Monday, May 31, 2010

4279 Updates Later...

Many people will be reflecting on Memorial Day today, cooking out and spending time with family and friends. In addition to celebrating our veterans, we are celebrating our one-year anniversary on Twitter.

Most of you that follow me on Twitter or know me on a face-to-face level know that I am one of the few folks under 30 that hasn't ever had a Facebook page(I think there are like 4 of us. Ha!). My reluctance to jump in to the Facebook craze is merely personal; and the jump in to Twitter was completely professional. While the recent privacy assault on Facebook has reassured me that Facebook neglect wasn't such a bad thing on my part, my Twitter activity has been a very personal(and professional) experience.

I first signed up for Twitter because a close friend had and account and said that it might be something I want to look in to. He is witty and the 140 characters were often the perfect amount of space to toss a bit of snark in to the world and usually draw a good laugh from me. I knew going in that Twitter could offer a way for me to connect with customers and potentially industry pros and cohorts that could/would offer inspiration and ideas when that creative block is in full effect.

Well, I was almost right.

Twitter has been one of the single most rewarding things I have done, both professionally for Cupboards and even though I was not expecting it, personally.

The connections that have blossomed from what seems like simple quick snips to full-blown friendships. My generation came right at the beginning of the 'fully-electronic' one. We still had to go to the library in college to look at the books so occasionally I still have the distrust of certain technological things. My expectations for Twitter were nothing compared to what actually happened once I engaged myself with other quality tweeps(people on Twitter).

Some days are busier than others and so some days I tweet more than others- Cupboards Twitter is averaging 11.8 tweets a day. I It seems very strange to think about a day without Twitter simply because of the connections that I've made. It's a lot like showing up at a transcendent water cooler and exchanging cordials with coworkers.

So after one year, Twitter has fulfilled every imaginable positive effect I could imagine.

I appreciate the friends that I have made and look forward to developing those relationships and building new ones. Thanks for your help and information... I don't feel like one of the new kids anymore!

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Spring Clean

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
~William Morris

Not to beat the "Spring is Great" drum again, but spring cleaning was something that Mom mentioned to us once a year or so when our rooms would become particularly cluttered. Even now that I've had my own place for some years now, I still think of Mom when that glorious de-cluttering time rolls around.

Now that I have a really nice workspace to go along with the home, it has the same tendency to clutter itself. After all, there's no way that it could be me that's the problem.

Folks in the Kitchen and Bath industry and inundated with trade magazines and samples. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I am a sample hoarder. Not entirely sure why, but they have always been like little tokens of opportunity.

"One day I will do a job with this very sample," I'd say.

Enter Tearose Illusion from Wilsonart.

I have always liked and used Wilsonart laminates. The new Wilsonart HD is a glorious sight in the laminate countertop world and seeing it in person makes all the difference.

Nonetheless, Tearose Illusion is a flashback to a simpler time; a time when Madonna wore pointed chest apparati, alternating neon socks was cool and you would fight someone for stealing your slap bracelet(ok, so I was a kid in the 80's/early 90's - give me some slack). Maybe you remember its siblings, Canyon Blu and Verdi Pompeii. If you recognized them, you'll see that I managed to hold a sample of each in the photo above.

Canyon Blu and Verdi Pompeii are reminiscent of the backgrounds to business card templates and attorney's offices. No offense intended if you work in a lawyer's office and still have green marbled business cards.

Today's spring clean sent these lovely relics to a different home. I snapped a photo for posterity and sent them to the sample board in the sky. Part of me was sad to see them go, always worried that a customer would be upset that the sample they were set on wasn't in our showroom. At the same time, new is here and the old has to go away.

So if you come searching for Tearose Illusion, that Pepto-pink, high-gloss marbled loveliness, you just missed it.

Happy Spring Clean, friends... Clear up that sample drawer designers, you'll be glad you did!


*When I searched Wilsonart's website it returned no results for 'Tearose Illusion', leading me to believe that they got rid of their samples long before I did.

*UPDATE: Wilsonart on Twitter(@Wilsonart) kindly informed me that Tearose Illusion was discontinued in 2005. I'm only 5 years behind!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Frolicking in KraftMaid's Genius: The 39" Wall Cabinet

Boy did KraftMaid hit it out of the park with this innovation!

Since the beginning of time, kitchen folk have toiled with the quagmire that is an 8 foot ceiling. Rarely do ceilings stay at 96" for the duration of a run and especially in an older home that has had ample chance to settle.

Often smaller homes(with lower ceiling heights) have smaller kitchens. Profound, huh? Obvious observations aside, customers with small kitchens have more complex storage needs and must make use of every possible space.

So many homeowners have grown tired of their 30" wall cabinets with no crown moulding and have seen glorious cabinets that go to the ceiling. Before KraftMaid's introduction of the 93" top line threshold installers would either get lucky with 96" worth of cabinets and never use a full-overlay door, or 90" with a sometimes disproportionate amount of moulding.

Not anymore.

Here at Cupboards, we have already made good use of the 39" wall cabinet. A strong remodel market(and dismal new construction outlook) have put KraftMaid's new size to good use.

Not long after it's intro, we spec'ed those very 39" wall cabinets in a newly remodeled spot in our showroom. More than once, experienced builders and installers have stood with a look of confusion until they break out the tape measure. That flustered look has turned quickly to delight. Ease of install and benefit to the homeowner will do that.

Doesn't hurt that they look pretty darn good!

*By no means am I hinting that KraftMaid "invented" the 39" wall cabinet, only that I am just super-excited I get to use it now! *big smiles*

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