May 2009

Ken Brown, a great builder in our area as well as a good friend passed away last weekend very suddenly…and tragically. This was a great southern man who was well respected in the community and truly and simply will be sorely missed by many. I spoke to him almost every day and cannot quite yet fathom not getting his early morning phone calls asking me “weeeelll,whaddddaaaaa youuuu doinnnnn “…to which I always responded, “Nothing but picking my nose and counting my millions…how about you?” This was our banter into a typical conversation with him working his way into asking me A) where are my cabinet guys today?? B) do you have that bid ready for me yet? or C) heard any dirt on the streets?. Then we might launch into a conversation about crazy clients, crazy cabinetmakers, or the crazy business we both found our way into. Sometimes, he might catch me when I was lamenting the parental nightmares of being mom to teens…and he would always have some good stories from his own teen parenting experiences. Or, we might just shoot the bull for a bit about nothing in particular.

Now mind you, on a work day I typically spend zero time chit chatting about much of anything. But with this special guy, he moved at a pace slower than mine and somehow he made you slow down on the path and walk in step with him…if even for just a few minutes on the phone. I always liked that about him. He could actually slow me down. And he always made me laugh about some silly thing.

The truth be told, this builder extraordinaire, took a chance on me years and years ago. The client wanted me on the job so he welcomed me…..mostly. I had to prove myself to him but once I did, he was one of my biggest supporters and that really meant something to me….especially in the south where the “little women” don’t always garner the same respect in the construction industry. I always maintained that the guy was smart. He recognized that I wanted to please not only my client but also him and earn his respect and I took darn good care of what was important to him on a job. But, really, he was confident in his role and his expertise and never felt threatened by anyone else and this allowed him to utilize the talent around him without worrying someone would upstage him. He always talked about our “team” and how we all worked together for the benefit of the client. If someone asked my opinion on his skills as a seasoned contractor, I would always reply with the same thing. “He is a “can do” guy. He does what it takes to get the job done and make the client happy.” Now, he might have laughed later at some of my crazy ideas but he always said “Let’s do it.

 Last Saturday, we lost one of the best, brightest and finest. He helped shape my business as well as being a friend. My heart hurts for his family and I will miss him.



We just got back from KBIS and what a whirlwind trip! We stayed at a wonderful hotel in Midtown (Atlanta) called The Georgian Terrace…was great and I highly recommend this hotel. Especially if you are game to use MARTA to get around…we did and it was cheap and efficient. It is one stop away from the Americas Mart and only a few stops away from the World Congress Center. Great location to get to restaurants also. So there you have my plug for the hotel! We really enjoyed our stay and had a great time at the Gala dining under the stars with fellow kitchen and bath folks! Laura and I even got to play celebrity stalker with Extreme Home Makeover star Paul Dimeo! He graciously allowed us to annoy him asking for photographs! Later at the show, the entire staff got in on the celebrity stalking game and we took pix with Eddie and one of the cute producers from the show. Definitely a highlight for us girls!!

The awards ceremony was nicely done by the NKBA and we are proud to say we took home a 1st place in Small bath category and a 3rd place and HM in same category! Congrats to my co-designers, Stacy Miller and Laura Lawrence! We will post winning baths in a few days. There also were many other projects that wowed us! I was very impressed by the field of winning designs..and humbled! Congrats to all the winners!

Pinnacle of Design: Jennifer Gilmer,CKD

First Place winners:

Small Kitchens: Jennifer Gilmer, CKD

Medium Kitchens: Jennifer Gilmer,CKD

Large Kitchens: Cameron M Snyder, CKD

Open Plan Kitchens: Siri Evju, CKD, CBD

Powder Room: Lori Carroll

Small Bathroom: Cheryl Kees Clendenon

Large Bathroom: Jan E. Regis, CMKBD

Master Suite/Bathrooms:Scott and Sandra Gjesdahl

Showrooms: Elina Katsioula-Beall, CKD

Other Rooms: Sandra L. Steiner-Houck, CKD

As for the show, it turned out very good..not as many vendors as last year but to be expected I suppose but I really feel a turn around happening and I will bet some of those vendors are now unhappy they did not choose to attend! We found lots of great ideas and new products and I will write a post about all this in next day or two as I gather all my pictues and notes!