By Gabrielle Tieman

We never really set out to renovate our homes. It usually starts with a minor fix; the floorboards have warped and begun to lift, the sink drips, the countertop has grown outdated. Suddenly your kitchen, a focal point of your home, is the bane of your existence. But where do you start when everything must go?

Since 2002, Distinctive Designs & Cabinetry has transformed ordinary kitchens and bathrooms into one-of-a-kind luxury living spaces tailored specifically to suit individual desires and needs.

“We resonate for customers that want us to come in right at the beginning and stay with them until the end,” says Anne Lennard-Otto, founder of Distinctive Designs who has been working with kitchen renovations for over 23 years. “[Clients] come to us and they have issues and they are stressed about it and want them solved. They are looking to choose a company with competence, integrity and product. We not only supply all of this, but we also create a partnership with homeowners; educating them so that when they make decisions, they’re making them wisely.”

This partner-based system allows Distinctive Designs to build entirely customized kitchens in a client-focused format with limitless options.

Prior to anyone entering the home, the designers consult with the homeowners to map out every detail of the design and construction  – ensuring homeowners are never left questioning what is coming next during renovations.

“We want to have all your decisions made at the very beginning before you even call the contractor,”

said Lennard-Otto. “Some companies just don’t help and that’s when people get frustrated. They don’t know what’s coming next; they don’t know if they are on track. We make all of these decisions at the very beginning so that when the time comes to have your sink installed, you’re not wondering what to do.”

Once these decisions are made, Lennard-Otto’s team connects homeowners with contractors and suppliers they trust can handle the design and space. With a diverse array of options on the table, designers will help guide homeowners in the right direction and coordinate the installation and delivery of their chosen cabinetry and counter tops.

Lennard-Otto said her company will tackle any sized kitchen at any budget, with the majority of renovations taking eight – 12 weeks and costing between $30,000 – $250,000 dollars.

“We are not here to continually upgrade you, we want to keep in the budget you have set with us,” said Lennard-Otto. “It’s not about how much money you have to spend, it’s about the investment in the project, maintaining expectations and respecting the client.”

Distinctive Designs offers feedback on all elements outside of the construction facet; even accompanying homeowners on shopping excursions to ensure the vision is maintained to the final minute detail.

“It’s like buying the best dress and not having the outfit with you when buying jewelry and shoes – you can throw off the whole look,” said Lennard-Otto. “We are very straight forward and we like to guide our clients and keep that focus.”

“The guy at the store won’t show you the perfect style you’re looking for because they are grasping all of this information from you at that moment, not from months of planning and discussion and understanding. They have told us right from the beginning what they want and we have nurtured that design with them. Once we see the style they have chosen, if they are on the wrong path, we can point it out right before you invest your money.”

It is this care and devotion in individual style and result that drives Distinctive Design to the top of the home renovation sector.

“The important thing is that you have the team that can deal with hiccups, whatever the problem is,” said Lennard-Otto. “So at the end, when they are sitting and having a glass of wine with their friends in their new beautiful space, they’ll say ‘We know it took time, but look at the result’.”