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Darren Morgan on kitchen design: The Wow Maker

Upon entering the kitchen with your guests you hold your breath, a technique you have learned over the last number of weeks which enables you to detect subtle, barely audible gasps of delight.  You know that this human response was top of your list when you briefed your kitchen designer and you are now beginning to acknowledge that the visual stimulators being given off by your kitchen are powerfully achieving the desired “Wow Effect”!

The “Wow Effect” is something kitchen designers get asked for a lot, but when it comes to kitchen design what makes a “Wow”?  Everyone’s “Wow” is different and can be determined by the level of stimulation achieved through the five senses; the resulting physical reaction will most likely depend upon the physiological make up of the individual and their social profile.  It is the job of the kitchen designer to read the situation, the client and their demographical situation to deliver on the required “Wow Effect”!

The social profiling of each individual is relative to achieving their subjective “Wow” threshold, as the level of “Wow” can be directly linked to an individual’s social and financial circumstance.  If an individual is wealthy it may take a lot more stimulation to create the desired effect due to their social conditioning and unconscious belief that they should be surrounded by beautiful things!

But “Wow” is not just about how much a kitchen cost, it can be about breaking the rules, redefining design trends and being bold and brave enough to do something different.  A “Design Appreciation Wow” is a little more difficult to achieve as the designer needs a client who is prepared to walk the fine line between “Wow” and criticism.  The connection between the client and designer must also be fluid with ideas being able to flow easily and without any raised eyebrows.

Staggering the effect also helps amplify the overall impact with good designers achieving the “Wow Ripple Effect” by layering their designs.  Stage one is the initial visual impact whereby the viewer gets their first glimpse of the new kitchen.  In order to achieve the secondary level “Wow” the kitchen must have a visual hook, a feature that draws the viewer in and appeals to their inquisitive nature, third and forth level “Wows” can be more technical allowing the client to explain the features of the kitchen to their guests, classic examples of this are shape shifting elements like a downdraft extraction system, pocket door systems or controllable mood lighting!

 A “Coffee Morning Wow” can be achieved without even seeing or experiencing the kitchen.  This is a social phenomenon whereby the client is able to obtain social approval from their peers by citing their design choices, the company who installed the kitchen or the designer who penned the creation.  This is not bragging or boasting it is simply the legacy of our childhood whereby we sought the approval of our parents; this natural human trait means that we will all seek the approving glances of those we like and respect!

The final “Delayed Wow Effect” is achieved long after the visual stimulation of having a new kitchen has faded.  This “Wow Effect” is introverted and is defined by the functional capacities of the kitchen.  It is only by using and experiencing the kitchen over a period of time that the client will understand its complexity and will then fully appreciate the knowledge and professionalism bestowed upon them by their kitchen designer – The Wow Maker!

By: Darren Morgan

Florence von Pelet

Florence is a senior editor at Modenus.com. Aside from her natural passion for interiors, kitchens and baths Florence also leads the way on Modenus’ BlogTours around the world so please follow her on Twitter to get the latest information and inspiration about design trends from around the world.


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