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Island Styles Remodeling opens new kitchen design center

By Staff | Dec 10, 2008

Longtime islander Jonathan Tongyai is a very busy man.

He, along with his wife, Carolyn, have operated Island Styles Remodeling for the past five years out of their showroom and offices located on Rabbit Road. This weekend, they are gearing up for a grand opening celebration of their new Kitchen Design Center.

And, as if that we’re enough, the couple recently became the parents of a beautiful baby boy, Scott.

A Florida State Certified General Contractor, a NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) Certified Remodeler and a NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) Certified Kitchen Designer, Tongyai has managed more than three million square feet of new construction and remodeled construction space. Among the projects he had completed during his 20 years of professional experience is the Sony Tech Center headquarters in Rancho Bernardo, Calif.

However, a major expansion to his company’s own headquarters has him very excited this week.

“We started this project about a year ago,” Tongyai said on Monday. “It’s a nice, non-sterile environment where we can sit down with our clients, ask them what kind of theme they might like to go with, offer some suggestions. That way, we can get a better idea of what direction they want to go in.”

When people enter the Kitchen Design Center, there are several showcase “vignettes” of mock kitchens, displaying some of the varieties of cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances (ovens, stoves, refrigerators, etc.), lighting and accessories the company provides. Offering a full range of design and remodeling services, Island Styles will assist their customers with every aspect of creating a new kitchen, bathroom, home office, deck or addition, from the preliminary design phase to the finished installation.

“I like to talk with (clients) because I want their input,” Tongyai added. “It’s their kitchen we’re designing. You have to look at everything, think about smart designs and an appealing layout because you want them to have a safe, functional kitchen.”

Tongyai, who grew up on Sanibel, attended the University of Florida, where he earned a BS in Building Construction. While still in school, he made a living doing remodeling work for his professors. From there, he moved to La Jolla, Calif. and started his career in corporate construction projects. Another move, this time to Atlanta, Ga. furthered his resume in the industry, working on large construction gigs including banks and restaurants.

But Sanibel beckoned, so Jonathan and Carolyn moved here in May 2004 and started Island Styles Remodeling.

While approximately 10 percent of their business is done via contractors, the large majority of their clients is one-on-one with private homeowners. Kitchen remodeling projects range from $20,000 up to $160,000, with the average job costing around $60,000. Tongyai estimated that a typical design will take two weeks to complete, with 6-8 weeks allowed for product procurement (depending upon the custom work to be done) and another two weeks for installation.

“Kitchens are a very personal thing,” he added. “You have to really take a good look at their homes because you don’t want to put a sleek, modern kitchen inside a traditional style home.”

Island Styles Remodeling will conduct a grand opening celebration for their new Kitchen Design Center this Saturday, Dec. 12 from noon to 5 p.m. During the event, there will be a cooking demonstration with Wolf/Sub-Zero Executive Chef Wil, complimentary food and wine and door prize drawings. For additional information about their products and services, visit them at 975 Rabbit Road, Suite 3 or online at www.islandstylesremodeling.com.