We are delighted to have recently welcomed Brian Dwyer to join our Millers family as a kitchen designer based from our Montrose showroom.
He has over 20 years of design experience and loves seeing his customers’ dreams become reality.
In this meet the team blog, you’ll read a little bit more about Brian and get an introduction to how he works with our kitchen clients at Millers.
Tell us a little bit about you, how did you get started in kitchen design?
Well my interior design career started off at Duncan of Jordanstone Art & Design School in Dundee where I obtained my degree. During my study years I used to love getting involved in set design placements where my role was to create the backdrop for theatrical and film performances. Following my graduation I started working with IKEA designing their floor sets for kitchens, bathrooms and livingrooms – it was brilliant as the options were pretty limitless! It was always interesting to see which designs people gravitated to on their way round the shop. The opportunity with IKEA was fantastic as I got to travel with it too, with visits to places like Melbourne, Canada and Madrid.
On my return to the UK, I switched it up and focused on kitchen and bathroom designs for client’s homes working at Homebase, Wren, Abertay Interiors and PH Plumbing. The brands, trends and technology advancements have varied along the way which has given me a wide experience in the industry which my clients can benefit from.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
To be honest a lot of it comes from the customer. When they start talking about the kitchen of their dreams, I can quite quickly start to visualise how the products on offer can help them achieve it. Past projects will usually enable me to bring additional consideration to their ideas, while I can also pull on my years of travel to open up thinking.
It’s all about listening to the customer, getting an understanding of how they want to use their kitchen for the layout, and then talking through their preferences for style in our well equipped showroom. No two projects are the same, which is what I love about it!
What style of kitchen is your favourite to work with?
It’s the transformation that I love! Taking a tired kitchen and transforming it into something fresh and exciting that the client falls in love with! There are endless opportunities, so you can get really creative no matter what range or style clients want to go with. If I really had to choose I‘d go for something simple, probably modern country (shaker-style) although I do like the handleless German kitchen designs too!
What tips would you give to someone who is thinking about redesigning their kitchen?
Make the most of your space! Tall units are great for giving lots of storage space, as an extra consideration think about taking them to ceiling height so that you can avoid dirt and dust collecting on top.
When planning the layout, think about how you cook in your kitchen, what utensils do you want access to more frequently? Do you want to socialise in your kitchen or is it just for cooking? Choosing a new kitchen isn’t an everyday task – take time to do the research, so that you can be proud of your design for years to come!
What mistakes do you see people make when choosing their kitchen design?
Often people will get a couple of quotes when designing their kitchen which is right to do, however they very rarely compare like for like. Worktops, internals, layout, appliances, manufacturer there are so many variants. You could choose the same layout with a completely different worktop composition or appliance choice and be wildly different on price.
My recommendation is to find a design and installation team that you trust (wink wink), give them a clear understanding of your vision and budget and then work with them to finalise the design. It’s very unlikely that you hit the jackpot the first time, it usually takes a few tweaks here and there to get it perfect! Remember you’re not buying a hoover that you can switch out easily if it doesn’t perform like you expect – a kitchen is an investment that you have to live with for decades to come!
What’s hot in kitchen design just now?
Darker colours for sure! Granite, black, dark navy, royal green; they look fantastic with contrasting lighter worktops. The high gloss white and cream finish is also still very much in with the handleless design. I think practicality is also important right now so while people like the real wood look, once hearing about how much maintenance it requires they will often swap it for something more easy-care.