SLHL: What does it take to deliver excellent design?
Ken: An excellent design involves many things, but the most important element is listening. Finding out your clients’ needs and what they are expecting from your design should be the very first thing you do. Identify what spatial issues they are experiencing and offer solutions for their immediate concerns as well as suggestions for future needs that they may not have considered, such as “aging in place.” Listening is the first part, but keeping those needs and expectations as the foundation of your design is the secret to excellent design.
SLHL: How has the industry evolved recently?
Ken: Recently the market has exploded. People are staying at home more due to current global events and are now looking at their homes and wanting to remodel. We have seen remodeling budgets increase due to unused vacation budgets. We are experiencing kitchens being utilized more as well as an increase in requests for more personal spaces for work and school.
SLHL: How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
Ken: Originally in college, I majored in engineering and then switched my focus to architecture. In order to further my career, I needed to get field time and was hired with my current employer. I began with commercial projects but soon moved to residential. I found that I loved the interaction with customers as well as the creativity that I was able to bring to my projects. 34 years later I am still here. Time goes by fast when you are having fun.
When specifying between LED lighting that is available today, it is important to select fixtures that have the same color temperature. With the current popularity of white painted cabinetry, lighting can change the overall color of a space. A project can go from yellow to blue based on the color of the lighting that is used. We did not have this ability in the past but since we can today, I try to make sure that all the light colors are the same. Lighting can change the way everything looks.