Couple launches mobile kitchen renovation business

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 26, 2022

SALISBURY — Paul and Kim Satenstein know what it’s like to suffer through a lengthy kitchen renovation.

A few years ago, the couple decided to makeover their outdated 1950s kitchen. The process left them without a place to prepare food for a month and a half.

“It’s amazing how much you can cook on an electric hot plate and a microwave,” Paul said. “And doing dishes in the bathroom sink is always interesting.”

The couple is now helping other homeowners avoid a similarly stressful situation. Paul and Kim have teamed up to launch a local Kitchen Tune-Up franchise. With a home office in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Kitchen Tune-Up is a mobile business that specializes in quick kitchens and cabinetry updates. 

“We focus on one to five day remodels where you have a functioning kitchen at the end of every day,” Paul said.

Salisbury Kitchen Tune-Up is serving homeowners throughout Salisbury, Concord, China Grove, Spencer, East Spencer, Rockwell, and Kannapolis and has a number of renovation options. None of the choices will put a kitchen out of commission for too long.

Paul, originally from New York, and Kim, a Georgia native, moved from Virginia to Salisbury about two decades ago. Paul taught architecture at a local high school and Kim delivered the Charlotte Observer and Salisbury Post for about a decade. Looking for a change in their career, the two landed on Kitchen Tune-Up. The company has more than 250 franchised territories nationwide.

“Kitchen Tune-Up really seemed to fit where my expertise is, my knowledge of architecture, engineering and construction,” Paul said. “It just fit the bill, so to speak.”

Paul is no stranger to working with power tools, but he and Kim spent two and a half weeks learning the finer points of kitchen renovations in Texas. They’re also in a 12 week online course. They tackled their first makeover a few weeks ago, replacing the cabinets in a historic home in downtown Concord. 

Personalization is a key part of the process. Even before Paul and Kim go into a kitchen, they visit the home with door samples to ensure the homeowner is happy with what’s being installed.

“We let them see the product in their house,” Kim said.

Kitchen Tune-Up offers hundreds of cabinet colors, Kim said, from high-gloss Coca-Cola red to beige. Paul said he’s not one to influence a homeowner’s decision.

“Everyone’s home is their castle,” he said. “It has to be personal to them. What I dislike, other people love. What I love, other people may not like. It’s not a matter of what I like in their home, it’s a matter of what they like in their home.”

They can also “revitalize” wood cabinets if a homeowner isn’t looking for a full replacement. 

“As opposed to replacing anything, we can bring it 80% back to where it was when it was new,” Paul said.

Kitchen Tune-Up will update kitchen walls, fix flooring and replace countertops as well. Their purview extends past the kitchen. Paul said they’ll replace or add cabinets in other parts of the home as well.

Despite the supply chain issues plaguing many industries, Paul said it hasn’t been too challenging to get materials needed. But increasing prices have been an obstacle, he said.

Paul and Kim have enjoyed helping others create kitchens they’re happy with, but they’ve also appreciated being able to spend more time together.

“I don’t miss her anymore,” Paul said. “I get to spend a lot of time with her, which makes me happy.”

More information about Paul and Kim’s business can be found online at kitchentuneup.com.

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About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at ben.stansell@salisburypost.com.

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