Learn how to stress less and save more when renovating a kitchen with pro designer, Camille Finan, who shares her expert advice on kitchen design and how to remodel like a pro for half the cost! Don’t miss Camille’s incredible virtual program for maximizing your dollar to create a beautiful kitchen on a budget!

Stress Less and Save More When Renovating A Kitchen

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Learn how to stress less and save more when renovating a kitchen with pro designer, Camille Finan, and create a beautiful kitchen on a budget. Don’t miss Camille’s expert advice on kitchen design and her virtual program for maximizing your dollar to create an effectively designed kitchen for half the cost.

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  • A success-based mindset
  • Why short-term sacrifices are necessary for success
  • Dos and don’ts of countertops
  • Common kitchen remodeling mistakes and how to fix them
  • Functional design and money-saving tips for the kitchen of your dreams
  • Camille’s virtual design program


Learn how to stress less and save more when renovating a kitchen with pro designer, Camille Finan, who shares her expert advice on kitchen design and how to remodel like a pro for half the cost!  Don’t miss Camille’s incredible virtual program for maximizing your dollar to create a beautiful kitchen on a budget!


Camille is the CEO of Kitchen Remodel Rockstar and host of the Kitchen Sink Podcast. After years of running her successful businesses, Camille returned to her carpentry roots. After noticing how the market underserved its female clientele, she found her niche in kitchens. Today, she has worked with thousands of women to design and build the kitchens of their dreams.

Learn how to stress less and save more when renovating a kitchen with pro designer, Camille Finan, who shares her expert advice on kitchen design and how to remodel like a pro for half the cost!  Don’t miss Camille’s incredible virtual program for maximizing your dollar to create a beautiful kitchen on a budget!


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My idea is to do it from the inside out Plan the cabinet layout first, the functionality, so you know for sure that those cabinets are gonna work the way it needs to work. And hold all your stuff in a better way than the last place, and then you plan the house around that. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with diy.
Healthy Lifestyle Blogger on Fuller empower you to transform your life one imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I’m your host, Anna Fuller. Today we have Camille Fanon on the show. Camille is an author, podcast host, and CEO of the company Kitchen Remodel Rockstar.
And she is also the host of The Ugly Kitchen Challenge, as well as a podcast host. Over her 35 year span as a carpenter, she has helped over 10,000 women design the kitchen of their dreams. Welcome Kitchen Remodeling Rockstar Camille Finan. I am. How are you? I’m look good. How are you? I’m doing good. It’s pretty dang hot here.
So where are you at? I’m in Northern California and it was like 117 yesterday, so we’re just Wow. Really, really hot. Yeah, it’s hot, but it’s not usually that hot. I was really excited when I was introduced to you. I get very, very passionate about kitchen remodeling. When, Okay. Yeah. When the agent reached out and like, Hey, here’s a potential podcast guest.
I loved looking over your sheet for all of our friends listening and watching Camille’s, literally like the rockstar of kitchen design and remodeling, and people around here also know that when someone reaches out and has a question about a kitchen, it’s like Christmas morning. I’m like, Yes, Kitchen remodeling is my favorite.
And not shocking. Seeing as we spend. So much time to kitchen. There’s a reason it’s called The Heart of the Home and it literally sells a house, but one of my favorite questions is to kind of press the Rewind button and find out how, how did you even get to where you are and what you’re doing? I mean, you basically helping thousands of women redesign their kitchen, not what everyone starts out to do in life.
That’s true. Do you want the short answer or the long answer? It’s, it’s whichever one you find most interesting. Whichever one you wanna share. Yeah. So I was a business consultant, uh, went to college for that. So I basically, that just means you help people start and run businesses and, uh, I fell in love with that and did really, really well at it, but I got really burned out.
I was just working way too many hours and basically burning the candle in like 18 different ways and I, I kind of had like a little bit of a nervous breakdown and just basically just borrowed in mentally and just had to shut the business down and take a lot of time off and outta that process. I kind of felt, I realized that.
My mental health ever. The thing I did all the time was, was remodel my houses, right? So I was making money. It was my rental properties. I had boyfriends, right? Like I was young. We were doing a lot of stuff. And so my sister’s the one that actually suggested, she’s like, you know, oh my God, just stop complaining about your life and just go be a carpenter.
And I was like, But that’s like going backwards, right? And so I, but I did, I just kind of, uh, whined about it for a while and eventually I just couldn’t get out of my head. And so I walked onto a job site one day and just asked for a job, a general labor job, and digging ditches and a hundred degree weather.
And I made it through that day. And I was like, just on cloud nine, like just, there was something about the physicality that I was really missing in my life. And that whole, before and after that scene, like I just, I’m the kind of person that needs, I’m a very visual person. I’ve realized, and I need to see my work
That’s a short answer. I need to see what I do every day. I can’t just. Hear about it, like I need a visual representation of that. So I joined the Carpenters Union. I, that proved to me that I could do it to myself, right? I joined the carpenters Union and fell in love with cabinetry in the union, high end hotels, just finished work I’d never even seen before, and did a lot of things in the union, framing roofs, trenching, plumbing, electrical, a bunch of stuff.
But I kept coming back to that finish work. And so that’s really where I started to fine tune and, and learn, Oh, there’s like all these different things you can do on a job site, and you could have a whole career just on this one little thing. And like, I didn’t really, I didn’t realize you could make enough money doing that.
So that’s where I kind of got the idea to do kitchens, because I learned to countertops, I learned to cabinetry, and I went about as far as up as I could before I kind of kept hitting that ceiling. And so I knew how to start a business, so I, I had options, whereas a lot of the people in the union did not.
Yeah. So I quit and started my own kitchen modeling business and. That’s been 30 years ago. And so I knew that when I did that, I wanted to, I’ve always wanted to do things differently. So even though everybody didn’t think women could do chemistry, I knew that was, that was false. So I was also really small then I’m, I’m heavier now, but I was very small then.
And people would look at me and say, You know, that’s imp you can’t be petite and do heart labor. So I, I knew that was a fallacy. So I hired, I made it a point to hire only women in my shop and so we had only women in the cabinet shop and I specialized in just working with the wife of the house basically.
Whereas most people approached the husband. So that became very successful because of, and I had a marketing background cuz I knew business. Right, right. There’s so, there’s like so much to unpack in the last five minutes there. One of the things I’m curious to hear about is the mindset pressing rewind again, when.
You were struggling with the idea of being a carpenter initially, cuz this is so real for a lot of us, where it’s like you know that you’re dissatisfied with something and you see a possibility for another option, but there’s this huge gap in between the two. It’s like this chasm where you see what could potentially be on the other side, but it’s almost unfathomable how to get from here to here.
Right. So tell me about that process a little. What you thought and how you felt in approaching this bridge and sort of how you started that process. Yeah, and you’re right, it is, It’s a lot easier now. I mean, there was no Instagram, there was no Facebook, Right. There was literally just the yellow pages.
You’re right. Personal branding now is a lot easier than it would’ve been. Yeah. And you can find stuff easier. There was no Google, like, there were no Facebook groups. Right. There was nothing. There was no Facebook ads. Like you didn’t see information the same way you do now. But I, the feeling is still the same.
So I’m not undermining if you’re a young woman or you’re someone who’s thinking of going into construction or a trade or a skillset, you’re right. It feels very daunting still. Right. It still feels like there’s no information. Like how do I get started? So the feeling is the same. Um, for me, I, I just basically pieced it together.
Like, I was like, well, I know after working on the job site, I was like, Okay, I don’t wanna work outside all day. , right? It’s super hot. I wanna work inside the house. So then I would ask for jobs inside the house, right? Then I did baseboard, I did trim work, so I knew that finished work, there’s always like a little into something.
So like for instance, in finished carpentry, if you know how to do good base work, use the chop saw and you know how to do basic angles, which is actually quite simple, right? It’s left and right, 90 degrees, 45 degrees. If you can teach yourself one piece of the puzzle that somebody else needs, it’s easier to get to that next step.
So for me, I recognized, oh, if I know how to do baseboard and crown molding, that’s something that a lot of the other guys don’t know how to do or aren’t as good. So when I became good at that, then I got asked to do all those jobs, which then elevated my potential in front of my boss, right? Then he would try me out on other stuff.
So, I mean, the short answer I guess would be is it depends on what trade we’re, what you’re trying to go into. But, um, another thing is to do free interviews like mentorships or internships. I did a lot of those where I would just find the guy that I wanted to learn from and I would offer to work for him for the, for free for the weekend, or work for a few hours on a side job or.
And do not expect to get paid. Just I wanted to be in the room with people who were in those new opportunities. And I got a lot of jobs that way when I was first new and wasn’t really that good. Mm-hmm. , um, they gave me chances. Right. It gave me chances to be around the right people. Once you like figuring out like how to go to the union and apprenticeship, they still have apprenticeship programs for women.
They’re very successful. Lots of women do really well with that. Like, does that kind of answer the question or, Cause there’s a lot of ways. Beautifully, beautifully. I mean, I’m gonna summarize the two things that I just heard you say Incredibly well. I heard one humility and two generosity. You started with this sense that I know I need to work my way up, and so I’m gonna take one step forward and do a task that maybe, for example, spending an entire day outside digging a ditch.
I mean, that’s humbling, right? You were probably the head and very successful business. It was very humbling. Yeah. And now you’re digging a ditch, but you saw where you wanted to go and so you were willing to take the hard steps, which is humbling. Yeah. In order to get to where you wanted to go. So that’s step number one, is what I’m hearing Camille just say is humble yourself and take those small steps forward and fill in a need.
So as you just said, you saw that you could maybe do better in trim work, so you educated yourself and improved your own skills at trim work, which then provided another step. But the point there, number one, is see the gaps that you could potentially fill and humble yourself enough to the point where you’re willing to learn what you need to do to fill those gap.
Step number one. Step number two, what I think you said beautifully is live generously. Basically you were willing to do tasks and give then of your time and what you did know and what you were good at for free initially because you recognized that you’re early on in this space. Yeah, and and I’ve heard these concepts frequently, so I think you spoke beautifully in your story to that willingness to humble yourself and then give generously, not expecting in return.
And I think that’s a business principle, whether you are a multimillion dollar CEO or you’re just starting out, I really think those two. Extend and result in success long term. Yeah. So I think those were beautiful examples. Yeah. Yeah, Actually, and the more you think about it, like I kind of applied, I’ve applied that at every time I needed something or wanted something new that I didn’t know how to do, I always, almost always did it for free for.
Quite a while because I knew those would lead to opportunities like the countertop thing. You know, countertop fabrication is incredibly hard to do and it is very rare for women to do it. Really rare for women to do it, especially in California, it’s a hundred percent male dominated. Interesting. So I knew that, but I knew that learning countertops was the piece that I needed to run the kitchen shop.
I did not wanna have to subcontract that because I wanted to make the most amount of profit I could on every job. And I knew that being a business owner before I could, I could recognize where the real money was in cabinets and countertops. That’s your greatest profit centers or those two things. And I wanted to be able to control the quality of both of those.
And cuz I’d seen so many jobs done badly. And so I knew that I was gonna have to, I was gonna have to figure out that countertop situation, but it’s really hard to get into. And so I walked into a leading countertop man, the largest fabrication company here in Northern California. And I basically, Told the guy, the boss, that I had done a lot of countertop installations in the union.
I knew how to do it, but that I needed, I wanted to learn how to fabricate the jobs themselves right from scratch, and I was willing to work for free for three months to prove myself. Now I knew it wasn’t gonna take three months because I’m a fast you. No girl. I love that though. Let’s just add I was better than you.
You probably thought I was , right? I knew I knew a lot more than he probably assumed that I knew. Yeah. Cause that’s really small. Five foot three, like a hundred. That’s how I feel every time walking into Home Depot. I’m standing there looking at the product and I’m like, Oh, this guy’s asked me if he can help me.
And I’m guarantee you I know more about this product than he does . Right, Exactly. Exactly. So I, I’ve left my way into that because I knew I needed him more than he actually needed me. Cuz if I couldn’t figure that out, I was really gonna be held back. And so he, I think by, based on probably Sure shock, he’s like, Oh, she’s not gonna last like a day a week in the shop.
Right. It’s loud, it’s wet. It’s just, it’s a very. Physical environment. So, but within, I’d say a week or two, they started me as a helper. Right. You help someone else fabricate. Mm-hmm . And within a week or two, I was probably within a month of working for free, I was the best helper of all the other master fabricators cuz I had attention to all my finished skills that I already knew.
Mentioned to detail, really listening, right? Things that women are really good at listening, following tasks, doing it a certain way, Right? Not skipping steps, not doing it your way, Right. Like men do, right? . Yeah. So, and within a month, basically they agreed, Oh, we’re just gonna start paying her. So then they started paying me.
So then by the month two, I had proven myself enough that they were like, Okay, we’re gonna let you fabricate your own jobs and we’re gonna give you a help. So that’s the kind of thing that would’ve, I would’ve never had that opportunity if I would’ve asked for, you know, journey level wages. Right. And, cause they would’ve been losing money on me to do that, and it was too big of a risk for them to take.
And so I worked there for, I basically ended up running my own crew there and I learned everything I needed within about a year to, to do it for myself and my own company. And that, that opportunity led to 30 years of making millions of dollars in kitchen remodeling because I was willing to give away $2,000 a month or whatever, like it was, it’s medium labor time.
Okay. Right. It’s not very much, It might have not have, it maybe was just $1,500 a month, but that’s the kind of like foresight you have to see is like, not the short term gain. You have to really see how that person’s gonna help you create a lifestyle that you want. Right. Yeah. I kind take advantage of him.
Yeah, . To be honest. Hey, you’re gain. That’s just smart. It’s a smart business mind right there is really what it is. Yeah. Well, and I think it’s, You made an excellent point. You mentioned the short term gain. I mean, this is, I think the number one barrier for so many people in pursuing their dreams is it always requires short term sacrifice.
Yep. Mm-hmm. . And a lot of times we’re just not willing to take that sacrifice, whether it be a financial hit or it be a lifestyle change. And our culture’s not good at it. We’re just not. I mean, we are the literally the in. Yeah. They share not right away. And I’m like, yeah, it is such a disservice because you just, anybody that’s ever built anything significant has given so much of themselves for so long.
That is the defining factor is like, how much are you willing to give to get to something more? Cause it’s, you know, objects in motion, stay in motion, right? Objects at rest. Stay at rest. If you want something different out of your life, typically financial, you have to do enough to create enough momentum to get to that like next level.
And that sacrifice comes at your expense, not at the persons, the other persons who’s giving you the information. Like they’re not gonna, Why would they? Right? Like you have to make it easy for them. Yeah. And I think this is true of, of everything, you’re right. Financially when it comes to a business standpoint.
But I’m constantly having to remind myself of this concept for everything. Even parenting. I mean, I’m, you know, currently we’re really working on some behavior issues with one of our children. And there’s part of me that arrogantly is like, Oh my gosh, like I’m a good parent. You should get this right now, , you know, And then I have to step back and be like, Oh my word Anna, get over yourself.
Like, this child needs time. Yeah, it, you know, there it’s a time process and you have to stay committed and dedicated. So whether we’re talking parenting, whether we are talking behavioral changes, financial changes, lifestyle changes, relational changes, everything, you have to be willing to put in the time and humble yourself to be able to take the hit that it is not always gonna go smoothly.
And these changes are not like ordering at a fast food restaurant. Yeah, I, Can I tell you this one little story, please? Yeah. Last week that my husband and I were talking about it and just shaking our heads. We have, so we have solar, It’s California. Everybody has solar. We have solar. I love solar. Love solar.
Okay. Yes, we do too. We have solar on our house. And this young man came by, this young black man came by and said, Hey, you know, did you know that you can save almost 30%? You can gain 30% more productivity. Your solar panels are really dirty, right? Then we said, Really? Like, they don’t even look that dirty.
He’s like, Yeah, let me show you. And he’s like, I used to fill in the military. I retired. And we’re like, You look so young. He’s like, I’m like 45. I’m like, He looked like he was 25, very well preserved, right? And he said, Yeah, I learned how to do this on my own house. And then I started a business. So he was sharing it.
It was a great story. And we’re like, Sure. And he, and so I said, Well, what do you charge? And he is, I don’t know. It was like a hundred. It was so cheap. I was like, You let me help you with your business. You were not charging it as funny. And he was up there. So we let him do it. I think it was like a hundred dollars.
I gave him like $400. He was there for like four and a half hours. And the hot sun, beautiful job. Um, our, our solar went up, like our productivity went up immediately. And I was like, What a great business model, right? So I called him back and I said, Hey, I wanna refer you to some of my neighbors. And so he came over and I, he said, Yeah, the problem is I just, I don’t have enough time.
I, I have so much work. I can’t, I can’t do their jobs. And I was like, We’ll just hire more people. And he’s like, You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to hire to get a young person to do this. And so sure enough, he, this other person, I asked this person to come by and I explained the business model. He’s like, I’ll just literally give you this business.
We can share this together. Like you can. Three to you can make almost a thousand dollars a day doing three houses, only working about six hours. Six, not even a full day, right? Mm-hmm. . So you can make two to three to $4,000 a week. It’s a very easy job, actually. It wasn’t physically very hard. Right. And you’re just up on a ladder and wiping and then down.
Right? A very easy business model. Sounds relaxing. Actually, , I know. And the person that I brought over said, no. I mean, I don’t know. I, I just, I don’t know how much is he gonna pay for me to learn to train from him? And I was like, First of all, you should just be doing it for free. We just explained how much money you can make, right?
He’s like, Well, I don’t wanna do, I don’t wanna do it for less than $25 an hour. If you can pay me $25 an hour when I’m in training, I will help you. I will start doing these jobs. And I was just, You have got to be kidding me. And that’s the standard that people think is like, they’re doing him a favor. No.
He’s literally giving you a major lifestyle change. Like yeah. You can make six figures doing this very simple business. He’s already finding the leads. Right. You don’t have to market your business. He’s literally giving you a full business. I’ll come work for him. . Right. My kid to work. I literally saw that person that I tried to refer, I saw him at working at Taco Bell.
Yeah. Like four days ago. And I told my husband, I was just, That is the lack of foresight of like Yeah. It’s a lack of vision. Yeah. Wow. Wow. Yeah. That could had his life made literally. Cuz you’re in California, right? It’s not like that business would even go away. It’s just, It’s like weddings and funerals and kitchens.
They’re always happening. Right. The solar would always be happening. That is like the easiest, The demand would. Yeah. And they just couldn’t believe it. So that’s an example of like people just, they can’t, they want that short term. And they can get you it right away. The cost should come at someone else’s expense.
No, it should come at your expense if you were trying to your life. Right. That’s, It’s a beautiful example. It’s so, I’m glad that you shared that because I, It’s just such a humbling reminder to me, like when I think of the areas like I just shared with parenting, it’s a little more ambiguous. Like it’s hard to flesh out just how ridiculous my mindset is, but when you present it like that, it’s the same mindset.
Like I’m just as foolish to think these things with parenting as that, you know, younger kid is to turn down that kind of an short term. Yeah. Thing that you want. Right. Which is reasonable to expect. I mean, I get frustrated with my kids too, so Yeah. But your point is well made and I love that because I think it’s a good reminder for all of us to step back and be like, where is an area that I’ve just lost the correct vision and understanding that this will take time and the long term gain is significantly worth the short term sacrifice.
Mm-hmm. . And like you said, the cost is my own. No one else is just like, as a parent, the cost is my own. Doesn’t matter if somebody else judges me for being a bad parent, cuz this child’s not behaving like the cost is my own. It’s like you claim it, you own that and you see the vision moving forward. So I think that is such a brilliant example.
So if any of you are listening and watching and thinking like, uh, I do have this dream, I have this vision. But I’m just not sure if I’m willing. Just remember the solar panel business and if you wanna move to California and work for this guy, . Yeah. Contact. He’s still in my neighborhood. He’s fantastic.
Like he’s still looking for contact Camille. Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. Well, we are going to take a quick break, but when we come back, stay tuned. We’re gonna play a speed round of this or that with Camille. Learn a little bit more about her and we are going to hear, can’t wait. Her expert advice on how to stress less and save more when renovating a kitchen.
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We’re gonna place Peter on of this or that with Camille. Two options, no stress, whichever one comes to mind. Do you prefer chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream? Hmm. I’m not a big ice cream person. I’ll say vanilla. Okay, perfect. What is your favorite sweet treat? Ice cream’s. Not your jam. What would you choose?
Caramel. Anything with caramel or coffee like caramel coffee. Anything related to that like salty sweet is more remind. That’s, that would be my husband’s answer too. , would you rather DIY kitchen cabinets or kitchen countertop? Oh, you mean build it from scratch? Yeah. I should say build. Mm-hmm. , probably cabinets, because I like all the different colors with the cabinets, but I love countertops too.
So, But cabinets are faster. Okay. So then, let me, let me ask this. When it comes to cabinetry, this or that light or dark, Uh, light for sure. Do you have a favorite, like this is your favorite cabinet to make and design? When somebody says this, you’re like, Ah, yes, I can’t wait. Uh, Diamond White would be my favorite color.
White. Okay. Diamond White from Kelly Moore. And then I’d probably say inset cabinets are still my favorite. They’re, they’re the most complicated, but they’re the prettiest. They have that frame. They’re just very feminine looking. They look like furniture. You said in. Yeah. Yes. I think those are the ones that I love.
Yeah. They’re the ones that were like, the face is flush with the frame in the frame. Uhhuh. Yep. They’re inset. Yes. I do love those. They’re really pretty. I love French. Country is like my, I love like the old European style, so I love the furniture. Like Yeah. Cabinetry. It’s very French country. Yes. I love that.
Okay, so countertops, would you ra Well, what do you fabricate? I don’t even know. Before I ask this question, let me just say, would you rather quarts or granite. Quartz, a hundred percent quartz. Yeah. Yeah. Quartz and stone. Yeah. Okay. Here really quickly is my beef with my last house that we remodeled and we did quartz countertop.
So I’ve been like trialing things in every house that we remodel for when we buy our forever house. Okay. And the last one I had granite, and then I wanted to trial courts. And I discovered what drove me insane about the courts is the matte finish tends to be like the standard finish for courts, at least in our area.
And I never got a chance to actually test this, but I mean, it picked up every stain. Like you could get it out, but like coffee just, Oh no, that’s, It’s like not happen. You had a really cheap, a very cheap version. Yeah. That should never happen. You should have no stains at all. It was so hard to keep. So like what I was convinced is that it I to know finished brand, I’d have to see the exact brand.
I would, yeah. Cause I’ve never just know it was called Calcutta Quartz, but I really thought it was the finish because the mat, it just felt like it was so much harder to clean. And I wondered if I had gotten more of like quartz. I’m sorry, Granite tends to come with a shinier finish. Yeah. At least ours did.
Field. Yep. It seal. And I kind of wondered if the Finish on the Quartz would’ve made a difference if we had done like a semi. Yeah, normally it’d be polished is what we call that polished or it looks like you had a, a honed finish maybe. Or a matte finish. Yeah, I’d be curious. I’d love to do a podcast episode about that because I’d love to know what actual name and brand is to break that down.
I can look. I probably have it. Yeah. Yeah, cuz that’s very unusual. So either it was a very low quality or it wasn’t really a quartz or an engineered stone. They sold you something that was like an in between or something. Cause it should, It should. I mean, I have obviously lots and lots of kitchens and you can spill cranberry juice, red wine, orange juice, coffee oils.
Yeah. It is completely non porous. That’s the purpose of it. Right. So even though, so it should just come right up really easily. It should just wipe up with your hand literally. Interesting. That is very interesting. You just red wine off into the sink. Yeah. So it’s, that was just an either an either very low quality or it was not really engineered stone.
It was something that they. Kind of, Huh. Was marketed that way. I’d be curious to know what it is, but I’m curious. Yeah. Even with a non polished finish, you should, It should easily be cleanable like easily. Huh. So they don’t actually seal quarts? Like there wasn’t like a No, it’s because it’s non Ps it’s already sealed.
Gotcha. It’s non-porous. Completely. That’s why that’s the biggest difference between quarts and, and um, natural products. Like Yeah. Granite and marbles. Granite marbles are non, are porous. Okay. Injured stone is non porous by its very nature. That’s what it, that’s how it’s created. That’s why you don’t need feeling Cause it’s already non porous.
That is really interesting. That is so good to know. Cause I was so turned off. Granted have a range of density, which is the hardness factor and that relates to how much, how easy it is to scratch. Right. But the not, but the porosity is still the same. They’re natural, They’re like minerals in the earth.
Right, Right. You spray water on the dirt, it sucks into the, your, your ground. Right. So that’s, that’s granite and marbles. Huh. Fascinating. So quartz. So the other thing that I loved, and I’m blanking now, I can’t remember the difference, but I also really wanted to counter, I wonder if you had quartzite. I wonder if they, I know.
I’ll have to now. Yeah. Cuz quartzite is, uh, is a type of, uh, natural material. So it’s just like a gra so it’s completely porous. Yeah. So if you had a qu site that they were sort of selling as quarts, that’s possibility. Because I know customers, they use the terminology quarts and engineered stone interchangeably.
Right. But quarts is a true engineered stone. It is completely non porous. It cannot absorb anything. It should just sit right on the surface. Right. Whether it’s, whether it’s polished or non polished, it’s, it’s, that’s how it’s made literally, is to be non-poor. Well, that is really fascinating. Ladies, did you hear that Quartz is the engineered stone?
Quart site is the natural. Yeah. Now I’m gonna have to look back on the Yeah, I will let you know, cuz I am really, really curious cuz that was a huge turn off to me. So one of the number one things that I want is the durability. I love being able to take pots off of the stove and just set them on my countertop, which you should never do
You should go listen to my podcast. Listen, I did a whole, I did listen to my podcast, The Kitchen Sink Podcast. I did an entire week of Counter who is Camille says, not as I do. Yeah. And in that, So there’s no stone. You should do that with Nope. Nope. Hmm. Even like the engineered quar. That’s what we’re talking about.
That is the hardest. So engineer decone is the hardest of those engineered stones, and you shouldn’t do that either. Every, every fabricator will always tell you, you should never do that because there’s things that can happen. Um, it, it may not scratch, It may, like if you drag something, it won’t scratch, but there’s heat, heat compression that can happen and it can pop if it’s that hot.
So like if it’s a cast iron pot, I’m not saying you can’t get away with it, but there is a chance something could happen. Right. Uh, people put ’em over field seam. Right. If you put it over a field scene or two pieces are joined together, the epoxy that we use, right. It can heat that up very easily. So then it pops.
So if you, if you want nothing to ever happen, you should always use anything small that’ll break that surface. A little towel, a tiny trivet. Even if it’s just for the first like minute. Mm-hmm. . Like, it’s just, if you try to pull that off, blistering hot. You’re just asking for something to happen. You do that on butcher block, you do it on wood, you’re gonna burn a hole right in the middle of it.
Yeah. You do it on Corion, that’s a plastic, it’s gonna burn right into it. You do it on granites, you’re gonna shock the color, the minerals. Right. You think of a mineral in the earth, right. We make diamonds out of it. We do. Right. And if you put a torch on that, those colors will change. So there’s, there’s nothing really, I mean, right.
Metal will heat and expand . So don’t do what I’ve just, I will say this, I almost never been thinking about it, but things, Yeah, I did get away with it, but to your 0.1, it was always on an island. So it was one piece, there was no seams. And then two, I wasn’t actually taking it directly off. It was usually it had sat on the stove.
That’s why. Pulled a little bit and then we moved it over. That’s, and we did like buffet style, so that’s probably why I got away with it. But to your point, , it is a good reminder that you can’t just take anything boiling hot off the stove and stick it right onto the. I mean, unless it’s like how we grew up like in the seventies.
Right. My mom would do that all the time. But if you looked at our countertops, they looked like trash. Right? Right. , like our parents grew up doing that, right? Yeah. Yeah. But we didn’t care about our countertops, . Right? Right. Not like we do now. So if you wanted to look like the day you put it in, engineered stone is gonna be the absolute strongest.
And there’s little versions of that. There’s some that are the highest, highest end, but they’re a lot more expensive. What about concrete countertops? That’s become a very popular, What do think about concrete countertops? I don’t concrete either. Concrete? Yeah. You don’t like scratches? You can, It still get, It’s not pervious to water.
You still have to seal it. It’s not a very good use of material. It just, isn’t it? It’s more care than the others. It’s more upkeep than, Yeah. Yeah. People think it’s more impervious. But if you think about your garage, right, Your garage has cracks in it. Mm. Settle water gets in it, it discolors from summer to fall.
Right. A leaf lays on top of it and it’s stain orange. I mean, concrete is made for outdoors. So like, Yeah, it just is. And even if you seal it, I mean, I did some, I took some pictures of a job that we’re doing right now where they did their, they did concrete countertops and they just look horrible and they spent so much time on them, spent so much money and, but the seals wear off, you know, knives cut into it, the water behind the sink gets into it and discolors it.
Like they’re just, they’re just very high maintenance for how supposedly tough everybody thinks that they are. So, not saying you can’t do it, but they do take, you do have to be careful with them. Yeah, I can see that. Like maybe a bathroom, if you really like the look where it’s not significant wear and tear.
On the counter. That’s generally what I tell people. If there’s something that they really love, like a marble, like I love natural marbles myself. I have ’em in all my bathrooms. Yeah. But there’s just so much less traffic in a bathroom, you know, outside of lipstick, lipstick, red lipstick is the worst on marble.
But you can use a pice, you can, you can leach it back out. But yeah, cuz lipstick’s a combination of a dye, a tint, and wax oils. Those are the two worst things to go on a, on a forest surface. Because both of them are discoloring it in two different ways. So you need a a, a pice, we call it a pice, where it like leaches them out and you’re leeching two different things out, basically.
Color and wax or oil. So lipstick is the worst thing you can get on the countertop. Don’t kiss my countertop. People flips off. Yeah. So, but in bathrooms, I would use these more higher. These things that you really like. I would use those in a bathroom. Yeah. To give the look. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a fine, it’s a fine balance because for me, with the kitchen, so we’re currently in a rental house.
We renovated three homes. We’re now waiting for the dream property to come up. So biting our time. But for me, the kitchen design has always been this fine balance of, I want it to be practical where I have the kind of countertop that I can set out my pots on the island and not worry about them.
Destroying the color, but I also want it to make me smile when I walk into my house and I see it and I think, Oh, how pretty, I can’t wait to stand in my kitchen. Yes. It’s like that fine tension between the two. So these tips are, That’s why I use it. Weird for that exact reason. Yes, yes. That’s, that’s really, Yeah.
I cook every day. I mean, I’m using mine constantly. And that has been the only, the kitchen I have now where I put in this specific injured stone has been the absolute happiest I’ve ever been with a countertop. And I’ve used it in interesting. Lots of people’s home. So, I mean, I know that it performs and it’s for that exact reason.
It’s so bloody easy to clean up, and I don’t have to worry about any staining whatsoever. And outside of dragging extremely heavy pots, which I would never do either, dragging is like the second worst thing you can do. Right. Like a cast iron plot. I would never drag that across the countertop. As long as you’re picking stuff up.
It literally looks like the day I put it in, and it’s been in there for probably eight years. It looks brand new. So that’s, That’s quartz engineered quarts. Yep. Not quartzite, not learning. Yes. All kinds of things. I love that. Well, we’ve already been chatting all about one of the number one star players in the kitchen, the countertop.
But talk to me about, maybe one of these is, but if you could name three mistakes women most commonly make when planning a kitchen remodel or when renovating a kitchen, what would you say the three most common mistakes are? So I would say that is demoing first without having their cabinets paid for and in production.
In my, I have a program, a virtual design group, where that’s the first thing we do is design the cabinets first, because it’s the most important piece and it’s generally the last thing that everybody does, cuz they’re kind of putting it off. They’re nervous about it, they don’t know what to do. So not creating that cabinet layout first for functionality, which then creates the price, which then, you know, if you can afford it, then leads to what it’s gonna look like.
Like it’s so critical that most people do it way after the fact. And then they’re pressuring, then they’re forced to basically make decisions, which then there’s not enough time. So then you end up with kind of cabinets that aren’t really very functional. They might be a prettier color, but they’re the same.
It’s the same problem. It hasn’t actually solved the functionality. Yeah, so that’s the first one. And so if you demo first, it creates this tension right from the start because it takes a little, In our program, we design cabinets basically within two weeks. Right? That’s our goal is within two weeks, you know what the cabinets are gonna look like.
And we do that quickly so that you can then move on to these other pieces so that you kind of don’t get ahead of the game. Only to have to go all the way back to the beginning to realize, oh, you had this vision for the kitchen and you didn’t even realize those cabinets were gonna be say, $45,000. Well, I could have told you within two hours of working with me, your budget is not gonna fit that picture that you think.
So let’s take the picture and figure out a simpler way of getting the look, but making sure it’s functionality is built in. So the cabinets are just so important to the pop process. And if I wasn’t a cabinet maker, I wouldn’t know that. Right. I’m not just a, I’m not a kitchen designer, I’m a cabinet maker, so I know why those things are so important.
So that’s demoing first because it creates pressure right at the beginning. It’s basically like, it’s so hard to go backwards once you have an empty house. An empty room, Right. And now you’re trying to design it in an empty room. Right. The other reason is that as cabinet makers, I need to see the old. So I can see where the problems were first.
Mm-hmm. , if you take all the cabinets out, I can’t show you, like see this corner right here, or see these doors right here that should be drawers or see this place here that should be pantry or see where the fridge should be over here. It’s a lot harder for me to show that to a customer versus if I have a picture of the existing cabinets, I can sort of show her on paper the before and after very quickly.
Right. So that’s number one is cabinets and demo. Number two would be hiring an architect, first. An architect or an interior decorator, because those people are not gonna do the thing I just talked about, which is figure out the functionality of the cabinets first. So it’s kind of the same thing. It’s like putting the cart before the horse.
They hire the architect, they spend all this money, or the interior decorator, right? The interior decorator’s not a cabinet maker. The architect’s not a cabinet maker, so they assume that those people are doing the thing I’m talking about. But those people are not doing that, right? The architect’s worried about whether he’s gonna get sued because of a sight line.
He’s worried about where your water’s coming in from the street, right? He’s worried about the light coming in the windows, like he’s worried about very high level stuff, even if he does a sketch of a cabinet in that house. It’s not at the level of what I’m talking about, right? So then she thinks that it’s kind of been solved, right?
But it really hasn’t been solved. And then the house gets built, and then they usually meet me and I say, Oh my gosh, these cabinets are not gonna work. They’re not functional at all. Right? Because the architect doesn’t actually know how to do that. And now the windows are in place, the framing’s in place.
Now we can’t move the water lines. Like, because the kitchen is so important, it’s actually usually the reason you’re probably doing a house right, is for the new kitchen. So my idea is to do it from the inside out plan, the cabinet layout first, the functionality, so you know for sure that those cabinets are gonna work the way it needs to work and hold all your stuff in a better way than the last place.
And then you plan the house around that. Mm-hmm. . So it’s very counterintuitive. And so that’s what happens when you pick the architect and interior decorator first and interior decorators concerned with color and you know, Correct the fun outside portions again. And so again, you end up with something that looks really pretty, that doesn’t have very much functionality.
Mm-hmm. , And I’m not saying there aren’t some interior decorators that can do it, but generally that’s what happens, right? They’re not, it’s not micro enough on the cabinetry. Let’s see. Third mistake would be, cuz those are really the biggest ones, they don’t talk to me first. . Maybe they, they, they’re only concerned with color.
Again, I would say just they want this certain color, which I understand cuz like you’re looking at your old kitchen, it’s like orange oak. You’re like, Oh, I just want white cabinets, right? Mm-hmm. . But again, it comes back to just painting cabinets does not fix the problem. And I see this over and over and over again.
Mm-hmm. painting, white painting, orange oak cabinets to be white. Thinking it’s gonna fix the kitchen. It does absolutely nothing except for a false sense of functionality, but it doesn’t solve the internal core issues, which is what we do. Our program is that right off the bat? Right. So I’d love to help you with yours.
Perfect. . Yes, those are perfect. I, for people listening and watching, there are two of my most popular blog posts and podcast episodes for that matter, where I shared 10 mistakes you wanna avoid when Renovating a kitchen from my three mm-hmm. , Um, previous fixer ups, and then how to design a kitchen around work zones.
I know there’s a million different ways to design a kitchen. Work zones have been the easiest, easiest way for me to organize mentally and visually the flow of a kitchen to Camille’s point, putting lipstick on a kitchen is not necessarily going to change the actual functionality of it. And as I’ve said many times in design, it is not necessarily about increasing your square footage.
It is about. Um, creating better, not necessarily bigger, so more functional square footage. So exactly what you’re saying, and she is the expert here. I’ve been doing this on the side for fun, but I mean, we’ve clearly both seen the same thing where I’ve also said, uh, to people that you need to actually old fashioned pen and paper.
Exactly what Camille has just justified that I’ve been saying this Yep. Is that the professionals are not going to organize your Tupperware. Nope. Meaning if it drives you nuts for the last 10 years, that when you are cleaning up after dinner and your storage containers are on the other side of the kitchen, away from where all the dirty plates are and where all the leftovers are, when you redesign, you want to put your Tupperware really close to the dirty zone where you are going to be putting away leftovers.
So many different things to think through those podcast posts may help you if you are thinking, Oh, what’s a more efficient kitchen look like? Yeah, you can go check those out. Camille also probably has tons and tons of resources on things to look at. So let’s chat a little bit more about your experience and a kitchen design that you have found functional.
What tips and tricks would you give? Mm-hmm. for that very concept to make a more efficient or functional kitchen? So I have, so in my, in our program, we basically do two things. Right off the bat. Every woman that comes in has to go through a kitchen assessment. So I love that you’re, you were just naturally gravitating towards that.
Most women do not do that, right? So I love that you kind of just figured that out, which is fabulous. So we do a kitchen assessment. We do a pantry and a kitchen edit, and we make you go through all your stuff. I love that. Look at the hard stuff, categorize stuff, and we sort of organize it on a piece of paper first, and then we design seven cabinet styles that hold all that stuff effectively.
That’s it. There’s seven, which is amazing though. Like that right There is what I’ve literally been saying for the past however many years I’ve been blogging, which is a little under what it’s like four years is that very thing. People don’t do that. Designers don’t do that, which is why you have to do it yourself unless you are working with Camille
Yeah, yeah. And she will help you do that. I literally write down everything that’s in my cabinets when I’m going to the next house. Literally I write down, I take stock, I take inventory of what I use, get rid of the stuff. I realize, Oh, I’ve not used that in 10 years. Okay, Get rid of it. And then you have to place that current inventory in your new kitchen.
I love that. Before you order cabinets. I’ve never come across the world that’s doing that. I love them. I’m hyper OCD and organized work smarter, not harder. Yeah. I created my whole program because none of my clients did that. Yes. And I had to show them why. I mean, I was doing it for them privately. They just didn’t know that’s what was happening.
So yeah. One of the best ways you can know if someone’s a good kitchen designer or like even a builder, like that’s the other thing, Don’t, don’t think your builder, your contractor’s gonna be doing this just cuz he’s no sending you a referral to a cabinet maker. That cabinet maker is not doing what I’m doing.
Right. Is if they’ll walk in and they will not even open a single door. Mm-hmm. , they pooling measuring tapes to see, Well these happen fit between the window, window and the wall. Exactly. Yeah. I open every single door, that’s the first thing I do and I know within three minutes the best cabinets that will hold that stuff.
So my program is basically just teaching you what I’m already doing is we look at what you have and then I show you on a piece of paper how we apply these seven specific cabinets that will hold all that stuff better, faster, easier. And then it’s just, where are those seven cabinets going in the room.
That way, you know, with confidence that let’s say it ends up being 11,000 for the cabinets or 17,000 for the cabinets or 9,000, doesn’t matter what it is. You know yourself when you go shopping for a cabinet maker to make them exactly like this, that you know, it solves the problems. You’re not reliant on them solving ’em because they’re just putting standard boxes in spaces.
Exactly. They are not actually. Thinking of which seven cabinets are gonna hold your stuff the best. Mm-hmm. . And I know that seems like what? Isn’t that what they do? Like isn’t that their job? No, it’s not . Nope. And some of these design tips are life changing. I mean, I’ve gotten so many comments on these two posts that I’ve done cuz it’s just the way my brain works.
To your point. This is the way my doing it. Brain is very hyper-organized. I’m all about efficiency. The simplest thing, for example, what is the primary content that you see in your dishwasher after it’s clean, right? It’s dishes. So the simplest thing in the world is to put your double wide upper cabinet that holds all of your dishes, whether it be open shelving or a cabinetry, either directly above your dishwasher or in the island directly behind your dishwasher.
And then make sure you have enough space that you can actually open it or do a drawer right behind your dishwasher so that you’re literally standing at your sink. And turning and then make sure that your, you know, cups are somewhere in proximity. Literally you will save so much time just walking . Yeah.
Around your, And that’s basically would be my solution without even seeing the kitchen. Yeah. Um, that’s one of my little tricks is to put drawers on the backside of an island that’s o opposite of dishwasher is you just turn around and it’s right there and the drawers hold all the weight and you know, it’s very effortless to do.
Exactly. Yeah. So I love Emil and I are soul sisters. We didn’t know it. You should come and work for me. You should be a kitchen coach. I, our kitchen coaches, I would love it. It would be naturally doing it. Usually I have to teach somebody to do this. You’re like literally doing it already naturally. I love it.
It’s like Christmas morning. Yeah. And actually drawers have been one of my favorite things to discover, like you just said, for dishes and cups even. Cuz they do, they hold so much weight and then they’re full extension. So you’re maximizing your space that you already paid for. You already paid for this space, might as well maximize it.
And then those pegs, the peg board organizers for like dishes and cups and Yeah, so drawers, don’t forget drawers. There’s a little rule that we use in our program called the 10 inch roll. And so most people think they’re using their cabinetry, right, but they’re actually only using the front 10 inches. So, uh, we have two concepts where when you open a door, a cabinet door where the light falls, whatever you can see in the light is what you use the most.
Interesting and generally about the front 10 inches of every cabinet. So you’re storing the rest of the stuff, but what you’re actually using is what you can see, which you can grab what’s accessible. And things closer to the top are more accessible. And most kitchens that I remodel are everything is the opposite of that, right?
Like all the stuff is on the bottom. So you have to kneel down and get down low to grab stuff. Heavy stuff is in the wrong spot, Little stuff is in the wrong spot. Light stuff is down below. Heavy stuff, like it’s just . But that’s a good rule to think about is that, you know, you go from a kitchen that’s maybe using 10 to 20% of its space is functional.
And my goal is to make 90% of it accessible, visible, and functional. I love that. Wait, say that one more time. That’s brilliant. So most kitchens are, I go, they go from 10 to 20%. Visible, functional, and accessible. And my goal with that drawing with those seven cabinets is to make it 90% visible, functional, and accessible.
Cause it’s all three. It’s not just one or the other. Like if you can see it, but you can’t reach it easily doesn’t work. If it’s too heavy where it’s at doesn’t work. If it’s too overcrowded, doesn’t work. So it’s like a combination of those three things. That’s why I don’t design for corners, corner cabinets.
They’re a complete waste of a cabinet that was ever designed because I don’t care about the two corners of a kitchen. I care about the 90% of what’s actually available. And most people are worried about their corners and they completely forget about everything else. That is the kitchen. Mm-hmm. . So, uh, the corners just hold up a countertop, like that’s all they’re supposed to do.
Mm-hmm. , if it’s designed, do you do anything creative with Counter with corners? Do you have any recommendations for Corner? No, because I want the maximum amount of space up to the corner. So yeah, if I, if I have to use a corner, I have not done my job well. Like basically Right. That’s like the left over 10% that would, So you can just make it look pretty.
You can do a glass corner cabinet and put your pretty dishes there because Yeah, it’s not useful space , right? Yeah, exactly. I love it. You mentioned remodeling costs. I mean the cost for remodeling a kitchen, especially with just everything being inflated. Not to mention even getting contractors in the next like 10 years who are available to do anything.
talk to me a little bit about your tips for saving more when renovating in kitchen or budgeting appropriately. One of the things that I have told women when they’ve asked for tips is that when we talk about creating a dream kitchen too, oftentimes we enter the all or nothing mentality. We have this like Pinterest perfect kitchen in mind, and we know we don’t have the budget for the two island three sink.
Kitchen and my argument is you probably don’t even need or actually want, if you think about it, the three sink, two island kitchen. Yeah. Um, but it’s picking a couple things that are your absolute, this is a must have in my kitchen, and then you rework the rest of the budget and get creative so that you can get those top.
One or two things that you absolutely want. That is just one general tip I’ll throw out there. But Camille, what are some that’s of the things That’s good advice. Yeah, that’s very good advice. I give that all the time. I generally, when people come into the program, the first thing we do is that kitchen assessment, because that dictates the cabinet cabinets are the most expensive cost, then countertops.
So we, that is like, the benchmark is you’ve gotta be able to afford the cabinets because that’s really what drives how you use your kitchen. It’s, it, it seems like not the most important part, but it’s the part you’ll notice the most when it’s all done , right? You don’t know where your Ziploc bags are and it’s super frustrating.
It won’t matter how pretty it is. So we start there and then the second thing we do is, is walk them through how to take like a Pinterest picture and pull out a few of those items and then figure out like what’s the thing that is the most expensive. And I generally don’t move past that until that’s figured out.
So unless we figure out what the cabinet layout is and we know the basic budget around that, Then now we know the layout. So now we can figure out the countertops, right? Cuz we have an L-shape, we have an island, we have this. Now, you know your second biggest expense because you can calculate countertops very easily, right?
And now you know a big chunk of your budget right away. So if it, let’s say that comes up to $22,000, okay? Now on your Pinterest board, you had this 48 inch wolf stove, right? That’s $13,000. And this 48 inch hood, okay, that’s $7,000. Okay? So what are we gonna, what are we gonna do do at this point, right?
Like, are you, you know, the cabinets now will solve, you will love the cabinetry and the counters. Okay? So are you willing to give up the stove and maybe get a $4,000 stove? That’s still a very good price for a 48 inch. Mm-hmm. and not do the hood at all. Maybe do a wood hood, do a cabinet hood, but you’re still getting the look that you wanted.
Mm-hmm. , you’re, you know, for sure the kitchen’s gonna work now, so you’re gonna love being in the kitchen, which is worth a lot. And you got a hood, a stove that looks basically like the stove you want. That to me is a win . Then you just figure out, okay, maybe a couple thousand for tile, and you maybe put something more decorative, you know, prettier on the tile.
Look, maybe the pattern is more intricate, so the labor’s a little more, but it gives you that same custom look. That’s sort of how I do. It’s like I really make them, I, I really make them pick the most expensive things first because then we know, let’s say their total budget was 35,000. Okay. So we have whatever, we have 15,000 left for the contractor, the electrical, the plumbing.
Mm-hmm. . And you’ve got 7,000 left over for something pretty. Is that gonna be 2000 in tile? Is that gonna be an elaborate piece of art? Is that gonna be a really custom and laid floor? Is that like, But you gotta start, you can’t just have all of it. Right? You need to attach money to the most expensive things first.
Yeah. Cause that then that dictates what is possible basically. That’s while still getting the kitchen ultimately, that you really want and that you’re happy and it’s taking that creativity in your program. For my clarification and for everyone listening, you will help with the design, but they can take that design.
Wherever they are. Is that correct? Yeah. Yeah. So we, the program is to get you a cabinet sketch that, that you know is gonna work. So we do it on pencil, so it’s fast. You can then take that and hand that to your cabinet maker. It’s got dimensions, it’s, it’s to scale, okay? Mm-hmm. , it’s a wor, we can order cabinets off of it.
So it’s a working drawing. You can take that and we will help you find a contractor in your area. We will help you vet that person. We will help you with their bids. We will negotiate, help you negotiate to get the right price. So that’s one aspect of it. And then you put down your deposits and we help you in that process of what’s happening, going through the remodeling process.
So you’re in our Facebook group, you’re posting questions, you’re asking you for advice. We’re like your coach, We’re your kitchen coach. Mm-hmm. , we’re on your side. I love that. The kitchen, the remodel, and then some of the women buy cabinets through us. So some of the cats, we manufacture cabinets in California.
We ship them to you, Unassembled. But they’re custom. So custom color, custom sizes, custom doors, everything’s custom. And then some of the women, we teach you how to, uh, build your own cabinets and install your own cabinets. Oh. So there’s a range. There’s like a range in the program of how much you, how much help you need or want, or your budget or, you know, it’s, it’s whatever fits where you are really, we’re there to make it work with.
What you wanna do. Some women are completely hands off. They don’t want to do any diy, so we help them find those people. Some people are in the middle. I wanna do a little bit of diy, but not the installation. Some women are full in, they wanna do the whole thing. Yeah, but they don’t have a cabinet shop.
Yes. So they can’t make their own cabinets, Not the quality that we. So there’s a love that spectrum. Yeah, I love that spectrum approach. And I know somebody is going to send me this question, what the plan that Camille is describing. Uh, so I work with a company called Lillian Cabinetry. They’re a wholesaler family owned business.
I’ve really enjoyed working them. I’ve used them many times. The plan that she’s talking about Lillian would take and basically create if you’re looking for budget wholesale cabinetry like theirs. But what I love about Camilles, so like in our house, the one place that I want custom cabinetry that looks the way that I want it to look is, is my kitchen.
This is my meeting in the middle. This is a perfect example. The rest of my house bathrooms, kids bet everything else, the cabinetry is going to be wholesale from Lillian that I will design and I’ll figure out. But basically the rest will be wholesale. But my kitchen. Yeah, I want a custom and I love what you offer.
I’m, I will definitely keep this down for later because I love the idea that I could, we could design the French country cabinets of my dreams and then you could send them to me and I could build them Yes. And install them. That is so exciting. Merry Christmas to me. . Yes. Yeah. And the big difference between, well, we’re wholesale too, so we’re probably cheaper than Lilian cuz we’re doing it.
Okay. So, um, the biggest difference is that Lilian has standard sizes. Everybody else that’s sold income Yes. Is standard sizes. Where’s for customer? Yeah. And that’s amazing. So when we’re designing that layout, we can, we’re not, I’m not even thinking cabinet sizes , right? Like, I don’t care what the standard sizes are.
I’m looking at the total functionality of the whole room, the l the U, whatever. And if I need something to be 31 and an eighth, I can build 31 and an eighth. If I need it to be 14 and three sixteens, it could be 13 three sixteens. So I’m not limited by right standard cabinetry sizes, 20, right? Mm-hmm. . So they’re, they’re putting in boxes, whereas we’re, we’re maximizing the inches.
We always say in the program like, don’t lose your inches cuz we’re love if we want, you know, a a a 33 and you know, seven 16 wide cabinet with three drawers, we, that’s what we make. Mm-hmm. , we make whatever suits the space the best. So it just helps us be, we can be really symmetrical. We don’t have to worry about, and you can be creative.
What I love about that creative, we don’t really. Yeah, there. I love that. Yeah. And the other thing is they’re limited on door style and they’re limited on finishes. They’re limited. Oh yes. To be very clear, this is like comparing apples and oranges. I just know somebody’s gonna ask me that. Cause I’ve talked about Lillian so many times.
Um, but to Camille’s point, Lilian’s very limited, be any wholesaler is who is using standard Kitchen and not making it themselves are going to be very limited. I mean, you have an incredible corner in the market. Nobody’s doing what you’re doing. I know . Yeah. She was like, I know that, that’s why I started this business.
Come on. I know. It’s incredible. I love it. That’s so exciting. So even like semi handmade, right? Semi handmade is a, is a quote competitor, but they still have, you know, nine colors. Right? We have 37 kind of standard colors and plus we can custom match anything, so. Mm-hmm. , we can do any, finish, any door. Um, we’re just, we’re not limited by color, so I can just match anything.
I can match the green of those sage sleeves mm-hmm. behind you. I can match the, which is my favorite color. You just touched by my favorite color. Yeah. So it just lets us be kind of sky’s the limit. And then if, if that’s, if they still don’t wanna go through us, you can still take that and try to find a contractor who can build it the way you want.
Local or, um, or another online retailer, Right. Who mm-hmm. . Um, if you don’t really care if it’s the exact green. Right. Right. So it’s just not for everybody, but we’re for someone that can’t necessarily find it from someone else. Yeah. And, but for me, you’re right, I can be as creative as I want realistically.
That’s amazing. Well, listen, everyone, They’re unassembled, right? They’re unassembled. So there is a limit in the sense that if you’re local to me, I would build them and install them Right. Assembled. So they, they’re still within the limits of they have to be shipped on a track Sure. Of stuff. But there’s molding, decorative stuff we can add to, to kind get around that, but yeah.
Yeah. That’s exciting. Listen, just stay tuned. People, when we finally buy our property, whenever the right one comes up and we’re building our kitchen, Camille and I are going to, You’re gonna be blown out of the water. . Yeah. And design your kitchen first before talking to your architect. Please, please have an idea of your layout first.
Even if you don’t do it with me. Give that layout to your architect. Do not let them create the structure to put a kitchen in. Yes, absolutely. I’ll, I will show up with my old fashioned, literally the like graphs, the little like block graphs. Yeah. Have to do everything by hand. Yeah. And my little like pencil.
Oh, the contractors I’ve used have been so gracious. They look at these papers and I know inside their thinking What? No, no. But it’s worked. It’s worked. You’re more prepared times. Yeah. That’s what we, That’s literally what we work off of. We work off of I build off of these. You, if you know what you’re doing as a contractor.
Okay. I love it. Yeah. You don’t need a computerized drawing cuz these are just, these are, these numbers are good. The numbers are good of the cabinetry, they match the room, right? Yeah. So you don’t need a computerized drawing to build gorgeous cabinets. I mean, this is, Yeah, this drawing is probably about a, This would probably be about a $200,000 kitchen.
And it was made off of these. And I’ll show you, I love it when it’s done. Yeah. It’s just you. I know what you’re doing. It’s not about, Yeah. And the numbers, you’re absolutely right in the numbers. Numbers. All that matters if you, And that’s why it’s always worked. Correct. Because I would take these little graphs with the tiny little boxes.
Each little box represents three inches, Cuz Kitchens standard cabinets. Are basically in inches of like three inches. Yeah. So it did work. It looked ridiculous, but it worked. . Yeah. No, it’s cuz you knew what you were doing. I think it’s fabulous that you did that. Yeah, thank you. Just need to know it was more confident.
That’s all . Yeah, that’s right. We have my business coach slash kitchen coach. All of all of the above. Well, she also has the Kitchen Sink podcast, which I will definitely be checking out. Sounds right up my alley. And everyone here listening who is also passionate about kitchens and wants to work smarter, not harder, and love their kitchen, needs to check out her podcast.
And then your website is kitchen remodel rockstar.com, is that correct? Mm-hmm. . Yep. Model Rockstar. And that’s where they would find you to find out about your program chat about kitchen design? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I’d love to. Well, I, it’s been such an honor. I pray God’s blessing over your business. I have no doubt you’ve already changed the lives of many women because the kitchen is the heart of the home and it kind of ends up being our own heart as well in many ways.
And yeah, I praise blessing over your family and, and everything you’re doing out there. It’s been such an honor to have you. You too. This has been so much fun to talk, and I’m, I’m so happy there’s another woman out there who was naturally just doing it. You like I love that. I’m so impressed with you, . So thank you for having Oh, bless you.
It was, We could talk for hours. I think I could pick your brain for hours about kitchens. But yes, thank you for coming on. Awesome, thank you. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think.
Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.

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