Kitchen and bath design schools are not plentiful, but demands for the related skill sets are growing. Trends in house design and the way in which modern families use their homes has placed kitchens and bathrooms at the forefront of design. Experienced designers and contractors are highly sought after, whether it is to remodel the kitchen and bathroom to increase property values, or to create new trends in open space floor plans.
Kitchen and bath design is a sub-set of the disciplines of interior design and architectural design. While the requisite skills and knowledge can be achieved by studying for a Bachelor of Arts in these disciplines, students can also pursue qualifications through schools of arts and design, community colleges, and technical colleges.
The range of subjects typical to study at kitchen and bath design schools includes:
Design – Remodeling issues; contemporary and historical themes; colors and finishings; architectural styles and aesthetics
Drafting – Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) software; drawing skills
Building and Installation – Plumbing and electrical systems; ventilation and heating; lighting plans; project plans; budgets and estimating costs
Appliances and Products – New technology and innovations; cabinets; tap-ware; fixtures and fittings; materials and equipment
Running a Consulting Business – Client relationships; business and finance management; marketing; presentations
Consider whether the course has links with trade associations and industry networks, as this will assist you with job placement and ensure you are up to date with the latest trends. In addition, enquire whether there is a national or state association that provides advice and/ or accreditation in the field kitchen and bathroom design. If so, see how your intended course can fit.
Examine whether the course work includes placements to get hands-on experience so as to refine your knowledge and get a better understand the demands of the working professional.
Some kitchen and bathroom design schools do not provide specific assistance with job placement. In this case, you should consider membership of a trade association. Trade associations provide information on professional networks and organize regular events and shows where you can meet working professionals. These associations may also arrange industry internships which, combined with your studies, will put you in good stead for employment opportunities or building your own business.
If you are definitely interested in pursuing this home design niche as a career, join up with the relevant associations as this will assist with your credibility, help keep your knowledge current, and is a good supplement to your formal coursework.
Potential jobs for graduates of kitchen and bath design schools include:
• Working in showroom locations in sales and design;
• Working for interior design firms;
• Working for a ‘home staging’ businesses, or;
• Starting your own design consulting business.
An increased demand by homeowners for renovation and redesign of kitchen and bathroom areas along with a growth in the service of ‘home staging’ present a number of opportunities for qualified graduates in this area.