A native Chicagoan, and a recent Southwest Michigan transplant; built her design firm organically with referrals from satisfied clients. Most known for her kitchen designs, she enjoys working with homeowners who love their home, neighborhood, friends, and most of all family. Since (let’s face it) the kitchen is where everyone gathers, it should be the room most loved, most functional and most pleasing aesthetically.
Jean concentrated solely on that center of the home for many years. Learning how people cook, eat, gather and live in their kitchens and then designing for each unique family. As clients enlarged their focus to more and more rooms: bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms, Butler’s pantries, walk-in food pantries, they knew Jean understood them – their aesthetic, their lifestyle, and their budget. They involved her in more and more spaces. It kind of made sense – so many of the same materials are used in those spaces. And there was already a good relationship with the client.
In recent years Jean has been asked to take on “whole home” projects. That means coordinating all selections for the entire home – both exterior and interior (Not including landscaping!). That means from the window and roof selection till the last throw pillow and everything in between. With this new phase, she knew help was needed and called on the woman she could trust the most – her daughter, Grace Start! Grace has been a crucial addition and brings a fresh young flair to the décor aspect of our projects.
Rounding out the design team is Katie Borchardt, who has valuable experience in high-end kitchen design after working at O’Brien Harris and Christopher Peacock in Chicago. Katie has great design sense, excellent space planning intelligence and produces beautiful technical drawings for all our projects.