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Designer Kimberlee Melcher’s favorite space is her newly renovated custom kitchen | Home | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander

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Kimberlee Melcher had her dream studio in Spokane not once, but twice, early in her interior design career with her contractor-husband Kevin Melcher under the moniker Downtown Kitchen & Design, and then again in 2014.

“We opened our first design showroom in 2001 renovating an old historic building, creating display kitchen vignettes with working appliances and using the space for trade events and hosting client parties,” says Melcher.

But things change, and within a few years of rebranding under Kimberlee Kristine, Melcher closed the downtown studio and decided to fashion the company’s new design studio closer to home. Her home.

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The couple renovated their Millwood-area residence into a space to entertain clients, as well as to highlight cabinetry, surface, flooring, countertops and lighting for which they are dealers.

The newly completed kitchen is now her favorite space, combining function and form, says Melcher, and does double duty as a showcase for her husband’s master craftsmanship, especially notable in the stacked crown molding.

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Open concept galley kitchens featuring large islands for family life and entertaining are enjoying enduring popularity with clients, says Melcher. Her own welcoming island cabinetry is finished in a distressed soft French blue, while the custom inset cabinetry in the rest of the kitchen is robed in a delicate white. An integrated armoire refrigerator is flanked by tall pantry cabinets, while an elegant wood hood tops the gas range. The farmhouse sink is crafted from firecay, which is scratch-resistant and less prone to harboring bacteria. The floors are French oak, with an oil finish and radiant floor heating underneath.

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Although the color scheme is mostly neutral, a carefully curated mix of textures,

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America’s Favorite Home Improvement Store Might Surprise You

Home Depot and Lowe’s might be the best-known home improvement retailers in America, but neither is the favorite of consumers.



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That honor goes to Ace Hardware — again.

Ace ranked No. 1 for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, marking the 13th time in 14 years that the retailer outscored the competition.

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The 2020 study was based on a survey of more than 2,600 customers who had purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer in the prior 12 months.

The overall customer satisfaction scores are based on five factors:

  • Merchandise
  • Price
  • Sales and promotions
  • Staff and service
  • Store facility

Speedy service from friendly, knowledgeable staff is key. Christina Cooley, director of the @Home practice at J.D. Power, explains:

“The one-on-one engagement a customer has with the retail staff continues to be the largest driver of overall customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers. Now, more than ever, customers are looking for the guidance they need — but they’re also looking to get in and out of the store quickly.”

All of the retailers included in J.D. Power’s 2020 study, and their scores, are:

  1. Ace Hardware: Overall customer satisfaction score of 844 out of 1,000 points
  2. Menards: 841
  3. Lowe’s: 838
  4. True Value: 832
  5. Home Depot: 827

The average overall customer satisfaction score this year was 834, meaning True Value and Home Depot scored below average.

Ace Hardware also has a leg up when it comes to savings. Its loyalty program landed the chain a spot in our story “10 Retailers That Give You Rewards on Every Purchase.” As we report:

“Sign up for Ace Rewards, and you’ll get

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