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PLATTSBURGH, NY — W Schonbek LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of WAC, has acquired the assets of Swarovski Lighting, Ltd., including the Schonbek Worldwide Lighting brand, the company’s factory in New York and all associated intellectual property, the companies announced.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“There will be a period of significant investment in the new W plant in Plattsburgh to ensure that it can execute this direction and is able to support products for the WAC, Modern Forms, dweLED, and AiSPiRE brands,” a corporate spokesman said. At the end of this phase of transition, the largest introduction ever of new products under the SCHONBEK brand is expected to be unveiled within the next six months, the spokesman added, noting that W Schonbek and WAC have also hired more than 100 employees at the company’s facility in Plattsburgh, NY.
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Los Angeles — When Shalena Smith, owner of Shalena Smith Interiors and Gaga Designs, purchased her Mediterranean-style home 17 years ago, she and her husband had a budding family life with a two-year-old daughter and another on the way. Before moving into their Los Angeles, CA, residence, they did a complete remodel, which also included the kitchen.
“At the time, trending colors were very dark,” she says, referencing the burnt orange and deep brown hues that were joined by faux paint techniques and Venetian plaster walls. “I also made a mistake that I now tell my clients never to make…making defining decisions before living in a house. It wasn’t until we moved in that I realized I have a dark house without a lot of windows, especially in the kitchen where I now had dark brown cabinets streaked with multiple colors, which was another trend at the time.”
Smith fast forwarded through years of growing her family, as well as an interior design business that includes a roster of celebrity clientele such as Mariah Carey, Sean Combs, Heidi Klum, LL Cool J, Tamara Mowry Housely and Mark Paul Gosselaar, to name a few. Then came the realities of 2020. One of Smith’s daughters was a high school senior, the other was in college. Due to the pandemic, the entire family of four was living and working at home…full-time in a dark, outdated kitchen.
“During the stillness of the pandemic and lockdown, I realized that our kitchen just didn’t function in a way that met our needs anymore,” she says. “I had time to think about our lifestyle and how we used the space. I saw that the kitchen is the heart of our family and that it was time for a change.
“I also realized that I could practice my craft in my own home,” she continues. “As designers, we’re all busy, and it is challenging to be our own client, but we deserve to treat ourselves. I think it’s important that our homes are a reflection of what we do…and they should inspire us every day.”
Personal island Café
As an advocate for organization, functionality and safety before aesthetics, the designer focuses on incorporating elements that complement a lifestyle, rather than on what is trendy or popular at the moment. For her family, that meant removing the existing peninsula and replacing it with an island where the girls could do homework and Smith could entertain family and friends.
“I could only ever fit two stools at the peninsula,” she says. “The girls sat in the stools while I stood up and my husband sat at a nearby small table. I wanted all four of us to be able to sit together, and I wanted to be able to have a party and set out a food spread. Now, my girls affectionately call the new island their own personal café and it has become a great place for family time.”
To accommodate her budget, Smith repurposed the peninsula cabinetry for the island, combining the 36″ door/drawer base cabinet with a new 24″ open-shelf cabinet that would enable her to remove the microwave from the countertop and house it in the island, which was another dream for her new kitchen. While Smith had hoped to replace the tile floor as a second phase of the project, running power to the island for the microwave ultimately damaged more tiles than what Smith had stashed away from the original remodel, so she had to move to plan B, incorporating commercial-grade luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that resembles hardwood.
“We were able to lay it right over the existing tile, using it as a subfloor,” she says. “I also love the vinyl’s wood look. While some clients like hardwood, between our kids and pets, we needed something that was waterproof and scratch proof.”
The designer was also cognizant to size the island with large enough aisleways to be ADA compliant.
“We are thinking about retiring in this home, so we wanted to have enough room for a wheelchair or walker,” she notes. “I’ve also heard horror stories about people not having enough room to pull out appliances when they stop working…or if you need to paint behind them!”
Checking Both Boxes
Choosing Vadara Quartz Surfaces’ Marbella quartz, fabricated by Planet Stone, as her island top checks both boxes for function and aesthetics. Functionally, its versatility and ease of maintenance means she needn’t worry about spills.
“As an interior designer I see so many different beautiful natural stones, including marble,” she says. “But I know my life couldn’t handle marble. I love my kitchen, but I don’t want to
be a slave to it. I can’t continually care for marble. Even now, I’m looking at my kitchen with spilled juice on the counter. We also just had a prom party where ice cream cake was melting onto it. If I had a porous surface, those ‘events’ could ruin it. Instead, the quartz gives me the look of marble, without the maintenance.”
This particular quartz color also matches the aesthetic goal Smith had envisioned for the space.
“It’s more of a cloudy pattern, without harsh veining,” she indicates. “It was important to me to have an updated modern kitchen, but I needed materials that matched the more traditional/Mediterranean vibe of my home, and a more prominent veining pattern would have been too modern. Plus, the grays, golds, browns and whites all blended together to tie in with my white perimeter cabinets, stained island and brown floor. People are constantly asking if it’s real stone!”
Smith loves the quartz so much that she chose to repeat it as the backsplash throughout the entire kitchen, giving it focal-point status above the KitchenAid cooktop and behind the Zephyr ventilation hood. While the designer kept her original perimeter cabinetry – giving it new life via a fresh coat of Dunn-Edwards’ Whisper paint and new Pottery Barn hardware – she removed the cabinetry above her previous undercabinet ventilation hood to give the quartz more opportunity to shine.
“I didn’t want anything to fight against the quartz,” she says. “I wanted it to be the primary focus in the space. Using it as the backsplash that goes to the ceiling really transformed the entire kitchen.”
While the quartz in large part steals the show in Smith’s new kitchen, she also attributes new lighting as a game-changer.
“People often think they can do a remodel without changing the lighting,” she says. “But lighting has so much to do with how welcoming a space is, and how it looks during the day and at night. It can also affect how large a space looks.”
Originally, Smith had a few recessed can lights and a flush-mount ceiling light to illuminate the space. During the remodel, she reconfigured the can lights and added two large Hudson Valley Lighting pendant lights above the island and a pair of complementary Hudson Valley sconces above the Blanco Precis Silgranit Anthracite sink, which is accented with a Graff Perfeque pull-down faucet that offers a modern mix of polished chrome and black.
“Sometimes it’s go big or go home,” she says in reference to the pendant lights. “If you have the room, adding large pendants above an island can actually make the ceiling seem higher. The pendant lights, and the hood vent, are also like a pair of great earrings that add subtle sophistication to the space. You can have a great outfit, but if the earrings aren’t right, the outfit is ruined.”
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While the past 15 months have certainly taken a toll on all of us, we can now look ahead to a brighter future. The power of positive thinking helped many people escape the darkness a global pandemic can evoke. It can also help us see the silver lining in what we’ve been through.
How can we adapt? How can we operate our businesses more efficiently? How do we connect with people?
Now that we’ve been through the worst of the COVID-19 public-health crisis, many of us can hit the reset button and get a fresh perspective on best business practices as we enter a new era. Our small family business not only survived but began to thrive as the pandemic progressed. How? It most definitely was not easy. Part of our success is attributed to our unique corporate structure: a service and retail business comprised of a full-service plumbing company and a decorative hardware showroom. But there is more to it than simply that. What follows is what we learned amidst our struggles as we enter a post-COVID Era.
Still a ‘People’ Business
Decorative plumbing and hardware is unique in that it remains a “people” business. Artificial Intelligence and technology may be replacing jobs in other industries, but ours still requires people. There are just too many unpredictable factors and variables that come into play when we’re dealing with a new construction or a remodel project that cannot be solved by an algorithm. As we all know, these types of projects are emotional and, as a result, each one requires a unique human connection.
What has evolved is the way that we connect with people. On The DPHA Drip podcast (Episode: The Consolidation Effect), I had an enlightening conversation with Vik Szemerei, director of strategic accounts at The House of Rohl. One of the biggest takeaways from the conversation involved talking about how the pandemic has forced us to think about how we connect with people and how we operate more efficiently due to the increased value of time.
We both agreed that it makes absolutely no sense to fly across the country to sit in the room with people for a PowerPoint presentation. Save the PowerPoint or strategic talking points for a virtual meeting. When you are meeting with someone, use that time to connect, get to know each other and communicate. So, while our industry is still largely a people business, we can effectively utilize new technology to do better business with people, not to replace people.
Rethinking Events & Showcases
There seemed to be a saturation of events and showcases before the pandemic – so much so that it almost seemed like burnout was inevitable.
Those planning the events and showcases were struggling to figure out how to remain relevant amongst their competition, while those attending were struggling with which events would be worth the investment to attend. This would often lead to disappointment from exhibitors due to low attendance and thus less engagement from attendees because of the low energy.
DPHA adapted by hosting a virtual conference in 2020 and expanding its outreach to a new sector of attendees. Through our relationship with ASID, NKBA and other relevant associations, we extended invitations to architects and designers across North America, yielding hundreds in attendance. Moving forward, DPHA is implementing new strategies to make our annual showcase more accessible by doing the following:
Offering a Hybrid Model: the showcase can be attended virtually or in-person.
Being more design centric: ASID will have their own booth at the conference this year, and several design centric breakout sessions will take place.
Educational Sessions will be available in-person or as part of the virtual event.
The pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we connect with people, which has also forced companies to rethink the way they allocate their market and related budgets.
Company Roles & Structure
Efficiency and adaptation have been common themes, so it is natural for this concept to be fluid in all aspects of business. Companies both large and small have regrouped to think of ways to be more lean, agile and receptive to growth and change.
Technology can also be utilized to improve processes in different areas of your business. For example, our service department switched to a “remote dispatch” model to avoid close contact with one another when public health was uncertain. What we realized in that adaptation was that it increased the efficiency of our technicians’ ability to complete their projects more effectively and expanded our network radius. We can hire technicians out of our service area to reach more potential customers and eliminate the detriment of a commute.
If your bookkeeper, accountant or administrator does not have to be in the office, your hiring pool can expand tremendously. Showroom design consultants could be more accessible and make a greater impact outside of the showroom. Technology and innovation have been critical catalysts for improving processes, increasing productivity and maximizing accessibility.
A New Era
We are all in a unique position to reinvent ourselves in business and as individuals. The loss of human connection will hopefully inspire us to live with more gratitude.
Technology and innovation have helped us discover our potential in business. We now have the opportunity to create a unique new synergy by using technology to make us more connected instead of creating more distance. Businesses can utilize technology to maximize efficiency while placing more emphasis on connecting with the people they do business with. Events and showcases can expand their network while keeping the family culture alive.
With all of these advancements and new insights, we can all move forward together with hope in this post-COVID Era.
J. Philip Hotarek is operations manager at Lutz Plumbing Inc. and currently serves as board secretary for the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association (DPHA). A former NCAA and professional ice hockey player, he spent summers working in the family business as a plumbing apprentice and has been working full time for the company for the past 10 years as a design consultant and plumbing technician. He is currently stepping into a management and ownership role for Lutz Plumbing Inc., whose decorative hardware showroom serves the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Kitchen Inspiration by Kitchen Solvers of Fort Lauderdale
Project Location: Boynton Beach, Florida
Remodel type: New Cabinetry
Type of door style: 1300 Frame
Remodel style: Contemporary
Color: Matte White
Countertop color: Alabaster White
Backsplash: Alabaster White Quartz
For more information about this project, please visit Kitchen Solvers of Fort Lauderdale’s Blog.
Find a location near you.
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The wellness trend is taking hold in all aspects of daily life, and also influencing how consumers choose products for their homes. Homeowners can now turn various products – from lighting to appliances to faucets – on and off with the wave of a hand, a touch on their phone or via their voice.
While many of these trends may be very new concepts, the idea of clean air in the home is not. Ventilation has long been the focus of proper design, with attention paid to clearing odors, smoke and steam for easier breathing. In the kitchen, the right kitchen hood – with the appropriate air-clearing capability – is critical to the room’s overall style and function.
Manufacturers have long supplied different options for kitchen ventilation, but today’s additional focus on wellness and air quality have pushed the envelope even further. Many companies have tweaked existing designs, or gone back to the drawing board to bring the latest technology to the masses.
Some of the major trends in kitchen ventilation include:
–Offering a wide range of size choices – from narrow, 24” styles for urban settings to oversized custom hoods for pro-style ranges – are the focus for many manufacturers.
–Black stainless and its many versions, as well as matte black, continue to offer a sophisticated and in-demand alternative to stainless steel.
–Downdraft ventilation, which sits alongside or behind a cooktop, is gaining in popularity, especially in condos and high rises, due to their ductless operation.
–Liners and low-profile designs have been upgraded, delivering powerful performance even when mounted in cabinets or custom designs.
–Color is everywhere, with blues, greens, reds and whites among the favorites, along with a seemingly endless rainbow of options.
–Among the leading technologies being introduced are hoods that communicate with cooktops to adjust automatically to what is being prepared, as well as voice-command and app-controllable features.
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If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, one of the first questions which comes up is “how much will this be costing me?” When in the market for a home remodel, getting a ballpark estimate for the cost can be challenging and sometimes unreliable. Well, today we are here to answer some of those burning questions. What does an average kitchen remodeling project cost? What is included in those costs and what value can you expect from investing in your kitchen remodel?
How Much is an Average Kitchen Remodel?
No two kitchen are ever the same, so remodeling expenses tend to fluctuate depending on the size of the space, quality of materials, intended function, and the coveted layout. To help you understand what the average kitchen remodel costs, we’ve comprised some data from HomeAdvisor’s completed renovations and from Remodeling Magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report. These are the reported national numbers which will give you a better understanding of what to expect for your project.
According to HomeAdvisor, taking all kitchen sizes and product quality into account, the national average cost for a minor kitchen remodel is $25,587. A homeowner’s typical range for kitchen renovations is around $13,366- $37,808. These projected ranges factor in aspects like labor, materials, lighting, and plumbing fixtures.
Expenses to Expect with my Kitchen Remodel.
The average $25,587 expense will primarily go to the cost of cabinets, appliances, and installation. The 2021 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling Magazine shows a detailed breakdown due to the division of projects in regard to size and product quality. Their average “minor kitchen remodel” is $26,214 and the average “major kitchen remodel” (mid-range) is $75,571.
What is the Return on Investment for a Kitchen Remodel?
These costs, in relation to HomeAdvisor’s average kitchen remodel, encompass complementing investment ranges despite varying definitions of minor and major kitchen remodels. With the cost vs. value report, homeowners can understand what their average expected return on investment will be for a kitchen remodel. For homeowner’s who remodel with the intention of increasing market price, the expected values of those renovations in U.S. markets are listed below:
|Minor Kitchen Remodel with Cabinet Refacing||Major Kitchen Remodel with New Cabinetry|
|Countertops & Cabinetry (Linear Footage)||30 (refaced cabinets with shaker-style wood panels, drawer fronts, laminate countertops)||30 new cabinets including 3×5 island (semi-wood cabinets, laminate countertops)|
|Flooring||Resilient flooring||Resilient flooring|
|Sink||Mid-priced sink and faucet||Standard double-tub stainless sink with a single-lever faucet|
|Appliances||Oven, stovetop, fridge (energy-efficient)||Oven, stovetop, fridge, vented hood range, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, custom lighting (energy-efficient)
|Newly Painted||Walls, trim, ceiling||Walls, trim, ceiling|
Similar to last year’s report, the minor kitchen remodel had a greater percentage of the cost recouped than the major kitchen remodel. Putting sizable amounts of money into a renovation does not always translate to a greater return for the homeowner. This technique is used to help ensure homeowners are getting the most out of their money.
Each kitchen and its renovations are unique. It is hard to pinpoint an exact cost for a new kitchen without an expert visiting your home. However, if you’re considering a remodel, hopefully the given information has given you greater clarity of what a kitchen remodel budget and cost should entail.
Now that you know what to expect during a kitchen remodel, it’s time to find the experts to actually do it. That’s where Kitchen Solvers can help. Our design team can help you craft the perfect blueprint and put it all together for you. Contact us today to learn more!
And be sure to check out our helpful blogs, General timeline for your kitchen remodeling project for new cabinetry and How Much is a Kitchen Remodel Going to Cost Me? if you are considering a remodeling project for your kitchen
The post How Much is a Kitchen Remodel Going to Cost Me in 2021-2022? appeared first on Kitchen Solvers.
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PALO ALTO, CA — Residential construction professionals experienced their busiest quarter since at least 2015 in the first three months of 2021, with confidence among remodeling construction and design firms running high into the third quarter, according to Houzz Inc.
The Palo Alto, CA-based online platform for home remodeling and design, reported positive results for its “Q3 2021 Houzz Renovation Barometer,” a quarterly gauge of residential renovation market expectations, project backlogs and recent activity among businesses in the U.S. construction, architectural and design services sectors.
“The residential construction and design industry has continued to thrive under strong demand,” said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz senior economist. “In fact, our Expected Business Activity indicators are at some of the highest levels we’ve seen across both sectors since we began tracking the Barometer.”
However, the heightened activity is not without its challenges, according to Houzz, which reported that supply chain delays, extreme weather patterns, rising product and material costs and labor shortages “continue to create major headwinds for the industry.” Specifically, more than nine in ten construction businesses report labor shortages, including carpenters, laborers, framers, cabinet specialists and plumbers, Sargsyan said.
More than three quarters of businesses in both the construction and architectural and design services sectors report that product and material shortages and costs impacted their businesses in the second quarter of 2021, while more than half of firms in both sectors report labor shortages and costs impacted their businesses, she added.
In other findings:
n More than nine in 10 businesses across all business sectors reported increases in costs for lumber, copper, steel and aluminum in Q2, although about half of surveyed businesses do not believe that costs will continue to increase in Q3. Additional materials that construction pros anticipate rising in cost include plastic, concrete, paint, foam and drywall. Interior designers anticipate increased third-quarter prices for appliances, furniture and cabinetry.
n More than nine in 10 construction businesses (92%) report moderate to severe skilled labor shortages in Q3, with carpenters, laborers, framers, cabinet specialists and plumbers in particularly short supply. Forty percent of pros report shortages in cabinet specialists, up from 21% in 2019. Shortages for plumbers, painters, framers, concrete specialists and flooring specialists, saw a nine-percentage-point or more increase from 2019, as well, Houzz said.
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Kitchen remodeling contractors can help you turn your dull old kitchen into a stylish and inviting space. It is no longer enough to slap on new cabinets and shelves when a kitchen should be inviting and welcoming. There are many factors to consider when considering kitchen remodeling contractors, from budget to kitchen design and functionality. Before you take the plunge, Visit Website and be sure to ask some questions.
The first thing to know about kitchen remodeling contractors is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are working with contractors to remodel an entire kitchen or just replacing a few cabinets, you have to ask them for references. Find out where previous clients were satisfied with their kitchen design and how much work the contractor did to get them to where they are now. A good contractor will give you straight answers without the added spin, so always be clear in your questioning.
Next, you need to decide whether you want a contractor to do a custom kitchen or build-in. There are pros and cons to each. A custom kitchen is an affordable alternative to pre-built kitchens, and because of the customization and unique design, it can last for years. On the other hand, a build-in kitchen can fit right into your existing kitchen and be integrated seamlessly. The only downside to a custom or built-in kitchen is that it can be expensive and take a long time to design.
Once you’ve decided on the style of kitchen remodeling you want, you need to look into contractors that offer kitchen renovation services. Some contractors offer only remodeling services, while others offer a full range of services from flooring to appliances to counter-tops. Consider whether you are going to hire a general contractor who will design the whole project, or if you are going to hire a kitchen designer who will focus on the specific aspects you want to change. Either way, you have to make sure that the contractor you choose is fully licensed, insured, and bonded, and that they use quality products and work hard to make sure your home gets the best results possible.
Also, look into kitchen remodeling contractors who offer quality workmanship and fair prices. This is one area where price is not always a good indicator of quality; the cheapest prices don’t mean the best products either. Be sure to check out reviews online before making a final decision. You’ll likely find that the more reviews a contractor has, the better the likelihood that they truly offer quality kitchen renovation services.
Be sure to also find out how long each of the kitchen remodeling contractors you are considering have been in business. Do they have references? How many remodel jobs have they done? Are their employees’ professional and well trained?
Don’t be afraid to ask these questions of the kitchen remodeling contractors that you are considering. It’s important that you are satisfied with the answers, as well as the overall cost estimates. Don’t let the contractors talk you into a job that you can’t afford or that won’t give you the design you want. You need someone with knowledge and experience in kitchen renovation services, so be sure to look for that when you are looking for a contractor. You may find it helpful to bring in an employee from the kitchen design company to discuss your ideas with the remodelers, so that you can get a better idea of what you want.
Once you’ve reviewed a number of kitchen remodeling contractors, narrowed down your choices, and made a list of pros and cons, it’s time to make a decision. You want to choose someone you can trust will do a great job with your kitchen renovation ideas. You also want to choose a contractor that offers quality craftsmanship. You can find information about kitchen remodeling contractors online, so spend some time doing your research and you’ll soon find a great remodeler for your kitchen.