Thursday, June 16, 2011

Working with Cupboards: The good, the bad, the saucy.

Perhaps in between the KBIS bathtub photos and posts about the awesomeness of granite tile countertops, you've forgotten that Cupboards actually designs kitchens.  I should know - they designed one for me!  I'm Madame Sunday of the blog ModernSauce and I decided to hijack Cupboards and tell you all the dramatic behind-the-scenes dirt that REALLY happened when you work with Cupboards on a project!  Get ready for it...

Here it comes...

Make sure you're sitting down...

It's gonna be big...

Deep breath...


I got nothin.  There wasn't any drama or ego or fighting.  It was actually really easy.  And pretty fun.  That's not to say there weren't any problems with the project - because there were - but working with Nick was actually what helped smooth over those problems.  Especially when someone *points to self* was freaking out or overreacting... not that that would ever happen. Very often...

The end result!
Before I contacted Nick I already knew roughly what I wanted my space to look like and my budget range.  I think this was essential for my sanity and probably his as well. I initially emailed him to see if he was actually interested in working with me (hey, maybe he only wanted to be my Twitter friend - who knows?!) and what I wanted was indeed achievable for my price.  He said "easy."  I said it's "ON like Donkey Kong!"  If you say that with a Southern accent is sounds funnier.  Or possibly that's the only part that sounds funny... whatever.  So I sent him my measurements, pictures that I liked, told him a few things I hated (bending over) and few things I loved (not bending over) and then just let him loose.  A short while later BOOM, a plan in my inbox and angels sang and flowers blossomed and cherubs danced.  It was hot.  

The biggest difference in the plans I had received from big box retailers versus what I received from Nick was that his plan was thoughtful.  As in, I'm pretty sure he did more than play Tetris with my cabinets.  He wasn't just filling up my walls with as many wooden boxes as my space would allow, but instead he was maximizing storage while being conscious of the three-dimensional space and feel of the room.  That was a hard thing to explain to someone wearing an orange apron.  The thoughtfulness that came from his expertise made my job much easier.  My job being to freaking out about all the OTHER non-cabinet related stuff.  

Other than a few minor tweaks, we didn't really even make that many changes to his initial plan.  Maybe that has something to do with, you know, thoughtfulness.  Usually it was as a result of another decision I made like changing the size of the sink or deciding I needed more room for my hoard of vintage chafing dishes.  And by chafing dishes I mean Nutella.  Not seeing the place in person proved challenging at one point and I did have to resort to some unconventional tactics to "see" the plan for myself and to try and visually communicate my thoughts with him:

Yes, that's the real space before.  I'm sorry...
The art of improvisation!  

Our situation was a bit different from the normal process since Nick lives three hours away from me and would not be present during the installation at all.  We knew this might create some extra work for me but it seemed worth it because I could still get what I want AND have someone I could call for questions or clarification or life coaching.  That someone was probably going to be a lot more accessible than the person working at a big box store in my own town and they get so cranky when I try to talk to them about my dating drama.  It's just all about YOU, huh Home Depot?!  So call Nick I did.  A lot.  That kind of customer service is enough to spoil a Madame.  

So if you're kinda wondering whether there is a difference between the designers at chain retailers and the ones at showrooms, there is.  If you already knew that but roll your eyes at independent showrooms (like I did) because you don't think there's that much of a difference, there was.  And it was worth it even over long distance  That's coming from someone who is cheap.  And whiny.  And whiny about being cheap.  I may have done a lot of whining during the process but it was never about the cabinets.  It also wasn't about dating drama because apparently Nick doesn't want to hear about that either.  What is wrong with you kitchen designers?!

Can't get enough of kitchen tawlk?!  Run over to ModernSauce to check my interview with Nick.  Warning: there is snark and saucy talk!

Share |


  1. Thanks for all the kind words, Madame!

    I appreciate you making the process look like it runs smoothly with us but lots of the credit goes to you, a receptive and eager customer. Working on a project is a two-way street and it takes both parties to make the magic happen.

    It's been a really rewarding experience to work with you!

  2. I feel the same about you! Do you think people are tired of hearing us gush yet?! Oh well. ; )

  3. So Nick, how did you get the Madame to write all that lovely prose and not a single cuss word? Are you sure it was really her or did the ghost-whiners writer it? If I could do whiny and affordable and something like a 3-day drive, you're my guy. In a kitchen designer, motorcycle riding kind of way.

  4. Nick and Madame,

    This is a wonderful testimony for you, Nick! Madame, I think that you were a dream customer for Nick. Since I am in the same business as Nick, AND I used to work at the *other* big box store (SLowe's), I can totally appreciate everything you went through, both of you. I have designed quite a few kitchens that I never got to see. Like Nike said on your blog, I can look at a house plan and "walk through it in my mind," it is a gift in our business.

    In other news, I am so excited about next week, I might have been doing some sqeeing of my own here in Huntsvegas.

    Brenda Lynn

  5. Madame- Nah... gush away! ;-)

    Alexandra- You're too sweet!

    Brenda- Looking forward to next week too... but who is Nike? Ha!

  6. Nike, Nick...when I am this tired, it is all the ass! ;-)

  7. Brenda- Don't be ugly! This is a family blog, ya know. ;-)

  8. "He wasn't just filling up my walls with as many wooden boxes as my space would allow, but instead he was maximizing storage while being conscious of the three-dimensional space and feel of the room."


    And now I really want to hear "ON like Donkey Kong" with a southern accent....

  9. Kelly- Call anytime... On like Donkey Kong!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...