Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2014

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

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24 | Kitchen & Bath Design News August 2014 Industry Profle N ew Orleans is well known for its food…gumbo, jamba- laya, Po-Boys, etoufee and of course, the city's famous beignets. "We're in a great place with many great restaurants and chefs, which gives us the ability to eat great food," says Randall Shaw. As owner of Nordic Kitchens and Baths based in neighbor- ing Metairie, Shaw – along with his team – enjoys creating kitchens where clients can replicate much of the great food they enjoy while dining in the city. As its name implies, Nordic Kitch- ens and Baths has a rich European heritage, originally founded by Shaw's father, a master cabinetmaker from Norway. Established as Nordic Cabi- nets in 1986, the company was one of the frst manufacturers of European cabinets in the New Orleans area. Today, the company – which is nearing its 20 th anniversary since re- branding – has grown beyond strictly cabinetry to offer full kitchen and bath design services with luxury cabi- nets, appliances, lighting, plumbing fxtures, etc. to create dream kitchens. Notably, Nordic is the only kitch- en/bath dealer in the New Orleans area to ofer all of the high-end appli- ance brands. "Typically appliances in this area are sold by kitchen and bath dealers rather than appliance stores," he says. "We are the only one who of- fers all of the high-end brands, which gives us a unique advantage. We've grown the appliance business tremen- dously over the years, and we're still growing it, expanding into outdoor kitchen appliances and design where we are carving out a niche as well." FULFILLING DREAMS Another aspect that Shaw feels sets frm apart is the ability to fully ac- commodate client requests, utilizing everyone from local fabricators and machine shops to manufacturers of specialty products to help fulfll dreams. "We aren't an out-of-the-box type of company," he says. "If a cabinet company doesn't ofer something a client is looking for, we will source it." Such was the case with a recent customer who had fallen in love with some furniture pieces, accented with chrome legs, while in Italy. "They wanted to use this look in their bath- room," he explains. "I had a machine shop replicate the legs, then dipped them in chrome. We'll often do these types of requests that other people might be afraid to do." Shaw recalls another project where they used laminated art glass as a backsplash, which was then back- lit. "We'll do as much or as little as the customer requests," he continues. "If someone walks in and just wants an ice maker or a dishwasher, we can do that. But if someone wants us to redesign their kitchen and have it in- stalled, we can do that, too." CATER TO CLIENTS As Shaw continues to grow the busi- ness and looks to the future, staying true to the company's past is impor- tant. "This business started with just the two of us," he says, ofering a nod to his father while stressing the im- portance of remaining humble. "I don't want to forget where we came from and how we started." This philosophy helps him and his designers stay focused on how to best serve clients. "It is and always has been about taking care of our clients," he says, adding that customer service isn't dependent upon the scope or in- vestment associated with a particular project. "They're all created equally, and we treat them that way. It's im- portant to not lose sight of that…to stay grounded." Client interaction is closely main- tained throughout the entire process, from the time someone walks in the door through completion of a project. "We greet everyone immediately when they walk into the showroom," he says, "but we don't 'harp' over them. Our designers and appliance specialists interact in a down-to-earth, friendly manner, while being attentive to every detail that person might have." While Nordic does not do general contracting, that doesn't mean Shaw hands of clients after the creative Going to Great Lengths To Fulfll Clients' Dreams Louisiana design frm specializes in full-service kitchen and bath design that focuses on luxury appliances and cabinetry. AT A GLANCE NORDIC KITCHENS AND BATHS Location: Metairie, LA Principal: Randall Shaw Showroom: 6,000 sq. ft. Hours of Operation: M-F 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Number of Employees: 9 Major Product Lines Carried: Poggenpohl, Smithport, Holiday Kitchens (cabinets); La Cornue, Sub- Zero, Wolf, Gaggenau, Miele (appliances) Design Software: autokitchen, SketchUp Business Philosophy: "Never forget where we came from and how we started." ⬆ This kitchen, located in New Orleans' Warehouse District, features an 11'- long smoked glass bar top braced with custom stainless steel supports that helps to transform the space into an entertainment hub to share with friends. ⬇ This spacious contemporary-styled New Orleans kitchen features ample seating around the island and several specialty appliances including a built-in cofee maker, speed oven and undercounter wine unit. A large fat screen TV fts seamlessly along the upper cabinets above the refrigerator. By Kim Berndtson Photos: Steve Whitsitte

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