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The Observer August 2012

Your Business: Upscale Kitchens & Bath


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.

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