PHL The Hathaway Group
Michelle Manzini | Why You Should Invest in Quality Cabinets

In this episode of the Palm Harbor Local Podcast, we sit down with Michelle Manzini, founder of Fusion Cabinets, to discuss creating beautiful and functional spaces through customized cabinets and kitchen tops.

She shares her journey into the business and emphasizes the importance of accountability and consistency.

Listen to the podcast episode here!

So welcome back to another episode of Palm Harbor Local. Today we are sitting down with Michelle Manzini with Fusion Cabinets. Thank you for being here.

Thank you for having me. I’m very excited.

Yeah. So I mean, I’m excited to kind of dive into this. I think you’re first maybe the first general contractor cabinet specialists that we’ve had on the podcast. Okay, it should be fun. So let’s start there and talk about Fusion Cabinets and like what you guys do, what do you kind of specialize in?

Well, we do kitchen remodels is our focus. But we do whole home renovations. We don’t do additions or anything like that. And we do work with other builders because cabinetry is our focus. We specialize in American-made cabinets, which I feel really strongly about that. And semi-custom. And some people don’t understand when you say semi-custom that you can also get custom paint any Sherwin-Williams paint color, which is really cool for a lot of people. And then you can make modifications and things. I’m not a huge fan of the lower-end RTA, which is ready-to-assemble cabinets.

Because as a designer, it’s kind of frustrating that there are not a lot of skews and you can’t customize it. And I feel there’s like a big difference between a cabinet that has a two-year warranty versus a lifetime warranty. We’re ready to assemble is that like flat pack stock? Yeah, those kinds. And they’re like everywhere. Yeah. And there’s a certain market for that. But I’ve been doing this long enough to know that, you know, they say they’re all wood, but it’s just not the same. It’s not the same quality hardware, they don’t hold up.

And then unfortunately, you have issues down the line when they don’t hold up because countertops are in and you’re you know backsplashes in and that’s a really common mistake people make is they spend a lot of money on appliances, but they don’t invest in the cabinets. And that can be a tricky issue later. So usually, when they’re talking budget, I’ll always ask them, How long are you planning on being in the home?

Because you’re going to be there forever, you want to invest a little more, because there’s a lot of wear and tear on the cabinet’s that I don’t think people really think about, because the marketing is so good for that other market. For sure. Yeah. Right. They know how to say, Oh, I know, it’s just as good. It’s all wet. It’s great. But yeah, it’s gonna start chipping and cracking and warping, and you know, the hinges aren’t going to hold up as well, and things like that. So we try to avoid that were more mid to high-end custom. We try to focus on Eurostyle cabinets, which is not face frame. It’s a frameless cabinet, which means the strength is in the back of the cabinet, not in the front. And then you have no gaps between the doors.

So if you’re doing contemporary, that’s definitely your go-to what you want to do. But it’s also just they say you can get up to 30% more space. So if you have a smaller kitchen, that’s a huge impact. Yeah, because all those gaps, take up a lot of room, and then your drawer boxes are smaller. So it really makes a big difference. And once you show people that they’re like, Well, why would you do anything else? I’m like, exactly. That’s why we focus on that. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I started finishing the cabinets. 26 Why the business 26 years ago, I’ve had fusion cabinets for 11 years now.

So let’s go back to the beginning. And like, how did you get into this business? And like, why did you get into it back then?

Well, I was actually in real estate in my 20s. Okay, yeah. And I went back and forth between here in New York, but I don’t like the cold. So I ended up back here doing residential sales. I did residential sales in Florida. And then I went when I went to New York, I did a commercial, and I just kept going and going back and forth. I was in my 20s I was single, and I get tired of the cold up in New York. And then I come down here and I feel like it’s beautiful, but I’m kind of bored. I want to go back and get all the good food and culture and all that I just kept going back and forth. Yeah. So I ended up coming back and I was going through a divorce and I had a baby An infant.

And I didn’t think I could do real estate with the hours like nights and weekends, I thought it would be harder for daycare. So I actually answered an ad in the newspaper, which no one does anymore. I know it’s a newspaper, right? That’s so sad. I’m totally dating myself. But it said sales and construction women Excel. Um, so I went, and it turned out to be the closet factory, which is a very popular Closet Organization company. And I discovered that I could draw to scale freakishly fast. That was my gift. Like, everyone has a gift.

That’s me, like one gift to really draw to scale quickly. And I just loved it. And it really propelled me from being a broke single mom to you know, buying my first house on the day of my divorce, which was a pretty awesome accomplishment. You know, I had the little swingset in the backyard and everything. And I was like, Oh, I’ve made it. Yeah, you know, and then you kind of just naturally progressed to kitchens and baths and remodeling. And I love the good transformation. And when I was in real estate, every time I would walk into a house, I would be like scanning it neatly, like, Oh, I gotta take that down. And I would move that there. And I kind of couldn’t turn off the visual in my head. So it just, it was just meant to be. You know, I just love this business.

Yeah. So you started out in closets, and like designing closets, and cabinets. And that sort. 

Ladies love closets. Yeah. And let me tell you, if you’re going to sell a house, you should have a custom closet. Because ladies go crazy for closets. Do you know what the average woman has for shoes? Yes. How many? Average? Just the average? Yeah, I’m gonna say. Like, 40-50. Yeah, there’s nobody. The average is 50. And the guy is only 12. And I love telling the husbands that when you were there, cuz he’s like, she’s got so many. She’s gotta get rid of shoes. I’m like, timeout, dude. Never tell a woman she has to get rid of her shoes.

Yeah, so many different outfits. Yeah. So what was it? What was it like? And you did the closet redesign, remodels, and, or redesigned stuff that was in Florida?  Okay, so everything from there was in Florida. Yep. Exactly. Cool. What was that like?

It was starting out in that business. It was fun. Yeah, it was fun. I was did you do it here in like Ross County, and all over Pinellas Tampa Bay. Actually, I worked with a lot of the big builder’s monogram and all those guys and it Alvarez the local builders, and it was great because once they got to know me, they bring me in earlier. So I could say, Hey, if you just move this wall over the foot, you know, we can use both sides of the closet and things like that. So I got a great reputation as being like the premier closet lady in town doing that. It was it was wonderful. And I loved it, but then you naturally want to do more.

So that’s how you transitioned into kitchens and bathrooms and that sort of stuff. What was that transition? Like? How did you? Did you start off working in a different job? Or did you start off like, just starting your own business then? 

I was doing kitchens and baths when I was working for someone else doing the closet business, and I got recruited way to someone else. And, and then, yeah, so. But it was just easy because I could see it. You know, because we weren’t just clauses when you’re in that business. You’re also doing garage organization offices, you’re already doing other rooms. So you just kind of sneak your way into the kitchen. The good stuff, and that’s where the major transformation is, you know, that’s the heart of the home. So that’s the biggest impact. And I know a lot of people are really afraid to do that. I know when I was house hunting, I saw a lot of houses that were remodeled and the bathrooms and everything but not the kitchen. Because it is kind of a painful profit process to go through. But it’s so worth it. And as you know, as a realtor kitchen sell houses.

Michelle Manzini | Why You Should Invest in Quality Cabinets

So is that? You just hit on a good point. And I see like a lot of bathrooms that are remodeled first before the kitchen. Is that because of Do you think it’s they just is it the cost of it? Right. Like the kitchens like I think it would be cool Spence Yeah. And then they just don’t know what to do with it.

They’re scared. Yeah, it is. It’s a painful process. You know, it’s the very personal business to go in there and tear apart someone’s house. You know, they have to trust you and you have to kind of ride the wave with them like on demo day they love you. They’re like it’s really happening are doing you know, and then halfway through they’re like It’s not done yet and I hate you. And then by the That’s the worst part and you just got to ride that wave. Like just trust me.

I got this. It’s gonna be beautiful. It’s not you’re cleaning your dishes in your bathtub. Yo, no one wants to go through that. That’s not fun. Yeah. So that by the end they just love you again if you do it right. You know what we do you And so and then, you know, I’ve made so many friends in this business, you know, because you make people happy for years, like literally fulfilling people’s dreams on this little small level, but it feels really good, you know? And then they tell their friends, and it just goes from there.

So let’s go back to like starting, you’re starting the business and kids kitchens and bathrooms, like what was that process? Like for you? What was that? Was it? Was it scary? Were you nervous? Like starting your own business then? Or you had like some clients kind of built up? At that point?

No, we did it on the tail end of the last recession, we opened in January 2012. So that was a tricky time. And I was excited to do it. Prior to that, I was living the good life, selling all the closets and doing all that and making great money. And I was a single mom, and I didn’t really want to deal with having my own business, to be honest with you. Because I was like, already had a lot on my plate. But after going through the recession, you know, there was all of a sudden, I was ready to step up to the plate and go to the next level and start my own business. So I did start with a builder, partner, but he quickly got burnt out with my drive and ambition. And it’s like, a little more intense than his.

So then, about five years ago, now, I took over the bottom out and was able to double the business because he kept holding me back. So I was able to double the business. And we turned our little boutique place into a million-dollar business, which is something I’m really proud of because apparently, only 4% of female-owned companies in the United States have revenue of a million dollars. Wow. So to break that company like like general contractor companies, any all female-owned businesses, only 4% of the revenue of a million dollars or more. Yeah. So that kind of really propelled me and got me even more excited. And I felt like, you know, it’s silly, but I feel like I’m making my own little impact on the world, you know, with every person that you deal with, and you make happy. Sure. You know, it’s a small impact. But I feel like I’m leaving my mark. Yeah,

So what was it? What was it difficult, like starting your own business? Or? I mean, you had a partner in it, right? And then, I guess maybe like the transition when he stepped out of the business, and you kind of took over like, what was that?

Well, that was a little tricky, because he was a builder. And I wasn’t, you know, had to quickly get a carpentry license is what was required at the time to run one of this kind of companies. And he didn’t have time to get a builder’s license because he was leaving. So I did. You did cabinets, everything for all of his new builds, or whatever.

Well, I’m still I did all the sales and marketing and everything. I picked the location. And he did the installations and ran the crews. You know, we bring guys in and they help with we do everything in-house. Let me not subcontractors, but our own carpenters are in-house. And he ran the guys and all that. But I did all the marketing and sales and design and you know, pick the location, I picked what cabinetry lines we picked and things like that, because that was all my background was the cabinetry. Sure. And we still do the closets, which is always fun. I still enjoy that a lot.

Very cool. So the like when he steps out of the business, and then you take it to the million dollars in sales. Did you see yourself owning a business? Is that something you’ve always wanted to do?

No, never thought you’d do it. I wouldn’t say that because I am an ambitious and driven person. But as a single mom, it’s a lot more challenging to have to worry about feeding other people. Yeah. And not just yourself. Right? You know what I mean? That’s a lot of responsibility. Yeah. But I’m so fortunate now I’ve got like the greatest office manager, I’ve got the greatest project manager and they just were the three musketeers out there making it happen. And I rely on them so much. And once I found them, everything became a lot easier. Finding the right people.

That’s the hardest part of the whole business. Yeah, we got to get kids into the trades. We have to we need kids to get into the trades. They can make so much money. There’s so much money to be made in the trades, and they’re just not doing it. Yeah. So I don’t know. I don’t know if they just don’t think there’s a fear of it being too hard. But he doesn’t think they understand how much money you can make. And the problem now is that all you know, plumbers and electricians and all those guys are all starting to retire.

Like everybody we hire is in their 50s Yeah, everybody, and they’re all starting to retire out and they don’t have a lot of competition, because now the young bucks are coming into the field. Right? So I mean, gosh, if we get my kids into the trades, I’m a Nari member which is the National Association of Remodelers. And that is Like one of their big focuses is going to the schools and the high schools and talking to kids and trying to get them into the trades. Yeah. Because I mean, I don’t know what’s gonna happen 50 years from now and someone needs their house built or fixed or not gonna be able to do it. And knows what they’re doing. Yeah, yeah. Interesting. I don’t think I think the kids think there’s gonna be too much hard work, but they’re not going to make the money, which is not true. You know, like, if I can do it, it makes a six-figure income as a single mom and I had no background and then I was in real estate. Yeah. I mean, I think anybody could do it.

I think there’s, there’s like a progression, like where you, you know, maybe there’s some hard work in the beginning, just like with any business, right? Like, the physical labor is there, but then you can transition out of that if you so choose. Sure. Yeah. Once you get the right people, right.

To be honest, if you just do what you say you’re going to do, yeah. If you show up on time, you will be successful. Yeah. Like, really, it’s crazy, because there are so many people who just don’t care, and they don’t show up, and they just make me look better. It’s really kind of basic,

I forget who it was. But I have had someone else on the podcast, and we’ve had that same conversation today. It’s just like, being accountable. Yeah, it’s just showing up. And just like, Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do. Here’s our, here’s our quote, or whatever, here’s what we’re gonna provide. And then you just follow through on that, right? It’s the simplest,

I hear it all the time. Like, you’re the only one who actually showed up I call three people are your you’re the quickest to turn around the designer. You know, you do everything you say you’re going to do. And it’s you know,

Is that so with your experience in New York, too? Is that a Florida thing? Or is that just a trade?

It’s a completely different dynamic up north. I think that’s a Florida thing. Yeah. I think the sun makes us lazy down here. That’s my philosophy. Lazy people from all over the Yeah. And now they’re all coming here.

Everybody just wants to retire, you know, and go on their boat and chill out. You know, it’s just something about the sunshine that makes you not want to go to work. Yeah. Well, you know, I was raised in New Jersey, and I worked in New York, and there’s definitely that hustle kind of vibe. Yeah, I just went back for the first time in 15 years to New York City in February. And I was just in my glory, just like the vibe of the whole thing is just thrilling to me. Yeah, you just feel the energy. Do you think that’s

Where you got your drive? And so I went to New York City for the first time. This is many, many years ago, but I like to experience like in the city, and I had a friend who was staying, I lived in that little apartment in New Jersey, just across the river. So then we would go into the city for a couple of days. And like you’re right, like the energy there. You just feel it at its next level. It’s pretty cool. Yeah, it is. It’s way different than what it is here in Florida.

Definitely. Down here. Every so chill and relaxed. And just everything like you dresses up there down here. It’s very casual. So yeah, but it’s funny down here because you can’t judge a book by its cover because of that. Right out. There there. You can kind of tell who’s who in New York.

They could look like a beach bums.

Totally. Yeah. And they’re building some $4 million home. Like, yeah, let’s do this.

So it’s so how did what was the process like for you like finding the right people? Because I think that’s the hardest part. That’s the hard part for not just your business, right? But in any business, is finding the right people. So how did you go through a couple of different?

LinkedIn? LinkedIn, LinkedIn was a big one. For me, we’d go on Craigslist trying to find carpenters, that’s a good place for them. Because they’re not usually they’re more hands-on and kinetic and they’re not going to be computer people as much. So but the two people that are helping me run my business. Now we’re both referrals from people who knew me. In fact, my project manager is also from New Jersey, and my friend that referred me he’s like, Listen, he’s kind of a lone wolf. But he’s a really good carpenter, blah, blah, blah. And he’s like, and he’s from New Jersey. I’m like, I’ll take him. Because I knew he’d have the work ethic. Yeah.

So did you have like, like a description like an avatar for like, who you’re looking for?

Yes, and we have a whole criteria for any installers that come in like listen to tools and everything they have to have and they have to be able to, you know, do crown and things like that kind of differentiates like a regular cabinet installer from an actual Carpenter, there are certain finesse skills.

But you know, the pay scale is much different up north than it is down here too, which makes it challenging. You know, especially with everybody flooding our market. Now, they don’t, they don’t realize that you can’t make $50 an hour, you know, right off the bat doing this, you have to work your way up to something so that the scale is lower here than much up north.

But it’s also less expensive to live where it balances out, right? Well, I used to be less expensive, maybe not so much anymore, but it’s claiming.

Yeah, so let’s talk about like the, like a remodel, right? Like, what does that process like, kind of take us through that and kind of your role and what you enjoy about and that sort of stuff?

Well, for me, when someone comes, I’ll do the like, let’s say we’re to kitchen remodel, do the design on a 3d CAD design for them, so they can see what we’re doing. And then we’ll pick out all the finishes, you know, cabinets, countertops, flooring, anything that relates to that kitchen, I’ll help them with their appliances, guide them.

When people come to you do they have an idea of like, this is what we’re looking for? Can you just make it happen? Or it’s a little bit of both?

Yeah, sometimes they do. And sometimes they don’t, you know, for a long time, I just had everybody walk in the door and saying, oh, I want y with y with y. And I was like, Yeah, can we dig a little bit deeper? Something else?

I went through a remodel of a house that had been flipped the other day, and it didn’t have white cabinets and everything. Thank you. Right? someone’s doing it right.

Yeah, we’re really excited. I brought some notes on all the trends now. But it’s so funny because we’ve literally gone from white to black. My own kitchen that I just remodeled is quarter-sawn mahogany, wood, and black. And we haven’t seen that it’s got black countertops of Black Island. It’s a new engineering material we have called Phoenix, it’s indestructible, and it’s got thermal healing. So I did all the pretty stuff in mahogany. And I did the island where the dishwasher and the sink and the trash and the ovens and all that whereas more the hard-working areas, I did that in this black because I don’t have to worry about it. Okay. And it’s really cool.

Technology has come a long way when it comes to cabinetry. And those engineered materials are what we see in Caymus which is Kitchen and Bath Industry shows. They were showing a lot of textured melamines and all those kinds of materials, engineered materials, which are actually exactly like the countertops for Nova cabinetry, cabinetry. People are really hesitant. They think they need all wood. But in Florida, you really don’t with our humidity. Yeah, it’s to your advantage not to have all wood and to do an engineering material like that, that will not change with humidity at all. So that they’ll hold up really well. So that has been a big trend.

Are those some of those engineered materials? Are they cheaper than than what wood costs?

Or not really, I have a new line that is inexpensive with it, which I was excited about because usually, it was pretty much on par with wood. Yeah, and sometimes more depending on what you pick and your design in the features. Because a lot of people when they’re doing the engineering materials will do more contemporary so they want no handles and things like that, which add to your costs because you need different hardware for that to happen. And that can be expensive. But for those that want that look, it’s seamless. Yeah, no, there’s no gaps. There’s no hardware, it’s easy to clean. They don’t have to worry about if their kids are there in the middle night making a snack and everything will hold up and be fine.

So and then we have like textures a big thing now and kitchen on the cabinets texture reading caning, which is like wicker wicker accents and things like that matte finishes, honed finishes, especially for countertops. And leather is called leather. Have you seen that? It’s a textured. Instead of polishing your granite, it’s got a Finish on It. That gives it texture.

I think I have seen this before it’s been it was like a black countertop.

Yeah, and texture. And it was like really?

Isn’t that cool? Yeah. And it’s funny because sometimes like it used to be, you’d want to put something on the countertop you’d like oh, can I put that there? Is that right? Is that safe to do that? And with the leather, you feel like you’d put a hammer on it? Like it’s just yeah, it’s so cool. People just come to pet their island all the time. Yeah, what is this? This is so cool.

Yeah, so it’s changing.

It is alright, so let’s go back to the I interrupted you about the process, right? So they come to you. They say they’re gonna remodel their kitchen or whatever.

And you’re, so we pick all the finishes. Yeah, we pick all the finishes. And if there’s no bird, that’s my favorite, because then they go away. They don’t have to live through it. So we missed the painful part. And they come back and I’m like, Look what I did. Yeah. But if they live here, they go with, you know through it with us, but we’ll go pull their permit and we get all the paperwork ready for them. And then we schedule their demo. We really try to schedule everything around the cabinet delivery so we keep our timeline as short as possible. Because you want the downtime short as possible, obviously because it’s it’s not fun. So we’ll start either week or month, depending on how much work there is before the cabinets come, and then we’ll schedule our template for their countertops, immediately, like the next day that we start installing, we’ll do the bases first. So we can get that turnaround because that’s usually a two-week turnaround for the countertops. But once that happens, you know, you’re all you’re finishing up, because once the countertops go in, it’s just the plumber hooking up your sink and dishwasher and you put your backsplash in, and you’re good to go.

Yeah. So it can be pretty quick. So what’s the average turnaround time for, like, start to finish for a kitchen remodel

If they’re not doing floors? Yeah, I would say it’ll do floors. Like a lot of people have to change in their footprint at all you have to. And that’s something you have to keep in mind. If people are sometimes, like, oh, I want to move this wall. I’m like, Well, do you have more flooring? Because if we can’t patch the floor, you have to do the floor. And that’s what I get bummed about because sometimes people will do the floor first and then call you. And then they want to change the layout. I’m like, oh, that’s the wrong order. Done like Do you have an extra box? You know, no matter what it is? Yeah. So it also depends on what the flooring is, too. Because if they’re doing luxury vinyl that goes in after the cabinets, but if they’re doing Tyler wood that has to happen before we put the cabinets in, we put that under the cabinets, ideally. Yeah, I mean, obviously anything can be done afterward.

But ideally, you want those finishes to go in first. Why is that? That’s because it’s glued to the floor?

And you want everything to be level and you don’t want to like to trap your dishwasher or anything. If people try to tile it things get trapped and they can’t get them out of their dishwasher the refrigerator or even the stove. So and that’s why I’m also not a fan of covering tile. I won’t do it. People do it, but I will do it.

Yeah, I was just talking to her friend this morning. And she ripped up her or their flooring. And they had been oleum and then two layers of tile. Right?

You just gain two inches of mud and you know, the study materials everything.

Easy way to do it. But man, that’s, that’s a bummer for someone else.

Yeah, I mean, luckily, we have companies like bottoms up now that come in with the machine, you know, take it out and take it up in one day. And they leave it really nice and clean. You know, there are other companies that do it as well, like the company that I use for the demo is usually triple-A, and they have their own machine. And they’re fantastic. And they keep everything really clean and keep the job sites clean during the process. Resolve so many issues. Yeah, it just shows respect, it shows that you know, you’re professional, and they don’t get as upset if you know, seal everything off and you know, Visqueen everything and make sure that you keep you know the dust at a minimum. Obviously, drywall dust is going to get everywhere. It’s gonna be a while much every year. That’s why it’s a painful process. Yeah.

Yeah. And you really can’t do anything about it.

We try really try. We try so hard to contain it. And as long as they see you’re trying as hard as possible. They’re usually okay with that, you know, no one’s gonna get out alive without having to dust after a kitchen remodel. But yeah,

But it’s worth it. Yeah, it is. It’s very cool. So kitchens are your favorite to do?

For sure. Yeah. But I’d have to say master clauses do you make the ladies happy? So that’s fun, too. Like when I was doing that full time, I go to a party. And I’d always bring a stack of cards. I will always be like the most popular girl like you do that? Like here for half the price of the big guys.

Yes, I can. Yeah, it changes things like even having a customized kitchen with like the right cabinets or whatever that fit, like what you need and everything. So like, oh my god organized.

And that’s another thing. Yeah, I don’t mean to cut you off. But sometimes people just want to not change anything. And like they don’t understand this is your opportunity to fix the problems in the design. Sometimes they’re like, well just put it back the way it was and like, but if we did this and you didn’t have the stove up against your fridge, you’d have you know, X amount of space and your life would be so much easier and things like that. And I like to use all the different pull-outs and organizational things and maximize every inch of their valuable real estate. And I think that comes from being in the closet business because you thought in inches.

So I think that’s why I’m so obsessed with you know, utilizing every inch of their space and giving them you know, all the fun gadgets that simplify their life like my favorite one. My project manager calls Michelle’s special thing, but it’s a 15-inch pullout cabinet base cabinet that I always put next to cooktops, and it holds for utensil bins and two knife blocks and it’s a space underneath in it 15 inch cabinet that is cleaned off your old countertops. You know and little things like that, especially if your cooktop happens to be in an island. You don’t want all that stuff out. You know you don’t want to look at all that So it keeps it all streamlined and clean. And it’s right there where you need it. And you can take them off and clean them if you need to. It’s super cool. Yeah, I put that in 90% of my kitchens. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, it’s fun that and I finally got one in mind when I remodeled. So happy. It’s like, Yes, it’s my turn.

Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So let’s, let’s talk about some of the trends. I know we talked about some. So what about like, what about like, like, countertop trends, like what’s going on there?

Well, definitely the honed-in leather finishes are big. And they’re coming out with porcelain, which is new and not as heat sensitive. I think the marketing people for engineered quartz were geniuses. And they convinced everybody that granite was bad. And that you would have to seal it all the time. Which is not true. There’s a nano sealer you can get for $299 it gives you a 15-year warranty and actually impregnates system and it doesn’t just sit on top of it. So you never have to worry about it again.

So I’m a big proponent of quartzite I sell a lot of quartz sites which is what they make that engineered quartz out of engineered quartz is actually a composite it’s 93% quartz and 7% resin, which is technically a glue, but it’s also that magic sealer in there which is why they can say that yeah, but like you can’t use it in the outside kitchen it can’t take over 400 degrees heat and people don’t realize that so they think that they’re you know getting something better but technically you’re not it but supply and demand, especially for all those Marvel, looks is made the price skyrocket. Yeah, and it’s all just supply and demand. So sometimes especially with my condo market, they really can’t afford to do that and then you start showing them some lighter pretty CT sites. They go that route instead because it’s like half the price

But it’s not it’s sensitive to heat right so what

The site isn’t of course engineered quartz because it’s got the Nano resin in it, okay, yeah, so it’s not quite as durable as quartzite is just this it’s a natural Stone 100% Stone just like granite is 100% Stone Okay, so But you know what’s coming out now it’s all the bold marbles. Oh yeah, yeah, that’s and now the engineer of course people are starting to make them to look like that like white base and like burgundy veins or gray veins are black veins and green veins. And that came from Europe they’re doing a lot of pastel color cabinets.

This really translates well here because a lot of people want the coastal colors Yeah, so we’re doing a lot of we have this haze green that I do a lot of that looks great with the current cycle fantasy brown which is super popular, and it gives out a whole beachy vibe and it’s just kind of soft and pretty but still light because everybody wants it to be light so I think those pastels and I do some light blue and we still have the navy blue like a lot of people do an island or a bar in blue and just keep the perimeter and why and obviously White is always going to be a safe bet but to add something to it like colors back color is back in a big way.

Yeah, and browns are no color color

Yeah color is back in both the cabinets and countertops and the paint and everything color is back and then I’m gonna start I forgot what I was just gonna say and oh wood because Mid-Century Modern came back and that brought walnut so walnuts really big butt right now the biggest wood is by far rift oak.

Rift Oak Yeah. Which is lighter. The lighter white oak flooring to the white oak floors are huge. But now the cabinets Yeah, rift oak is all the rage because it gives them the texture of a painting are they no, no, no natural, natural, because there’s still light? They’re wood. They’re organic, which is where we’re hearing a lot more now. Everybody wants that more organic, earthy feel. So you have all these nice light woods. It still keeps its base light. But it’s also easier to maintain a stained cabinet that is painted again.

Yeah, like if people are going to rent their unit out I’ll usually try to steer him away from at least doing the bases and in white like try to get them to do a like a stained bottom and a white upper. They’re concerned about that because visually what’s up here is what’s going to keep it like I don’t think a lot of dogs or kids or something could scratch it up. Yeah.

We have white cabinets, and it’s you know, like hair and dirt and all that stuff like yeah, that’s right.

It is it’s harder to maintain them.

That sort of stuff. Yeah, yep. Cool. Man, I’m ready to get my kitchen remodeled now.

Yeah. I know a girl. It’s fun. It just you know you bring people joy

What about like backsplashes? Is that like anything they’re like

Well, a lot of people are doing the full backsplash to match their countertops. That’s come back in a big way interest. Yeah. And that’s kind of seamless. It’s the countertop just on the backsplash. Interesting. Do you like that? Look?

I do. I think it’s pretty. It depends on the stone, obviously, in what you’re doing. If he’s super loud, that might not be the best choice. Yeah. But we’re What if it’s dark, too, like if it’s a darker stone? Like I’ve seen some of that too. Yeah,

Well, mine is I have a black herringbone on mine. But it’s striking. You know, it looks beautiful. But that’s just me. And it’s not my job to sell what I like, you know, it’s my job to you know, bring your vision to life and what you like. We’re seeing a lot of Do you have geographic shapes? I mean, geometric shapes. Okay. Yeah, like octagons, and the hearing bones and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. A lot of the, you know, once again, the beachy colors, a lot of the Aqua cars and things like that are really popular. Because that whole coastal color scheme is huge right now. That’s cool. And even with the wood because once again, you know, especially millennials, they want organic and earthy and casual but elegant and it’s you know, you do some rift oak with some light tops and some aqua glass backsplash and bam, yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s beautiful and light and cheerful. And these days, that’s what I love. Yeah. That’s why I was getting so frustrated with that whole white-on-white-on-white trend. I was like, Can we please do something more fun?

Do the trends do they? Like how often do you see them? Since you’ve been in the business for 2030 years now? Like how often do you see them kind of turnover into the next trend? Is it every five years or 10 years? Or is it just depend on

The whole white on white on white lasted a decade? Yeah, it really did. And then I think that what changed that was when everybody was doing the white kitchens with the gray vinyl floors and the flippers started doing it and then it started losing its appeal because it didn’t look as expensive and it was too cool. So now we have all the warm colors coming in and people are doing more grazes and just back to all the warm earth tones Yeah, is much more prevalent. Now. Everyone gets kind of tired of that.

It’d be like it’ll change again. Let’s go Well, it’s funny because we literally went it was like overnight that we went from white to black all a sudden we saw black kitchens everywhere. Yeah. And that has a certain appeal, but it’s you know, a very, it’s obviously just for a modern clientele. So what shape transitional were they doing it with white tops and white backsplash that still worked even white appliances, which kind of sounds weird, but they made a big comeback. And like with GE in them. They have fun handles that are brass and two-tone and things like that. And the rose gold and the brass hardware trend looks great on like blues and blacks. looks really pretty in those colors. It’s very elegant. Yeah. So it was like a switch that went from white to black. Yeah, but Black is kind of a hard sell in Florida. It is blue is big. Like this royal blue color. Yeah. Really big.


Yeah. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of that. Especially for the islands, right? If you have a kitchen island, right? Yeah, we do a lot of bars with it too. Cuz if it’s in the dining room does it feel so kitchen II then, if you do a color?

And you just have gotta add some LED lights and some glass shelves and some display for your pretty stuff. And now it looks more furniture like

Yeah, yeah, very cool. Well, you’ve got a fun job

I do. For sure.

Yeah, I love it. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So one thing I like to ask everybody that comes on the show is you know, we’ve you’ve been here now for quite some time in Florida. What is it like when you’re not working when you’re not? You know redoing kitchens and bathrooms and closets. What is one thing that you really enjoy doing or one place you like going to whether it’s the beach, the boat, or the restaurant, if you had to pick one thing that you’re gonna do

That well? I bought a boat. Did you buy a boat? Yeah. Yeah, it’s for sure. That makes me so relaxed.

Where’s your favorite place to go on the boat? Is it just like cruising around the water? Do you like going to restaurants and go into some of them? Yeah,

Sometimes it’s just a water taxi to go to lunch. And other times we go down to Cali DC lately of going north up to like Anclote and three Rooker places like that. Mine does have a small cabin, so I’m dreaming fantasies of taking it overnight and going further. That’s cool. Yeah, I really want to do that. But I haven’t had the opportunity to do that yet. Yeah, that’s a goal.

That’s pretty cool. Like, it’s crazy. Like how beautiful our coastline is. I don’t think unless you go out there and like spend some time out there. I think you really realized it’d be we’ve, we’ve camped out at Anclote and then like, came out there. That’s cool. Waking up there in the morning. And listen when it’s like quiet and no one else is there and just walking the beat Each and like all you see is is the ocean.

Yeah. So relaxing, isn’t it? It’s so beautiful.

Yeah, the minute I leave the dock, it’s just like it just washes away. Originally, I was thinking I was going to wrap my boat with Fusion cabinets. That was first and I thought that’d be great advertising. Yeah. But then I thought well on the boat. I really want to talk about work. You know, I want to be playing not working. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t want somebody to come and say can you give me a vanity? Like no, not really. Have my beer and relax my legs? Exactly. Call me on Monday. Here’s my car. So I didn’t wrap it. There you go. Well, Michelle, I appreciate you coming on the pod.

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been fun. I really enjoyed it. This is my first one. So thank you, hopefully first of many. Oh, yeah. Awesome.