Stevensville Residence Remodel on Lake Michigan - Getting it Right by Asking, "Why?".

Asking the question, 'How can I help?' is key place to start when we meet a new potential client or when we're invited to work with a returning client again.  Asking 'How?' helps gauge interest and ability in meeting a need.

But to fully satisfy a need, we must ask more than 'How?', we also must understand 'Why?'. If we don't, we may miss the motive of a request and risk failing to fulfill a real need. Though it can be hard to articulate an answer to the question, 'Why?',

Jennifer loves piecing together the puzzle behind people and their interests. She loves to figure out who people are and what they are about.

Through thoughtful inquiring and atuned and intuitive listening, Jennifer gets to the root of her client's motivations allowing her to effectively realize their greater goals, visions, or dreams. 

Once we get the 'Why?', then we really can tackle the 'How?'.

Because of their willingness to share the reasoning for their request, Jennifer had a clear understanding of this Stevensville, Michigan client's needs. In turn, Jennifer is taking flight coaching, serving, and fulfilling this couple's vision for their home.

                                                       BEFORE: Looking into kitchen from dining.                                                        BEFORE: View from mud room into kitchen.                                       


Views of the kitchen after having been gutted, the infrastructure reworked, drywalled and now undergoing painting.PROGRESS: Looking into kitchen from dining.PROGRESS: View of kitchen from mud room.











For this Lake Michigan residence, we we're asked to udpate and remodel the majority of the main level with new finishes, interior architectural improvements, lighting, and more.  We learned that after 25 years in this Stevensville home with the kids now out of school they were ready to gut their dated 1980's waterfront home. 


The kitchen had been redone in the early 2000's, but is used differently now with the couple preparing food more frequently together. The husband is home more often after having sold his business and does a lot of cooking; it's something he really enjoys. It was telling that he was the one who selected the new appliances for this kitchen remodel. He cooks, she cooks, they cook together.  

There are more cooks in the kitchen.

We were asked to do a remodel to update a lakeside residence, but when asking 'why?' with careful inquiring, listening, and intuiting more about this couple's needs, wants, and challenges with the residence now, we are able to do a remodel that is more than just an update, but a remodel that really fits the lifestyle of the people who live here.


In collaborating with kitchen designer Marilyn Negelkirk, together we discovered that the existing kitchen's layout was dense and terribly congested. Rather than just give it a facelift, the layout and traffic flow were improved in areas where they really needed it. In the redesign, so much space was reclaimed that hadn't been put to full use before. An existing walkway leading to the backyard was removed and the old placement of the island was relocated offering a new layout that makes the kitchen more functional and feel more spacious. It now feels like a much larger room that takes full advantage of every square foot there was to work with without actually adding any space.

The thing about this project that makes it really stand out are the clients. Our approach to connecting has been varied meeting in both Stevensville and Grand Rapids. We've met in Douglas with Marilyn, and we've worked by phone and e-mail. Regardless the place or method, our regular contact has made our work together smooth and enjoyable and our communication clear. As we've approached our work as a team, we've learned more about one another, and in the course of our discovery, we've built an honest and meaningful designer-client relationship. That kind of relationship is what makes us here at JBID tick. Jennifer answers when asked, 'How can you help?', 'Where do you find fulfillment?' or in other words, 'Why do you do what you do?'...

Combining my creativity, my business and my love for coaching to make real connections with people and understand people better.

With project completion scheduled for the end of June, this main level kitchen, dining room and mud room renovation is well underway. Builder, Norm Zelke, is working his magic and we're excited about sharing the results this summer!