Giving Your Space New Life


“A space with more organized storage, a place to store dog food and accessories, a dog kennel, a space to clean and dress birds after hunting, organized laundry area, plus a place to sit and put on shoes and hang coats, all while looking stylish.” These were the requests of my latest interview with a client. It’s a good thing that I like a challenge, because I had one.

A thorough interview is the number one priority in starting a remodel or a new building process. It’s the foundation of a successful project. Majority of clients do not know how to convey their wants and needs so it is up to the designer to ask key questions to help get the clients’ thoughts on paper. It can be a very intimidating process for them. I enjoy getting to know the clients and earning their trust and respect and leading them through their journey.

After the interview, I take careful measurements and then draw out the space. I like to look at the floor plan from the top down to see what the space and my creativity allows. 3D renderings are formed and reviewed with the client and edited with their input. Clear expectations and timelines, along with pricing are discussed and then put into action. Flexibility is exercised along with communication throughout the process because new ideas spring up and there can be surprises behind walls. Communication not only happens with the client, but also with other trades so that the process moves along efficiently. It is like directing an orchestra because there are many moving parts.

In the case of this remodel, in order to achieve my client’s wishes, I eliminated the drywalled closet and converted it into a boot bench with open and concealed storage and a seat to sit on when putting on shoes. A tall cabinet was installed with an outlet in it to keep her vacuum charged. Another section of cabinets was created for storage of laundry baskets, pullout storage for dog food, concealed storage with outlets to charge dog collars, and a charging station for phones. On another wall, an apron sink was added for hunting needs, a concealed dog kennel and a built in area for the washer and dryer. New lighting was added in the ceiling, integrated into the shelves and under the cabinets for both accent and task lighting. The final touches added were the open shelving in an accent color, a decorative metal insert in the dog kennel door and backsplash tile. Careful consideration was given to the materials used so they could stand up to two large dogs. A tile floor was installed with matching wall base, a honed granite countertop and cabinets in a dark paint. Cathy Burrell from Posh Designs was key in picking out the colors used to create a space that is pleasing to the eye.

I have always been passionate about design and I love working with people. My husband and I have owned Great Lakes Countertops and Kitchens for 18 years. With our backgrounds and years of experience, we have honed the skills needed to help bring our clients' dreams to realities. Our motto is “the more educated our clients are about their product choices, the happier they will be with the result.” We design and sell cabinets, closet and garage organizers, shower surrounds, and flooring.  We also fabricate our countertops in our own shop attached to the showroom. We have created a “one stop shop” for our customers which allows the customers to see all their choices together and the process of selection is much easier and more cohesive. Many people are surprised when they walk into our showroom in Lake Park. We often hear, “I can’t believe this showroom is in Lake Park, it looks like it would be in Chicago or Minneapolis”. We have several vignettes that show the current trends in home interior. We are constantly changing the displays to keep up with today’s shifts in design. We have surrounded ourselves with a team of employees and key installers who have years of experience with their craft. We used this team to create a beautiful remodel of the laundry room while functionally meeting all of the needs of my client. She was over the moon with the result and Chevy and Rizzo (the dogs) are loving their new space as well!


By Brandi Danielson
Lead Designer and Owner
Great Lakes Countertops and Kitchens