Itchin’ for a kitchen: Nevada County Contractors’ Association highlights Transformations, a kitchen and bath remodeling company based in Grass Valley
June 3, 2018
Karen Tanner believes a good kitchen leads to health and happiness … and there's a study that proves it.
"If people have a functional kitchen that makes sense, they enjoy cooking. They spend more time eating at home. They eat healthy foods. The kitchen is the heart of the home," said Tanner, owner of Transformations, a kitchen and bath remodeling company based in Grass Valley.
Tanner has been a professional kitchen designer for 35 years, a Certified Kitchen Designer for 22 years, and a Crystal Cabinet dealer for 15 years. She also teaches kitchen design classes at Sierra Community College, both in Rocklin and at Grass Valley's Nevada County Campus.
"I started designing houses when I was 10 years old," Tanner said, "and when I designed a house, I'd always start with the kitchen. It's like putting a puzzle together: the cabinets, appliances, tile, flooring, lighting, and other fixtures. I've always been an organizer, planner and left-brain thinker. I love being creative and helping people."
She says her profession is challenging and rewarding.
"My job is to help customers make smart decisions and give them ideas they haven't thought about," Tanner said. "People start by telling me what's wrong with their kitchen, such as 'I don't have enough storage space.' We brainstorm solutions, and then I come up with several plans. Once they choose a plan, I give them pricing on the materials they have selected. If it's more than they want to spend, I research alternatives that lower the cost."
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Tanner says updating a kitchen is the most important work a homeowner can have done to increase the value of a house. She says there is no "average" cost of a kitchen remodeling job because every job is different.
"It all depends how complicated the plan is and what the size of the kitchen is," she said. "A big kitchen needs more cabinets and counter tops, which adds to the cost. Structural changes, such as moving windows, walls, doors, or plumbing also affect the price."
Tanner worked in Southern California for most of her career and all her business was generated by word-of-mouth. She moved to Grass Valley six years ago and joined the Nevada County Contractors' Association earlier this year.
"I thought that would be a good way for me to get to know the community and the community to get to know me," she said.
Tanner said she had planned to retire when she moved to Nevada County, but couldn't do it.
"When you've got a job that you love doing, it's too hard to retire," she said. "I have the perfect job, so it's not like work to me."
Contact Karen Tanner at KitchenTransformations.org or 949-443-9947.
Story submitted by the Nevada County Contractors' Association, a nonprofit association of construction industry professionals. Visit NCCABuildingPros.com or call 530-274-1919.