Well-drafted plans can convey the specifics of a design — but there may still be something missing. Many people find it hard to get a feel for how their hypothetical kitchen will work with real live bodies moving around inside the space.
For these situations, Blum has created the Kitchen Test Drive. It’s a dedicated facility inside their Auckland and Christchurch showrooms, where full-scale replicas of appliance, bench and storage units can be wheeled into place, to create a walk-through facsimile of your proposed design.
This can be extremely useful for apartment and townhouse designs in particular. When every millimetre counts, a Kitchen Test Drive lets you optimise storage within a tightly limited footprint.
But a Kitchen Test Drive isn’t just about resolving issues of space and flow within a small area — it can also be used creatively to develop a design.
Here are four ways to make the most of a Kitchen Test Drive:
1. Fine-tune a design before every detail is locked down
You’ve listened to your client’s ideas, worked through the spatial issues, and developed a concept that meets the brief. However, there are still some grey areas regarding the details.
Before you sink lot of time into a detailed spec, why not ask Blum to take your concept off the plan, and walk the client through a Kitchen Test Drive? It could save a lot of time and expense by solidifying the core elements of the design before you specify all the hardware.
2. Choose between alternatives
Perhaps there’s more than one solution to a design brief — and each option has its appeal. Blum can make up both versions so you and your client can explore them. This can be a great way of breaking the ‘paralysis of choice’ and getting buy-in.
There will be no shiny distractions because the units that make-up a Kitchen Test Dive are simply full-scale placeholders. There are no colour options or different materials to divert the discussion. It’s simply about seeing which arrangement of storage and appliance units works best in the space.
3. Finally resolve a persistent issue
It’s not uncommon for people to fall in love with a feature they’ve seen elsewhere, such as a butler’s pantry, and ask for it to be included in their plan. But if there are limitations of space, the designer is placed in the awkward position of saying’ “Yes, but…”
One creative solution is to do a Kitchen Test Drive so the decision-maker can experience the impact of their preferred features. This can provide a starting point for exploring alternatives. And because the facsimile bench, storage and appliance units are on castors, it’s easy to switch them around in situ.
4. Include a discussion of hardware and storage options while you’re there
Because the Kitchen Test Drive takes place in Blum’s showrooms, it’s literally just a few steps away from their box system and motion technology displays. After you’ve explored the spatial aspects of your design, you can give them a hands-on demonstration of the different storage possibilities and gauge their opinions.
Any questions? Blum’s consultants will be on hand to provide information.
What does a Kitchen Test Drive cost?
Nothing! Blum provides this facility to designers and cabinet makers at no cost, in order to help them better serve their own clients.
The Kitchen Test Drive facilities are located within Blum’s Christchurch and Auckland showrooms, with dedicated staff who will set up your design and answer any questions. Simply send them your plans and arrange a time.
Your full-scale kitchen mock-up will be waiting for you and your clients to test-drive. And the coffee is complimentary too!
Click here to find out more about Kitchen Test Drive and bring your plans off the page with Blum.