As one of few certified master kitchen and bath designers in the MidSouth, Carol Jameson’s remodeling expertise has proved useful for dozens of local homeowners looking revamp their personal spaces.
Click Magazine: What does being a certified master of kitchen and bath design entail?
Carol Jameson: You have to have at least a certification in both kitchen and bath design fields for ten years. In addition, you have to publicly offer advice and explanation to the general public, either through television, radio or another form of media. It takes a lot of community involvement such as our work at the Children’s museum, which we donated countertops and donated design services for the toddler bathrooms, as well as cabinets and countertops in the birthday kitchen.
CM: What are some issues that frequently come up in the design process? Where do customers usually start?
CJ: Budget and cost are always at the front of the list for most clients. It’s the biggest question we get, but it’s almost impossible to tell somebody how much their kitchen redesign is going to cost without a decent measurement. Sometimes you see guidelines where experts might do a lineal footage cost estimate, but there are so many factors that it isn’t wholly accurate.
CM: What are some things to keep in mind when building a budget for home or kitchen renovation?
CJ: First off, they need to do their homework. If they are shopping purely on price, they need to be careful – there are a lot of cheap products out there, but at the end of the day that’s exactly what they are: cheap. You get what you pay for in this field and it’s often better to seek out something that lasts while being conscious of your budget. Fortunately for us, we don’t work on commission so we can be a little more honest as far as costs go.
CM: What about contractors?
CJ: For contractors — again — you want to do a little research. Make sure they’re licensed, bonded, have some sort of presence on social media, that sort of thing. You want to make sure they’re putting themselves out there and can back up what they claim.
CM: What kind of materials do you guys deal with at Premier Countertops?
CJ: We do all of your basic solid stone surfaces. Quartz is the #1 material for most and has been for about a decade. Everybody thinks that granite is the way to go — and in many ways, it is — we do granite work as well. However, there’s a little bit more maintenance required to granite that could cause problems if neglected. We also do marble, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not a very good material for kitchens and bathrooms — it’s soften than granite, so it can etch. Something like white Carrara is a beautiful material, but it can stain and there’s just no way to repair it.
CM: What kind of maintenance is required for making a countertop last?
CJ: With granite, you absolutely must keep it sealed. If you don’t, you end up with bacteria, stains and more. And when you spend the money on granite, this is something you really don’t want to happen. You have to baby it a little bit. Make sure you’re using approved cleansers, not just any old ammonia-based cleaner will do. With quartz, it’s nonporous so you don’t need to take the extra steps to keep it sealed. There’s almost no maintenance at all.
CM: Do you have any special jobs or memories that have stuck with you in your time as a designer?
CJ: The last two that I just finished up, actually. One was in East Memphis and one in Cordova. In the South, you don’t see a lot of mid-century modern contemporary kitchens —there’s a lot of tradition in the South. So to be able to do something outside the norm and have it come out good is exciting. The one if Cordova featured a unique door style and really sparkly minera from Cambria that was featured in the Commercial Appeal. And the one in East Memphis featured a lighter color cabinet in a slab-door style, as well as a raised bar with waterfall edges. It just came out gorgeous.
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