At this point, he adds, the firm develops a functional floor plan, complete with a "perspective sketch," or "three-dimensional sketch," drawn to help clients visually step into their kitchen.
"It is not an elevation, it is a perspective," he adds, noting
that all aspects of the design are reviewed, including countertop
lengths, work triangle, distance between islands and aisle spaces,
the application of appliances and even heating issues.
"[It allows the client] to become their own interpreter," he explains. "This way, they know what they are getting, what they are not getting and why they are not getting it."
Once a project is signed off on, Haas notes, it is Ceko that supervises the installation work.
"Therefore, the client receives owner supervision on every aspect from concept through installation," he explains. "[To be successful] you need someone at the helm who is diversified, not only for doing large or small jobs, but someone who has the knowledge base of knowing what the right thing to do is [when designing a project]."
He is also quick to note that the passing of knowledge is especially rewarding when he is on the receiving end, such as other collaborations with interior designers and architects.
"When I get to meet new architects and designers, I get to learn
some new concepts, as well. I always walk away from that sale
learning something new. The thing I get most from collaboration is
knowledge," he states.
Spreading the word
Haas adds that the firm advertises through the Yellow Book, cooking demonstrations, newspaper and magazine ads, promotional gifts to clients as well as the extensive word-of-mouth referrals.
But, he suggests, his firm is just trying to spread the word about how beneficial communication can be between a designer and client.
"There are few companies that focus on giving high quality service. We [pride ourselves] on communication. You have to know what their needs are functionally, aesthetically which ties into emotionally and financially. Whether it's a $30,000 or $300,000 project, everyone wants to stay within their budget," he notes.
He concludes: "[I truly feel] education is a very big part of
becoming successful in this business."
Architectural Kitchens & Baths
LOCATION: Rockville Centre, NY
PRINCIPALS: Steve Haas, Marino Ceko
HOURS OF OPERATION: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
MAJOR PRODUCT LINES: Kountry Kraft, Dynasty by Omega; granite, marble, Zodiaq, Corian, LG-Hi-Macs, Silestone, Sub-Zero, Wolf, Asko, Best, Franke, Jado
SPECIALTIES: Kitchens, bathrooms, multi-media systems, from concept to installation.
DESIGN SOFTWARE: 20/20
BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: "Maintaining the highest level of quality and communication results in a high level of client satisfaction."