DENVER, CO — Ask Bev Adams and she would probably tweak the famous Zen proverb “after enlightenment, the laundry,” to a more kitchen-centric version of “after enlightenment, the design.”
Adams, CMKBD and president and CEO for Interior Intuitions, based here, utilizes a sales and design process that allows clients to learn almost as much about themselves as she does.
“You can dub it ‘kitchen and bath psychology,’ but it is much more than that,” she says. “The ‘art of reading people’ is how we discover the intangible needs for our clients’ designed spaces. It is also a process of discovery for the clients, which they really like.”
In fact, she believes her approach is something that other designers could – and should – adopt.
“Designers should remember it is not about the branding and products. The products are there to fulfill the needs of the people. If a designer just preaches design to clients and pushes them in a direction, they are going to walk out the door. That is the difference between successful and unsuccessful designers,” she says.
Sense of Sell
The firm’s sales and marketing program is based on discovering the clients’ needs and matching those needs with the correct design.
“There are two parts to the process: collection of all of the client information at an intuitive level, and understanding how the materials will affect the energy of the client and the space designed,” she explains.
Adams uses what are termed “intuitive senses,” including visual cues, feelings, philosophy and audient clues of what is not said to grasp how the project is unfolding.
Of course, the firm also utilizes traditional information-gathering techniques, such as a comprehensive survey, to unearth as much information as possible.
“I want to know who you are, what you want, where are you are from and how I can help you to best serve the design,” she says.
“Our job is to get inside our client’s head and figure out what the person wants,” comments Adams.
She describes the firm’s design process as one of creating “quantum kitchens,” and considers her approach to be “Universal Design within the energy field of the client.
“It really comes down to understanding that the kitchen is an energy field,” she continues, “where you may be combining the energy of different people.
“Some people are really rigid, and they are going to want contemporary looks,” she explains, “while others with less rigid energy are going to want softer curves. The trick is to know where the pockets of energy are going to be happening in the space.”
Adams also relies on the design elements of line, form, color and texture, “because each produces energy rhythms and affects the energy fields of the consumer,” she offers.
According to Adams, lines produce the energy of direction and can be created with differing heights of cabinets or structural patterns in materials such as flooring or tiles. Form opens and closes spaces and can be created using round shapes and skeletal shapes (open) or larger islands, tall towers and larger doors (closed). Color, meanwhile, produces a vibration or wavelength, and should be used in accordance with what vibration the client is lacking.
“All color is correct when used in the right proportion,” she says.
Lastly, texture makes energy fields “bounce,” and can be used to resemble water (glass or metal) for a calming effect. She notes that carved ornamentation, heavy molded doors and large-patterned countertops will have a completely different effect.
“The energies contained in these environments can direct the decisions of the design,” she stresses. “The trick is to design the fields so that they complement each other, and provide safety, beauty and well-being to the end user.”
The firm, which provides new construction and remodeling services for medium to ultra-high end kitchen and bath projects, features some 4,000 products in its 2,200-sq.-ft. showroom. Also on site are countless design photographs and two working kitchens. Anything not represented, Adams will find for her clients.
“Our showroom enables [our clients] to pick out the pictures and products they want,” she describes.
In addition to Adams’ own trademarked custom cabinetry line – Intuitive Cabinetry – the showroom also features cabinets from Corsi Cabinetry Co., Maple Ridge and Pacific Crest Industries.
Other kitchen and bath products featured at the showroom include appliances from Wolf, Sub-Zero, Dacor, Thermador, Miele, Bosch and Asko, as well as natural countertops and LED lighting.
With regard to overall design success, Adams concludes: “If you can read the customer, then you can make a sale.”