Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Rob Kircher: Well I'm here in the famous Kitchens By Ambiance™ showroom and we're in Bonita Springs, Florida and I want you to meet my good friend. This is Jim Gerard and Jim, I've known for, I dunno, five or six years. Something like that.
Jim Gerard: Little ways.
Rob Kircher: Yeah. And uh, just a great guy, by the way. But your business has been around for what, 30 years now right?
Jim Gerard: Been celebrating 30 years in business Rob. Isn't that killer?
Rob Kircher: Wow! It's amazing how time flies, right?
Jim Gerard: You know, and things keep going the way, hopefully we'll see 31. That'd be a great thing.
Rob Kircher: I'm sure you will. So, tell me what's going on in the overall business? What are some incredible trends that are happening in the kitchen business?
Jim Gerard: Well, trends, just to quote what's going on in Pinterest. I think a lot of people look online at Pinterest to see what's going on nationally. In cabinetry, what's really hot right now are painted finishes mostly in the lighter colors. The whites and the grays are very hot. Ironically, I've just read that, black cabinetry is a national trend.
Rob Kircher: Black? Wow.
Jim Gerard: Black. We don't see it much down here. In the years that I've been involved in it, I've only sold black cabinets in a kitchen a couple of times as more of accent cabinets. I've never done a whole kitchen in black before. I've taken some out. I never put any in.
Rob Kircher: Well I've seen where they might have like a lighter, maybe a green on the top and a black and the bottom or maybe the island would be black and the back would be a different color. But black is stronger now, huh?
Jim Gerard: That's what Pinterest is saying right now. But a lot of times things that are trends nationally not, don't necessarily show up down here in southwest Florida. But the whites are very strong, painted white, painted gray is very strong.
Rob Kircher: So you mean to tell me all of those wonderful hardwoods and the different kinds of just the maples and oaks are going by the wayside?
Jim Gerard: Yes. Nationally and down here, for the most part. In fact, I've got a beautiful cherry display here in the back of the showroom that, you know, five, six years ago we sold a lot of cherry and that display was on fire! I don't...what guy... I like, I like wood and I mean personally.
Rob Kircher: When you say they "paint them", I mean, what kind of a paint is it? It it like a lacquer? I mean, what do they paint it with?
Jim Gerard: Yes. It's a hard lacquer with a catalyzed varnish on top of it that seals it and protects it and it lasts a long time. However it's white, so it's going to show more wear and tear over the course of a life than a stained cabinet. It's very durable. You get a scratch in it...it's easily touched up, easily fixed.
Rob Kircher: So is that more like a, I guess a contemporary trim because it's white as kind of a neutral color?
Jim Gerard: You hit the nail right on the head right there with the "neutral." Right now because of all the different options available in Quartz, the idea is to keep the cabinetry perhaps a little more bland, dial it down a little bit, and let the countertops and the back splash, do the singing and dancing.
Rob Kircher: I like that. I like that a lot! The singing and the dancing.
Jim Gerard: Let them do the show! Cabinets are there just for function. But we've had a great run with it. We've got a fantastic line. Ultracraft, which is one of our main lines. We've got a lot of different offerings in Ultracraft and painted cabinets. One that's very popular that we sell is what they call their "linen finish." Now, Rob, what this is, is this is a painted cabinet, white, gray or whatever, and then they lightly stroke the front of it with the ends of the brush and give it an accent across the whole front of the cabinet.
Rob Kircher: Oh really? Wow.
Jim Gerard: So it's a painted on glaze. It's not an applied glaze. The difference is...
Rob Kircher: So every cabinet I guess would be a little different? Or is it identical?
Jim Gerard: No, they're all just a skosh unique. But you can use an accent color, whether that's nickel, which is a little more metallic, which matches up great. We sell a lot of that now with your faucets and your sinks and that sort of thing.
Jim Gerard: Brown, you can use black. There's a lot of different accent colors that you can add to the door. But the thing I liked most about it is it adds depth and warmth to the overall look of the kitchen.
Rob Kircher: Oh yeah. It would certainly, wow. Well, that's amazing. So that's the way things are going these days, huh?
Jim Gerard: For us down here, that's what we're selling....a lot of are the painted finishes, a lot of quartz countertops, which maybe we can cover in another episode here or a segment, I guess is what you'd call this, right?
Rob Kircher: Yeah, in fact that's a great way to segue because I'd like to get into that in our next...we can call it an episode, how's that? We'll call it an episode...a series of episodes. Folks, we're going to be back again and next week with another edition of Kitchen Designer with my friend Jim Gerard. And this is a wonderful showroom. It's very famous. Kitchens By Ambiance™ in Bonita Springs, Florida. So watch for us every single week with a new edition of Kitchen Designer and all kinds of trends, right?
Jim Gerard: We'll talk about it every time we have an opportunity to!
Rob Kircher: Alright, thank you my friend.
Jim Gerard: Thank you Rob!