Kitchen & Bath Design News

SEP 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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A willingness to expand the budget and include more expensive products and materials opens up new options for creating spectacular kitchens. BY KIM BERNDTSON Spectacular Splurges plurge. It's a word that was rarely uttered and all but writ- ten out of the kitchen design world's vocabulary during the Great Recession. But now it's beginning to make its way back into the conversation again. Thanks to an improved economy and growing consumer confidence, many designers indicate that clients have become more willing to indulge in products and materials that may be a bit more expensive. "It has been a very slow change," says Sarah Robertson, owner/designer, Studio Dearborn, in Mamaroneck, NY. "For me, I've really only started seeing it in the last couple of years. It may be a function of how my client base has changed, but I think people are finally getting comfortable about splurging without guilt. That opens up options tremendously and allows us to get more creative. We can look for more unique vendors and custom options. That's when it gets fun to design." Alex Hall, CKD/owner, Creative Nook, in Paoli, PA, also notes that clients in his market have been slow to splurge, or to express much creativity, which ultimately affects those in- dulgences. "Creativity has been stifled since the recession," he says. "It put restraints on a designer's ability to be creative and to show unique treatments. In my market, people want white Shaker cabinets. They seem to be afraid to show any individ- ualism or expression of their taste. However, one client we're working with now is stepping outside the box. They are doing medium cherry cabinets with a white glaze, complemented with some painted cabinets in a putty color called Lambswool. It's refreshing to be doing something different." For Kelly Emerson, designer, Aidan Design, in Silver Spring, MD, economic downturns aren't the only events that can hinder a client's willingness to specify more expensive S 48 Kitchen & Bath Design News • September 2018 DESIGN FLOURISHES

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