Tackling Kitchen and Bath Project Issues

November 2, 2022

On our most recent KBB – From the Tap podcast, we spoke with Mindy O’Connor, principal of Philadelphia-based Melinda Kelson O’Connor Design, about tackling kitchen and bath project issues.

We began our discussion with O’Connor addressing issues that can occur behind the walls and that can arise during demolition. She refers to these as conceal conditions and makes her clients aware of the likelihood of these coming up in the historic homes in which she works. Because of this, she recommends they have a contingency in their budget of a certain percent.

O’Connor shared some of the strange things that have come up during her projects, including six layers of wallpaper and a hidden staircase. She also mentioned some of the more challenging issues that can arise behind the walls and how she addresses those with her team and with her clients.

kitchen and bath project issues

Uncovering a hidden space under a basement

We then discussed kitchen and bath project issues that can come up with clients. O’Connor stressed the importance of managing expectations by detailing their goals and needs in the proposal. She loves to work with clients who are interested in speaking the same language in terms of listening and communicating – and then reiterating.

O’Connor also shared with us how she deals with clients buying product online. Hint: It has to do with explaining some of the pitfalls that can arise. She doesn’t feel that indecisive clients are necessarily a hindrance; she understands each one has a different internal process.

We then pivoted over to supply chain issues – everyone’s least favorite issue but most important to solve. O’Connor calls it a moving target and says she purchases certain product in advance and then stores it for future projects. She realizes not all design professionals can do this, but everyone can do their best to maintain successful relationships with vendors and suppliers. Communication with them can be just as important – if not more – as with your clients.

To learn more, watch the full video above or listen to the podcast on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple PodcastsPandora and other outlets.

By Chelsie Butler, KBB Executive Editor