Meet the Client
Carrie and her husband built their family home to raise their three daughters with the intention of staying well into retirement. Although the house was custom designed, the kitchen was not a major focus. Carrie is a holiday-hosting professional and with three adult daughters and grandchildren as assistants, they needed something better than what they deemed as a “one-butt kitchen”.
Dreaming of A New Kitchen
Carrie told Robin that their kitchen is where her family gathered as she cooked, where the grandkids did their homework when visiting, and where her husband sat with his morning coffee. They desired a homey space that reflected the warmth and love of the people important to their lives.
Finding the Right Designer for Your Home Renovation
Carrie had interviewed a handful of designers before she came to Robin and none of them seemed like the right fit.
“I didn’t feel like [other designers] were listening to me. Robin was just a breath of fresh air. She asked what did I want? She wanted to know what I wanted and why. She asked ‘how are you going to use the space?’ I just felt like she really got me. It was like working with a friend.”
The Process: Working with RRF Design
To create a kitchen that flows with the entire house, time was spent reviewing the existing floor plan and how each room is used. The material and design inspiration came from Carrie’s extensive American folk-art collection.
Since Carrie is such an avid baker and enjoys hosting elaborate dinners, her kitchen accessories and appliances are top priority. The original builder-grade kitchen was a mess from the lack of storage, countertops and aging appliances. Robin requested that Carrie create an inventory list and designated a space for everything. “Carrie bakes, makes candy and cooks, her equipment list is extensive, we customized every cabinet so that each item she owns has its own “place.”
Carrie said, “Robin took an inventory of everything I had. She made a plan, a layout of where everything should go… I’ve never met a designer who is so into the details… I just want to alert people to what she does, because it is so beyond what other designers offer.”
The process took about 5 months to complete, and the couple lived in the home using a makeshift kitchen set up in their garage during construction.
Of the experience, Carrie said, “Having someone who was really listening, who was compassionate, who helped us through any stumbling blocks, and she was always very calm, it really made a difference in the experience, because it’s stressful! … But, Robin got back to the contractor rapidly all the time. And she always returned my calls quickly too.”
The Details: Customizations in the Home
Carrie is a leftie, and has lived her whole life in a right-handed world. So, when it came time to redo her kitchen, Robin worked to make sure that everything flowed for a left-handed person. The mixer pulls out on the left side of the counter, the accessories are on the left, it is a kitchen made just for Carrie.
On both ends of the island are two beautiful display cases that boast her salt and pepper shaker collection. Many of them were passed down through generations, and are quite precious.. Robin designed cabinets to accentuate them with gorgeous lighting while keep them safe.
“It is very important to me that your home reflects you and the way you live. I never believe in designing for trends and I enjoy creating a collaborative design environment with my clients. Carrie didn’t love the cabinet hardware we originally selected, in the end, she found hardware that just sparkled and were just perfect!”
“I loved being able to be involved,” Carrie said, “And there was as much of that or as little of that as I felt comfortable with. It really was like working with a friend. I forgot that I hired her!”
The pièce de résistance is the tin soffit above the island. Carrie entered the project knowing that she wanted a tin ceiling, but didn’t know how to work it in, and didn’t want it to overwhelm the space. Robin created the elegant soffit, and lit it with warm uplighting to really highlight the feature. “The tin ceiling was a bit of a challenge for the contractor, but with his attention to details and designing it together, the ceiling turned out incredibly well,” said Robin.
Living in a Home That’s Been Renovated
“It’s made me more confident in the kitchen,” said Carrie speaking of her new space.
She fondly described how her family was all able to pitch in during the holidays, and how the flow was tremendously improved. Her grandkids are able to sit at the bar and chat with her as she cooks, and they can seamlessly host 35 people for Thanksgiving, then turn around and make hundreds of cookies in the two ovens a week or so later.
A change in space isn’t just tearing down walls or picking a paint color that’s trending. It can be transformative for how a family lives and interacts together. RRF Design wants to understand how you live in your home, to help transform your life.