KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Dec 07 2010

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While visions of kitchens danced in their heads…

Show of hands: how many of you had returning clients this year—ones who had held off in early 2008? Did they say why they were coming in?

If they were like a few of our clients, the general refrain was, “We grew tired of waiting.”

Consumers have stayed home, held off on that dream kitchen or bath they’ve dreamed about, made repairs, sacrificed the vacations and scaled back their product choices. You might call it pent-up demand; I call it frugal fatigue. The last few years have been centuries for people used to buying whatever they wanted before the recession.

According to a recent report from the NKBA, 39 percent of dealer showrooms anticipated an increase this fourth quarter, compared with 15 percent who anticipated a decline.

Many of my designer and contractor colleagues in various parts of the country agree. They’ve been booking projects for December, with some even booking out through spring. My vendors have mentioned increased inquiries and showroom traffic. Even though the holiday season is traditionally a slow time for construction for our design/build firm—entire kitchens don’t wrap well, and they’re tough to fit under a tree—the showroom traffic has definitely been up, compared with the tumbleweed silence of 2008.

Which brings me to my point: This is a perfect time to toot your horn, or whatever it takes to remind consumers you’re here. Everyone’s in a good mood (well, almost everyone), but more importantly, they’ll be spending a lot of time at home…that same home that they’d planned to remodel a few years ago.

During the holiday season, there’s nothing more glaringly obvious than an old oven that doesn’t function (hello, convection oven that can bake three sheets of cookies), or the thought of guests noticing how old that bathroom sink actually is (check out the new touch faucet—perfect for those sugared little hands).  Seeing your cheery notes on your website or Facebook about what the coolest new gadgets and trends are can keep you in a future client’s minds as we head into spring.

While some of your clients might not be willing (or able) to spend the way they did when house prices were up, they are indeed growing restless and ready to spend. Remind them you’re here.

Until next time,


This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.