Dream Kitchens 2010: Test Kitchens and Referral Services

Top designers and good stores for appliances, countertops, tile, and more

Test Kitchens 

At these test kitchens, you can try out stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances. There’s no pressure to buy; because the kitchens are wholesalers, no products are for individual sale. Frequently a dealer or designer refers clients to a showroom, but you can also set up an appointment directly.

9204-H Berger Rd., Columbia; 866-987-2123.
This showroom, open by appointment, has high-end lines such as Sub-Zero, Asko, Franke, and Wolf.

45150 Business Ct., Suite 420, Sterling; 703-478-9301.
Offers demonstrations and after-purchase care-and-use classes. Call for reservations.

Referral Services

These services offer free referrals to remodelers and other home-improvement businesses they have screened:

Urban Referrals, ServiceMagic, and Home Connections serve the Washington area. Home Solutions Connection focuses on suburban Virginia and Maryland.

Each Delbe Home Services customer is assigned a service representative, who provides referrals to contractors, manages any projects, and can let the contractor in if you’re not home. The 24-hour service ensures that a contractor can be sent to your home at any time—even for a flood at 2 in the morning. Membership is $175 a year ($150 for Washingtonian readers).

This list first appeared in the October 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.

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