A well-planned and executed home redesign is all about re-imagining your space and style – but it’s also entirely about the way that you use your home.
How often do we get caught up in wanting a project done but not knowing where to start? And then once we finally contact a professional, we start by asking a lot of questions instead of telling the design professional how we actually live our lives in the space we want remodeled?
Direct Kitchen Distributors (DKD) knows that it’s easy to think of the inconvenience of having your home life disrupted by construction. That’s why they want you to instead concentrate on the beauty and value of the finished product rather than the temporary inconvenience of a remodel.
They also want you to consider that you’re not buying a product when you come to them for a solution. You’re buying a room. You’re buying an area where your family will continue to live their lives day to day. That’s the kind of thing you can’t get when buying online.
“The majority of what we do is ‘complete job’. Where someone does not have the resources, manpower or friends to be able to do the project themselves and they’re looking for someone to do what we call ‘concept to completion’ – design and build, start to finish,” says Steven Strauss, AKDB. “We do everything. I try to find out what the end goal of the project is. Who’s using the space? I’ll be able to tell them, ‘Here’s what you can do with your space based on what you’re trying to accomplish.’”
No space in the home is ‘one size fits all,’ and every family has different reasons for remodeling. And any area can benefit from what DKD does best – custom, efficient storage cabinetry.
Customers are welcome to visit DKD’s Whitehall showroom on the first Saturday of every month (what the company calls “Browsing Saturday”) to browse, with no appointment necessary. Potential clients can schedule a free consultation appointment to discuss the scope of the project and continue the process from there.
Two of the more frequent requests that the company gets are for projects that are misunderstood (kitchen islands) or are a newer concept not considered before (murphy beds). Though these two projects are vastly different, both showcase the customization, quality and attention to detail for which DKD is famous.
“Most think of an island as extra workspace or seating for some meals,” says Renee Strauss, DKD Marketing Manager. “At DKD, we discuss many different uses for an island. One of them is the use of a Galley Workstation.”
The Galley was invented by a kitchen designer whose vision was to create a central workstation hub where every task in his kitchen could be accomplished. An all-in-one preparation station, cook station, serving station, entertaining station and cleaning station, the Galley Workstation is known as the “ultimate culinary system.” The product is niche and exclusive to DKD; they are the only supplier in the greater Lehigh Valley area, covering from Philadelphia to the New York state border.
Each workstation contains an upper deck cover and work surface, a matte stainless steel galley tap, an aluminum dual tier drying rack, dual tier platforms and cutting boards for food preparation, stainless steel mixing bowls, a steel colander and a 10” depth to the sink. Optional culinary tools for each station include a dual tier wash and serve set, a chef’s block, a magnetic knife block, a dual tier condiment serving board, upper tier aluminum sheet pan, and a utensil caddy.
To put it simply, the Galley puts the work surface within the sink itself – freeing up the rest of the island for serving and presentation.
“The Galley makes sense when you see how a kitchen functions. When you look at a residential kitchen, it has that infamous ‘work triangle’ that’s always been done. The guy who created this said that this isn’t the way to do this. It’s supposed to be a production line,” says Steven Strauss. “They do a really unique product that is high end, and it stands on its own merits.”
The Galley sink is available in a standard 2-ft. sink, a 5-ft. sink, or a 7-ft. sink. DKD finds that those customers who have had the unit installed prefer the 5-ft. version, which provides ample room for two people to share preparation duties and still have guests around the island. The different sizes also come with a different number of accessories, so clients can really customize the workstation to exactly what they want.
The island on display in DKD’s showroom showcases how customizable the cabinetry can be, as well. A wine chiller or beverage center can be added, along with storage spaces for trash cans, a pullout for hanging pots and pans instead of stacking them, and even optional overhead storage for glassware or other items. Because it makes everything easy to get to, it’s also convenient for those with disabilities to still be able to utilize their kitchen.
Another unique component that can be added to your kitchen island is the Cook-N-Dine cooktop, which is a Teppanyaki-style flat-top grill that allows everyone sitting around the island to help prepare their own food. Temperature controls can be mounted inside of the island. The cooktop features a warming ring around the outside of the grill and a hot ring inside the center, so that food can also stay warm on it. The center portion also pulls downward to keep food from spilling off of the edges.
“This is a place for other people to gather when you’re entertaining. It’s not for everybody, but it is unique,” says Steven Strauss. “Durability wise, it’s stainless and it is very easy to wipe down and clean. It does retain some heat. You can see that it’s still warm inside. The center does pull down a bit, and when it cools off, it will come back up. The outside ring is grated so that if you put your hand on the very outside, it would never burn you.”
DKD is also an exclusive dealer of the Cook-N-Dine grill.
Do you need space for out-of-town guests to sleep, but don’t want to sacrifice your home office, kids’ playroom, or storage space? Then a Murphy bed may be the solution to your problems.
“At Direct Kitchens, we don’t only do kitchens and baths. We take care of cabinetry for all other rooms, as well,” says Renee Strauss. “We work with any area that can benefit from neat, efficient storage cabinetry.”
The Murphy Wall-Bed is offered in several sizes and configurations (twin, double or queen), and is a versatile cabinetry piece that can be completely customized with your choice of wood, style and finish. Unlike sofas and futons, Murphy Wall-Beds don’t use a folding mattress, so there are no bars or lumps to sleep on. Any mattress up to 11” thick can be used inside of the cabinet, and no box spring is needed. Velcro straps are provided to hold bedding in place when the unit is closed, and the aluminum mechanism is lightweight.
“The Murphy bed is for people with smaller apartments or a spare bedroom that sometimes has guests staying, but other times they need to use that space for other functions. We can do the cabinets to match that, and we can also add bookshelves that go right into the bed,” says Steven Strauss. “We do spare bedrooms whether it’s a closet system or a desk, or building a home entertainment center. We’ve been selling this product for about a year now, and while it’s still relatively new to us, we’ve found it answers the question of, ‘How do I fit the bed or fit a spare bedroom into a room where we have so much else going on?’”