Anyone thinking of a new kitchen or bathroom renovation needs to consider the importance of design.  We interviewed Jennifer Gargano (@jennifergarganointeriors), who has been designing for over 10 years to pick her brain on tips for the design process and working with #Capitolkb designer Adrienne Petroski.
Jennifer is a graduate of California State University, Northridge where she studied Interior Design.  After graduating, she moved to Deleware and started her career with a high end residential firm where she was exposed to all types of projects ranging from custom window treatments, furniture and full kitchen design.  It was here she learned that it’s the details that count. “When I first started designing kitchens, I just focused on the cabinets, countertops, and appliances.” Today, I see that the other aspects of kitchen design – the space planning, lighting and how the kitchen design incorporates into the rest of the home’s interiors are just as important as the appliances and cabinets.”

Be passionate about what you do. People can tell when you really love what you do.

Jennifer explains her approach to working with a new client:

I’ll meet with the client and access their needs:  do they cook alone, with their family or even at all? Then once I have an understanding I’ll inventory what they already have, I had one client who had every kitchen gadget and type of pan imaginable so I assess the best function to work through the kitchen with that in mind.  I don’t insert my style into the project. When I meet with them I’ll look at how they dress what they do, look at the rest of their house. Some people have already been to Pintrest and know exactly what they want and others have no idea. After talking with them and figuring out their personality I have a better idea which direction to go.  I still try to make it personalized for them by adding specific details unique to their lifestyle. I always listen to my client’s wishes because they really know what they want. you don’t want them to look back in 5 years and say “I wish I had more storage” or “the kitchen flow just doesn’t work”.

At that point, Adrienne and I will meet and fully plan out the project.  We sit together with the measurements and start working through the floorplan.  That’s where Adrienne is super helpful. Her knowledge of cabinet lines and other things like fixtures far exceeds mine.  She’ll say that cabinet won’t work here or highlight special features a line of cabinets might have that would be best for the client and the space.
I love working with designers, especially Jennifer. She has such a great feel of what the customer is looking for as an overall feel and express that so well to me. My job becomes easy specifying which cabinet line or countertop materials and features will work best to accomplish the goal Jennifer has created with her clients.

Kohler Purist Collection

Combining architectural forms with sensual design lines, Purist faucets and accessories bring a touch of modern elegance to your bathroom. This sink faucet exemplifies the Purist collection’s understated style, with its low gooseneck spout and cross handles. Easy-to-install and leak-free UltraGlide valves provide reliable performance and durability. And the spout features laminar flow, which helps conserve water while preventing splashing.

Mid-Century modern

family bathroom

This house was a mid-century modern so they were ok with being a little more funky.  The clients were a young family and only had one bathroom in the whole house. They didn’t have room to expand so that wasn’t an option.   They have 2 young boys that are getting a little older and starting to be aware of their privacy. It was a big old bathroom that was really dark and damp with a tiny stall shower that was hard to get in and out of.  Then there was a little tub that never worked and the toilet was in a space off to the back of the room. There was a big long vanity but only had one sink which wasn’t suitable for a family of four. To top it off, the entire bathroom was in black and mint green tile.

The solution

he first thing we wanted to do was lighten it up.  We gutted the whole room and added a pocket door to enclose the toilet.  This opened up the room to accommodate multiple family members at any given time and still maintain some privacy. We used the Persuade Circ toilet with duel flush technology to add style to the bathroom without sacrificing water savings. We also added a transom window above the pocket door just to let more light into that space. For the vanity, we used beautiful cherry cabinets, in a flat panel with soft close doors and drawers.  (Cabinet: Bertch Riverside Finish: Fawn) The faucets are the gorgeous Kohler Purist line in a Vibrant Brushed Bronz (see above).   Kohler matches everything right down to the flush lever so it looks great. The finish is a little bit trendier now, but the cross handles are in a classic style so it all works and won’t seem dated in a few years. The bathroom is very serene, you want to be in there.   I love designing small bathrooms because they are very efficient. You can do some amazing things with that limited amount of space.