27 May 2010

How to sell kitchen cabinetry: my slide back into advertising part two

Yesterday, I wrote about my sustainability narrative. Today is all about tranquility. To reprise:

I have a couple of sidelines, one of which is doing project work for an ad agency. Over the last year or two, I've been taking on some different things to see where I want my career progression to head next. Part of that is writing for this ad agency. Well as luck would have it, the agency happens to be the agency of record for the design studio where I ply my trade. I'd been unhappy with some of the copy that ended up in ads and on the website and as someone who's a pretty good writer and who has a vested interest in how a kitchen studio presents itself, having me write for the new website was a logical choice.

In January, I was in a brainstorming session with the ad folks and we were figuring out how to position the studio in the new website. Kitchen design's a curious thing in a lot of ways. Kitchen designers make their money from selling cabinetry but selling cabinetry isn't what I wanted to emphasize. Any monkey can sell cabinetry, and many of them do. It takes a real designer to build on that and to make rooms that capture the fundamental essence of a particular client.

I refer to my essence capturing as story telling. I work with my clients to have their homes tell their stories. Good design follows a narrative. Always.

I've been at this for long enough that I know that kitchen design as a business presents itself to the world by showing completed kitchens. These completed kitchens are terrific for portfolios, they tell a potential client what a given studio is capable of. However, these completed kitchen designs don't allow a client to project himself or herself into the image. Often times, these completed kitchen images are a barrier. Most people lack the vision thing. And when I show someone one of these photographs, I spend a lot of time guiding the person in front of me. "Imagine your home with something like this but not really like this." It makes for unnecessary confusion a lot of times.

Usually, I assemble a presentation board of finishes when I'm rolling out an idea rather showing a lot of completed projects.

So when it came to how to show the skills of a kitchen design studio on its website, I wanted to take my presentation board idea and make it a more fleshed out marketing position.

The result is something I call design stories.

We played around with this idea for a couple of months and then three weeks ago we booked a photographer and a studio. It was a collaborative effort but my resume claims sole credit for it. Resumes exist to toot my horn, right? And just for the record, none of this would have been possible without the great Amy Allen of Allen Harris Design or incredibly talented and patient photographer Chris Stickney.

Anyhow, we spent the day in the studio and assembled five still lifes (I was calling them Still Life with Cabinet Door) and shot all five of them in a single day.

The next one is called Tranquility and my body copy follows.
Every room tells a story, and every room has a different story to tell. At Kuttler Kitchens, we consider it to be our top priority to help you select the finishes that tell your story.

To help you get started; here are five, very different color and finish palettes. Each one tells its own story and we call them Tranquility, Classic, Sustainable, Grounded and Energetic. Using these as a starting point, how can we help you tell your story?


Soft wall colors, subtle lighting and Medallion Cabinetry's Newcastle door in a Classic Paint color called Bliss can combine to tell a story of tranquility. Further additions like Schaub and Company's Montcalm hardware in antique nickel and back painted glass tile from Mirage Glass Tile add soft, nuanced layers to this palette. Tranquil kitchens bring to mind unhurried mornings where there's time and a comfortable spot to linger over a cup of Earl Grey.

2 comments:

  1. I feel pretty darn tranquil after that.

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  2. We really like this presentation board concept that ties in color, finish and texture. It is so important to understand the client's mood, feel, and taste before marching forward with specific designs.

    While we have worked with large design firms on commercial projects providing elements for their concept boards, it never occurred to me how helpful it would be to provide this for residential projects.

    In fact, you may have provided inspiration for Avente Tile to develop a similar concept board showing how floor, wall and accent tile can tell their story in each room! Thanks and stay tuned...

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