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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Market Pulse { Readers' opinions on industry-related issues } W hen I have a client who is in- sisting on doing something I think would be a huge mistake, I try to show them a better alternative. My biggest problem is when a client wants to 'squeeze' something into the design, usually an island. I have had to tape out the island on the kitchen foor, set up chairs in the space and drape a blanket over them so they can see how massive it would be. Many people have a hard time visualizing something on paper, but when you bring it to life, it is easier for them to understand. My goal is al- ways to make a space better. I don't pack every item on my clients' wish lists into the design just so I can close the sale. They might like it on paper, but I doubt they would want to live with it. We dis- cuss their priorities and narrow down the list to the items they need, a few items they want, and maybe one thing that would be really fun!" Colleen Vanderhovel, owner Dream Kitchens, LLC Howell, MI "I encourage my clients to rethink poor design by considering how many steps it takes to accomplish a task. For example, if your prep tools are not located in the most-used area for meal preparation, that would be a poor de- sign. When selecting a good product, I encourage my clients to consider a style that is low maintenance such as minimal details to the door." Caroline Yamin senior kitchen designer/project mgr. Boca Kitchens & Floors Boca Raton, FL W hen I sit down with a client, I explore out their habits, life- style and 'wish' list. At times, what they hope to have may not work. If a client wants low maintenance, I will guide them to products that are easy to main- tain such as porcelain or ceramic tile, large tiles, quartz counters or simple cabinetry because more detail means more dusting. Once I give them pros and cons of a product, they usually make the best decision for them. When designing a space, a kitchen for example, I address function frst. What are their cooking habits? How do they enter their kitchen with groceries? Do they entertain, etc.? With this important information, I can draw a plan that may include a butcher block by the stove for food prep, cabinet accessories to hold kitchen gadgets, or glass doors to show of special dishes. It is a process, but in the end they have a space perfect for their lifestyle." Angie McVey, project coordinator MHI Interiors Carleton, MI I t has been tougher to sway clients whose minds are made up to go with lesser quality materials, due in great part to budget constraints. It is our job as professionals to make them aware of the projected life expectancy of materials, care and maintenance costs as well as the complications of replace- ment should it be necessary down the road. When making bad design choices, it typically comes down to cost as well. We educate them about the options and make sure they are making the choice they can live with comfortably. As de- signers, we know the right choices for product and design that will make living in that space the most enjoyable. Pres- ent that to the client and there will be no regrets on either side of the table, regardless of the outcome." Janice L. O'Brien, CKD, Allied ASID Kitchens and Baths, LLC Tucson, AZ P oor design usually results in scale and proportion that are not con- sidered, measured and/or understood. I will listen to my clients' ideas and evalu- ate their design choices, then suggest alternatives that will improve the space planning of the proportions and scale. The NKBA kitchen guidelines are the start of good planning. The creative for materials used will only accentuate parts of the kitchen design. Product se- lections should be based totally on the need of the consumer. There are no 'bad choices' but consideration of the value of the cabinetry, fnish and appliances by the professional will help consumers better understand what they are pur- chasing. Good design will live forever and function for the end users." Bev Adams, CMKBD president/founder/CEO Interior Intuitions Inc. Denver, CO I have found that if you explain to the client the reasons you are sug- gesting something, and why a selection or design decision they are making is inappropriate, they tend to, at a mini- mum, consider the options. We discuss alternatives and fnd something that solves the issues, whether they are related to aesthetics or budgets, so cli- ents are happy and the architect feels they are not compromising the design intent. In the couple of times the clients insisted and proceeded to implement a poor design idea, I made sure I stated my disagreement in writing. In both cases, they realized the mistake when it was executed and came back looking for ways to correct it." Andreas Charalambous, AIA, IIDA FORMA Design, Inc. Washington, DC W hen a client wants something that I feel will ruin the look or is poor choice, I do say how I feel, but in a gentle way. I ofer other ideas that I believe will work better. I also explain why a certain selection or design works so they will have the pros and cons of both. Without good design, a great prod- uct can fall short, and never meet its full potential or intention." Meredith Leigh Weiss Merri Interiors, Inc. Commack, NY G ood design and product selection are critical, and navigating a cli- ent with poor design ideas can be tricky. I've found the best way to deal with this situation is to draw from experience and present an alternative. Having experi- ence in the industry, we're often able to provide an example of a past client who made a similar choice and now re- grets their decision. By presenting an alternative, in addition to past examples, hopefully you can guide their thinking in a diferent direction." Zack St. Clair, lead designer St. Clair Kitchens Alexandria, VA S ometimes clients have their hearts set on certain design features, and sometimes, unfortunately, those ideas won't work, or they can be designed better. I will typically show them the latter…how they can be designed better. Nine times out of 10, they will choose the smarter design. There is that one percent who will still insist it be done their way. As their hired designer, I have the philosophy that the customer is the one who has to live with the decisions. I don't push anyone to do something they don't want to do. In the end, the client is always right." Jodi Crosby, owner Crosby Creations Drafting & Design Meggett, SC Kitchen & Bath Design News recently posed this question to dealers and designers in the kitchen and bath industry: "How do you encourage clients to rethink poor design and/or product selections they insist on making? How important is good design and product selection to a space?" Designers Discuss How to Guide Clients Toward Good Design 6 | Kitchen & Bath Design News August 2014

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