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The Ins and Outs of Your Kitchen Remodel: An Interview with Ed Barron of California Kitchens Etc

By Ed Barron

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

California Kitchens Etc is a multi-faceted company. We design kitchens, bath, bars, entertainment centers, closets, home offices and other parts of the residence or working area. We also provide complete home interior design services, to include carpeting, tile and stone, fabrics for all upholstery needs, window coverings and wallpaper, custom furniture and custom lighting and a fine selection of wood flooring. We do free in-house consultations.

When people want to remodel their kitchen, what's the best place to start?

Start with a design consultation. This meeting is two-fold. First the designer is able to glean all the clients' desires for the new dream kitchen. The client should bring all magazine cut-outs, brochures, photos, etc. to help the designer visualize this dream and begin to transform this dream into a reality. Second, it allows the client to see how the designer works with his/her ideas and how they can develop a good working relationship. The client and designer will be spending many hours together, therefore a good relationship is extremely important. Now the designer's task is to turn these ideas into an elegant and functional design (refer to our website).

What are some of the most important decisions homeowners will need to make during the kitchen design process?

One of the most important decisions is to find an experienced designer. The designer controls the ebbs and flows of the design process and coordinates the many elements necessary for a successful completion. Others are to choose a contractor (we work with an excellent one), choose an installer (we also work with a craftsman with many kitchens on his resume), decide to add/remove walls, choose a cabinet design direction. There are many more decisions to be made, but designer's task is to help with all of those decisions.

How is the budget typically set? What are some ways to help stay within budget?

Assemble the costs from your contractor (lighting, etc.), designer (cabinetry), etc., as many costs as possible to include flooring, countertop, backsplash, desired appliance purchases, installation costs. This list of costs will help the client get a realistic view of the project's scope and investment. Now, a budget can begin to be established. If the dream is larger than the budget, then scope elements may need to be downsized to stay within set boundaries. The designer's job is to help the client with all of these issues.

Is there anything that a homeowner should know about cabinetry that they might not know?

Research is an important element in the remodel process. Learn what makes for a good quality cabinet, hinging, drawer glides, finish and warranty. Again, your designer will help by answering any questions clients may have.

What is one of the most challenging parts of the remodel for a homeowner and do you have any tips for that?

The process can be lengthy and will require patience. Keep in mind that every client goes through a very similar process and in the end sees the dream come to life before their very eyes. Lastly, trust the designer.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Contact Lynn Baron at or 626-396-9040. Contact Ed Barron at or 661-755-5602. We are located on the mezzanine level of the Snyder Diamond showroom at 432 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, Calif., 91105.

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