Q&A with interior designer Nancy Anderson
August 11, 2016
Nancy Anderson is the designer and owner of Cornerstone Creations in Frisco. While she originally went to college to study veterinary medicine, she ended up studying interior decorating. From these two interests she seamlessly unites the art and science of design into her work.
SUMMIT COUNTY HOME: How did you get into designing?
NANCY ANDERSON: I graduated from William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri with a BFA degree. They had a great design program. I found a niche that fit me. I never really started out thinking I'd go into design, but my senior year in college I fell in love with kitchens and bathrooms.
SCH: What draws you to kitchens and bathrooms, specifically?
ANDERSON: It uses both the right and left brain at the same time. It's analytical, creative and scientific. You have to understand what is going on behind the walls before you design. Plumbing, electrical, appliances, counters, cabinets, lighting…
You've got to understand all that stuff and make it beautiful and it's got to be functional.
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SCH: What is it about the kitchen space that draws people in?
ANDERSON: That's where the energy is! People need to stand up after a day of skiing or hiking. As soon as they sit down, they're ready for bed.
SCH: What do you try to achieve for your clients?
ANDERSON: Homeowners have a lot of input; it's for them. They benefit from designers' knowledge of theory and design. In order to enjoy cooking a meal or making clean-up as pleasurable as possible you need space planning. Traffic flow and access is really important. You want to make sure you're not tripping. How many times in Summit County do you have two or three families, three or four people in the kitchen? We are a resort community; all of your friends and family want to vacation in your house. You've got to make it effective. If homeowners would be willing to spend a little more money and have separate appliances in different locations, then you can get more people in the kitchen actually participating in meal prep.
SCH: What is your design process like?
ANDERSON: When I go into designing, people say, "I want dark brown cabinets that everyone has these days; I want hickory and cherry." They think they know what they want because they've been watching the design shows and leafing through magazines.
Wood comes in many different species, stains and paint colors. Wood is the last decision to be made. In the granite yard, you'll find something that speaks to you. Let's start with something you can't change. I start backwards in the process. Granite is the centrifugal force of the design. Then the cabinets fit into place.
SCH: You were recently at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. Did you notice any trends?
ANDERSON: The small glass mosaic tiles are still in. The tile that looks like wood is becoming more colorful and vibrant. The luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is very popular. They're producing these so that they look like old, rustic wood or paint. They're a lot more charismatic, but I'm not sure if I want my floor to take that much attention. As soon as you put furniture and area rugs down, the floor is demanding attention that it doesn't deserve.
Manufacturers are starting to do things that are more creative and out of the box. It's stimulating for an architect or designer. The cabinet hardware is highly engineered; there's a lot of electronic hardware. We're doing lighting inside the cabinet for visibility. It's expensive, but fun. There's a new trend in small houses.
SCH: Tell us about your new showroom.
ANDERSON: We are implementing a lot of high-end mechanisms for cabinetry. We're implementing a lot of new ideas that you don't see in magazines — space and storage concepts. All of the displays will be aesthetically pleasing, using design theories and concepts. If I'm talking about something with the client, they can see it and feel it.