A native Chicagoan, and a recent Southwest Michigan transplant; Jean built her design firm organically with referrals from satisfied clients. Most known for her kitchen designs, she enjoys working with homeowners who love their home, neighborhood, friends, and most of all family. Since (let’s face it) the kitchen is where everyone gathers, it should be the room most loved, most functional and most pleasing aesthetically.
Jean concentrated solely on that center of the home for many years. Learning how people cook, eat, gather and live in their kitchens and then designing for each unique family. As clients enlarged their focus to more and more rooms: bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms, Butler’s pantries, walk-in food pantries, they knew Jean understood them – their aesthetic, their lifestyle, and their budget. They involved her in more and more spaces. It kind of made sense – so many of the same materials are used in those spaces. And there was already a good relationship with the client.
In recent years Jean has been asked to take on “whole home” projects. That means coordinating all selections for the entire home – both exterior and interior (Not including landscaping!). That means from the window and roof selection till the last throw pillow and everything in between. With this new phase, she knew help was needed and called on the woman she could trust the most – her daughter, Grace Start! Grace has been a crucial addition and brings a fresh young flair to the décor aspect of our projects.
Rounding out the design team is Katie Borchardt, who has valuable experience in high-end kitchen design after working at O’Brien Harris and Christopher Peacock in Chicago. Katie has great design sense, excellent space planning intelligence and produces beautiful technical drawings for all our projects.
2017 was a big year for JSD. Jean’s personal kitchen was selected as one of 25 finalists in the latest Sub-Zero Wolf Kitchen Design Contest, which had over 1500 entries internationally. Jean’s home was selected as the HGTV’s “Editor’s Pick” for the 2017 Faces of Design Award in the “Dramatic Transformations” category. And the whole home remodel she worked on with Kenowa Builders in Grand Rapids was received with rave reviews after being on the Grand Rapids Builders Parade of Homes in October, 2017.
Every client has a different story and different needs. Each house has different possibilities and unique challenges. If you have a project that needs a unique and fresh approach, and requires experience and knowledge, give us a call!