Kitchen cabinetry questions and working with a KD
Hi there - I have a few questions I'm hoping a few of you may have some opinions and thoughts on.
I'm about to remodel my kitchen in our new house. The home was built in 1905 and has some beautiful orignal details, like large windows in the kitchen and a walk-in pantry.
There is not much to gut as the previous owners never installed counter tops or cabinets! (they used built-ins and the pantry for storage.) The kitchen space is big (for a city) 12 x 15 - but also challenging as there is very little wall space due to many windows and doors.
I found a GC who I want to work with on the project who also can design. But he actually recommended that I work with a kitchen designer since the layout issues are so challenging. I've now met with three of them. Only one has asked me questions like "how do you use your kitchen when you are entertaining? Do you bake a lot? How many and what size pots and pans do you have?" Since she has been designing kitchens since 1995 and took the time to find out about how I actually USE a kitchen - I'm inclined to work with her. But here's my question: She has a $3500 "Design fee" 50% of which can be used to go toward kitchen cabinets purchased with her. I'm getting the sense that this is pretty standard - but I have no idea if I'm signing up for really expensive cabinetry. She said that they are totally custom, Amish made and price range is comparable to the Wood-Mode Semi Custom cabinetry.
Does anyone have any idea how much those cost? Keep in mind I'll likely have no uppers, only cabinets in the island and base cabinets against one wall.
I didn't really want to spend a ton on cabinets - it's just not as important to me as investing in a range...but seems there's not really away around it unless I went DIY. And I think I need someone who can lay out the space thoughtfully considering the challenges.
As a side note - wondering if anyone has any recent (last two years) experience with thermador ranges. Got tempted by the Pro-harmony 48" steam range, but not sure I can pull the trigger on that price point.
Thanks for any help!