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M A STER DESIGN SOLU T IONS Post-Recession Design Preferences Four leading designers see a stronger kitchen and bath remodeling market in the months ahead as clients, chastened by economic adversity, restart delayed projects By Pa t r i c k L . O ’ To o l e n the fall of 2008, as the even 30 percent while fluctua- I financial crisis played out, many remodeling clients tions in investments have similar- ly clipped their net worth. put projects on hold. Today those Somewhat battered, many clients, many with projects still prospective clients are dusting on hold, feel distinctly less well off their plans and getting back off. They have seen the value of to the drawing board. But they their homes depreciate 10, 20 or have changed, and their budgets are likely scaled back. If their 2008 budget for a new kitchen was $100,000, they may spend Mick De Giulio, de Giulio Kitchen Design only $75,000 this time around. And, say four leading kitchen and bath designers who shared their time to make the decision to market insights with Qualified move forward. Secondly, there is Remodeler, clients are taking their much more attention to the total time and being more deliberate investment figure. Even with through the design and product- clients that can invest whatever selection process. The overriding they would like to, there is a more goal is value, guided by a profes- careful sense about what is a rea- sional they trust. sonable number.” “Clients are more cautious Interviewed separately, design- today. I think there has been a er Ann M. Morris, CMKBD of genuine loss of trust across our Allied Kitchens & Baths in Fort nation in all business sectors. The Lauderdale, Fla., echoed Cheever’s consumer today is not as will- point without prompting. ing to simply trust their design “Consumers are savvier now. professional,” says Ellen Cheever And trust is on top. Money is CMKBD, ASID, of Ellen Cheever down at the bottom,” explains & Associates, Wilmington, Del. Morris. “Yes, they are being more “They want to cautiously con- conservative with their money, but sider each part of the project to they are picking the right person Mick De Giulio of de Giulio Kitchen Design in Chicago, created this Beaux Arts design. It is a “collected” look featuring old and new styles. ensure that they are
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