Online Shopping vs The Design Firm:
Over the past year I have had more and more clients ask me about the pros and cons of online shopping. I have also had projects where the client has purchased their own appliances and plumbing online. These situations have caused the projects to not run as smoothly as I would have liked, and then my hands have been tied in trying to remedy the situation(s) for them. A prime example of this exact situation is a kitchen remodel project this past year. The Hall Design Group was responsible for the majority of the project besides the appliances (which the owner purchased online). The owner’s one request for me was to complete the project by the beginning of November so they could enjoy Thanksgiving in their new kitchen. I assured them it would not be an issue from my end. To make a long story short, the wall oven was installed and did not work. As a result, the owner was not able to cook their turkey in the oven because it was a real problem trying to get the right part shipped out in time. When the part did come, it was the wrong one.
Online shopping can be helpful in in educating the consumer, but the process only goes so far in preparing the clients in making the “big decisions.” It is beneficial for people to discuss products and design ideas with a professional–creating a direct, personal connection. I always have clients come to me at the end of the process and thank me by saying “John, I didn’t know how involved the remodel process is and I am so grateful you have been there guiding us throughout our remodel.”
On the flip side, as professionals we owe it to our clients to be experienced, knowledgeable and passionate partners. We are supposed to guide our clients through the design process and apply excellent company values that the client can trust during their work with you over the next several months. We are also ambassadors that will make sure things run as smoothly as possible.
At the end of the day it is all about relationship building, trust and overall design experience. These ever so important details cannot be found online and never will.
This month’s featured product:
Wolf’s new Contemporary gas cooktop
Please allow me to introduce to you the hottest (no pun intended) appliance that are a must-have item for many of my clients’ kitchens. The initial draw to the new Wolf CG365C/S contemporary gas cooktop is the sleek European design. The illuminated controls are separate from the unit (which allows for more available top cooking service) and installed on the face of the cabinet. The knob illumination allows for one to see if a burner is on. The knobs are also available in red– should that be your preference. However, the sleekest part of this cooktop is not the knob location but how we can take a cooktop and make it flush with the counter. This application only enhances a true minimalistic design.
Once we get past the design and look at the performance, we see why this cooktop is truly a cook’s dream. There are 5 burners with the middle burner being Wolf’s most powerful burner yet on a gas cooktop. The middle burner is 20,000 BTU’S and delivers faster boils and restaurant-quality sears. The lower tier of the of the Wolf dual-stack burner also goes to the opposite extreme and can offer only a breadth of a flame, which is ideal for gentle simmering and melting of fine chocolates etc.
From a designer’s perspective, the only drawback to this unit is that it cannot be down drafted, and must have a hood above.