Lake Cabinetry works to solve kitchen dilemmas

Thursday, September 28, 2006

When changes are being made in the kitchen, it is difficult to picture just how those ideas you have will come together.

With the help of Paul Kelly at Lake Cabinetry, those ideas can come to life on his computer in color as well as dimensional views.

Technology has made his job of helping design a kitchen so much more realistic than the flat, pencil-drawn images that were once the only means available. The customers appreciate the updates as well as Kelly who no longer has to pick up a pencil.

Kelly has operated Lake Cabinetry for the past 12 years but his experience in the business goes back to the 1980s when he worked for the Payless Cashway chain.

Kelly provides a great deal of customer service, and that, he feels, is just as important as providing the customers with the quality products he does.

Though he also offers bathroom makeovers, the kitchen revamp is what he sees the most of.

The process begins by a home or in-store consultation. He asks a great amount of questions to find out what the customer has in mind, schedules, how many kids there are in the home and even how much entertaining is done. Combining the answers helps in the decisions. Measuring is the next step.

Kelly pointed out that no two plans are the same.

There are many special extras available to make the kitchen design unique that it is often difficult for those decisions to be made. There are lazy Susans built in, tip out drawers and shelves that pull out to make more shelves. These are all things, he said, that are making things more convenient for the users of the kitchen.

Kelly works with the Bertch company out of Waterloo where the cabinets and cupboards are built to his measurements. Contractors are secured by him or the customer to hang and/or install the wooden pieces. He delivers the order and remains in contact with the contractor to make sure there are no questions of how the display is intended to be arranged. He also makes a point of seeing each completed project.

The ideas are endless, Kelly said, and new ones pop up all the time as customers' ideas differ. There are elaborate ideas and simple ideas; he never eliminates an idea.

Hickory seems to be one of the new popular woods and maple is still asked for but oak, Kelly said, is still dominate.

"Oak is seen as value."

Kelly is pleased to be associated with the Bertch company which takes great pride in their employees, products and customers.

Kelly enjoys his job. "I like taking the problem (wanting new cupboards) and solving the problem. My favorite time is the end results. I'm always learning."

Lake Cabinetry is located at 1220 E. 4th St. in Storm Lake.