Kitchen & Bath Design News

OCT 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Page 44 of 83

Stephanie Frees Award-winning designer finds success with 'client-first' approach In a time of mass-produced style and impersonal communication, Chica- go-area designer Stephanie Frees serves as an admirable reminder that slowing down and taking the time to form a real connection benefits both designer and client. A mostly self-taught designer, Frees built her firm Plain & Posh from the ground up starting in 2006, and has been striving ever since to ensure that each of her clients is comfortable and informed through every step of what might otherwise be a stressful and overwhelming process. Frees opened a storefront showroom in Westmont, IL in 2015, which has allowed her to carry not only major cabinet brands, but her own new original line, the Plain & Posh Collection. The collection is locally crafted and completely customizable, enabling Frees to design truly exceptional spaces tailored to her clients' exact needs. The unique care with which Frees treats her clients, as well as the quality of her designs, has made Frees a favorite among Houzz users. Plain & Posh was a Best of Houzz Winner from 2015 through 2018 and has also been awarded "Houzz Recommended Pro" status. Her reputation has earned her clients from as far away as Florida, California, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Beverly Ellesley Crafting custom looks demonstrates designer's passion for excellence Luxury home design is the forté for Beverly Ellsley, president of Beverly Ellsley Design. Her home base of Westport, CT offers the opportunity to design for every type of residence – from 18th century homes to contem- porary steel and glass structures. Ellsley, who has been actively designing since the 1970s, shows no signs of slowing down, now creating beautiful spaces with her daughter Rebecca, who joined her in the business in 1995. She even started her own cabinetry shop for the purpose of implementing her fine furniture-quality cabinets for kitchens, libraries and other spaces with built-in cabinets. She has served on the design advisory boards of numerous com- panies, including the Pella Window company, Sub-Zero and Minwax. Her Villa collection of woodcarvings for Enkeboll showcases her love of details, and the design guides she wrote for the company reflect her expressive and meticulous style. Her company has also produced rugs, dinnerware and furniture that feature art she created. The company's designs have been published hundreds of times in numerous shelter magazines, newspaper articles and books, and the mother-daughter team has been featured on radio talk shows and televi- sion programs. Showhouses are a particular passion, as the designer has participated in at least 25 designer showhomes, including the prestigious Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in New York seven times. Kirsten Gable Young designer already an industry leader By the time Kirsten Gable received her degree in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2014, she had already been working in the kitchen and bath industry for two years as a showroom manager. Now a junior designer at luxury DC-area design firm Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Inc., Gable has already been making her mark in the industry, both as a designer and in her local NKBA and ASID chapters. Her promising career progress and leadership were recognized by the NKBA in 2017, when she was inducted into the Thirty Under 30 program and invited to present research findings at KBIS. A member of the Baltimore/Washington Chapter of the NKBA for over three years, Gable will continue to serve her second term as pro- grams chair in 2019. During her tenure, she has worked to provide fresh programming for chapter members and expand the chapter's network. Additionally, she is developing stronger finance-tracking protocols in order to strengthen chapter leadership. Simultaneously, Gable serves on NKBA National's Chapter Leadership Committee, whose purpose is to provide a link between the grassroots of the Association, its chapters and the National Board of Directors and staff. Gable also served as finance director for the Maryland Chapter of ASID from 2015 to 2017. Gable is constantly seeking out further education opportunities, participating in webinars, reviewing industry publications and working toward her Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer certification. She has also taught kitchen and bath courses at a local community college. Vanessa Deleon Influential designer and tastemaker infuses minimalism with glamour Vanessa Deleon, ASID, IIDA, devel- oped a taste for interior design while offering insight to customers in her father's furniture shop, where she worked to put herself through college. She started her design business two years before she graduated from Berke- ley College for Interior Design, and an appearance on HGTV's "Design Stars" in 2006 introduced her to the public eye. Since those early days, she has become not only a sought-after designer, but also an influencer, tastemaker and television personality. Deleon's distinctive classic modern style has appeared in many pub- lications, including Elle Decor and Interior Design. The New York City de- signer has coined a term for her style – "Glamilistic" – which describes her signature harmonious combination of elegant minimalism and glamorous flourishes. Her kitchens boast unexpected and fascinating details such as inlay on doors, metal features and unique furniture-style hardware that set them apart from the ordinary. She focuses on including just enough glamour to make a space pop without going over the top. Major brands have taken notice of Deleon's thoughtful use of their product. In 2017, she became a brand ambassador for True Residential, a partnership that Deleon calls a "true fit," as she very often utilizes True's products in her designs, including her own kitchen. October 2018 • 45

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