I have a wonderful job! I help people who want to build their dream kitchens and baths by doing the design and planning necessary to turn their dreams into reality. It is hugely satisfying to do something that brings such pleasure to people and pays back to them every day in the beauty and function of a good design.
Having said that, I am sure you can imagine how disappointing it is to get a call when an element of that dream design has been damaged because someone didn’t know any better – the cleaning person who used an abrasive cleanser to clean the new stainless steel range and left circular scratches all over the top; the couple who threw the great house-warming party but left the wine glasses and lemon wedges out on the granite counter to clean up in the morning only to find the granite counter etched and stained; the woman who hadn’t taken the time to repair her high-heel and walked across the hardwood floor leaving nail dents in the surface; the teenager who came home from prom on a rainy evening and left his dress shoes on the travertine foyer floor because he knew he shouldn’t leave his wet shoes on the surrounding hardwood, but found black shoe polish stains soaked into the stone in the morning.
All of these are true stories of past clients’ disappointments. All of them could have been avoided if they had only better understood the characteristics of the materials they had selected to create their dream environment. With that thought in mind, in the next couple of posts, I will pass along some of the lessons I have learned from thirteen years in kitchen and bath design.
For today, let’s start with a lesson from Benjamin Franklin – “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you read nothing else from the manufacturers’ manual, check out the care guide. Every manufacturer wants their product to stay beautiful for its lifetime and they all recommend the best way to clean and maintain their products – whether it is a stainless steel appliance, a pre-finished flooring material, a cabinet door or a natural stone. If you can no longer find the manual, go to the website. It is far more cost-effective to put in a little time getting educated up front than having to figure out how to execute the repair later. And, once you figure out the recommended cleaning regimen, pass it along to the individual who is actually going to use the space or do the cleaning. Share the knowledge with your family members and others who work in your home – cleaning people, child caretakers, caterers, et cetera! I am certain they would all rather avoid a bad situation then have to figure out how to rectify one.