Meet April Clary, Kitchen and Bath Designer at Freedom Millwork. She has been working with the Freedom team for over four years. April has been on our radar for some time now and we were excited to have the chance to speak with her.
Tell us, how did you become a kitchen designer?
I graduated college from Indiana University of PA with a degree in Interior Design. I didn’t know which direction I wanted to go but was leaning toward becoming a lighting specialist. Instead, I started selling furniture and through that position I became involved with cabinetry.
Walk us through your design process with a new client.
Clients will normally come to me with rough measurements of their space as well as pictures and ideas from the internet. We will real time design in the showroom, including door styles and color. Once a client has committed to the order, I will then go out to the jobsite and measure the space to make sure the design will work.
What are some of your favorite kitchen trends you are seeing in the industry right now?
Color. While I love all the white kitchens I designed, it is just so refreshing to design a kitchen with colored cabinets. People are really taking a risk now with two to three colors in the kitchen, as we did with the recent Wolf Classic kitchen. This design also showed how you can incorporate stock cabinets with high end appliances like the Bertazzoni we used in this kitchen.
What are some of your tips for maximizing storage space in a small kitchen?
I recommend using stacked cabinets or just taking the cabinet higher up to the ceiling. I also recommend insert organizers in the cabinetry and adding island cabinets if possible like we did in this Wolf Designer kitchen. We actually put some 12” cabinets in the back of the island to get more storage.
How do you balance functionality with aestheticism?
While they should always go together, some clients just want symmetry and aesthetics and functionality is not important to them. As a designer, it’s my job to guide the client and bring both into the plan.
What is the most challenging part about your job?
Budgets! Giving the client that dream kitchen they are looking for, within their budget.
How has your role changed with the COVID-19 pandemic?
We never closed, I just started working from home. While working from home, I am setting up appointments with clients to visit in the showroom. I am also able to set up Zoom meetings for customers that may not be comfortable with coming into the showroom physically. We are following CDC protocols when clients come in to visit and wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
What is the largest space you’ve ever designed?
I started a kitchen remodel, and by the end of the design process the client decided she wanted to expand into the dining room. Lots of cabinets with a huge island. The project came out great!
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from other designers, design magazines, Houzz and other internet sites.
From start to finish, what is a typical timeline to complete a kitchen remodel?
If we are using stock cabinets, the typical timeline is about 3 weeks. Semi-custom or custom cabinets take longer to get in so those projects could be 3-6 months from start to finish.
Where and how can new customers get in touch with you?