The Atlanta area saw a major construction boom in recent years until the recent economic downturn caused the bottom to drop out. Very few of Cornerstone’s recent customers are new construction clients, so the competition is fierce for local renovations.
“It’s a very competitive market and there are a lot of good designers,” says Settle, who sees a silver lining in all of this. “This downturn will take a lot of people who shouldn’t be in the industry out of the market.”
Cornerstone markets itself through local and regional magazines, as well as positive word-of-mouth from previous customers and involvement in community activities. “We do good marketing and smart marketing,” she maintains. While the firm occasionally does broad-based mailings, Settle notes that much of the firm’s business comes from a core base of repeat clients and referrals generated from these satisfied clients.
The firm recognizes the importance of keeping up with industry changes, and employees are encouraged to continue to update their education and training so they can remain on the cutting edge of the hottest design trends.
In addition to interiors for kitchens and baths, the firm creates entertainment areas and wet bars, and will create built-in cabinetry for any space in a home. It advertises that it can create everything from a stand-alone hutch for the family china or an entertainment center to house a stereo and TV. Designs range from the traditional to the contemporary and postmodern.
Cornerstone has one showroom in the Buckhead section of central Atlanta, a 3,000-sq.-ft. area that displays a variety of vignettes and full working kitchens and baths to highlight its product lines.
Product brands carried include Neff Kitchens, The Hampshire Co., Geppetto, DuPont Corian, DuPont Zodiaq, Silestone by Cosentino, granite, LavaStone, Bosch, Sub-Zero, Wolf, Marvel, Thermador, Gaggenau, Vent-A-Hood, Five Star and KitchenAid, among others.
“It feels more like a high-end home than a showroom,” Settle notes. “We have a real cross section [of products and styles displayed here]. There are very modern and very traditional displays. We do everything.”
Amon said her firm’s business philosophy is all about ensuring clients’ happiness with the end product, noting, “We want to provide our clients with a decorative but functional kitchen, marrying functionality with personal taste. We pride ourselves in supplying customer service, timeless design and quality workmanship.”
It is this exact philosophy, she believes, along with the firm’s smart partnering strategies and dedication to collaboration, that continues to make Cornerstone Design successful.
At a Glance
Location: Atlanta, GA
Principals: Yvonne Amon, president; Bonnie Settle, Allied ASID, principal designer; Anne Keene, designer
Showroom: One, 3,000 square feet
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and by appointment
Number of Employees: Four
Major Product Lines Carried: Neff Kitchens, The Hampshire Co., DuPont Corian and Zodiaq, Silestone by Cosentino, Bosch, Thermador, Gagganau, Sub-Zero, Wolf, Marvel, Vent-A-Hood, Five Star, KitchenAid, Viking Appliances.
Specialties: High-end custom design
Business Philosophy: “To provide clients with a decorative but functional kitchen, marrying functionality with personal taste. We pride ourselves in supplying top-quality customer service and timeless design.”