Robin Siegerman is a Registered Interior Designer, award-winning, Certified Kitchen Designer, speaker and author of Renovation Bootcamp™: Kitchen -- Design and Remodel Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Wallet, Your Mind or Your Spouse and she has been practicing design in Toronto for almost 20 years. Her clients are mostly local, but she also has done work for clients in Palo Alto California, New York, Montreal, Victoria, and continues to work in the Caledon and Georgian Bay vacation areas north of Toronto.
Robin is a popular TV guest having made many repeat appearances on numerous shows which appear in Canada, both regionally and nationally. She has appeared on: HGTV Kitchens and Bathrooms, This Small Space, Kitchen Equipped, Real Renos, Slice Network Three Takes, CBC TV Living in Toronto, BNN Squeeze Play, Rogers House Calls, In Toronto, City TV City Line and CTSTV Real Life.
Robin has won more then a dozen design awards in Canada, the US and England in the kitchen and bathroom categories and has been a juror for design competitions and the National Council for Design Qualifications.
She is an active supporter of Habitat for Humanity in Toronto and recently served as Co-Chair of the design team for the Wellspring Cancer Support Centre refurbishment project.
Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchen is the ultimate step-by-step, behind-the-scenes manual to remodel a kitchen. This must-have manifesto is loaded with before and after photos, drawings, questionnaires, lists and "Tales from the Trenches", anecdotes and lessons from the author's own jobsites. Packaged with practical, no-nonsense advice, checklists and proven recommendations, the book will help the novice and seasoned renovator alike plot a logical course of action before jumping into the fray.
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Guest Post From the Author:
The worst reason to start a kitchen renovation is if you have a big event coming up in your life like a wedding, anniversary or birthday and a couple of months before the date you decide you need a new kitchen.
The easiest job in the world is the one you’ve never done before, because you don’t know what goes into it so you can’t imagine the pitfalls. This is never truer than in the renovation business. A kitchen is one of the most complicated and dangerous rooms in the house to renovate, so it takes time to plan it properly and time to have the work done by licensed professionals. If you leave yourself a very tight time line and add the pressure of an event where you want to impress people, you’re not leaving yourself or your trades people any leeway to deal with unforeseen problems. Everyone will be on edge and might be tempted to cut corners to meet a deadline that is too tight.
In my business, I actually refuse to do with a timeline that I consider unrealistic. I’ll explain that depending on the complexity of the design required, that phase alone could take anywhere between 2 weeks to a month before the working drawings are ready. Why? Because before I put a line on a page the clients have homework to do:
1. they must set a budget,
2. they have to fill out a Use and Needs Audit™ which will ask very detailed questions about how they live and use the kitchen so the design will accurately fulfill their needs
3. they need to assemble a file of magazine photos to show me the type of things they like and want to incorporate into their kitchen.
Once they’ve completed those tasks, I’ll make an appointment to do a site measure and sit down and review the information above.
Now, if you’ve ever tried to schedule an appointment between three busy people, you know that you usually have to try a few dates before you can find one that suits everyone. So there’s a couple of weeks that have gone by right there. After that appointment, I’ll go away and do a concept drawing. That’s a fairly loose, artistic interpretation of the information gathered, that then needs to be presented and discussed. Repeat appointment setting step. Once the concept has been reviewed, there may be a few tweaks that are made before I go on to doing working drawings.
Working drawings are documents that all the trades people and the cabinet maker can work from. They have to be dimensioned, cross-referenced to a specification list and have detailed elevations so everyone is clear on what is expected and preferably will include an electrical/lighting plan.
With these steps THEN you’re ready to start the remodel. Trying to cut corners on timing will only lead to trouble. So leave enough time to plan and execute and you’ll get the kitchen of your dreams.