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ACCOMMODATING MODERN-DAY NEEDS IN THE KITCHEN (AND BEYOND)


Q&A WITH OUR HEAD OF DESIGN: ANNETTE LEWIS



My name is Annette Lewis. I grew up in Michigan, studied Interior Design at Michigan State University, started my career in Chicago, furthered it in Vermont for eight years and moved to Portland in 2021 to expand my horizons and start a family. In my free time, I love outdoor adventures with my husband, Chris, and son, Milo, eating pizza and cookies, Facetiming with friends, and finding the latest dramedy series to watch.


I have been working with homeowners since 2010 to transform their homes to fit their modern needs and show their personality! With an immense amount of gratitude, over these 13 years I have worked with over 800 clients. I often say my job is that of a translator. During the introductory phase with my clients, I take the time to get to know their personalities, their expectations for the finished result, and their unique design taste. With my professional experience, I take this information to all involved parties to be sure they understand it clearly. At the same time, it's imperative I work with the clients to be sure they know exactly what is planned to be delivered from contractors and suppliers. My hope is to bring you everything you hoped for and a little bit of what you didn’t know you hoped for.


Since the beginning of time (and kitchens) many have said the kitchen is the heart of the home; a place where families come together to share meals, stories, and experiences. The needs of modern-day families, however, have changed, and so has the design of the kitchen. We recently sat down with our Head of Design, who so graciously lended her kitchen design expertise, and had the chance to explore her thoughts on the changing needs of families and individuals when it comes to kitchen remodeling, and how these changes are accommodated to the particular needs of our Portland clients.

Q: How, would you say, are the needs of families and individuals changing when it comes to kitchen remodeling?


A: People are living longer and are living independently longer, which means that people are looking for remodels that will stand the test of time and can accommodate their changing needs. They are also looking for kitchen spaces that can host their younger children and families. In Portland specifically, I often find that the name of the game is taking older spaces and creating designs and solutions that can accommodate their modern-day needs. Additionally, we are seeing a rise in dual-income, no-kids (DINKs) households and these are the ones that are going for these bigger remodels and are looking to host dinner parties, etc. People are also tending to want to eat at home more rather than go out, so they are finding it worthwhile to make these kitchen-focused modifications to their older homes.

Q: How has the focus of kitchen remodeling changed?


A: For a long time, there was a focus on opening up the kitchen to, say, a dining room or a family room, but people are now going back to “as much as I love everybody being in the kitchen while I’m cooking, I don’t really want to look at the mess when I’m done with the cooking and we’re sitting down for a meal”. There’s a different group of people to accommodate for, and they all have different needs. For instance, younger new buyers or someone who has done a renovation before would be more willing to do a kitchen and do it their way versus someone who has already done it.

Q: What are some things that people want in their new kitchen?


A: People want modern cabinets with a lot of drawers that organizes their kitchen more efficiently, so they can store more in an individual cabinet for example. They also want to be able to store their holiday place sets, silverware, and other items that they don’t use daily in a pantry. In Portland, small homes are a common thing, and people have to get creative with furniture pieces and the dining room or a tall pantry that can be not just for food but for a whole other place set if need be.

Q: What are some common misconceptions about kitchen remodeling?


A: Many people have false expectations due to HGTV renovation projects, Pinterest, and Instagram. They may not know how much certain renovations cost. For example, when people are looking for inspiration they may find a Studio McGee kitchen, which can cost around $350,000 to half a million dollars on average. Another misconception is that you need a lot of cabinets, but they end up being empty in the end. There is a lot of value in assessing what you have and doing an edit, especially in the kitchen. Space efficiency is everything.

Q: What are some benefits of a kitchen remodel?


A: A good kitchen remodel can result in more energy-efficient appliances that function better, modern cabinets with better storage solutions, and a sustainably organized kitchen that you can keep up with. Additionally, a kitchen remodel has one of the highest ROIs, which is important if you’re looking to sell.

As the needs of families and individuals change, so does the design and focus of a kitchen remodel. People want modern, efficient, and organized kitchens that can accommodate their specific needs as time goes on.


We would love to help inspire and revitalize your kitchen design and help make sure it is a worthwhile investment that not only improves the functionality of your space, but also increases the value of your home. Need help navigating your specific needs and how they translate to your home and kitchen? Reach out to us here or email us at info@webuildforward.com.

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