YOUR BUSINESS: Upscale kitchens and bath
KITCHEN AND BATH DESIGNER BRINGS SOMETHING NEW TO THE TABLE
From left are Joanna Solinas, company co-ordinator of impressions and details; Cassanda Norell-MacLean, co-owner and chief of vision and difference; and Patrick MacLean, co-owner and controller of chaos
Some segments of the local economy may be under pressure but there’s no sign that the kitchen and bath renovation business is slowing down, says Cassandra Nordell-MacLean.
She co-owns William Standen Co., a local design and fine cabinetry business that she and her husband, Patrick MacLean, started in 2009.
“This year is the busiest we’ve been,” said Nordell-MacLean. “In fact, during the economic downturn, we expanded.”
The couple, who also own and operate Nordell design/build, wanted more control over what they were installing in their customers’ homes. They also wanted a slice of the retail pie. So they started William Standen Co. to offer a wide selection of quality custom cabinetry and fixtures.
William Standen Co., named for their family members, carries everything from sinks and faucets to appliances and countertops.
Tougher economic times mean fewer new builds but a surprising number of people continue to be interested in upscale renovations.
Nordell-MacLean’s typical customers are couples between the ages of 45 and 55 who have decided they want to stay in their home and want to make it one they thoroughly enjoy, she said.
An average project at William Standen Co. is between $30,000 and $60,000. “But we’ve done kitchen cabinets for as little as $6,000 and as much as $120,000.”
Many customers are retired, intend to remain in their homes, and want to make them “everything they’ve dreamed about,” Nordell-MacLean said.
Her customers will frequently opt for ergonomically-correct designs that save wear and tear on their bodies. Features such as cupboards that open with just a light finger tap and plate holders that facilitate carrying large numbers of dinner plates to the table, are very popular.
Three months ago, William Standen Co. moved its showroom and design studio to 812 Phillip St. East from McGregor Road.
“The main reason we moved is that people were having trouble finding us,” said Nordell-MacLean. “We also liked the new location because it’s better to be closer to the heart of the city.”
She’s hired Joanna Solinas who greets customers as they enter the showroom, describing William Standen’s services and offering tours to showcase the product lineup.
Then it’s on to the design studio where clients meet Nordell-MacLean and fill out a form that describes themselves and their needs. A Nordell-MacLean design and a high-resolution photo-realistic rendering is no charge if the client hires the company for the project.
Nordell-MacLean, 28, says she’s proud that all four permanent employees at William Standen – herself, her husband, Solinas and a lead carpenter – are all under 30 years old.
“People say it’s awesome that we have an established business and that we are this young,” she said. “I take that as a real compliment.”
She believes her designs stand out because she isn’t afraid to try new ideas and think outside the box.
“I’ll use different materials, mix colours and textures and different finishes. People will wonder about it until they see the rendering. Then then they love it.”
William Standen Co. is holding an open house at its new location on Friday, Sept. 14 from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to see the showroom, walk through the design studio, enjoy some refreshments and win prizes.
For more information, visit www.williamstanden.com or call 519-337-7999.