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I was surprised but not shocked when Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry officially closed their doors and up to 2,000 Pennsylvania workers lost their jobs Monday afternoon. The unfortunate closure is not only a hardship for plant workers and management but also a blow to the regional cabinet dealers that sold Wood-Mode and their semi-custom cabinet line Brookhaven.

Wood-Mode plant

The reason the closure wasn’t such a surprise to me was that as the owner of a cabinet dealership I closely monitor our industry and try to make adjustments to how we do business almost on a daily basis. Wood-Mode on the other hand was unchanging in their business model almost to the point of arrogance. When I heard the news of Wood-Mode’s closure I shook my head and thought back 5 years to when we met with Wood-Mode representatives to discuss Main Line Kitchen Design carrying the Wood-Mode brand.

It was very apparent during those meetings that both companies were taking a very different approach to selling cabinetry. Wood-Mode had little interest in Main Line Kitchen Design’s on line marketing strategy or in generating any kind of significant internet presence themselves. Time and efficiency was paramount for me but was not really valued by Wood-Mode. They felt that pricing and designing fine kitchens needed to be done in the systematic fashion they had used for decades and speeding up the process wasn’t needed.

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I believe that kitchen designers showing customers what their kitchen will look like in three dimensions and determining how much it will cost as we make changes is essential. This can be a problem with custom cabinet lines like Wood-Mode because they offer so much customization that using CAD software like 20-20 or ProKitchens to show and price their cabinetry isn’t possible. Pricing a kitchen in these custom lines can be a great deal of work and take a ridiculously long time. Main Line Kitchen Design solves this problem by designing the highest end kitchens we sell in slightly less expensive cabinet lines and simply making a good guess on how much more the cabinetry in the more expensive custom line will be. We don’t actually know until sometimes weeks after we sell these very expensive kitchens exactly how much money we will make. We live with this problem so that both our time and our customers time can be spent effectively. This time is money concept was lost on the Wood-Mode reps we spoke with. They poo-pooed our technique believing that selling fine cabinetry didn’t require the speed and computer visualizations I did.

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The custom cabinet market has suffered the last ten years as semi-custom cabinet lines have continued to offer greater customization. And the difference between fine custom cabinets and less expensive brands is not as obvious in the full overlay painted cabinetry that is very popular today. It is inset and beaded inset cabinetry and the fine furniture stains and other more complex finishes that distinguish the highest end cabinetry from less expensive brands.

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The custom lines that will survive in today’s market need to change with the market and recognize that making their products more designer and customer friendly is essential. This is why we carry and sell both Brighton and Wellsford custom cabinetry. Besides making beautiful cabinetry, both these custom lines make our design process easier. We may not find out how much the custom cabinetry we sell will cost us until weeks after our customers order their kitchens but our designers and customers spend their time more efficiently and with fewer frustrations. Making the design process easier and more cost effective is one reason that Main Line Kitchen Design has grown over 20% each year we have been in business.

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Brighton Custom Kitchen

I’m hoping that everyone affected by this sad turn of events adapts and finds new work. Living in a time of rapid change can be both exciting and frightening. Often when something like the Wood-Mode closing occurs I think of my Grandfather who was born before automobiles and yet saw a man land on the moon. He worked for a single company his entire life, starting as a box boy and retiring as a CPA. Today this would almost certainly never happen.

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As our society continues to change I marvel at the changes and root for a better world…

… and as Julia Child a trend setter and culinary pioneer born a little after my grandfather would wish her viewers …

Bon Appetit!

Paul

We often get asked by our customers what percentage of the money they spend remodeling their kitchen do we think they should get back when they sell their home. The Return On Investment, abbreviated ROI, for a kitchen renovation is more complex that most homeowners and real estate professionals believe. The most common misconception is that there is some approximate percentage that a newly renovated kitchen should bring upon selling a home. Another is that renovating a kitchen in a home that is already valued higher than most others in the area won’t be a good investment.

In reality we have seen the value of a home do anything from actually decreasing in value to increasing in value many times the cost of the renovation. The biggest factor affecting the the ROI of a kitchen renovation is the kitchen design itself. For example redoing the same poorly designed kitchen the same way could have very little ROI. Or a new even worse design that gives a homeowner what they think want despite it not fitting or working well in their space might lower the value of their home.

Knowing what designs are good choices and what doesn’t work are often not obvious to homeowners. If fact many homeowners want to implement designs they thought of themselves even when we explain why they are poor choices. Or they want to keep the present terrible design because it is what they know.

At Main Line Kitchen Design we believe our first obligation is to at least show our customers better designs than what they might ask for. It wouldn’t be ethical or professional in our opinion to simply implement a design a customer asked for if there were better designs or design improvements we felt that they needed to see. Of course they can buy the kitchen they envisioned after seeing what we recommend, so long as it isn’t dangerous. But working together and having a professional kitchen designer critique different designs usually leads to sensible compromises that customers appreciate. Especially after the dust settles and they begin cooking and living in their new kitchen.

Below is our generalized list of the top ROI’s we see on kitchen renovations. Notice that high end appliances, quartz countertops, custom cabinetry, and gadgets don’t appear.

Top ten ROI ‘s for a Kitchen Renovation:

  1. Working with a talented and experienced kitchen designer
  2. Removing a soffit
  3. Removing a wall separating the dining room and the kitchen in smaller homes
  4. Going to the ceiling with molding
  5. Upgrading cabinets to all plywood construction
  6. Upgrading to soft close dovetail drawers and soft close doors
  7. Building the refrigerator into cabinetry
  8. Double trash pull out next to sink
  9. Recessed door style
  10. Large single bowl sink

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Main Line Kitchen Design wishes everyone a happy Mothers Day and as always a hearty – BON APPETITE!

Paul, Julie, Ed, John, Tom and Stacia

Main Line Kitchen Design

To Celebrate Mother’s Day we are rerunning one of my favorite blogs. We are also reducing our measure deposit to $100. Simply give the promo code MOM when scheduling your measure.

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Blog first posted January 1, 2018

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Kitchens are where many of our memories take place. Even the simplest kitchen will host some of our best times and the warmest memories of friends and family. Here is a story written by my mother who passed away this fall about the simplest of kitchens and the happiness that she remembered there.

Our fist apartment was a small, old but affordable, walk-up. Although it left much to be desired, as newlyweds, we were satisfied and even excited about moving in — except for the kitchen! It contained only one cabinet which was situated above the sink and its exposed pipes. We improvised by buying a large standing cabinet and sewing a floral fabric to elastic and wrapping it around the sink. The area under the sink could now be used as storage space for cleaning products, pots and pans, etc.

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When our first baby began toddling around, it became his favorite destination. He enjoyed crashing through the curtain, playing with the pots and pans and eating the soap powder. I could not wait to escape from this hazardous kitchen. Eventually we converted the space to a toy area where he sat playing with his cars, trucks and blocks. In fact, that’s where he said his first word, which was “car”.

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One night, my husband arrived home from work with a bottle of champagne and wonderful news. He had just received a big promotion and a very substantial salary increase. While eating dinner at our little kitchen table with the baby next to us in his high chair, we toasted to his new job and our new house.

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It is now more than 50 years later and I still remember that antiquated kitchen and the joy and happiness we experienced in it.

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Jean McAlary passed away in October, but the little boy under the sink still loves kitchens and is of course the founder of Main Line Kitchen Design.

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Hoping all our kitchens bring our customers the kind of joyful memories my mother’s 1960 kitchen brought her.

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And as Julia Child who passed 17 years ago said  …

Bon Appetit!

Paul

The 14th Annual Ardmore Library Kitchen Tour is taking place on Sunday, April 28th.  Main Line Kitchen Design is delighted and honored to support this very worthy local cause.  This year, we will be featuring two kitchens and annual attendees will again meet my wife, Julie Meyer, at one of them. 

Both Julie and the kitchen she’ll be hosting, this year, have a special story.  It all began three years ago when Julie hosted this kitchen by Main Line Kitchen Design.


As she will again this year, Julie, enthusiastically and more expertly than I anticipated, answered hundreds of questions about the process of working with our team on a project like this one.  Participants in this year’s tour will see one that began in the kitchen above!

This year’s kitchen – the one that began on an Ardmore Library tour, is an exciting example of what’s possible with open collaboration between homeowners, contractors and kitchen designers.  In this case, the collaboration was so successful, that the kitchen has also been entered in local and national design competitions.  The local awards will be announced shortly before the tour.  Stop by to see if we have a trophy on display!



This kitchen is also an good example of how the kitchen renovation process often differs from what homeowner’s expect.  When Bob and Gail met Julie, they had been considering renovating their kitchen for years.  Bob even had a  10+ page document of all their needs, wants and ideas.  Julie emphasized that the first steps of Main Line Kitchen’s design process involve the designers measuring and presenting an independent initial design based on best use of the space at hand. 

Bob and Gail set up their measure and initial consultation within days of their Library Kitchen Tour.  When I came out to measure, Bob had a copy of his notes and design ideas including a home addition for me to consider as I prepared their initial designs.  This is where the first unexpected part of the process differed from what Bob and Gail expected . . .

I didn’t take the list.  Bob gently urged me to keep it to consider as I prepared their designs but I reiterated I would not look at it at this stage in the process.  The first design any Main Line Kitchen Design customer receives represents the best use of the space we are considering.  That way, every customer can better understand what they will give up to incorporate a particular feature or appliance. 


Original Kitchen

While I left the copy of the list with Bob and Gail, I did tell them that, in addition to doing our starting ‘best use of space design’, I’d also prepare a preliminary design including an addition which was one of the design ideas Bob had mentioned his notes contained.  I also told them the other design I’d have for them involved no addition and combining the kitchen and dining room, which would save them $40,000 on the project.   

Despite the sizable savings, Bob and Gail insisted I shouldn’t bother with a design that combined the kitchen and dining room.  And once again, suggested I take their notes so as to provide them with the kitchen remodel they intended to proceed with. 

I left without the list at which point Bob lamented ‘You’re nothing like Julie’.  Which, of course, is why you will meet Julie on the Library Tour.  But she’s the first one to tell you, you’re in better hands with me designing your kitchen. 

A week later, Bob and Gail had their first meeting in our offices.  I began the meeting by suggesting we take a minute to see the 3D renderings of the kitchen they didn’t want – combined with the dining room.  Bob and Gail reconfirmed they had no interest in this approach.  I countered with ‘Since it’s $40,000 less and I spent an hour working on it, let’s just look at it for a minute.’

Reluctantly, they allowed me to put it on the screen for them.  Are you ready for the next unexpected part of the process that differed from what Bob and Gail expected . . .

They liked the design option with the combined kitchen and dining room. “It’s beautiful!  Is the cost really $40,000 less than an addition?” they reacted.  When I assured them it would save at least that much, Bob responded – to the design that he had told me would be a waste of time to work on, “Then we should get this design.”

My response was “Let’s look at the design with the addition and compare.”  Bob and Gail thought they were set but agreed to see their original request to humor me. 

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Kitchen Addition in Progress

The second design went on the large screen for their consideration.  “This design with the addition is much better!” Bob exclaimed.  He continued, “It’s not the addition I had planned – you moved the whole back of the house back.  Can we really do that for just $40,000 more?”

Bob and Gail’s remodel began with this second design.  Main Line Kitchen Design blog readers have learned that designers who provide customers with what they say they want are actually short changing them by not doing a bit of extra work to demonstrate what is possible. 

Bob and Gail had at least 6 more two hour meetings with me during which we evaluated how we could accommodate each of the needs, wants and design ideas Bob and Gail had developed over the years.  During the weeks in which we finalized their design, they shopped for their countertop, flooring, backsplash, lighting, appliances and even the dishware and glassware the planned to use in their dream kitchen. 


Months later – yes, months, all of their hard work and “willingness” to consider different viewpoints on the project resulted in . . .  Well, you be the judge.  We think it’s a fantastic kitchen and are looking forward to having you visit it on April 28. 

Finished Kitchen with addition

In closing, thanks to the Ardmore Library Kitchen Tour for including our kitchens each year.  Thanks to Julie for preparing tour participants for aspects of the design process like our designers considering customers’ ideas after preparing initial designs.  Thanks to our builder, Mark Veiera, whose craftsmanship and meticulous supervision provided workmanship that further enhanced Bob and Gail’s visions. 

And, most of all, thanks to Bob and Gail who were both an absolute pleasure to work with and whose ideas and hard work made their kitchen as beautiful as it.  Hoping you can make the tour and, as this kitchen almost demands . . .

Bon Appetit!

Customers often ask us whether they can donate or sell their old but in good condition cabinets, appliances, and fixtures. The answer is a most definite YES!

 

For clients that would like to recycle and not waste materials that others might want, donating these lightly used materials to Habitat for Humanity is a great idea.

Link to donate to Habitat for Humanity

Habitat advises that they accept 8 types of construction materials. Even cabinet hardware that is in good condition they can resell to help finance their organization. Keep in mid though that all materials must be in very good condition. Ask your kitchen designer if he or she thinks your materials meet Habitat’s donation criteria.

 

Here are the three most popular donations with notes from Habitat:

1. Sinks, toilets and bathtubs
Donating is a great way to keep these bulky items out of the landfill. If you’re donating a bathtub or sink, make sure that they are not stained and do not have chips in the porcelain. If you are remodeling an older bathroom, your vintage fixtures will be surprisingly popular at the local architectural salvage store.

2. Cabinets
Remodeling a kitchen often means replacing kitchen cabinets. Luckily, someone else may want those kitchen cabinets you remove, and recycling them will cut down on construction waste. Kitchen cabinets should be in good working order: Check to make sure that the drawer pulls work, and keep the doors and drawers together when you donate them.

3. Working appliances
You also can donate working appliances like stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers* and washing machines. They need to be clean and in good working order. Many organizations will help these appliances find a new home, including Habitat for Humanity, home salvage shops, and secondhand stores like The Salvation Army and Goodwill.

 

Even if your cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and fixtures don’t meet the standard needed to donate them to Habitat, The Salvation Army or other charities this most certainly DOES NOT mean that they couldn’t be sold on Craigs List. Link Here In fact people will buy almost any of these items if they are simply in working order and the price is right.

So if you would like to be charitable and see your materials reused, simply set the price low for these materials.

Or if you would like to add to your kitchen renovation budget set the price a little higher.

 

Hoping your new kitchen is everything you dreamed and MORE!

And of course . . .

Bon Appetit!

Main Line Kitchen Design

At Main Line Kitchen Design ninety percent of our customers come to us believing that they know the kitchen design that they would like. Customers are confident that they just need to shop around for cabinet lines, styles, and colors. Surprisingly the vast majority of our customers end up getting very different designs than what they asked us for initially. Why? The answer might surprise you!

 

It’s because we don’t do the designs our customers ask for in the initial design we present to them.

When customers tie the hands of the professionals helping them with pre-selected layouts, appliances, and colors they will never see the best designs for their kitchen and will probably pay more than they needed to for their renovation. If the kitchen design professional measures and works on redesigning a kitchen space independent of the clients initial wishes customers often select those designs or ones close to them.  Additionally because customers don’t realize that subtle color and style changes can reduce cabinetry costs significantly designers can save money making small compromises in color or style to free up other money.

The common consumer strategy of asking 3 different kitchen designers at three different cabinet dealers to price out a layout not done by an expert in three separate cabinet lines usually results in  making poor choices beyond just the kitchen design.

I advise customers to treat selecting a cabinet dealership and their kitchen designer like they would selecting an auto mechanic. You want to hear the mechanics advice and you want to shop for the garage that gets the best reviews and that customers recommend for reasonable pricing and good service. You don’t want to tell the mechanic what to do without his or her input and I always let the mechanic recommend the parts and manufacturer they think best serves my needs. This way I take advantage of the expertise of the professional who has spent a lifetime learning their trade.

At Main Line Kitchen Design all our designers are instructed to do their first designs to achieve the best kitchen possible within a customers budget. Even if they have to ignore requests made by the customer.  There is always time to make the changes that our customer wants. We know from experience that compromise and collaboration is what creates the designs people love most. And that just giving customers what they ask for is the easy and less professional path.

 

 

Hoping your kitchen designer is brave enough to show you beyond what you ask for.

 

and as always . . .

 

Bon Appetite!

 

Paul

 

 

Kosher kitchens are an interesting meeting between very specific traditions and what can be accomplished with technology to make adhering to those traditions more convenient and the resulting kitchens still efficient and easy to work in.

Generallythe kitchen design process is  about making tradeoffs between the pros and cons of each of the design elements. As all Main Line Kitchen Design customers learn, creating the best kitchen designs requires both customers and their designers to be flexible about wish lists such as giving up some positive aspects or desires to gain better designs or to save money for other splurges.

 

Kosher kitchens add additional requirements to designing a kitchen that limit what tradeoffs are possible. This generally makes designing a kosher kitchen more of a challenge, particularly for less experienced designers. Over the past few years, new material and fixture choices, and high tech appliances with Sabbath mode settings and other conveniences have made designing a great kosher kitchens easier for kitchen designers familiar with the newest products and materials.

 

The web site Star-K is a wonderful resource for designers and homeowners planning a kosher kitchen. Star-K explains the strictest interpretations of kosher rules and guidelines, and helps in evaluating the newest Sabbath mode appliances. Keep in mind when using Star-K that, even the most orthodox Rabbis sometimes have different opinions on what materials can be considered kosher. Accordingly, we recommend checking with your Rabbi if you are considering using Quartz or Corian countertops, dishwasher drawers, or other surfaces, fixtures, or appliances that can fall into a grey area on the kosher scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following appliance innovations further demonstrate this fascinating meeting between technology and tradition:

 

Refrigerator/Freezer Doors placed in Sabbath Mode that:

  1. will not cause circulation fans to go on/off. (kosher)
  2. will not activate any tones or digital readouts. (kosher)
  3. will not affect defrost cycle.  (kosher)
  4. will not turn on interior appliance lights. (kosher)
  5. pause automatic ice makers. (kosher).

 

Sabbath Mode Ovens 

While very popular are in the kosher grey area. Many Sabbath Mode Ovens will do a vast array of  anything you preprogram them for but most of these amazing conveniences do not meet the strict criteria of Star-K and other orthodox rabbinical groups. As a result, simpler and less automated ranges are the most appropriate when considering the strictest halachic concerns.

 

Being a kitchen designer means designing great kitchens for all your customers. Our job is not to determine the style of our customers’ kitchen. It is to help them implement their style whether it is simple Modern or ornate French Country. With kosher kitchens, our job also is to understand the level of compliance our customers and their Rabbis are comfortable with and to design within those boundaries.

 

Hoping your kitchen designer places your style and preferences above their own in helping you create a great kitchen together.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 

. . . and of course . .

Bon Appetite!

 

Paul, Julie, Ed, John, Stacia, and Tom

Main Line Kitchen Design

 

 


Meticulous Details Lead to Tremendous Results

 

At Main Line Kitchen Design, we’ve seen our share of kitchens but we’ve never seen one like we recently saw in Iceland! Main Line Kitchen Design president Paul McAlary and his wife Julie Meyer traveled to the incredible country of Iceland where they experienced waterfalls, a glacier, a lava cave, hot springs and the capital city Reykjavik dining phenomenon known as Nostra, which mean meticulous details in Icelandic.

 

Ordering is simple – 4, 6 or 8 courses and with or without recommended wine pairings. Then, the performance, begins.

 

Appropriately enough, we were started off with an ‘amuse bouche’ accompanied by a 2017 Tunglskin Hauksson Weine.

The pedestal plate contained a handcrafted cheese enclosed in a edible vegetable wrap. The larger plate was a seaweed wafer. The very complimentary wine is grown and vinted by an Icelandic office worker who recently relocated to Switzerland to pursue his dream of growing grapes and making wine (www.haukssonwine.com).

Our second course was “tiled” salmon over a skyr (Icelandic yogurt) mousse and topped with trout roe. It was paired with a Chilean pinot noir. Both the mousse and roe perfectly complimented the paper thin salmon and left us eagerly anticipating the next courses.

Course no. 3 was potatoes ‘vichyssoise’ sauteed with leeks and Karl Johan mushrooms. The paired wine took us halfway around the world for an outstanding New Zealand Chardonnay. When asked how we enjoyed this course, Julie responded ‘It’s everything I don’t like and it was wonderful!’

Course no. 4 was a barbecued carrot with pistachios, horseradish and skyr. Each item on the plate – including the incredibly flavorful parsley – had their own bold unique flavor that combined for a completely unexpected wonderful combination. We later learned the secret of the standout parsley – stay tuned. We remained in New Zealand for this wine pairing – this time, a New Zealand cab that perfectly complimented the tangs in the barbecue sauce and horseradish.

The evening’s fifth course was plaice (fish) salsify (root vegetable), caviar and sauce nage. As with each course that preceded it, each ingredient combined for a perfect blend of flavor and texture. We made it to France for the wine pairing which presented a unique blend of its own. It was
a Domaine Villemajou Corbieres-Boutenac containing Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedra.

 

In addition to being perfectly prepared, the courses were also masterfully timed so as to allow for ample enjoyment of each followed by enough of a break to look forward to the next one which, on this evening, was tuna.

Once again, perfectly prepared and paired with tremendously imaginative ingredients. At this point, the staff invited us for a post-meal kitchen tour. We were so honored that I forgot to photograph the wine and can’t share what was paired with this course.

 

As it was being served, we were informed that our 7th course was a “pre-dessert”.

On this evening, whey sorbet with candied barley constituted a ‘pre-dessert’. Just as unique and incredible as everything else. We couldn’t believe there could be more but, of course, there was.

Desert was served with the description of strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries. It was more formally listed on the menu as fresh strawberries, grilled strawberry sabayonne and raw strawberry sorbet. The beverage was a sloe gin the restaurant makes on premises.

 

And, apparently, where’s there’s pre-dessert – there’s post-dessert-

And then! We were whisked off to the kitchen – or should I say kitchens!

 

From the dining room, we could see

Our behind the scenes guide was Fridrik Pordarson and our first stop was the secret to the incredibly flavorful herbs.


Nostra grows their own herbs?! Grows and dries –

Priorities are obviously different in restaurant kitchens. Cabinets are minimal and accessibility is key.

Nostra obviously had all the right recipes. And if you’re ever in Reykeyjevik, we can’t recommend it enough.

Main Line Kitchen Design’s President emerges from glacier

 

Until then, we wish all our customers and friends the happiest of holidays with family, friends and good food.

 

. . . and of course . . .

 

Bon Appetite!

Main Line Kitchen Design recently participated in two key fundraisers for Chester County Futures.

 

Chester County Futures serves low-income Chester County students (Coatesville Area, Kennett Consolidated, Oxford Area and Phoenixville Area School Districts) motivated to earn a high school diploma and post-secondary degree in order to break out of the familial cycle of poverty and become meaningful contributors to the communities in which they live.  All of their students are considered low-income by national standards.  

 

Main Line Kitchen Design’s Ed Sossich misses Fall Golf Scramble Championship by 1 stroke!

 

Stop by our Havertown/Upper Darby location to meet Main Line Kitchen Design’s new Operations Manager and Ace Golfer, Ed Sossich. Most days, Ed will be designing kitchens and keeping the Main Line Kitchen Design “trains running on schedule”. One day, last month was a bit different as he represented us at Chester County Futures 2018 Fall Golf Scramble at Broad Run Golfer’s Club in West Chester, PA.

 

 

The tournament began with Main Line Kitchen Design sponsoring both the 14th hole and the watering hole (golfers beverage of choice). At the end of the day as scorecards were turned in, Ed and his foursome turned out to be the team to beat for the 80 tournament participants! Their -12 under par held up until one of the final teams reported and they took 2nd place, just 1 stroke off the championship. 

 

Our Ace Golfer Ed missed out a second time on the 164 yard par 3 closest to the pin challenge. Ed’s shot landing 4’ 5” from the pin missed ‘closest to the pin’ by ½ an inch – AHH so close!  We’ll get ‘em next year!

 

Shortly after the golf outing, Main Line Kitchen Design president Paul McAlary and Julie Meyer were honored to attend Chester County Futures Annual Wine Tasting and Dinner.  Held in Malvern’s striking High Point, the event included multiple courses paired with expertly selected wines and spirits followed by a panel of Futures Students explaining the role of the program in their lives.  The students represented numerous area universities including Penn State and Temple. They all had ambitious majors and both their accomplishments and aspirations are an absolute inspiration.

 

Before the event concluded, Paul and Julie learned that they had placed the winning bids on two silent auction items including an autographed photo of Carson Wentz throwing his first Eagles touchdown.  We are honored to have contributed to such a rewarding cause and have this collectible on view at our Havertown office.

Carson Wentz throwing his first Eagles Touchdown Pass

 

At Main Line Kitchen Design, we are all about creating great kitchen designs and helping our customers spend their budgets wisely.  We are also about making our customers’ communities the best they can be and enjoy working with the many community organizations we are affiliated with.   

 

With Thanksgiving approaching, we are thankful for our valued customers, our dedicated design team and that we can give to those in need. 

 

Wishing everyone a heartfelt Thanksgiving …

…and of course…

Bon appetite!

 

Paul, Julie, Ed, John, Stacia, and Tom

Main Line Kitchen Design

 

Main Line Kitchen Design will now assist people outside our service area free of charge on most Fridays between 2 pm and 4 pm Eastern Standard Time. We can answer general kitchen design or cabinetry questions and assist in finding competent kitchen designers for a particular location too far away for us design and sell cabinetry.
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Here is an example of an email we received and the advice we gave a homeowner who sent us his kitchen design to examine.
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Hi,
I’ve been enjoying your blog alot.
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I stopped in to a shop near me today and gave them a design from Cliq Studios that my installer measured out.  The plan attached below is something he sent us for Decora with some tweaks to the Cliq design.
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I think there are a couple things that could be done to this design, for example going to 30” for the sink from 33” and giving those 3” to the 9” base cabinet to create another 12” cabinet.
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Anyway, I would be very interested in your thoughts regarding any big flaws and potential areas of improvement.
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Thanks so much,
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John

Kitchen designed in Fabuwood Galaxy by Main Line Kitchen Design.

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Hi John,
Thanks for appreciating our blog. Couple of comments on your design:
First- Not showing all the walls around a kitchen (yes even when there are no cabinets on them) screams incompetence in a kitchen designer. This is because there is no way to understand how the traffic flows in the room and what the clearance distances are. And the computer can not catch any measurement errors made by the person who measured. At our company a designer would be given a severe warning for such incompetence. 
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Second- The ceiling appears to be at most 4 inches higher than the tops of the wall cabinets which are 33 inches high. So the height of the room is around 91 inches. Again only a kitchen designer who is inexperienced would use 33 inch high wall cabinets and crown molding in this situation unless the entire ceiling was being leveled using a laser level.
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When crown molding is reaching the ceiling, no ceiling is usually level enough to hang cabinets without a two piece crown molding with enough play to disguise how out of level a ceiling is. Cabinetry must be installed level and the molding the way you have it will accent exactly how off of level your ceiling is.
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Using 30″ high wall cabinets with a two piece crown molding not only will look better in your kitchen but cost you thousands of dollars less. Here is a link to a Houzz.com post of a customer whose designer didn’t account for her ceiling being out of level.
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Her ceiling had many inches of play which you do not and she still had a problem. Good designers do not put 10 lbs of sausage in an 8 lb wrapper.
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Your design is also poor although how to make a better design is impossible to know since only two walls are shown. Here is a link describing a kitchen with issues similar to your design:
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Good kitchen designers do not price out kitchens or attempt to help customers without first measuring their home. Please try to find a local designer that is both competent and responsible. Buying cabinetry online assures that the people helping you don’t know what they are doing and that there is no kitchen designer in your area able to help you should any problems arise. Here is a link to cabinet dealers and designers we recommend around the United States.
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Hopefully one of these places is close to you. If not, we help people outside our service area locate competent designers near them  free of charge on Fridays between 2 pm and 4 pm EST. Just call our main phone number.
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Be a “Smart” and not a “Knowbetta”. We describe both types of customers in the funny blog below and also make this humorous point in our Youtube video:
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Cheers,
Paul
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Please use the free time Main Line Kitchen Design gives you to assist you in getting the local professional kitchen design help everyone needs.  Our help is not meant to replace the in depth  detailed kitchen design help that many people using Houzz.com or The Garden Web often try to avoid.
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Hopping you get the kitchen design help you need . . .
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And of course …
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Bon Appetite!
Paul, Julie, Ed, John, Stacia, and Tom
Main Line Kitchen Design

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