Demand for new a design


The pantries are stocked, the fridges are full, the wine is racked, and the home kitchen has been the go-to room for the entire family for several months.

Many Lowcountry homeowners have doubled down on their cooking skills in the kitchen during the coronavirus pandemic.

Others have taken advantage of the slowdown to reassess the functionality and aesthetics of their kitchen fixtures and have turned to upgrading and installing solid wood facing, custom cabinetry and new appliances.

If there has a been a silver lining in an otherwise dismal, deadly and stressful year, you’ll find it in the local kitchen remodeling-design industry.

“It’s come roaring back,” said owner Bruce Zaidman of American Wood Reface in Bluffton.


He said business in March and April was non-existent but has surged since then.

“I never would have believed there would be an uptick like this,” said Zaidman, who opened his franchise in Bluffton in 2009 and serves customers in a 50-mile radius. “The pent-up demand boggles my mind.”

Like other dealers in the area, American Wood Reface provides solid wood facing, doors and drawer fronts, multi-step finishes, quality hardware and installation. It also can add or modify cabinets and install enhancement features, new countertops and under cabinet lighting. Custom services and specialty products are also important business calling cards.

design2Kitchen home improvement projects don’t just make the kitchen more functional and visually appealing; they can uplift a dispirited heart with emotional rewards of new beginnings.

The pandemic has allowed homeowners to plan what they want to do with their kitchens — add more space, reface and renew, buy new, or rearrange the kitchen layout? Needs, wants, functions and budget are all considerations.

Be honest with yourself. Does the kitchen look old and outdated and make you feel the same way? Appliances need repair? Dream of something here or there that isn’t here or there now?

Trends in the Lowcountry suggest that some homeowners are moving away from their usual comfort zones in the kitchen and are embracing new colors, finishes and fixtures.

It’s a time to re-examine the home and everyday life and how so much of it resides in the kitchen.

Bold, enlightening colors, or soothing off-white hues, like Gullah-inspired haint blue on the ceiling? Smart technology, eco-friendly sustainable natural materials, affordable quartz instead of marble for the countertops and metal finishes on hardware like knobs and handles. Replace fixtures like sinks and faucets affordably.

“It’s been a good year,” said Zaidman, whose Bluffton location typically handles one kitchen project daily throughout the year.


Houzz, an industry research company and trends tracker, reports that 52 percent of homeowners have spent more time cooking and baking, and those who are improving their homes are spending 27 percent redoing kitchens with new décor, better lighting and upgraded layouts.

The south leads the nation regionally with ongoing home improvement projects during the pandemic.