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Get Help Designing Your Kitchen: An Interview with Amy Burke Lepper of One of A Kind Interior Design

By Amy Burke Lepper

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

I have been an Interior Designer for 20 years. I attended UW-Stout and WWTC in La Crosse, WI. I graduated from WWTC with a degree in Interior Design. I have worked in many different areas of design over the years, from a lumber yard to commercial design. I started One of a Kind Interior Design in 2005. I specialize in kitchens and cabinetry but we offer full service interior design at our studio. We carry furniture, tile, flooring, lighting, and accessories. Trying to carry things that are not the norm for this area. Helping people reach outside their comfort zone helps them get something they really love in the end.

What is a common misconception that people have about interior design?

People used to think that you had to be rich to hirer a designer. I think with HGTV and all the design shows on TV people understand a little better that designers can be affordable. I think the other misconception people have is that we will only design their house in our design style. That is simply not true, I try to push people but never force myself on them style wise. We are here to help guide them to their version of the perfect house, kitchen, bathroom, etc...

How should someone who wants professional help designing their kitchen start the process?

My process is that I set up a time to come to their house to look at the space and ask a lot of questions. I have a questionnaire I go through with them to make sure I know their cooking style, if they are right or left handed, if they like to cook with gas or electric. I try to be very specific to how they live while still being mindful that one day they will sell the house and it needs to be something everyone can use. Kitchens can look fantastic easily but the functionality is the most important thing. I do charge a design retainer and help them from beginning to end of the whole process.

What are the basic elements of a complete Kitchen design?

Function, layout, organization and style. I am big on making sure that when all is said and done the client never says " I wish I would have done this instead." I work with them very closely to make sure we have covered all the bases. We walk through the virtual kitchen and put all of their belongings away in all the cabinets to make sure they have the right type of cabinet to fit their needs. Drawers are huge right now but also make the most sense. It is one function to open them and you don't have to get down on your hands and knees to dig for any items. Having your kitchen cabinets work like an appliance for you is always my goal. Soft close drawers make that easy.

How are the interior design fee and budget typically set?

My fee is a $500 retainer which gives you two design options, meeting time and work the project through with the contractor. Our typical hourly fee is $50.

What is one of the most common regrets homeowners have when it comes to interior design choices?

I think to many homeowners feel intimidated by contractors and pushy designers. They let them talk them into things they do not like or want in the end. I try to encourage homeowners to stand up for themselves. I tell them it is their house and their money, they should get what they want!

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

I can be reached by phone 715-726-2000 or email ablepper@gmail.com

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