Posts Tagged ‘certified kitchen designer’

postheadericon Contractor Love At First Sight

So if you read my previous blog entry about contractors, you already know that I’m a tad particular about who I select to work with in the contracting world and that the pool is very small. Well, the gods must have been listening! One of my favorite contractors commented to me a few weeks ago that he felt bad because I gave him so many great projects but he hadn’t been able to return the favor as of late. (Love him…) So instead, he introduced me to the contracting company that he modeled his own business upon many years ago. A very well respected, established, family- owned business with a great reputation. I called them up, asked if I could stop by and tell them a little bit about myself and when I showed up I was met by all four of the big players in the company. Gulp…

We had the BEST conversation ever. I’ll spare you the details but I found it interesting to hear about their frustrations of working with designers in their recent past. In my mind I’m already thinking “Ok…probably high maintenance divas with control issues” which is typically what I hear. (I even had a kitchen showroom owner tell me once that the most impossible designer he ever worked with wore more jewelry than a rap star and these god-awful gold shoes – thus starting the code word around the showroom about potential “gold-shoe designers”.) At any rate, what this recent contractor told me was that they’d encountered a string of designers who didn’t even prepare drawings of what they were expecting the contractors to install. (Wait for it…..) SERIOUSLY?? Another, I was told, just kind of came on to the jobs site and “waved her hands” around and told the crew to “just make it happen” when she was told that her design was not physically produce-able – or something of that nature. This is not the first time I’ve heard this comment either.

Before I realized I was actually saying it, I heard the Queen Sassafras in me say, “Didn’t produce drawings? They should just go back to calling themselves a d-e-c-o-r-a-t-o-r and be done with it already.” Remembering something about “only one chance to make a first impression” I recognized the horror of what I’d said (not knowing these guys very well), but my comment was met with laughter and a big “THANK you!!” from the owner. Phew. Another foot-in-mouth episode narrowly escaped!

I guess the moral of the story has something to do with understanding the level of competency you’re dealing with when hiring a designer for a remodeling project. If you’re doing a kitchen or bath, make sure that they’re certified at some level with the National Kitchen & Bath Association or very well established in that niche. Any other “certification” is just a code word for “completed training of some sort in an area related to kitchens and baths”.

And in case any of you are actually reading this and paying attention, you’ll notice that I am not yet certified with the NKBA, but my big exam is coming… September 20th to be exact. I’m sure you’ll be reading more about my level of anxiety as the day approaches.

postheadericon The NKBA – who are they?

So in my world I do lots of kitchen and bath remodeling. When I first started out in this area of design I joined the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association). Although you may not have heard of them before, you know exactly who they are if you’re an HGTV addict. You know how every year HGTV does a “Live from the Kitchen & Bath Tradeshow” special? The NKBA are the folks who own that show and it’s amazing.

This year I was fortunate enough to make it to that show in Chicago. Hadn’t been to Chicago before either and it was a blast. The proper name of the show is “KBIS” or Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. I got to see all kinds of new products, some which aren’t even out on the market yet. Thought I’d share a few of the things that I thought were cool.

Kirstin at KBIS 2010

Ann Sacks, of course, always takes the cake when it comes to new and luxurious products. I could have spent all day in their booth handling their new tiles, but I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. So I had to go back several times to see it all.

Here are some new introductions from designer Michael S. Smith:

Cosmati Palais Royale

Cosmati Venice

Cosmati Chantes

Indah Circles

There are always new inventions on the market especially in the area of plumbing. It seems as though kitchen appliances and fixtures do just about everything these days except make your bed!

Both Kohler and Rohl have come out with new water filtering kitchen faucets, so you can get regular tap water and filtered water from the same spigot, even though they have separate supply lines. It used to be that if you wanted filtered water you either had to have a separate faucet, add a filtration device to your existing faucet (not pretty), or have a Brita container in your fridge. These new products have taken care of the bulky, unattractive and inefficient systems of the past, by simply adding another handle on an otherwise normal looking kitchen faucet. Take a look…

Kohler's Carafe Faucet

Rohl's Triflow Faucet

I don’t know how many times I’ve helped clients rip out their yucky fiberglass shower inserts and replaced them with all tile. But it can be a spendy prospect if you don’t watch out. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, the folks at Sterling have the nicest looking shower inserts that I’ve seen on the market. They look clean and contemporary and have lots of storage, as well as some movable bench options.

Sterling Shower Insert

For the longest while, the folks at Corian seemed to have the corner on the market for integrated sinks (meaning that the countertop material was also used to create a sink, making it all look like one seamless piece), but I’m starting to see the same thing with some of the other manufactured solid surface materials. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside of KBIS, but I saw a really cool Silestone integrated sink that looked like granite. Didn’t find a great example of it on their website, so this photo will have to suffice.

Silestone Counter & Integrated Sink

I’m not really hot on the “electric macaroni and cheese” look they went for here, but you get the picture…

I’ve always loved the look of glass countertops and I saw some great examples at the ThinkGlass display.

ThinkGlass countertop

A more artistic version

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of what I saw and found to be amazing, these items seemed to be most appropriate to my clientele.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the mini-tour!