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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Sonoma County – Carpet Showrooms CATEGORY

Leigh Bakhtiari is a 26-year veteran of the flooring industry and president of City Carpets, a Diamond Certified company since 2009. She can be reached at (415) 493-8934 or by email.

Leigh Bakhtiari

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Leigh Bakhtiari: Flooring Fashion

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — After two decades in the floor covering industry, Leigh Bakhtiari continues to employ her passion for fashion by beautifying her customers’ homes. “I approach each job with the goal of making things as fashionable as possible while simultaneously providing a durable, high-performance product,” she says. “When I first got into this business, it was actually pretty boring—every carpet was basically beige and cut pile. There are many more options available today, which makes my job a lot more fun.”

Despite having family ties to the floor covering industry, the primary catalyst for Leigh’s long-term involvement was actually her husband’s. “My husband, Hossein, and I each have a family connection to the floor covering industry, which is kind of coincidental because it has nothing to do with how we met,” she explains. “When we first met, I was working at Macy’s and he was working for his sister in the floor covering industry. After we got married, he suggested we open our own floor covering business, which we did in 1993. More than 20 years later, a lot has changed: we now have five kids and two floor covering stores!”

A lifetime resident of Mill Valley, Leigh expresses her appreciation for the natural beauty of her native locale. “I love it in the Bay Area. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over and I’ve never found a better place. I love all the open spaces, as well as the short distance to the beach and the mountains. Within a four-hour driving radius, you can go surfing or skiing, which is pretty remarkable.”

Outside of work, Leigh enjoys spending time with her family, both locally and abroad. “Besides hanging out together at home and around town, we love to travel together as a family,” she affirms. “In fact, we recently got back from a trip to the Dominican Republic.” Leigh also enjoys skiing, martial arts, following professional sports and going on walks with her dog, Gus. Additionally, she maintains an active participation in her industry by serving as president of her local floor covering association and regional network coordinator for Carpet One, as well as sitting on numerous advisory councils.

In regard to her professional livelihood, Leigh espouses the importance of treating customers fairly and honestly. “I try to treat my customers as if they were friends and family,” she explains. “That’s one of the reasons I feel it’s important to carry products I truly believe in. There are a lot of options out there, but I never want to sell a customer anything I wouldn’t sell to a friend or family member.”

When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Leigh gives a twofold response. “I’d take a nap and then take a trip,” she laughs. “After that, I’d devote some of my extra time to volunteering, probably for a cause that benefits children or animals.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Africa. I’d love to go on a safari and see animals in their natural element.

Q: If you could live in the city or the country, which would you choose?
A: The country. Cities make me claustrophobic, and I like being close to nature.

Q: What was your first pet?
A: A big, black mutt named Alfie. She was beautiful.

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: As a child of the ’80s, I love my throwback music.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Thanksgiving, because I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family. We spend the entire day preparing everything from scratch, set a beautiful table and then enjoy a great meal at the end.

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The Truth About Carpet and Indoor Air Quality

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SAN RAFAEL — It’s often assumed that carpet diminishes indoor air quality, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, studies conducted by The Carpet and Rug Institute show that carpet may actually have the opposite effect and improve indoor air quality.… Read more

Choosing a Quality Carpet Fiber

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SAN RAFAEL — Everyone knows style and color are important factors for choosing a new carpet. However, a lesser-known yet equally important factor is the type of fiber it’s composed of. A carpet’s fiber affects everything from appearance to cleanability, which… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Carpet Cleaning Frequency

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Complete Video Transcription:

SAN RAFAEL — Host, Sarah Rutan: To maximize the lifespan of your carpet, it’s important to know the recommended intervals for maintenance measures like vacuuming and steam cleaning.… Read more

Rick Stein is co-owner of Just Remnants, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 523-7797 or by email.

Rick Stein

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Rick Stein: A Flooring Focus

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — Having come from a multifaceted professional background, Rick Stein established his long-term livelihood by focusing on one particular aspect. “When I was younger, I worked for my family’s business, which handled design, supply and installation for hotel renovations,” he recounts. “I always felt drawn to the flooring aspect—I enjoyed the creativity and problem-solving it involved. Eventually, I decided to pursue a career in the flooring industry and opened Just Remnants in 1991. I was able to utilize my prior experience to get commercial contracts, but I also brought in a residential component. Today, we continue to provide for the flooring needs of residential and commercial clients alike.”

Today, as co-owner of Just Remnants, Rick says his favorite part of his job is making customers happy. “I love seeing the finished product, but most of all I enjoy pleasing my customers. Every time we get a good review from a happy customer, it feels very gratifying to know we’re doing things right.”

A resident of Richmond (where he lives with his wife, Olga), Rick spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy Latin dance, practicing Qigong [a Chinese martial art similar to Tai chi], swimming and watching baseball,” he details. “I also like to read and take it easy—anything that balances out the intensity of work.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Rick says real customer service goes beyond mere politeness. “For me, taking care of customers means not only listening to them and treating them fairly, but also coming up with solutions for their problems. After all, you may treat your clients with politeness and respect, but if you can’t offer them practical solutions regarding design or installation, what’s the point? That’s why we always go the extra mile to make sure our customers get exactly what they’re looking for.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Rick says he’d sleep in. “As a flooring contractor, my workday starts pretty early in the morning. After so many years of getting up early, it would be a real joy to sleep in for a change.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite baseball team?

A: The Los Angeles Dodgers.

Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?

A: Real estate is a passion of mine, so I read a lot of books on that topic.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?

A: Strawberries

Q: What kinds of music do you like?

A: I like all kinds of music, from rock to jazz to R&B.

Q: If you could immediately master a musical instrument, what would you choose?

A: Piano.

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Considerations for Hard Surface Flooring

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Hard surface flooring is an increasingly popular segment of the flooring industry, with more and more homeowners choosing products like prefinished hardwood and vinyl plank. However, when considering this style of flooring, it’s important to assess specific conditions in your… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Installation Factors for Hard Flooring

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Complete Video Transcription:

SAN RAFAEL — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning to install a hard surface flooring product in your home, there are some important factors you’ll need to consider… Read more

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