Kitchen Dimensions

Kitchen Dimensions

A Pennsylvania Dutch proverb claims “No matter where I serve my guests/It seems they like my kitchen best.” And there’s a lot of truth in that statement, especially today. In many homes, well-appointed kitchens aren’t just food-prep areas—they do double-duty as bustling entertainment spaces.

And if you’ve decided to give your kitchen a general facelift—or perhaps a complete makeover—Kitchen Dimensions in Allentown can offer solutions to accommodate just about every budget.

Co-owners Jack and Anne Ruyak entered the business in 1993. Jack had just retired as senior vice president of operations for an Ohio-based steel company, and the couple wanted to return to Bethlehem. Many retired executives are content to lead leisurely lives, but Jack had an itch to keep working. That led to purchasing the company then known as Instant Kitchens, and the start of a new business venture for the Ruyaks. (He renamed the company three years later.)

Of course, providing custom cabinetry for kitchen projects is the company’s primary focus—but it also handles woodworking for bathrooms, libraries, even fireplace surrounds. “With every project we do, our goal is to maximize the use of the available space, keeping it functional and aesthetically pleasing,” Jack Ruyak said.

After the acquisition, the Ruyaks set out to improve the company’s existing product lines. While at the National Kitchen and Bath Show in 1994, “We checked out about a half-dozen cabinetry vendors, and found Plato Woodwork, Inc. It’s a family-owned maker of full-custom cabinetry that’s been in business for about 125 years,” he said.

The arrangement with Plato was settled with a simple handshake, and the relationship has continued for the past 26 years. “One of the key Plato displays in our showroom dates from ’94,” Ruyak added. “It’s really a timeless design.”

Another major supplier is Jim Bishop Cabinetry, also family-owned, and a producer of semi-custom cabinets in both framed and frameless European style cabinetry.

Combined, the two vendors enable Kitchen Dimensions to appeal to a broad range of budgets. “Both of them provide all-wood construction,” Ruyak said, “and offer many choices of wood species, hardware and finishes.”

“Customers can also order appliances through us,” Ruyak added. ”We provide the desired make and model number to our vendor, and generally get it at a lower price than anyone else in the Valley—and our customers get them at our cost.”

Kitchen Dimensions’ approach to projects is both straightforward and flexible.

“Our first step is to visit the customer at home, where we measure all aspects of the room and take numerous photographs. That’s followed by a discussion of what they want in the finished design, as well as what they absolutely don’t want,” Ruyak said.

During those sessions, Kitchen Dimensions offers plenty of guidance to ensure the finished project is attractive and practical.  “Sometimes, a desired feature might not be suitable for a particular job,” Ruyak said. “Because of our decades of experience, we can demonstrate why.”

For example, kitchen islands are popular, useful, attractive, and take up quite a bit of space. “Especially in L-shaped kitchens, we like to keep the island at least 42” away from all the other counters,” Ruyak said. Narrower distances can inhibit traffic flow, or make the kitchen harder to maneuver around, and a smaller kitchen might not offer enough leeway.

Back at the office, Ruyak uses design software to create several combinations of the wish-list items. “Some companies might produce just floor plans,” he added. “But I think many people have trouble visualizing from them how everything will work together. That’s why we always provide elevation and perspective images as well. It really helps our clients feel more comfortable about what they’re getting into.”

Afterward, customers usually swap and substitute various elements among those initial concepts until the final design is settled. Clients then select up to four species of wood (a key budget consideration, because some woods are more expensive than others). Within two days, the client receives a complete price schedule for the job—cabinets, countertops, accessories, labor, and everything else.

Coordinating the kitchen’s color scheme can be challenging for homeowners; if you’ve ever painted a room, you know the color chip doesn’t always exactly match the paint itself. Kitchen Dimensions offers a simple solution.

“We provide a sample door-and-drawer combination in the customer’s preferred design, wood and finish. They can take it to our granite supplier or tile vendor for a true comparison,” he said.

The company also accommodates customers’ desires. “We can handle everything ourselves,” Ruyak said, and Kitchen Dimensions has used the same full-time father-and-son installation team for the past 17 years. “Both of them are excellent craftsmen,” Ruyak said. “And our clients routinely praise their work.”

At the same time, “our clients determine the scope of our services. They might choose to use their own painter, electrician, or plumber, for example,” Ruyak said.

Through the past 27 years, Kitchen Dimensions’ focus on customer satisfaction, top-quality craftsmanship, and timely service has served it well: the company has completed over 1,000 kitchens ranging from an 8’ x 10’ space to a sprawling unit that required 40 different cabinets.

And while other installers will provide brief testimonials to their work, Kitchen Dimensions goes quite a bit further. “We have a list of clients that are willing to have potential customers visit their homes to see our work first-hand.”

1635 Airport Rd

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