Post-Recession Design Preferences by ProQuest


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      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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