The design Circle Complete / by Tom Simmons


Perhaps the best reward for a designer is to eventually see the finished product after months of collaboration, planning, scheduling, wrestling with suppliers, subcontractors and craftsmen to get the project right. And the crowning moment is when your client, to whom you have become confidante and friend in this chaotic march, turns and says, “When this is done, we’re having you over for dinner and we’ll all enjoy the fruits of our hard labor."

It rarely happens. Not for want of trying or good intentions but because our lives are full and busy and time is the most precious commodity. Kids, work, that last light bulb is not in place.... it seems everything conspires to keep us from sharing a moment. So when our clients Nick and Carmen called and invited us over along with their lender and Realtor to appreciate their finished kitchen, we jumped. 


It turns out that Nick and Carmen are quite a team, and both are excellent cooks. They were in full work mode when we arrived. The Bertazzoni oven was on for the roasted salmon and short ribs had been marinating for a full day. The spice cabinet that we designed, took apart and rebuilt at Nick’s insistence to finally become the perfect storage space was wide open. Spice jars were pulled in and out at a frenzied pace. 


We started with roasted root veggies on a smear of yogurt. Roasted salmon with tomatoes, and the melt-in-your-mouth short ribs followed. Believe us when we say that the knives were on the platter just for effect. 

The bar was lit and the wine flowed from the cooler and the angled wine racks that we had agonized over. 

This is in fact a working kitchen for a most worthy client. 

Everything was in perfect working order.


We were all having a marvelous time, when we reluctantly realized it was almost midnight and time to go.

All in all, it was a grand evening where the clients got to show off all the features that were hidden and painstakingly thought about during the remodel process. For us the rewards were obvious. A fine meal and the Design Circle complete.