Kitchen & Bath Design News

DEC 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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LA CAÑADA, CA — Beautiful, practical de- sign is in Courtney Thomas' blood. The south- ern California-based designer was immersed in the world of interiors from a very young age, thanks to her mother, an interior designer. "She exposed me to the idea of cultivating a curated home in the midst of raising a family," Thomas says. "She raised us to appreciate antiques (though we weren't always careful with them), to love the character of a layered house and to cherish objects that tell stories by passing not only the objects on to our kids but their stories as well." She recalls days spent at auction hous- es and project sites, trips to fine art houses and to the hardware store. Now a parent herself, Thomas has carried on her mother's legacy of designing family- friendly and beautiful spaces. After studying at the Parsons School of Design in New York City, Thomas eventually founded her own design firm, Courtney Thomas Design, in 2013. FAMILY FOCUS Courtney Thomas Design is based in La Cañada Flintridge, an affluent residential community located in Los Angeles County. The area is primarily comprised of homes and small commercial spaces, driving a demand for whole-home remodel and design services in particular. According to Thomas, a majority of her clients are young families with children. As a wife and mother of four, Thomas has first-hand experience dealing with the day-to-day needs of a growing family, and notes that she has "the most compassion for parents who are looking to bring some calm to the chaos." In order to create solutions that transform tur- moil into tranquility, Thomas says, "my efforts focus on spaces that account for storage needs, furnishings that account for active use and lay- outs that account for multiple demands at once." Figuring out exactly what the unique needs of a family are begins with an in-depth process of getting to know every family member involved. In a phase Thomas refers to as Plan Review, Thomas and her team "go over any ex- isting or proposed plans to understand the cli- ent's use of space, optimum layout and highest function." The second phase, which Thomas calls Style Direction, consists of "ask[ing] for any person involved in that project's design de- cisions to weigh in on our questionnaire, which probes the client's design preferences and asks them to add images and comments to their style boards on Pinterest and Houzz." Thomas credits this attentive initial design process with enabling her to foster strong client relationships. An "orientation around func- tion [and] my dedication to hearing (not just listening to) the client" has a great impact on Thomas' ability to deliver thoughtfully tailored designs that bring a sense of order to the inher- ent disarray of family life. Designer Creates Family-Friendly Spaces BY AUTUMN MCGARR La Cañada, CA designer Courtney Thomas utilizes her insight as a working mother to craft functional and inspiring spaces for young families. This family kitchen boasts double islands with book-matched quartzite counters, custom built-in cabinetry and coffered ceilings. Courtney Thomas Design custom designed all built-in cabinetry in the house and added architectural elements for drama. {far left} This bath is shared by three kids who often fight for vanity time in the morning. To open up a tight space and give all three children a place at the counter, CTD ran the mirror over the vanity wall-to-wall and almost to the ceiling. Additional storage was created behind the vanity by recessing a cabinet into the wall. These clients were looking to build a forever home that would grow with their young kids and embrace their casual California lifestyle; nature helped define interior colors early in construction. Photos: Jill Weller Photography 30 Kitchen & Bath Design News • December 2018 DESIGNER PROFILE

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