Designers Discuss the Recession, Recovery and Future Growth

"I have been very busy with kitchen and bath remodel projects. I am considering part-time help, but I want to make sure I reach out for the skill sets that will meet my needs.”

Jim Martin, owner

Jim Martin Design

New Holland, PA


"Our area did not feel many effects of the recession due to it being a small farming area. People were still building and remodeling since there is not much of a housing bubble here. However, it really is a seller’s market at this time. We are still building and busy with remodels. At this current pace we may need to hire additional help to keep up with demand for our services.”

Megan Morrison, designer

Broekemeier Showcase

West Point, NE


"The recession has caused permanent damage to many customers’ attitudes about how to upgrade their homes. Many of my previous potential customers are now painting or refacing their kitchens. We are staying small and exclusive for now, only taking projects that will enhance our reputation. We’ve also started creating more of an online presence with a Web site upgrade as well as a professional Houzz account and a professional Facebook page.”

Charles Cameron, principal designer

Design Details

Greater Boston area, MA


"We are in pretty good shape here in Rochester, but I’m sure it depends upon whom you ask. We added some fresh new displays and along with them, we added new sales/designers to take care of our clients in a timely fashion. People really do not like to wait when the remodel bug hits!”

Daniel McKenna, v.p.

McKenna’s Rochester Kitchen & Bath Centers

Fairport & Rochester, NY


"We are starting to see a slow change toward recovery. Clients are not looking for the lowest price they can find, but will tend to spend a little more to get what they want.”

JoAnn Hammond

Jack’s Kitchens

Santa Barbara, CA


"Yes, we have recovered. We preplanned the growth for 2014 based on fourth-quarter results in 2012. We took into account our existing design team and construction personnel and hired/trained in December 2012 to be ready to handle the business.”

Wayne Wawrenuik

sales/operation manager

My House Design/Build Team

Surrey, BC


"Our company has gotten busier in the past six months. We are looking forward to a strong year. We have also hired a project manager to help coordinate all of our jobs. In addition, we are planning to hire a separate crew for our commercial projects.”

Trisha Liu, secretary

Design Trends Construction

Pearl City, HI/North Fort Myers, FL


"Our market area continues to show signs of strengthening and overall recovery. We’ve changed our business plan considerably to accommodate the dramatic change we experienced as a result of the recession. From our revenue mix to our customer service focus, we’ve adjusted to the change in demand and sales opportunities. We’re seeing positive influence as a direct result of the change.”

Curt Morse, v.p. sales & marketing

Kitchen & Bath Center

Ft. Walton Beach, FL


"For the most part, yes. Business has picked up at a pretty steady pace over the past two years. The new year has even brought the annual ‘spring rush’ early. We will be adding a few more employees over the course of the next year to accommodate growing demands.”

Sarah Kamm, designer/estimator

CK Kitchen & Bath

Columbus, NE


"We have recovered. To accommodate growth, we plan to stay organized and on top of our clients’ projects and provide outstanding service and attention. We also attended KBIS to stay current on new products and trends.”

Anita Wiechman, ASID, CKBR

Interior Design Group

Omaha, NE


"There is a lot of new construction happening, but many of the builders are using imported cabinetry without custom options. We pride ourselves on customer service, quality cabinets and customization. We are streamlining our design process to become more efficient with our time.”

Erin Hurst, CKD

French’s Cabinet Gallery

Brentwood, TN


"For the most part, yes, we have recovered. The Boston area never saw the major decline that most of the country went through. We will add sales people and renovate our showroom.”

Ken Schaefer, president

Right Angle Kitchens & Design

Woburn, MA


"We are in a wealthy coastal town and business is very good. We are adding cabinet designer/sales consultants and support staff.”

Clay Cox

Kitchens by Clay

Naples, FL


"We are on an upswing, but full recovery will take time. We have very strong designers who stayed as a team during the tough times and now we are looking for new designers to grow with and add to our team.”

Brandy Souza, assistant GM

Kitchen Views at National Lumber

Mansfield, MA


"In the DC area we are somewhat buffered, but I’ve definitely seen an increase in sales…slow and steady wins the race whether you’re talking business growth, relationships, whatever.”

Andrea Rexrode, owner/designer

Kitchen Intuition

Warrenton, VA


"Colorado is climbing out. There are enough homeowners who still can’t or don’t want the risk of buying a new home, so remodeling leads the way. We have a much larger showroom, incorporating our builder firm into it, making it also a builder selection center for smaller builders.”

Ernie McSpadden, president/CEO


Denver, CO


"Recovered, yes, but not to the level it was before the recession. There is a flatness in the recovery, so at this time we will update displays, but we will not be rehiring.”

Ruth Cross

Home Concepts

Truckee, CA