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Remodeling as An ‘Epik’ Adventure

Perfecting the Craft of Kitchen and Bath Renovations

“A kitchen may look beautiful in an online picture, but if it's inconvenient to use, that beauty fades fast,” says Epik Kitchen + Bath founder David Talley. “There are a lot of moving pieces to a kitchen remodel that need to be professionally coordinated and executed to create the elevated space clients dream about.” 

With more than thirty years of experience in the kitchen and bath industry, David always starts the design conversation with functionality.

“We discuss with our clients how they actually use their space. Do they cook a lot? Do they need storage for spices, utensils, electronics, air fryers, craft ice makers, coffee bars – all the various gourmet appliances?”  His clients are looking for design solutions to cluttered countertops they find visually unappealing.  “The typical cabinet space is wasted – both hard to access and keep organized. We like to creatively incorporate drawers (charging drawers, for example) to unclutter counter space and store with ease,” David says.

The Murfreesboro native started working as a teenager in his family’s 40-year-old kitchen business. After an eight-year stint as COO with a large cabinet distributor, David later opened his own kitchen and bath remodeling business in Wilmington, North Carolina. After a few years, he moved his business and family back home to Tennessee.

“I love being hands-on with our clients and helping bring their dreams to life,” David admits. “Epik is a kitchen and bath remodeler. We focus on what we know and devote 100% of our energy into perfecting our craft and continuing our education in the kitchen and bath sector.” 

What are some trends you offer in today’s custom kitchen remodel? 

Smaller profile major appliances are part of the new kitchen footprint (36” ranges for example, instead of 48”-60”).  Free-standing appliances instead of built-ins that take up a lot of space and are expensive to repair and replace. Hidden outlets allow for more creative backsplash design.  In palette preference, there’s a welcoming back of the warmth of earth shades and brown-stain wood tones over the farmhouse white that’s been so popular.

“I enjoy the regional design trends here,” he adds. “Nashville was very modern. Wilmington was, of course, beachy. We work quite a bit with the rustic retreat, mountain-inspired design sensibilities in East Tennessee.”

Timelessness is a priority. People want to update without being too trendy so they don't risk being out of style in five years. “After thirty years of experience,” says David, adding, “we've seen what will last the test of time and still be elegant … and what items and design choices that will quickly date a home.”

Any other tips to keep in mind in planning a kitchen remodel?

With a significant kitchen remodel, David says that you may be without food prep and cooking space for six to eight weeks. Eating out or adapting what can be prepared at home is often overlooked.

“With food costs today, you’re spending $100+ a day for a family eating three meals out; that’s a substantial amount to plan on in your budget.”  

Efficient space usage and creative storage solutions rank high in bath remodels as well, David explains.  “Our clients often forego the double sink, at one time a staple of the primary bath suite, to gain more counter space.”

He’s also witnessed the growing preference for larger, luxury shower spaces. “We’ve done away with soaking tubs in 50% of our primary bathroom projects to accommodate the trend in spa-like showers,” David says.

What other bath upgrades do homeowners seek?

Replacing tubs with curbless, zero-entry showers is a huge request for aging-in-place renovation, as well as remodels for younger-generation homeowners.

“There doesn’t seem to be negative market feedback as long as there is a tub in another bathroom.”

Many clients who still want a tub in the remodeled footprint often opt for a free-standing design which takes up less square footage, without sacrificing a roomy interior. High-end remodels today feature luxury spa environments with heated flooring, towel warmers, custom vanities, and backlit mirrors. And, after the Covid-era-related toilet paper issue, David reports installing bidets at homeowners’ requests in 90% of their bathroom remodels.

Will the homeowner recoup the investment?

Even though the current housing market is motivation to renovate rather than sell, sometimes there’s a hesitation over return on investment.

“We don't tell people they will get their total investment back,” David says.  “In reality, they may only realize a 50-75% return. But remodeling for a family’s own convenience and enjoyment is a source of personal satisfaction and deep pride. Creating a client’s dream space without compromising the ability to sell later is an important goal.  To help achieve this balance, along with creative design solutions, we offer custom cabinet colors, custom hoods, custom tile designs and smart-design fixtures that add just enough WOW! without being overwhelming."

Of course, kitchens continue to be a crucial focus of home remodeling.

“A kitchen is the heart of the home and we like to say that we hold the keys to your heart," says David, laughing. "Kidding! But we do tell our clients that our satisfaction comes from creating the custom spaces of their dreams where they will enjoy entertaining friends and making memories with their families every day.”

Having worked with clients from middle Tennessee to the Carolina coast and back to East Tennessee, David emphasizes the importance of due diligence.

“Do your research. Request licenses and insurance. Ask for referrals and check them out. Read reviews. Trust your gut.” 

The level of experience, expertise, and ethics in the contractor you hire matters. Epik’s approach to ensuring quality control is to keep as much of the work as possible in-house.

“In fact, we have more employees than sub-contractors so we can do everything a renovation requires,” David adds. “If a subcontractor has multiple crews, you never know who you are getting from day to day. We build relationships with our employees as well as our clients. Some of our employees were former clients – just one testimony to the value we place on relationships.”

How hands-on is the head of the company?

David is on-site every day of the project for at least part of the day, to oversee, listen to his clients and communicate progress – a company core value.

“Hardly any job goes perfectly, but communicating what was completed, what came up, how that affects the schedule, and what is being done to rectify any issue is huge. At the end of every day, our clients know what to expect through email, text, phone or in person – however they prefer to stay in touch.” 

David’s team is dedicated to delivering an ‘Epik’ outcome for every client. “Do we want to satisfy our clients? No. We work hard to amaze them. We strive to provide something so incredibly, unbelievably unforgettable that words fail you; that’s how we define the ‘Epik’ experience.”   

Visit to learn more.   

We focus on what we know and devote 100% of our energy into perfecting our craft and continuing our education in the kitchen and bath sector.

Timelessness is a priority. People want to update without being too trendy so they don't risk being out of style in five years. 

  • Epik Kitchen + Bath founder David Talley

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