As a general rule, a person may remodel his or her kitchen (or other rooms in the house) only once in her lifetime. It’s not hard to understand that the process of designing and remodeling a space may be a daunting task and the questions are many. Where do you begin? How do you know who to trust? How much will it cost? How long will it take?
At Kitchen Design Concepts, we love walking a potential client through this process. We believe it is our duty to educate and build trust. So, in a series of blogs, I will address the answers to these questions and paint a clear picture of our process. As a former consultant and Partner with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, I am Big (with a capital B) on PROCESS. So, we start with a map that walks our clients through the entire remodeling process.
Another tool we use in the early stages is our lifestyle assessment (also included below). This tool helps our clients think through all of the ways they use their space and all of the ways they wish they could use their space. Through this detailed questionnaire, we also come to understand the make-up of your family. Having children in the house will impact certain features of your kitchen, like where we install appliances. Knowing that a client plans to stay in their home through their golden years will also impact the functionality of that kitchen remodel. We often raise dishwashers or lower microwaves for aging clients, while those with small children would want just the opposite. Our lifestyle assessment tool acts as a guide throughout the initial “getting-to-know-you” stage so that we are crystal clear on expectations. And, we absolutely believe that clear communication on the front-side prevents disappointments later in the project. Cheers!
KBIS was great and, as promised,here are a few trends that I spied while walking the trade show floor. The thing that makes me marvel is that design continues to evolve along with technology so that we, as a company interested in both, can now offer so many great products that fit our criteria of being both functional and beautiful.
We are seeing more and more one-touch faucets that come on easily by sensing the user’s hand. What we once thought was Jetson-esque is quickly becoming every day. This same technology is being used in both kitchen and bath faucets and I personally love that they are not only easy to use but “green” as well since they automatically turn off after the motion from your hands is discontinued. Another interesting trend for our bathroom remodelers is the idea of shower doors on rollers. Fleurco, a manufacturer out of Canada, had some beautiful products in the Kinetik line that makes a truly frameless shower. It is well-designed, appears to be very durable and offers flexibility in the way of dimensions – you dream up the size, they will make the door to fit. In addition, the new colors and materials we are seeing are amazing. More later on that…
This week is THE trade show dedicated to the kitchen and bath industry – KBIS (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show). I’ve attended this remodeling show for years, and it is a marvelous opportunity to see the latest kitchen and bath products being released, gain insight into what industry-leading remodeling companies see for the future and where they will be spending their research and development monies. For example, I remember induction cooktops showed up three years ago and I knew when I came home from that show that I needed to cook on one to see if it was in fact all it appeared to be (more on that in a later blog!).
I think the most valuable take-aways from KBIS are the revelations, experiences, and thoughts of my colleagues and peers across the country. Inevitably, I meet new folks and have cocktails (it is a trade show!) with friends from prior years. I remember a recent KBIS trip where we had a 2-row bus-seat discussion on how to optimally install a marble countertop so that it would retain its cool surface temperature. In the end, our clients benefit from these robust discussions and the Kitchen Design Concepts team gets re-charged with new insights.
Well, I’m off to Chicago today. I know I’ll have fun, be exhausted at the end of each day, meet new people, and come home with several great kitchen and bath remodeling ideas – which, of course, I’ll be sharing with you.