All About Hannah
Hannah joined Bespoke Redesign in September of last year and she has quickly become an invaluable part of the team. She brings a fun creative energy and an exceptional eye for detail to the kitchen design process. Not only is she a Sketch Up whiz, but she also brings the best leftover lunches and snacks to the office.
Let's get to know her!
All About Hannah
Why design? What drew you to residential design?
Hannah: “I grew up in a house where there was always a project. The first I remember is our laundry room being built and then after that, my parents re-did the kitchen and that was the one we all remember. I was surrounded by renovations”
“Did they do it all themselves?”
Hannah: “Mostly– both my parents were DIYers and my mom took drafting classes and had full plans of adding a second story. They’ve always been thinking about ‘what to do’ still then, they’ve added a porch and the house looks nothing like I remember. When I was in high school I took a home interior art class and that was the first time I was thinking I would like to do this. I’m really grateful for that. So when I was a senior I re-did my parents' bedroom, re-did their walk-in closet and it’s been like that for the last 15 years. After that I moved to Chicago I found a really good design program at Harrington College and one of my professors hired me after graduation. I worked there for 2 ½ years. Really my love for design was born out of my love for art and math. Interior design brings together creativity and math in a way that not a lot of fields do. My first boss wanted me to go back to school for architecture but I didn’t want to do that, but interior design that’s more than decorating and I think that’s what I like about kitchens is that they're structural, built-in, they’re part of the home permanently. ”
Sketch Up or AutoCad?“The people want to know (for kitchen design)”
Hannah: “Right now for kitchen design, at the moment I’m in love with Sketch Up, if you asked me back in school I would have said CAD all the way. I still think CAD is the better program for larger projects but the way I can design in 3D and populate plans. I’m becoming a better builder and my projects are really clean.”
“What about Design 2020?”
“I tried to learn that one and haven’t used it since. Inconclusive.”
What’s your favorite thing about working at Bespoke?
“Hmmm, There's A lot of things I like about it. Ok, one thing is that I get to work in kitchens. Tracy and I say it’s like a puzzle. We take this system we know and manipulate it every time in a different way and that’s really fun. I like that we’re an office of women and I just like the environment, it’s a comfortable place for me. I like working with Tracy, she's a fireball. She has such a good eye and imagination and how to problem-solve. She knows design. It’s really fun to learn from her. And I like my clients! I love meeting all kinds of people and seeing their houses and hearing about what they love.”
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
“My typical day, I roll out of bed and there’s usually a toddler nearby. We get ready for the day, pack lunches, and eat breakfast. Then we leave by 8:15, drop the kids off at school and then I head to the studio and its peddle to the metal. Feels like the whole time I’m here there are no breaks on my to-do list. Right now I have around 10 projects in progress and I have to start 2 more next week. I really do like to start something then finish that and then move on. I don’t like jumping around. Then it’s dinner, playtime, bedtime. That’s how it goes.”
What’s your favorite part of the design process?
“I think my favorite part will be seeing it done! I’ve only experienced that a few times in my life. When I worked in architecture I only finished like 5 projects. I think the beginning and the end are my favorite parts. I like walking through a space and seeing what it could be. Like when I worked on a project on Randolph Street, it was just a warehouse, dingy and gross and when we finished it was a restaurant.”
“Do projects usually turn out the way you planned them to?”
“No, I think as a designer, you always know the little things you have to tweak, some for the better and some not. The problem-solving thing pushes us into something we would have never thought of before or we figure out a way around it. ”
You always bring the best lunches, what’s your favorite midday meal?
“I love a good sandwich and chips but also my husband's fried rice. Um, fried rice is really good the second day. My husband made the David Chang recipe one time and it was so good. Google calls him an American restauranteur. We’ve been to his restaurant in Vegas and it was the best. Or a salad. ”
What are your favorite complementary colors? (Bonus if you can tell us your favorite SHM combo
“Oh ok, me a while ago would’ve said purple and yellow, but now I would say green and red. So think brick with hunter green. Not Christmas colors. For SHM I really like the night sky with a wood tone which is like a blue and orange play, those are complementary.”
What’s your secret talent? Do you have any hobbies?
“I don’t think I have many secret talents. I’m a singer and I play the piano. I've been doing that since I was like 8. I’ve toured, sang at Notre Dame in Paris. That was cool. At the famous church in New Orleans, I sang there. I have a song on iTunes and some on YouTube. Most are with my church.”
What’s your Starbucks order?
“An almond iced chai. I don’t like coffee.”
Favorite type of media? Music, TV, books, what’s your all-time favorite?
“It’s not reading, I’ll start there. I’m not against books, they just put me to sleep. It’s probably between movies and music, it’s hard to choose. I’ll pick one that couples them together. Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly has a great score. The cinematography is amazing and of course the plotline. So that’s my favorite movie and music.”
What Tracy has to say:
I can honestly say, I am having so much fun working with Hannah. We have a great working relationship and both love working on the small details that make our kitchen designs unique to each client. In the short six months, we have been working together, we have developed a process that compliments each of our strengths, but we also push each other to get out of our comfort zones and be more creative. I can see myself working with Hannah for years to come, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for her and our little design firm. She is going to be a big part of our growth and success. Exciting times are ahead for us all. And yes, I am jealous of her leftover lunches - they are truly the best.