You may see our designers’ photos on our About Us page, but this week we are getting to know one of our designers a little better. Who is she? Well, she’s the talented Rebecca Sutton! We got together with Rebecca and she shared some interesting details on where she gets her inspiration from and who her dream celebrity client would be (which we loved this answer!). Read more about our interview below:
How would you describe your design style?
I don’t know if I have a set style. As a designer you have to change the rules for each individual client so your “style” always tends to trend towards the likes and dislikes of that particular homeowner. If you could count “balanced” as a style, that’s what it would be. I like designs that have some sort of stabilized and proportional elements to make the space feel balanced and welcoming.
What is your favorite part about working with clients?
Their first reaction to the initial design. Sometimes you have a client who is just ripping and replacing cabinetry or just knows exactly what they want in a design already. Sometimes you have a client who literally has no idea and give you free reign to do almost whatever. Either way, when it comes to that initial design meeting, they tend to be surprised and excited to see something come to life on paper. It really ups the “sales” part of the journey with the fun and excitement of moving along in the design process.
If someone wanted to DIY their kitchen remodel, what advice would you give them?
Don’t, especially if you are getting new cabinetry. There are so many talented carpenters and millworkers that can build cabinetry, but there’s nothing like custom manufactured cabinets that come with catalyzed finishes and warranties. When it comes to install, I think it’s best to have a professional install who knows how to properly block for support, level, and secure cabinetry to your home. Also, when it comes to the design, there are so many people that have wonderful ideas, but don’t realize that sometimes those ideas come along with trick code violations, safety hazards, or functional inconveniences that having a specialized designer who knows all of these things really helps (see our blog on why you should hire a designer!). I would say that anything turn-key, new cabinetry, or those bigger remodels, hiring a professional is really the best way to go – and there are plenty out there that you can for sure find the right fit for you and your home.
What is an average day for you like?
It really depends on my schedule. On average, I either start in the office with emails or at a new potential client’s home for a “step 1” home visit taking measurements of their kitchen/bath/etc. taking pictures, and gathering information about the homeowner. I typically end up in the office after and from there I am doing some sort of project management helping schedule the countertop templates, ordering cabinetry/tile/etc., making job books, or going through invoices. Other times I am very “front end” heavy where we are still in the sales process for clients so I am working on designs, picking out material and procuring samples from our vendors, or working on pricing and writing contracts. Normally during a lunch/break time, I shift gears completely and go into our content calendar and work on social media. This includes, but is not limited to, filling out the calendar, downloading pictures, and posting on our social media platforms (go like us on Facebook, check out our Houzz page, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest).
What are 3 words that describe you?
Creative, Logical, and Adaptable
Where do you look to for inspiration?
Wherever I go! But if I’m just in the office/at home browsing online, Houzz is most definitely my numero uno source.
If you could go back to your first year as a designer, what is one thing you wish you knew then that you know now?
I actually started on the project management side of the industry straight out of college and had an interesting journey from there to where I am today with KDC. That being said, I wish I knew something that I think applies to everyone looking for a job: I wish I knew how to find a place to work that I could fall in love with. I promise, it makes you want to come to work and brings out a better you. Do what you love, and work with people who help you get there.
If you could have a celebrity as a client, who would it be and why?
Definitely Mark Wahlberg. Not only is he from Boston (sports team dedication is a plus) but the father of 4 has an adorable family, and with his wife being from the fashion industry, she would be fun to work with on the design. Added bonus? He has 11 full and half siblings, so I wouldn’t mind the recommendation to work with the rest of the Wahlberg clan 😉
What is your favorite phase of a project (the pre-design work, the beginning/demo, middle, or end/completion)?
My favorite phase is probably the pre-design work purely because that’s the part that really gets the creative juices flowing. However, if you want to know my favorite singular moment, it’s when we make that final punch list, because that’s when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that everything has come together and your homeowner can finally start using their new space!
When you’re not busy designing at work, what do you spend your time doing?
I play soccer (both indoor and outdoor) several days a week, so that takes up a lot of free time. Other than that, I love watching whichever Boston/New England or Virginia Tech sport is on television, catching up on my Netflix or catching a new movie, reading, travelling, or just going on adventures around Dallas trying to discover something new.
What does ‘Kitchen Design Concepts’ mean to you?
Exactly what it states: That we are a company that takes your existing space, produces plans to functionally and aesthetically improve the space, and then work with you to move these ideas forward, sell, and make the design come to life.
Tell me one fun fact about you that no one really knows.
I was not just a double major in college; I have 2 separate bachelor’s degrees. I actually got a B.A. in Philosophy in 3.5 years, the December of my senior year and received my B.S. in Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management – under the NKBA accredited Housing program – the following May.
Thank you, Rebecca, for taking time out of your day and having this fun interview with us!