Friday, August 7, 2015

Compromise: Resolving Typical Conflicts in the Remodeling Process

I realize I am sailing into a tricky area with this post. Here goes!

You may not realize that your typical Kitchen/Bath Designer/Sales Person has to employ many skills the average sales professional does not need. What am I talking about?  Intuitive and emotional intelligence is just as important as the creative, computer design expertise, strong math ability assumed to be the qualifications for the position. I have found myself  in the position of being a conflict resolution professional working with couples as they make decisions.
Every couple that visits a show room represents two people with different opinions about what is needed in their new project. They are usually not agreed on cabinet styles and finishes either.
My experience supports the following opinions ( generally speaking):

1. Men and women  prefer different door styles and finishes.
2. This extends into other selections and details for their new project
3. One or the other needs to compromise a little more than the other

Living and functioning in your kitchen over the years gives you plenty of time to experience what you like about the current space. It also magnifies what you do not like and want to change.

Usually, the chef of the family is the first one to want a new kitchen. Function is critical for a sense of peace and happiness in your kitchen. The more hands on the cook/chef is, the more true this fact is.
The family is being fed and nurtured as they connect to enjoy the great meals prepared by Chef Mom or Dad. Not always but many times, this person holds the trump card for obvious reasons.

Months ago, I blogged about starting your " Design Vision Folder ". This blog post is going to remind you of that and explain why it is important. Let's face it, this new space is important to the entire family. Many events and memories will take place in this heart of the home for years to come.
That said, I think it is wise for both of you to share your preferences and opinions. Looking through magazines, watching HGTV and taking notes about what you like is a good idea too. Approach it as a fun creative adventure. Do not edit your favorites at first. Clip away and stuff that folder. Make notes about what you like and why you selected a particular picture. Trust me , if you don't, you will not remember! Set up some "Dream Dates" when you look at each other's clippings. Share what you like, why, and how it will help make the space more functional and beautiful. As you share, you will begin to understand each others tastes and preferences. You may be surprised to find yourself won over by a great idea you had not considered!

Based on experience, let me guess the female loves sophisticated painted cabinets with glaze, or a fine grain wood species like maple or cherry also glazed. Lots of interior accessories are a necessity to keep the kitchen drawers organized.

The male either loves very sleek contemporary lines or  loves texture. He may gravitate to the Metro City Slab Door style. Perhaps in stainless steel or sleek laminated high gloss finishes of bright colors.
If his taste is for wood cabinets, I would bet money his choice will be highly textured wood species, like oak, hickory, or bird's eye maple. The more pronounced the grain in the natural wood the better!

Lots of color in the wood grain just adds to the drama. as he imagines his fresh caught fish or wild game being prepared deliciously fills the house with mouthwatering cooking aromas! She loves the counter back splash coordinated but stepped up a little to contrast similar to sparkling jewelry she would wear with a special outfit. He prefers more wood or very textured granite accented with a neutral stone back splash.  

Fortunately, a more recent trend bridges some of these differences in preferences. Since kitchen islands replaced peninsula u-shaped kitchen plans, two finishes in one room have become quite common. This can be perfect for the couple who realize making both of them happy is a great idea.
Selecting a cabinet door style with stained wood blends excellently with an island constructed of
a beautiful painted with or without glaze. It can also be vice versa. Adding the contrasting island finish to the crown molding, light rail,and perhaps one featured cabinet carefully placed as a focal point in the room accomplishes a perfect compromise. Another idea is to design the base cabinets in wood stain and the wall cabinets above in a painted finish. There are always creative solutions we are happy to help you discover.

Guys, as to her desire for the internal accessories. They really are a great idea. They speed the cooking and cleaning process up. Function , after all is the key ingredient in a kitchen. Get ready to enjoy some awesome meals!

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