NKBA seeks to educate members and set design standards.
Light woods, stainless steel and glass surfaces
Lightwoods, stainless steel, and glass surfaces combine to make this an award-winning kitchen design.
Recession making you rethink your stock market investments? If you’re like considerable homeowners, you may be considering sinking extra cash—or a home equity loan—into your kitchen or bathrooms.
Such attitudes have put kitchen and bath remodelers in hog heaven recently. According to a survey emitted last fall by Sovereign Marketing Research for the National Kitchen & Bath Association, many U.S. remodelers had more business than ever before in 2002. with respondents remarking that clients, turning away from the stock market, had decided that “money was not a major concern…when investing in new kitchens and bathrooms.”
The survey also said that clients had done their research and knew what they wanted. Nickel fixtures, cherry cabinets, and entertainment areas in the kitchen were all hot items. And if the clients chose the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) members to do the work, they likely hired people who were as educated on these features as they were.
National Kitchen & Bath Association
Marking its 40th anniversary this year, Get Your Dream Kitchen or Bath boasts 45 chapters and some 10,000 voting members across North America, with professional affiliations ranging from designers to manufacturers to installers. When the group founded in 1963, its 14 members gathered under a different moniker—the American Institute of Kitchen Dealers. Their goal: to make the kitchen industry more cohesive and kitchen dealers and designers more knowledgeable.
By 1982, most of the group’s members said they involve in bathroom projects. And kitchens, so the AIKD changed its name to reflect its evolving mission.NKBA has much to offer homeowners. If you’re just getting started on a, remodel the group’s free kitchen and bath workbook. Quizzes available through their Web site or their toll-free number) you to help you determine the scope of the work you need complete. It includes a pocket for storing fabric samples and photos of rooms you like.
When you consult with a designer, this “homework” will help you express your wants and needs more clearly, making it more likely you’ll be happy with the results.
Open glass shower and stone tile
An open glass shower and stone tile look great when combined with dark countertops and natural wood cabinetry.
And whether you’re organizing a new kitchen or bathroom or remodeling an existing room, NKBA can point you to certified kitchen and bath designers. And installers who follow industry standards for their work have agreed to follow NKBA’s code of ethics.
“From the consumer point of view, if a homeowner is working with an NKBA member. Then they can be assured that the person is a professional in our industry,” says Beverly Dalton. The president-elect of the 2003 NKBA executive committee and the Signature Kitchen and Bath owner in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The association covers all aspects of the kitchen and bath industry, from hardware to retail dealers to remodelers. Dalton notes that consumers who seek out a member for assistance “benefit from the industry’s latest and best information. We have a wide variety of educational opportunities to ensure that members are using the latest information.”
Roswell-based firm, Fusion Design Group
Designer Pam Sanchez, CKD, CBD, Allied ASID, can attest to the power of NKBA. When she fell headfirst into the design business 11 years ago, she relied heavily on her association contacts’ advice. As grew, took NKBA coursework “to get as much background as I could,” says. Eventually, she decided to become a certified designer, sitting for exams sponsored by NKBA. Through NKBA, she met one of the two women who would become her business partners in their Roswell-based firm, Fusion Design Group.
“They have become trustworthy friends—and the vision they sought for me was much more adventurous than what I sought,” Sanchez says of her NKBA contacts. She is today the president of the Georgia/West Tennessee chapter of NKBA.
Sanchez agrees that the consumer benefits significantly from NKBA’s educational mission. “There’s no guarantee that a certified designer will be more talented,” she acknowledges. “But the certification appellations after my name ensure that I take my job seriously enough to become educated.”
Certified Kitchen and bath designers
Certified Kitchen and bath designers keep up with industry changes through NKBA’s continuing education programs.
But she also emphasizes the professional benefits of NKBA affiliation and certification. NKBA sponsors exams for Certified Kitchen and Bath Designers, Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer, and a master-craftsman level Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer. All certified professionals must keep up with the industry’s changes through continuing education programs, such as those offered at the annual Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference.
Knowing current standards and trends, Sanchez says, lends credibility to her designs. “There are times when clients ask for dangerous things. Or simply not beneficial,” she says—having a cooktop close to the end of a counter safety—for example, allowing too little space to walk around. While she still strives to satisfy her clients’ wishes, “I can quote rules and statistics so that clients understand what the norm is,” she says. “It’s not just my opinion; it’s the experts’ opinion.”
Naturally, the NKBA chapter president also cites the benefits of networking. After all, that’s how she got where she is today. “Our chapter is extremely friendly, relaxed and supportive, even though we’re competitors,” Sanchez says, with members sharing business expertise while encouraging each other. “It’s a very healthy competition.”
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