Once upon a time, hosts were tucked away in the kitchen, preparing food and drink while their guests enjoyed conversation and laughter in the dining room. These days, the design trends have torn down those walls, and the kitchen has become a place for all to congregate.
“It’s almost like blending the kitchen, the living space, the breakfast area, your view of your pool, the entertainment area, your backyard—it is encapsulated all in one area,” says Corinne Danicki, a certified kitchen designer with The Kitchen Source. “It’s a whole change on how our house structure is being built and how we want to hang out.”
Whether it’s cooking, eating, doing work, enjoying a snack or entertaining, the kitchen has become the heart of the household, and Danicki and the team at The Kitchen Source have been a part of the evolution of style. With three locations in Dallas, Fort Worth and Southlake, the showrooms are a one-stop shop for homeowners to get design inspiration, purchase high-end appliances or order custom-made cabinetry.
And don’t let the name fool you—The Kitchen Source doesn’t just focus on the kitchen but also on bathrooms and wherever else one would need cabinetry. Danicki says, while most people start working with the company to build or remodel their kitchens, after their experience they return to have their bathrooms, mudrooms, laundry room and other parts of the home remodeled.
“We don’t just specialize in kitchens, and we don’t just specialize in bathrooms—it’s the whole home process that we’re very capable of handling,” she says.
While many designers are dealing with a backlog and long wait times for products, this isn’t the case when it comes to cabinetry and countertops at The Kitchen Source. The company works with seven American cabinetmakers—many family-run for nearly a century—that provide the luxury of designing and building custom cabinetry using modern technology with a lifetime warranty. And because the companies ship to all 50 states, The Kitchen Source can coordinate having custom cabinetry sent to customers’ homes outside of Texas, too.
To stay up to date with the most current trends and offerings in the home design world, Danicki and others attend conferences by the American Society of Interior Designers as well as the National Kitchen & Bath Association. In particular, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas gives industry professionals the opportunity to meet trade partners to learn what’s coming to market, see changes in design and walk showrooms to discover the newest innovations.
All of this expertise and attention to quality shines during the six-step process that The Kitchen Source walks a customer through. Each project begins with inviting customers to tour the showroom for ideas. They can look at the latest technology available, browse the quality cabinetry, and narrow down their preferences in design—customers often come with magazine clippings and saved photos on their favorite design apps. Then, the designer will visit their home to discuss more concrete ideas. Seeing the home helps the designer understand how the homeowner uses the space and what is important to them.
“A lot of times the homeowner can recognize that their space doesn’t work well for them, but they don’t know why or how to fix it,” Danicki points out. “Someone like me, who doesn’t live there, can listen to their thoughts and their wish list and offer suggestions.”
Plus, homeowners discuss their long-term plans to make sure designers set a budget that makes sense, whether they are planning to age in place or move out in five to 10 years. For designers, this means they need to understand the real estate market and the neighborhoods they are working in. Armed with this information, they will spend three to four weeks creating a custom design plan for the customer’s approval. If approved, a detailed schedule is created for the often monthslong process to complete the project. Because so many unknowns can occur during the construction process, it’s imperative at The Kitchen Source to plan for as much as they can.
“We know our space plan, we know our materials—the finishes, the countertop material, the sinks, the faucets, the backsplash, the appliances. We create a turnkey picture for them with all the costs upfront,” Danicki explains. “It’s not like design-as-you-go and price-as-you-go.”
Then the fun part begins. Appliances, countertops, cabinets, tiling, lighting and more begin arriving at the home, and contractors are able to start making tangible changes. Disruptions for weeks on end can be stressful, so workers strive to keep customers comfortable in their own home by thoroughly cleaning after each day of work and allowing homeowners to continue using the space as much as possible. And if appliances are on back order, The Kitchen Source will loan products as customers wait for the arrival of their own items.
“We stand side by side with you throughout the entire process,” Danicki says. “[Customers are] going to be disrupted. … You really have a support team when you’re out there, not only to design and select the pretty finishes, but it’s also to help during the installation process, during the ordering process, if there’s an oops or a problem process.”
And the support doesn’t end when the last bit of dust is swept away. The Kitchen Source is always available for homeowners to call should they have a question about their appliances, a drawer guide in their cabinetry or an ice maker in the refrigerator. Even if it’s a manufacturing or service issue unrelated to the team, customers are never left in the dark with a problem.
“I think the important thing to know is that The Kitchen Source is still here,” Danicki says. “You have support.” *
Christiana Lilly is a freelance journalist in Pompano Beach, Florida. See more of her work spanning the arts, community news and social justice at christianalilly.com.