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Remodeling advice from the Kitchen Design Center of Maryland

Kitchen designer Bill K. Collins of The Kitchen Design Center of Maryland sits in the company's Cockeysville showroom.
Kitchen designer Bill K. Collins of The Kitchen Design Center of Maryland sits in the company's Cockeysville showroom. (Steve Ruark / Baltimore Sun Media Group)
Bill Collins knows that kitchen remodeling is likely one of the most expensive investments his clients will make in home improvement. 
Therefore, his first task as a designer is to talk to homeowners about their options and to guide them through myriad cabinet and countertop choices.
The Kitchen Design Center of Maryland, his base of operation, offers custom cabinetry for any design style, whether country, contemporary, classic, traditional or modern.
“Cabinets and counters complement each other and are usually designed together,” Collins explains. “In addition to in-store cabinet samples, we have a wide selection of granite, soapstone, quartz and marble, along with man-made surfaces.”
Contemporary kitchens are trending, he says, and the big colors in today’s designs are white and gray — for instance, classic white kitchen cabinets with countertops in gray, white or taupe quartz. Still, Collins sees an equal number of people opting for transitional and traditional choices.
When it comes to kitchen islands, everyone wants one, he says, but not everyone has space for it. “Alternatives are a peninsula or a U-shaped workspace,” he suggests.“Everybody likes to sit and look into the kitchen as the [cook] works. You feel part of the environment.”
Appliances, obviously, are a major consideration in remodeling, along with existing window and door placements.“I give people a blank canvas to work with so they can move things around,” Collins says.
In addition to making the right choices, budget is paramount.
“It’s critical that people understand what it’s going to cost,” Collins continues. “There’s nothing worse than to be three-quarters of the way through the project and finding out that you’ve got to come up with another six to eight thousand dollars. There’s no going back at that point, and it’s devastating.”

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