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Tips on Designing the Perfect Kitchen: An Interview with Emily M. Strong of Scholten Kitchen & Bath

By Emily M. Strong

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

For decades Scholten Kitchen and Bath has been the gold standard in Kalamazoo, Portage, South Haven, Holland, St. Joseph?all of southwestern Michigan. Scholten designs are recognized as the premier design solutions, seamlessly meshing contemporary quality with uniquely individual lifestyles. Clients have come to know Scholten's as the benchmark of exceptional quality and service. We are a one stop shop, offering our customers everything they need to complete their project of their dreams! Scholten's can be as involved in the material selection as you want us to be. Having the industries best materials at hand gives the end user the satisfaction of great quality!

What are some of the biggest decisions that someone needs to make when it comes to the design of their new kitchen?

One important thing to consider before jumping into a project is "How much are you willing to spend on this project?". Having an idea of what the client has to spend on the project will help us in knowing what products that fit that budget. One great thing at Scholtens is we have products that will fit any budget. We will work with the home owner to give them the best bang for their buck!

What are the most important features of a new kitchen?

Every kitchen is as unique as the individual. Having enough countertop space is always an important feature. The kitchen is often a gathering place and having places for people to sit and/or lean while someone is preparing a gourmet meal.

What are some of the misconceptions you've come across about designing a new kitchen?

One misconception that we see here in the showroom is "Time". Creating a good design that has all the wants and needs of the client can't happen from a one hour conversation. We often come out to the job-site and see the space, talk to the end user collecting as much information that we can and then the real fun begins. We bring all the information back to our showroom and deign the space of their dreams. We often would have a follow-up meeting scheduled to present our design concept. Our materials will take time to order and to receive before the project starts. Another misconception that we sometimes hear is "I don't need a Kitchen and Bath Designer". In today's world, there are so many choices and that often becomes overwhelming for the client. As a Kitchen and Bath Firm, we help from start to finish with those selections, often introducing ideas that were never even thought by the home owner. Kitchen and Bath Designers are very instrumental in the whole project talking to the builders and/or installers, keeping schedules and making sure products are on-site when needed.

What are a few of the most in-demand features for custom kitchens?

Every day we get customers asking about Quartz countertops. Quartz is all the talk these days and very rarely do we talk about granite. The biggest reason is there is NO maintenance, you put it in and just enjoy the beauty of the countertop. We love to sell quartz that is made here in the USA by a family owned company. They have over 100 designs to choose from which insures we will find the perfect match for our customers!

Beverage centers are often wanted in the kitchen space because people like to entertain. Whether it's a hot cup of joe or a chilled bottle of white wine, an area that is connected to the kitchen but in its own area can often be a highlight in a custom kitchen. Adding a bar sink and under cabinet refrigeration is also a bonus! Ample lighting seems to be in demand as well. The use of LED lights that are placed under the upper cabinets highlighting the tile backsplash and left on in the evening for a mood lighting effect is popular. Lights being put on dimmer switches and adjusted for the amount of light needed for the task is a smart thing to do. You can never have enough lighting is done tastefully.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

We are very easy to get a hold of, stop in, email or call. We invite anyone to visit our 4,000sf showroom and look at our beautiful kitchen and bath displays.

Scholten Kitchen and Bath
1728 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, Mi 49008

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