Welcome to 2018, everyone! I hope you are staying warm. We seem to be having a mini ice storm in the Nashville area and it’s supposed to snow, which means we’ll have some kid-free time AND will have an excuse to sit in front of the fire (possibly with Air Disasters on from the Smithsonian Channel) with hot drinks and not feel bad about not going for walks.
I actually do like going for walks, but usually we go only for the exercise and sometimes we wish we would stay slim without exercise like we did in our twenties and early thirties.
Side note: If you haven’t seen Air Disasters (you can get it on Amazon Prime and sometimes Netflix if you don’t have cable), you are missing out. Dave and I haven’t watched much TV in the past ten years, but once we discovered Air Disasters we caught up on all previous nine seasons. You will get to know more than you ever thought possible about planes, enjoy excellent storytelling, and will always sit in the back of the plane from this time forevermore.
In other news, we are in the middle of lots of exciting kitchen design projects with clients and with our new kitchen showroom we’re working on. And as if things couldn’t get any better, my car decided to show us its “check engine” light. We learned with our last car that often that happens because something is wrong with the sensor, not the engine. So we tightened the gas cap (per the manual’s instructions) after seven-year-old Deacon pumped his first gas and didn’t put the cap on all the way. What an easy fix. The check engine light went off and all was well with the world.
Until the next day. That was the day we waited for the tow truck and this morning was when we learned it required $2300 worth of repairs. We played with the idea of replacing it sooner than we originally planned, and our daughter cried at the thought, insisting she could never love another car. And, with the progressing ice/snow situation in Nashville, which shuts down the city like a hurricane, we have some time to think about whether we want to fix it or replace it, since nothing is getting fixed or replaced for a few days anyway. We are hesitant to spend a lot on a car with our showroom opening this spring and all the business- and renovation costs of that, but it’s also nice to drive and not walk places.
But even with the recent illness of our Honda Pilot, we are so encouraged! There has been a lot of responsibility laid on us for so long and sometimes it’s crushing. A lot of burdens are God-sized burdens (unexpected expenses, health issues, things working out just right, etc) and we could never carry them if we tried, and other ones are people-sized burdens (which brand of spaghetti sauce to buy; maybe I should only have the one piece of cake, cotton vs. polyester, etc). We are learning the difference and laying our burdens on Him, because those burdens are to God as light as choosing a dinner entree. He can handle it, and He does.
Most of you know that after the magazine photo shoot, we started paring our design and renovation business down to just kitchens, plus we dropped real estate entirely. Dave and I both felt strongly that we needed to work together at the same work and also continue to homeschool, and not to be pulled in different directions. I have said no to a lot of design work that would have been great for my portfolio, and he has taken over all the behind-the-scenes business stuff. I just have to do the “pretty” stuff now and choose finishes and decor for kitchens/breakfast nooks (or whatever rooms the client is ordering cabinets for), and Dave fits it all into the kitchen software like a puzzle and comes up with all the possible options and prices. He also handles all the phone calls and does all the estimates and deals with all the vendors.
When we decided to pare down to just doing cabinets and countertops and kitchen design, we felt it was right for us but had no idea if it was a huge mistake. There have been many days/nights/evenings/mornings of discouragement and wishing Jesus would just come back, like, TODAY. But the Lord has met us with much encouragement through our friends and clients and we just love the heck out of all of you.
Thank you so, so much for those of you who have contacted us to order your cabinets or plan your kitchen redo! We didn’t expect that even before our showroom opened, we’d have as much work as we have had. Dave loves spending his workdays creating your kitchens in 3-D on the computer and I enjoy choosing cabinet colors and styles while our kids are doing their schoolwork. Plus I get to do lots of design “research”, which involves shopping for fabrics, wallpaper, and lighting at designer-only sources, plus looking at magazines and having lattes. Woohoo.
One quick note: we are able to give some extra great deals on cabinets at the moment, since we’re not in our space yet and have low overhead costs. The maker of our inset cabinets (the most expensive type) is having a major sale until January 26, and we also may be able to work out a deal for you on the other ones. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-268-3675 if you are interested and want to know if we can make something work within your budget. Also, we have more wiggle room on bigger orders, like if you want to add a closet system, laundry room cabinets, entertainment center cabinets, etc, so we can discount those rooms if you are already ordering a kitchen.
One of our business/homeschool field trips was visiting the Cambria showroom in Nashville. Cambria is one of the quartz brands we have in our showroom (along with Silestone and Caesarstone), but they have a local showroom so we got to see some really amazing slabs in person! They are supplying our sample kitchen with a really nice quartz countertop and slab backsplash. Here is what I chose:
This is a life-sized sample! Some of it will be on the countertop and some will be the backsplash. Once they measure our sample kitchen, we’ll get to choose the best sections for each part digitally. Here’s the name of it if you’re interested. Don’t ask me why they chose to double the “t” and the “c”.
Our kids enjoyed the trip. They offered them hot chocolate and we got to personally enjoy the Starbucks machine. They also have wine, sodas, and water, and will even take you out to lunch if you want to hear more about their product. They don’t sell to the public, but will tell you everything you would ever need or want to know about quartz, as well as let you see whole slabs of any color or style you want.
We’re going to have two towers of my favorite designs of Cambria in our smaller showroom for now, and when we move to our bigger space next door, we’ll have room for more. So if you come to our showroom and want to see more, come (thirsty) to the Cambria showroom and they’ll show you the rest.
Holly Thompson Homes Kitchen Design Center
Our showroom at 100 Southeast Parkway in Franklin is still in progress, though our first sample kitchen is there (minus countertops) and cabinet hardware, which are being ordered. I would love to see you if you happen to be in the area, but at the moment we aren’t usually there. Noland (whose name is about to come off the building) is changing names and redoing their showroom too, so they’re working on getting up and running just as we are. They are staffing their space, but we aren’t allowed to staff ours until we’re in our own adjacent space this spring. But, we are able to meet people there if they would like to see samples or ask questions, so call or email for an appointment if you want to check it out! Or, you can just come in and see the progress, and a bath-store person will be there to show you around.
I am ever-so-grateful for all of you who have come in to the shop looking for us. The owner of the bath side is floored at the response from our sign and wondering why you’re all coming in for us and not for them. So, thank you, thank you, thank you. They are a much bigger company than us, and it’s really good for them to get confirmation that partnering with a design-based kitchen place was better for their business than leasing the space to a Taco Bell.
I’ll keep you updated! Right now we’re waiting for a farmhouse sink from Noland (which is now WinSupply) before the countertops can go into our sample kitchen. Plus, their showroom manager left in December and they’re hiring. If you happen to be someone who likes to work with vendors and clients and/or has experience managing showrooms, more details are available online. I believe the job is publicly posted.