A lot can change over 30 years. When Tony D’Ettorre and Jack Dissegna started Jag Kitchens in 1987, Los Lobos’ ‘La Bamba’ topped the music charts, Disney’s Three Men and a Baby was the highest grossing film, and solid timber kitchens were the in thing. “Back in those days designs were simple. These days you can have whatever you want,” Tony says. “Kitchens have evolved and because they’re the centrepiece of the whole home. People congregate around the kitchen and talk, drink and socialise.”
Sales manager Simon Petrou has seen it all during 22 years with the South Australian company.
“When we first started designing kitchens, more of a traditional style of joinery was used,” he says. Think 45-degree breakfast bars, laminate kitchens, and the introduction of vinyl.
Back then, social media didn’t exist. People looked for design inspiration in big, fat, printed brochures. Times changed. Technology evolved, as did the business. “Between 1996 and 2000, we did a lot more bespoke paint finishes. People wanted their kitchen to have a distressed look. Antique washes and that type of thing,” Simon says. “Some people still want traditional kitchens but for most it’s now about being very minimalistic.” Storage options (such as suspending shelves and cabinets) are important. “From an architectural viewpoint, it’s about creating a very refined and modern look.”
Outdoor kitchens are all the rage. “We get requests for outdoor kitchens everywhere. Australia has the perfect climate for it. Some of the more serious people want a completely standalone outdoor kitchen so it needs to have a dishwasher and all the cutlery and crockery set up out there. We’ve had people who want to incorporate deep fryers, bar fridges, woks and their barbecues. The sky’s the limit.”
Customers are also more informed.
“People used to come in to find an expert to educate them. Now, a large portion of clients come through here and know exactly the type of products or lighting systems they want.”
Television show like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules encourage people to be more adventurous in the kitchen. “Every year, advancements are made. Hidden appliances and technology that means you can charge your mobile phone just by placing it on the benchtop.”
As Jag celebrates 30 years of business, they look forward to advancing with the times. “We cater to people’s needs. They now get inspiration from the internet. Things like Pinterest allow them to do that. They’ll print a dozen or so images from the internet and we incorporate the details they love into what we do.”