MILWAUKEE, WI— For Tracy and Jim Grosspietch, talk is certainly not cheap.
As co-founders of Studio G Kitchen & Bath, a division of Studio G Interiors, based here, the pair specialize in kitchen and bath consulting, catering to high-end clientele.
Jim Grosspietch, who serves as v.p./marketing and operations, explains: “Studio G Kitchen & Bath is a kitchen and bath design consulting firm – we do not operate a retail showroom. Our consultants perform much of their work with homeowners directly in their homes.”
As consultants, they’re not tethered to a showroom, and thus are more than willing to travel for a unique assignment.
The firm, which has grown from the pair’s experience in commercial interior design, typically serves one of three types of clientele: A homeowner building a custom or new construction home; a homeowner who has recently purchased an existing home and is looking to remodel the kitchen, master bath, powder room or basement bar; or a homeowner who may have a second home and would like help from a consultant to design a new kitchen or bath.
“Since we approach kitchen and bath design within the context of the entire home, and we’re often designing other cabinetry-intensive spaces such as media rooms, libraries and the like, it’s important that our staff be skilled in a broad range of residential interior design principles and kitchen and bath training and experience,” Grosspietch adds.
“The kitchen is the heart of the home, the space where family and friends gather, but it’s also a working room,” he stresses. “Every detail, from the heights of the countertops to the fittings in the cabinets, should suit the homeowner’s needs. We believe in creating kitchens and baths in which efficiency and functionality go hand-in-hand, with a design that brings clients joy.”
The process begins with a personalized consultation, which takes place in the client’s home.
“After an initial consultation, our team members visit with our clients to present and review plans and elevations (created off-site in advance), materials and products to ensure the kitchen or bath reflects each client’s personal sense of style,” he explains.
The plans also ensure that the new kitchen or bathroom flows with, and complements, the adjacent spaces within the home. “You simply cannot do that from a showroom,” Grosspietch stresses. “It also means we can be very competitive when it comes to pricing, since we do not carry substantial showroom overhead costs.”
He concludes: “Following the design principles of functionality, efficiency, proportion, balance, scale, light, color, repetition and variety, we bring our clients’ rooms to life so they can visualize them as a whole. It’s done with them and the way they live in mind – not only in terms of the finished results, but during the design process as well.”
Divide and Conquer
Studio G Kitchen & Bath relies on several business offices within the greater Chicago and Milwaukee areas, Grosspietch reports.
“One of our offices also serves as our central library, where we house hundreds of samples: cabinet doors and finishes, flooring, tile, granite and more,” he says.
In addition to cabinetry, the firm helps plan, design and select the lighting, countertops, tile, hardware, fixtures, equipment and other details to help clients achieve their dream homes.
The firm specifies cabinetry from Heritage Custom Cabinetry, Dakota Kitchen & Bath, Marsh Furniture Co. and Levant Kitchen Furniture, as well as a private-label cabinet line. The firm also offers green options, such as lyptus, engineered veneers and bamboo, and specifies goods from Sub-Zero, Wolf, Miele, Thermador, Fisher & Paykel, Bosch, KitchenAid, Dal-Tile, Virginia Tile, Rohl, Grohe, Kohler and Toto, among others.
“Our clients don’t have to travel between tile showrooms, granite suppliers, cabinet showrooms, lighting stores and plumbing suppliers,” he says. “They can review and select most everything from the comfort of their own home at a time that works for them.
This a great benefit because they see the samples and plans in one place, and in the greater context of their home.”
He adds: “Perhaps more than any other rooms, kitchens and baths should have a homeowner’s personal stamp on them. The kitchen is the heart of the home, the space where family and friends gather, the hub of daily living.”
To showcase the flexibility this approach gives the firm, Grosspietch adds that Studio G Kitchen & Bath has worked on homes that range from 2,000-sq.-ft. condos in the city to 15,000-sq.-ft. estate homes in the suburbs of Chicago or Milwaukee. The pair has even worked on vacation homes in Michigan and Arizona.
Not surprisingly, the firm relies heavily on word-of-mouth referrals to grow its business.
“There’s nothing better than a satisfied client to spread the word about our staff, process and products,” Grosspietch acknowledges.
The firm has also invested a lot of time and money in its Web site, as well as in online kitchen and bath directories.
“We also hold lunch-and-learn sessions with local residential architects and interior designers. In the past year, we’ve held many of these meetings, some with more than 50 people in attendance,” he concludes.