Design is a lot like music. That’s what Theresa told me, and she would know. As one of Gateway’s talented designers, she also holds a Music Degree.

“They’re both about working together,” she said, “Clients have their parts to provide, and the same goes for designers, craftspeople and trades. When we all communicate and collaborate, that’s when the magic happens.”

Theresa began her design career selling furniture, and after earning her Residential Decorating Certificate (with honours), she was ready for a new challenge.

“I started doing freelance design work, which was wonderful,” she said, “but I had young kids at home and being the sole earner, I needed to make sure I had a steady income.”

She found harmony between stability and creativity while working for local stone countertop fabricators. “There I developed relationships with builders, contractors and any homeowners,” she said. “I learned a lot about renovations and customer service.”

Excelling in that job, Theresa soon found herself being offered a management position.

“Managing a business taught me a lot about the processes that go into producing a product, and also how to ensure that we were working together with our clients to achieve the same goal. It also taught me how important paperwork is!” she laughed. “It’s often seen as the less-exciting part of the job, but diligent paperwork is absolutely necessary for a job to meet expectations and to really make everything sing!” When I asked what she loved about design, Theresa smiled and explained how a well-designed space can improve your quality of life.

“It’s not just about making it pretty. It’s about making the space flow with the tempo of your life and the way you live.”

“Before I start designing a kitchen I ask a lot of questions,” she said. I need to know what people love about their current kitchen (if anything), what they don’t love, how they use their kitchen—are they chefs or highly experienced with take-out? I need to know how many people use the kitchen and if there are any limitations I need to consider. Once I understand how the kitchen will be used, I can start to put the structure of the design together.”

And that’s where the fun really starts—finding that perfect look.

“Like in music, there are endless possibilities and so many different genres, and I’ve always found a deep appreciation for all of them.” said Theresa. “There is not just one style that is beautiful. There is beauty found in many different styles and variations, and I can appreciate them all as their own form of art and self-expression. I love figuring out the unique personality of each client and helping them find a way to express it.”

If you are considering a new renovation, Theresa had an important tip.

“Learn from my mistakes,” she said. “I’ve personally been the victim of a few shady contractors, and it has always been because their price was unbeatable and they promised the moon. A good renovation isn’t cheap, but choosing the right people to handle it will help you avoid a nightmare situation.”

“Gateway Kitchen and Bath has been in business almost as long as I’ve been alive and they have the people and the processes in place to run an efficient and professional renovation,” said Theresa. “I can’t say enough about my colleagues and trade partners and their high quality work. We plan everything out in great detail and then execute! This kind of renovation is not going to be the lowest priced one available, but it will be one that we can all be confident in and proud of.”

And that’s just music to our ears.

When Theresa isn’t designing kitchens, you can find her spending time with her kids, planning and managing her house build, or singing with her partner, Ryan. Pre-covid they would often bring their 60’s era musical stylings (guitar/ukelele/percussion/voice) to retirement homes, but these days you can find them on Youtube! (Do Know Harmony).