to ten days after our initial consultation appointment we will meet in the showroom to review the proposed kitchen design and proposal.  We utilize 2020 Design software to create realistic representations of your future kitchen.  During this meeting we’re even able to make quick changes to show you different options within the design.  Robinwood Kitchens’ showroom has a wide variety of styles, finishes, and door styles on display.  We display approximately 8-10 vignettes and a full kitchen to show our clients the potential we have to create the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.

At Robinwood Kitchens we do not charge for the initial consultation and proposal process.  However, we do not release any of our designs or drawings without a commitment from our clients.  We request a retainer (cost depending on size of project/complexity of design), that is applied to the first deposit during the contract phase.


Step Three: Refining the Design

o   Set of Drawings (Floor Plan, Elevations, Perspectives, Additional Details)

o   Door Sample Ordering

o   Changes to the Design Communicated via Email or in Person

After we receive the initial retainer for your project, we’ll provide you with a full set of drawings.  We also take orders for sample doors if there’s a specific finish/door style you are interested in.  Many of our customers like to take the drawings home and compare their existing kitchen to the proposed design to make sure all their wants and needs are included.  During this phase, we often exchange emails with questions and additional drawings of design options.  Our designers may also meet in the showroom on various occasions to review different design ideas and changes. 

This process is different for everyone and may take longer for some.  It varies greatly depending on the size of your kitchen, the timeline for your project, and how quickly you make decisions. The team at Robinwood values this time greatly because we want you to be 100% pleased with the final product.


Step Four: Contracts

o   Financial Contract Document

o   Cabinetry Specifications & Details

o   Final Set of Kitchen Plans

Once the design is finalized, the next step is to complete the contract documents.  At this time all the final decisions on cabinetry finish, door style, appliances, etc. are needed to move forward.  We discuss any last minute details for the design, the project timeline, and answer questions specific to your situation.  Once the contracts are complete the cabinet order is sent and you’re on your way to a brand new kitchen!

We also work directly with the homeowner’s contractor to ensure all goes smoothly.  We provide the contractor and/or installer with a detailed set of drawings and cabinet spec sheet with all important information, and we are always available to answer any questions.


Step Five: Cabinet Delivery, Installation, and Follow Up

o   Scheduling & Working with the Homeowner/Contractor

Robinwood Kitchens is the homeowner’s direct point of communication regarding all scheduling and delivery for the cabinetry.  We always make a point to be there when the cabinetry is delivered so we can check everything over.  At this time, we will also provide another set of installation drawings to be kept on site.  If Robinwood is installing the cabinetry we work directly with our experienced installers to make sure all goes according to plan.  During the installation phase we keep a running punch list of items that need to be addressed.  It’s our number one priority for the project to run smoothly and efficiently.

Over the past 40+ years we have developed an excellent reputation with the local community as a reputable source for design, contracting, and cabinetry.  We have solid relationships with the cabinet companies that we represent, so if any future issues were to arise we should be your first call.





The Baker's Kitchen: Design Ideas & Products

With the holidays right around the corner we thought it would be fun to feature some of our favorite design ideas and products to incorporate into the kitchen when working with our clients who love to bake.

1.      Cookbook Storage

Why not show off your love for baking by displaying your favorite cookbooks?  Not only does it add some personality to your kitchen, but it’s important to have those favorite recipes handy when baking during the holidays. 

Check out this Houzz article highlighting “mini kitchen libraries” – what a fun concept!

2.      Solutions for Recipe Discovery

For the homeowner who likes to keep their kitchen sleek and simple, there are a variety of products available to help better utilize a tablet in the kitchen for recipe searching.  Check out some of our favorite websites, apps, and products below:


This is our favorite websites/apps for collecting and sharing favorite recipes.  Yummly is a multifaceted service that suggests recipes, allows you to save recipes from the web, and even provides a grocery list feature for easy shopping.  Based on your personal taste and dietary preferences, Yummly generates different recipe suggestions for you.   Then you can create different categories, or “collections”, to save your recipes for later.

Example of Rebecca's Profile on Yummly

Example of Rebecca's Profile on Yummly

William Sonoma Smart Tools Kitchen Stand for Tablet

This tablet stand is the perfect tool for many different reasons.  Not only can you support your tablet horizontally or vertically, but it’s also angled perfectly for viewing.  The non-slip silicone is an added bonus during the times when things get a little heated in the kitchen!

Prepara iPrep

This tablet holder is great for those lacking countertop space.  This compact kitchen tool easily folds flat to store away when not in use.

John Boos. & Co. Edge Grain Wood Cutting Board with Tablet Stand

While this may not be as high tech as some of the other options, this cutting board/tablet stand is multi-functional and beautiful. 

3.      Storage Solutions

With Houzz and Pinterest so prevalent in the kitchen design world, it’s so easy to discover ways to efficiently store ingredients and tools for cooking and baking.  Below are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Spices

Pullout Spice cabinets are easily one of the most commonly requested accessories.  The pullout feature allows for quick and easy access while keeping clutter off the countertops.  Spice Drawers are also a great solution.

Kitchen by Robinwood Kitchens (Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry)

Kitchen by Robinwood Kitchens (Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry)

  • Cutting Boards/Sheet Trays

Especially during the holiday season we can become inundated with cookie sheets and cutting boards continually piling up by the sink.  The best way to store these types of items is vertically in a base cabinet or deep wall cabinet (ex. Above a Wall Oven or Refrigerator).

  • Appliance Lift

While the kitchen aid mixer has become a focal point in many kitchens, this solution keeps the mixer accessible without taking up valuable countertop space.  Technically this could work for other appliances as well.  The most important feature to include in the cabinet is an outlet!

4.      Baking Station

Below are some fantastic ideas for baking stations incorporated into the kitchen space.  While some of these spaces could only be accomplished in our wildest dreams, some ideas could definitely be designed into our own spaces no matter what the size!

Popular Baking Station Features Include:

  •  Open Shelving for Easily Accessible Ingredients
  •  Lower Countertop Surface for Functionality (Rolling Dough, Making Pasta, etc.)
  •  Stand Mixer Storage
  •  Different Countertop Materials (Marble, Wood, etc.)

Cabinetry 101: Stock, Semi-Custom, and Custom Cabinetry

Selecting your kitchen cabinetry is probably one of the most important decisions you will make as you begin the kitchen remodeling process.  The style, color, finish, and function of the cabinetry are a reflection of your home and personality. Whether you choose a basic white shaker cabinet or a custom green antique finish – understanding the differences between Stock, Semi-Custom, and Custom Cabinetry is a must when shopping around.


Stock Cabinetry

Pros: Affordability, Short Lead Time

Cons: Limited Options, Limited Cabinet Sizes

Lead Time: 2-3 Weeks

*Lead Time may even be less depending on the location of the cabinet company in relation to the job site.

Stock Cabinetry is typically your least expensive type of cabinetry.  The majority of Stock cabinet companies offer a limited range of door styles, finishes, and cabinet sizes.  This allows the company to easily and quickly manufacture the cabinets resulting in a short lead time.  Many times the cabinetry is already assembled and ready to ship once an order is placed.  Typically, Stock cabinet companies will only offer full overlay style cabinetry.  This is something to take into consideration when shopping.  If you’re looking for inset cabinetry, you may need to search beyond Stock and Semi-Custom cabinetry.

by Robinwood Kitchens, 21st Century Stock Cabinetry

by Robinwood Kitchens, 21st Century Stock Cabinetry

Semi-Custom Cabinetry

Pros: Affordability, Some Customization/Personalization

Cons: Limited Cabinet Styles/Finishes and Customization Options

(More Options than Stock cabinetry, Less Options than Custom cabinetry)

Lead Time: 4-6 Weeks

Semi-Custom cabinetry is a step above stock cabinetry in terms of cost and available options.  The majority of Semi-Custom cabinet companies offer 15-30 different finishes and door styles.  Due to the customer’s ability to mix and match, the lead time increases. In most cases Semi-Custom cabinetry is being made to order based on the design of your kitchen (vs. stock cabinetry that utilizes standard sizes).  Depending on the company, they may offer certain modifications/options to customize cabinet sizes (ex. Off standard widths and depths).  This is a major pro for Semi-custom cabinetry compared to stock cabinetry.  However, keep in mind that you still may not be able to replicate that really neat design you saved on Houzz or Pinterest with a Semi-Custom cabinet company.  The “semi” in Semi-Custom means exactly what it implies.

by Robinwood Kitchens, Hanssem Semi Custom Cabinetry

by Robinwood Kitchens, Hanssem Semi Custom Cabinetry

Custom Cabinetry

Pros: Unlimited Options, Complete Customization, Quality and Craftsmanship

Cons: Affordability, Lead Time

Lead Time: 8-12 Weeks

Custom cabinetry is the highest quality that you can use for your kitchen remodel.  A Custom cabinet company will typically offer hundreds of door style and finish combinations.  This allows for a truly personalized and custom experience when designing your kitchen. Beyond their standard offerings, many companies also offer a custom color service in which they can color match almost anything.  Unlike Stock and Semi-Custom, Custom cabinetry has very little limitations when it comes to size and types of cabinetry.  Typically, a Custom company will offer all types of cabinetry from full overlay to beaded inset.  The biggest drawback will be affordability and lead time depending on your budget and time frame.

by Robinwood Kitchens, Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry

by Robinwood Kitchens, Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry

Besides the type and quality of cabinetry that you decide to use for your remodel, the functionality and efficiency of the design is also crucial.  A really good kitchen designer can work with any type of cabinetry to make a functional and beautiful space.  Read our blog post on Plain & Fancy’s website discussing why you should work with a kitchen designer.

Below is a great resource from Plain & Fancy custom cabinetry, which quickly defines and visually explains the difference between Full Overlay, Inset, and Beaded Inset.  That’s another topic for another day!

Courteousy of Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry

Courteousy of Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry