Today’s kitchen is the “war-room” of the modern home, and no one is more aware of this than Russ Alexander, president of AyA Kitchens of Illinois, the state’s exclusive distributor for this Toronto-based producer of fine kitchen cabinetry. In the winter issue of New Homes, writer Dan Schuyler talks to Alexander about his services and his showroom in suburban Niles.
“Function has always been important in our industry, but today’s homebuyers are equally interested in looks, and the trend has been toward the sleek, contemporary, clean Italian design,” Alexander says.
He explains that builders and buyers alike continue to be frustrated by the long delays in shipping and the regulations involved in obtaining the foreign product.
“AyA, on the other hand, being based in Toronto, is just 10 hours away,” he says. “So it makes sense to produce a product that is competitive, even superior, to what can be obtained overseas because the shipping delays don’t exist, and the orders can be filled overnight.”
The result was a rush to his door, particularly by builders who were enjoying the benefits of a housing boom and needed the product in a hurry.
“We began by doing a landslide business with contractors,” says Alexander. “But we quickly realized the fast turnaround was equally beneficial to the homeowner who wanted to install a new kitchen as opposed to buying a new home.”