Almost ten years ago, newly engaged couple Nicole and Mike did something most of us only dream about: They moved to a city because they wanted to. Not because of a job relocation. Or family. Or any other must-have-in-life pull… they selected Salt Lake City to escape their fast paced life in Washington D.C. The idea of an urban setting, surrounded by stunning mountainous terrain would be perfect for their adventurous outdoor lifestyle and Nicole’s need to live within walking distance of a great coffee shop.
Today, they are the proud parents of a busy three-year-old. Mike enjoys his career as a Network Engineer. And Nicole is happily clearing the dust from the cabinet installation of her new office space and home to Enzy Design, the full-service design company she started in 2009. It didn’t take long for the community to recognize her talent, embracing her expertise in remodels, and specialty of kitchen and bath design.
Over the course of a few years, she moved from her home office to a small 2nd floor leased space and acquired a partner. Her 20 years of experience and accolades within SLC quickly led to a one-year term as president of her local ASID chapter. And in 2014, her mantra, “Design makes a difference” along with her passion for helping others, brought her to our very own Design For A Difference.
“I LOVE my new space,” she beams. “It’s like any other first-time milestone in life; like getting married or owning your first home. For Enzy, it wasn’t like we were bursting at the seams in our leased space, but we’d grown enough to justify the move, and I just knew that it was time to take the next step. We deserved it.” Only 3 blocks from her old office, her new space is all hers and located in a booming area of the city. They are surrounded by new construction and she’s on a side street that is visible from the main strip, complete with a storefront to call her own.
“We have a window! I’m excited about so many things with this move,” she continues, “It’s almost like getting a complete makeover for my business. We have complete control of how it looks, how it feels, and how we work within the space— it was a total rebrand for Enzy. Even little things, like lighting and climate control, can make or break the comfort level. Now, my partner Lacy and I can’t wait to come to work, and like any transformation, it’s given us a bit of a confidence boost.” It may feel like a big step, but with more space and a fresh mindset, Nicole can plan for new opportunities for her company.
Design Trends for the Kitchen
Since Nicole is in the midst of her own renovation, we couldn’t help but wonder what her clients are asking for and what kitchen design trends we might be seeing in Salt Lake over the next year. “Oh, gray is finally going away,” she confirms. “Everything is on a warming trend when it comes to color, and it’s really refreshing. The look is really just all about natural elements and earthy tones, which allows every project to use color in a way that is right for them.”
Black & Oak
When it comes to cabinets, Nicole has two major thoughts. “Black, black, and black is a really hot trend right now and I can’t get enough of it! We’ve just installed painted black oak cabinets at Enzy, which makes the perfect backdrop for warmer neutrals. And you know what’s going hand-in-hand with black? Oak. Forget the honey oak we grew up with. In 2018 we are in love with the large open grain and movement that oak brings to cabinetry, and are specifying orders in a natural, weathered, or stained black finish. It’s a stunning look.”
Nicole also gave us her expert opinion on faucet finishes. A common design dilemma throughout the years, homeowners always debate if the finish of the faucet should match the finishes on appliances or cabinet hardware. “The faucet needs to work with some element in the space. Maybe it matches the appliances. Or maybe it matches the light fixtures. In the right situation, sometimes it even makes sense to allow the kitchen faucet to stand alone as a design element.” She then reminds us that kitchen cabinet hardware is a category all its own, and should be thought of as an accessory when it comes to kitchen design.
Design Makes a Difference
Nicole has definitely made an impact for many homeowners and businesses in Salt Lake City, but we also celebrate her as a DFAD Ambassador. Her local non-profit makeover landed her a spot on the national team in Kansas City a few years back, so we asked her to share her favorite part of that experience.
“Of course, the opportunity to change lives through design is amazing, but what surprised me most was how the power of bringing like-minded people together created a bond that I’ve never experienced in my design career. Spending time on a charity project over the course of a few days with a group of strangers left me with friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Nicole leaves us with much to admire. Almost a decade ago she followed her heart, which led to an amazing life with her family in a city she loves, and a career that continues to bring her joy. In the same way, this reminds us that people join Design for a Difference for many of the same reasons. It’s never because they have to, or need to check it off their list. They join because it fits who they are, as a person and as a brand, and to fulfill the desire to be kind, gracious and giving.