A recent study has indicated that fish swimming in the Great Lakes have tested positive for antidepressants! No wonder they’re called the Great Lakes! So, what causes depression in fish? Do they all know that eventually we’re going to eat them, after preparing them in our very own kitchens (or perhaps in a restaurant)? Bleak future. But, “Bless Us and Splash Us!”1 I say, rather than have them mope around all day let them feel good about themselves while they swim about. Furthermore, think of the savings of eating the doped up fish. You won’t have to shell out your co-pay for your own supply, you can get it for free along with a nice dose of Omega-3.
Which brings us to preparing those scaly things. Although I have been freely giving advice for the past twenty-five years and have designed many award-winning kitchens, honestly, I’m not much in the cooking department. To be politically correct, my wife refers to me as domestically challenged. However, even if I am found lacking in the use of a kitchen for its primary function, I do know how to design them so that others can. We can thank Pratt Institute and the NKBA for that.
I can think of nothing that would make these poor fish happier than to be prepared in a newly renovated kitchen. Fortunately, there are many qualified kitchen designers in the area who can create a functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing kitchen for both people and fish. Designs which now not only include a cooking area, but an eating area, a meeting area, and a homework area as well.
Most successful kitchen designers charge for their initial work, however their charges and pricing structures vary greatly. I know of companies that charge anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more, for this service. Usually, this sum can be applied towards the purchase of cabinets and I wouldn’t recommend contracting with a firm that did not adhere to that policy. After all, a good design takes a great deal of time, effort and creativity, so why should they give this away for free? Remember you get what you pay for.
An argument could be made that if you don’t like the design and/or estimate you’ve wasted your money. I don’t entirely disagree with this, and that’s why I recommend finding a firm with a minimum initial design fee. This smaller expense certainly does not compensate the designer for all the time he must spend creating your dream kitchen, but it shows a commitment on your part, indicating that you are serious about the project.
Some firms have a staged design fee, which includes a low initial design charge. If after reviewing the design, you wish to pursue the project, they have a secondary fee (sometimes called a retainer) for additional work on the design or releasing the drawings to you. This seems to be an equitable compromise. The designer charges a minimal fee, confident that they will create an exciting design, within the budget that you specify. You get a chance to review the design and see how much the renovation will cost, before laying out a lot of money.
I say let’s leave the Great Lakes as they are. And, although fishing may be fun for some, since I don’t like to touch either fish (or worms) I suggest you buy these medicated wonders at the sea food store. Just be sure to eat a few before the construction begins and everything will seem a lot less stressful.
1 Gollum (Smeagol), in Tolkien, J.R.R. “The Lord of the Rings”. Allen & Unwin, London 1966.