As kitchen and bath designers, you are likely focused on the primary business of designing kitchens and baths. However, if you view yourself as a salesperson first and a designer second, you will have a broader outlook of the market and can extend your products and services to other areas of the house.

  • Ask for the sale. Begin by simply asking clients if they want to extend a trim run into adjacent spaces. If you design a crown run on a cabinet at a height of 96 inches, doubling the crown could reach the 108-inch-high ceiling and you could extend the trim to the breakfast nook, dining area, or living space. This technique also applies to baseboards and chair rails.
  • Showcase ideas. Showroom vignettes with cabinetry in other rooms in the house help clients visualize their options. However, they can be expensive. Other options include keeping a photo album of these types of projects in the showroom, or creating an electronic presentation for your showroom. You can even save the presentation onto discs that you hand out to prospective clients or send the file in an e-mail.
  • Expand your horizons. Cabinets for a laundry room or mudroom are not new — many manufacturers provide tools to sell these rooms. Look beyond these standard sales to:
  • Butler's pantry. It can be scaled to fit most kitchen plans.

    Assisted living. As baby boomers age, they need accessible storage and will look to you for your expertise.

    Bedrooms. Creating furniture for the bedroom is possible with a good semi-custom line. The price of these units is competitive with goods offered by furniture retailers. —Nick Ritota is the senior design and software trainer for Merillat Industries. He is a featured speaker throughout the country on product, design, and CAD software;