Kitchen & Bath Design News

OCT 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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" I FIND THAT I have used Houzz more than any other social media account with my customers and Pinterest/Instagram more for my own personal design inspiration/ updates. Houzz allows me to find inspiration to share with my customers when they are in the preliminary stages of their design and they are trying to describe a specific look, but they are not sure how to put it into words. Houzz bridges the gap between what's in their mind and what I need to create for their design on paper. I can create private folders just for them, which allows us to communicate these ideas more quickly to one another and I can even save my own inspiration boards for future reference. I use Pinterest more if I am looking for quick ideas or to see what the latest materials and trends are, and [I use] Instagram to keep up with the companies that I use so that I can see what their latest product releases are. Having that quick-to-access visual inspira- tion allows me to communicate more clearly and design a lot more quickly." Tracy Amoroso, kitchen designer Gulfeagle Supply Warwick, RI " WE FIND THAT it has made it almost easier to communicate with clients. They can share a photo and tell us what they like, don't like and what style they think some- thing is. It has cut down on a lot of mis- communication and redesigning based on incorrect design terms. On the other hand, they get a ton of ideas that are impractical for their project, and costly (HGTV has the same effect), and it can lead to more changes in the project during construction. Overall, though, I think it is a positive." Heather Savgold, design consultant Dietrich Homes Fargo, ND " THE SITES HAVE primarily become a place for my clients and me to share images while communicating design concepts and intent. The ease of sharing has helped increase communication with clients, and improved client relationships because of that increase." Linda Blackwood, owner Interiors by Blackwood Tigard, OR " FOR THE PAST couple of years, we've had clients bringing in their iPads and show- ing us photos. We felt pressured to have an appearance and keep up with our media images on these sites. Fortunately, in the last six months, no one seems to be even talking about Houzz or Pinterest anymore. They don't bring in photos – or maybe just a few on their phone from Pinterest. The clients are depending more on our showroom, our photos and samples. I love it! I think that when Houzz started selling products, the consumers who liked their photos decided it was just too much trouble to look at their site. I also think we are all just being over- whelmed with social media…especially our type of client. It may still be an issue for the younger clients, but they are not our high- end consumers." Debbie Nassetta, designer Roomscapes Newport Beach, CA " THE RISE OF social media such as Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest has stream- lined the gathering process of understanding my clients' tastes, styles, etc. It has saved them tons of time. I can quickly look at their collection of images to get an understand- ing of their goals. I still help them discern between their wants and needs. And, because of the internet, we discuss their shopping habits. I am sensitive to my relationships with salespeople in brick and mortar showrooms. I make sure my clients understand that." Lucy Johnson, principal designer Lucy Johnson Interior Design Seattle, WA " I BELIEVE THESE websites have cre- ated a stronger relationship with our clients. They bring a better sense of collaboration into the picture and give us a better idea of what my clients are looking for as an end goal. We actually encourage creating "boards" on certain websites before we set up an initial meeting. Sharing that with us lets us develop a better knowledge of each individual client's style. Even if the 'pins' seem all over the place, we can usually see patterns and trends for each project." Danya Tooman, designer Studio Z Architecture Plymouth, MI " MY MAIN PROBLEM with [these websites] is that the client sees everything available that [not all suppliers] have avail- able. They see ideas that are not always doable in their circumstances [due to space constraints, budget constraints or product availability], and you have to negatively ex- plain why. Every time you have to say, 'I don't have this, I don't have that, I can't do this, I can't do that,' it is a negative to the sales process. I don't know what the answer is, it's just every time a prospective client pulls out [their] smart phone, I just shudder. Maybe it's just because I live and work in a small town and only have two cabinet suppliers. But I can't have everything for everybody." Kendall Kansey, designer/sales Wyoming Windows & Cabinets Lander, WY " THAT IS AN interesting question that essentially has two different answers. First, [social media] has helped clients to better identify their wants and needs. They come to us with more information in hand and a better idea of what things potentially might cost. They typically have a better under- standing of the renovation process and what to expect. However, on the downside, not all of that education is relevant, and cus- tomers [often] think they know more than they actually do. This occasionally creates issues when clients will debate the issue with facts found on the internet, which we all know are not always accurate." Kevin Bowers, general manager Dynamic Kitchens London, Ontario " THESE DAYS CLIENTS are much more savvy and prepared when I first meet with them. Many have already collected an image database, whether it be Pinterest, Houzz or Instagram. They are able to artic- ulate what aesthetic they are envisioning. This affects the design process in a couple of ways. While it's helpful to have a sense of someone's vision, it also can stifle the imagination. It's become important for me to collect and internalize those images, and then put them aside so that I can concentrate on creating something unique and specific to my client instead of [going with] cook- ie-cutter design." Cassia Wyner, principal CW Design LLC Brookline, MA Dealers, Designers Talk Internet Inspiration WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email your feedback, contact information and the subject, 'Market Pulse' with your message to How has the rise of websites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz affected your relationship with your clients? What effect have these websites had on your design process? 8 Kitchen & Bath Design News • October 2018 MARKET PULSE READERS' OPINIONS ON INDUSTRY-RELATED ISSUES

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