Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Page 37 of 108

August 2018 • 37 Plain & Posh carries cabinetry by Dura Supreme and Haas, as well as Frees' new original line, the Plain & Posh Collection, which is locally crafted and "can be customized to suit any storage need." The location of Plain & Posh requires flexi- bility in budget as well as aesthetic and function. Frees' showroom sits at the border of the village of Hinsdale – one of the wealthiest towns in Illinois – and the solidly middle-class Westmont. Frees explains that she might be working with a Hinsdale client one day and a Westmont client the next, so she has had to become adept at cre- ating beautiful designs at all price points. CLIENT CONNECTION Supporting clients through the challenges of the design process was one of the primary rea- sons Frees decided to open her own business, she explains. "I needed [to focus on] what I do best, and that is my customer service [and] my ability to pull together all of the selections and the timeline and manage the project." Frees explains that not only is her focus on creating spaces that bring her clients' design dreams to life, but also making sure the spaces are functional and full of high-quality materi- als. When she has to insist on one choice over another for the sake of functionality, she takes the time to carefully educate her clients about the reasons for her selection. "I super hand- hold," she says. This patient, personal approach has led to plenty of repeat business, as her previous clients will often hire her to design kitchens and baths for new homes or vacation homes. Satisfied clients are also keen to refer friends and family to Plain & Posh – in fact, Frees remarks, ap- proximately 80% of her business comes from referrals. "I have a lot of longtime clients," Frees notes. "I'll just go to lunch with clients because…we've connected. We've formed a friendship, and I truly cherish that." She adds, "I think that's part of being a small business owner." STAYING SMALL When she first started Plain & Posh, Frees expected that she would want to bring on more designers, perhaps a total of six peo- ple. However, as her business has grown and her client load has increased, she's come to realize that she prefers to keep Plain & Posh a one-woman show. According to Frees, spending time with her clients and getting to know them personally in order to create thoughtful designs is more appealing to her than managing a team of people – although, she laughs, her husband does provide some bookkeeping help. Frees concludes, "At the end of the day, Plain & Posh is me." ▪ Frees updated this townhouse kitchen for a couple of empty-nesters who wanted a 'clean and fresh' look. The homeowners requested no wall cabinets on the cooktop wall, so to provide adequate storage, 12"-deep floor-to-ceiling cabinets were added in the eating area. G E N E R A T I O N S O F B E A U T I F U L E X Q U I S I T E C R A F T S M A N S H I P. I N N O V AT I V E D E S I G N . U N C O M P R O M I S E D S E R V I C E . w w w. p l a t o w o o d w o r k . c o m Circle No. 23 on Product Card

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