With the upcoming transition from ICC Floors to ICC Home, we wanted to feature a blog series on our showrooms’ remodel as well as our expansion to become your one-stop-shop for everything design related.
Today, we sat down with Kristyn Monceski, Kitchen and Bath Designer, to discuss the upcoming changes and what consumers can expect. Here is what Kristyn had to say:
Q: How long have you been in this industry?
A: “I have been in the industry for seven years, specializing mainly in residential design. I graduated during the 2008 economic crisis, so finding a job in my field was challenging. When I found a job, I started in kitchen and bath design as a CAD drafter and Design Assistant then left and started my own freelance company while working for a local florist. I then worked for a local furniture and flooring store as a Designer and managed any job pertaining to furniture and flooring. Finally found a place, ICC Floors, where my true passion can shine.”
Q: What changes have you seen in the industry since you have started?
A: “It is amazing the style trends and innovations in regards to storage and technology that have come up in the last ten years, and how quickly they become out of date. Technology is becoming more and more of an integrated necessity in the home and workplace, homeowners and business owners are opting for cleaner design approaches which are more flexible with style trends. Storage seems to be a never-ending battle; companies are coming up with better ways to utilize cabinets and minimize dead/unused space. Trends have blended instead of being singular. For example Farmhouse style is a blend of industrial and rustic, industrial being metal elements, brick accents and Edison light fixtures, and rustic being natural elements like shiplap or raw wood edge table, accents like faux or fresh greenery, farmhouse sinks, white shaker door-styles with a stained wood accent like shelving or island.”
Q: What excites you about the remodel and transition to ICC Home?
A: “I am overwhelmed with excitement about the remodel and our transition to ICC Home. Since I started, it has been a struggle to communicate ICC Floors does more than flooring. The name itself is deceiving, and many of our clients do not understand the products and services we offer. With the remodel and rebranding it will show potential and existing clients we really can do more than flooring. We have offered cabinetry for several years and never had anyone with the knowledge to design and sell cabinetry until now. Rodger and I make a great team, and we are excited about the future.”
Q: As a professional designer, what is your favorite part of the design process and why?
A: “I love every aspect of the design process, but once the plans have been drawn and the construction begins, my favorite part is seeing the design come to life. The unfortunate part with any residential client, it is usually the most stressful part of the project because we have interrupted their day to day life. The construction part is often the most emotional, and we try our best to console the client during this time, remedy any hiccups that come our way, that by the end the reward is so much more satisfying once the project is completed.”
Q: What was your favorite past design project and why?
A: “My favorite design project was one I did with another designer. The clients were undergoing a major remodel, so they had a temporary residence while construction was taking place. This job, including their kitchen which has a pass-thru bar to the outdoor patio, office, master bathroom and closet, laundry room, guest bathrooms, and entertainment room bar, was a blend of contemporary, modern, and eclectic, very artistic. The finishes were colorful and simple, suspended glass shelving, floating vanities in the master bathroom with pass-thru fireplace into the master bedroom. We saw the project from start to finish, and even after it had been completed, the clients invited us back to see how they had adjusted to their newly renovated home.”
Q: As a designer, what advice would you give to a customer starting their design project?
A: “First, turn off HGTV, TLC, really any home renovating shows. There is not anything I dislike more than the shows on those channels, because while they are exciting to watch, more often than not they are misleading to the everyday client. The budgets are not realistic, which can be a significant problem when consulting on a project. Instead, turn to Houzz for information and inspiration, or magazines like Traditional Home, Better Homes & Garden, and Architectural Digest just to name a few for inspiration. Pinterest is great for design inspiration, but not information.
Second, make sure you do a little research before you start looking around. Say you sre about to start a kitchen remodel, what do you envision your kitchen looking like? Explore finishes you would not have thought to do while keeping it realistic to your lifestyle. How does it make you feel? Are you a chef or an avid cook/baker? Do you have a family, if so how big or growing? Do you entertain? Do you have pets? Most companies offer a variety of products from different brands, so make sure you understand the differences between those brands so you can better determine the estimate you want to go with. If you are unsure, ask your sales representative or consultant to explain the differences. Do not always want to go with the cheaper estimate, for one thing, you may not be comparing apples to apples, and you may be compromising those savings with a poor install which leads to more headaches.
Lastly, remember to relax and have fun. Starting a design project should be fun and exciting, not overwhelming and aggravating. If you need direction, ask your designer. Once the construction begins, hiccups will arise, and most of the time your designer or contractor is already taking care of the problem that came up before you told them. We have your best interests at heart, and we want to make this experience the best we can. Remember, it will be a long process, but there is an end in sight.”
A special thank you to Kristyn for sharing her expert knowledge on the design industry with us. If you missed last week’s post, where we sat down with Rodger Powell, be sure to check it out here. Thanks for reading, and we will see you next week!