An Interview with Design Studio West


Established in 1982, Design Studio West creates impeccable settings for every room in your home, including award-winning designs for kitchens and baths. With a seamlessly-integrated, comprehensive suite of services at your disposal, Design Studio West is proud to serve as Southern California’s “one-stop-shop” for the finest in cabinetry, flooring, countertops and world-class appliance brands.

Staffed by a highly-respected and accomplished corps of long-time industry professionals, Design Studio West’s entire team collectively possesses a rare and remarkable talent: to unite their inner artist with their inner pragmatist, resulting in kitchens, baths and outdoor settings that are as exhilarating to look at as they are to live in.

We had the pleasure of talking with owner Karl Utzman about this wonderful business.

Can you tell us a little about the background and history of Design Studio West?

Design Studio West has been around for over 35 years as a kitchen and bath design showroom. In 2001 as a result of a merger between two complementary businesses – a highly-respected construction firm and an award-winning design studio – Design Studio West began offering a full suite of integrated services that run the construction and design industries’ gamut, from initial concept to ultimate completion.


How would you describe your clientele?

We have projects as far south as Coronado to as far north as Carlsbad. Our clientele ranges from empty-nesters, young families, part time residents, long term homeowners to  new home buyers. We offer a diverse line of cabinetry product that can accommodate various project budgets. We also work directly with interior designers and contractors to provide quality design and cabinetry product to their customers.

Is there an area in design and remodeling that Design Studio West specializes in?

We are dealers of custom build to order cabinetry product so are projects typically revolve around area of the home that would call for use of those items: kitchens, bathrooms, office spaces, laundry rooms, mudrooms, entertainment centers, fireplaces, master bedroom suites etc. In addition, we can  help with general design detailing, space planning, furnishings, accessories as well as  complete home additions.

Could you describe a little bit of your design process for our readers? If I’m a new client, what should I expect?

Our design process is very fluid and we break each project down into 4 steps.

Step 1 – Research and information gathering: To start the process, we will ask the client detailed questions to understand their needs, desires, style and priorities. The answers to this initial interview provide us with direction and guidance. We will talk about options, timeframes, costs and take “before” measurements and photos.

Step 2 – Concepts and layouts: We create new layout/floorplan concepts to review with our client ranging from minimal changes to more creative options along with projected costs for each option. Once the  client has chosen  a specific layout or combination of layouts, then we proceed with design detailing and refinement, creating elevation drawings for the space or 3D Renderings.

Step 3 – Design Refinement & Material Selections: The materials options we assemble to review with a client may include: Cabinetry, countertops, fixtures, tile, flooring, appliances, etc. During this step we review budget considerations for materials and products selected and see how these items fit with the overall scope and budget for the project.

Step 4 – Contracts and Remodel Agreement: Upon your approval of the designs, materials & pricing, we will present a client with Design Studio West’s  Home & Lifestyle Remodeling Agreement package. Upon acceptance of these agreements, materials will be ordered and a start and completion dates will be scheduled.

What do you love the most about your new location?

After being located on Girard Avenue for 35 years, Design Studio West relocated to the Upper Morena Design District in 2018. Our new design showroom/studio is located at 4250 Morena Blvd. Suite C. We are just south of the Costco Wholesale Club on Morena Blvd and love our new location. We have been visited by many of our La Jolla clients and colleagues on their way to a shopping trip to Costco. The ease of parking makes our new location much more accessible. We love  the fact that we are so close to La Jolla and can access our clients easily. We still shop for product in La Jolla and work with many  homeowners, design firms and showrooms in the village. We are excited to continue to provide La Jolla with our design and construction services and are happy that we can showcase our products and services in a showroom that is convenient to the community.

0-6Tell us a little about this new showroom – that sounds exciting!

Our new showroom is about 2400 Square feet  and is located in the Upper Morena Design District just south of the Costco. The new space was a blank slate when we moved here so we had free range to design and create what we wanted. Our new space is light and airy and very open. We showcase 4 different cabinetry product lines  and show them in  various kitchen vignette installations. We have hundreds of cabinet finish samples and countertop materials that are available. We also show  appliance products, cabinet hardware, faucets and fixtures as well as a vast array of interior cabinetry accessories. We view our showroom as a working studio. Our vignettes and installations allow us to illustrate design details and installation applications to our clients and homeowners giving them clear illustrations of how their new cabinetry product will look and function.


Aside from the new showroom, is there anything else new and exciting about Design Studio West that you’d like to share? 

We recently became a dealer of an amazing outdoor cabinetry product line called Naturekast. They manufacture a weather proof cabinet that can stand up to the elements.  We are excited to be carrying their product because it allows us to be more creative when designing and working on outdoor spaces. Gone are the days where our outdoor patios and BBQ’s would have to have stainless steel doors or masonry kitchens. We can now create custom wood look kitchen and cabinetry storage spaces that feel more integrated to the home. The product is well suited for the indoor/outdoor lifestyle we all enjoy in southern California.

To learn more about Design Studio West, click HERE

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