The Kimball Derrick Process


I have had the good fortune to design custom kitchens throughout the country. Every project is unique in its own way, a reflection of the special qualities of the home itself, as well as the dreams and expectations of my clients who inhabit those spaces.

But while each project is unique, the process by which I approach each of them is the same. It is a process dedicated to the highest level of collaboration with my clients. Over the years, I’ve learned that “loss of control” is one of the greatest fears for homeowners who are thinking about a major design and remodel project. After all, there are so many moving parts to such projects, so many things that can go wrong. To retain me is to NOT lose control, but to use my experience to, in fact, gain greater control over every aspect of the project.

My collaborative approach to every project is built on more than four decades of experience as an artisan, cabinet-maker and design consultant. It is a 7-step process as follows:


It is essential for me to know my clients, to appreciate their lifestyle dreams as well as their unique design sensibilities, their tolerance for design “risk,” and, of course, their budgetary restrictions. It’s possible to have more than one interview session, especially if we are considering an ambitious project. The more I hear my clients share their dreams, the easier it becomes to create a compelling vision for them.


Upon completing the interview process, I prepare a scope-of-work document to review with the client. The scope-of-work document confirms that I understand the client’s expectations and becomes a reference to guide the project through every phase. As I present the scope-of-work, I will share the cost estimates for the design phase of the project as well as a detailed timeline for project completion.


This is my first opportunity to share the creative vision for the project with my clients. Often, we will get it absolutely correct with the first design. However, I allow for several revisions of the initial design as we fine-tune various aspects of the project. The approved design becomes the blueprint for the rest of the project.


The design approved, we next move to the critical phase of building the team around your project. Here we make specific recommendations for everything from appliances to cabinet vendors to plumbing to lighting. Of course, in the spirit of collaboration, clients sometimes opt for alternative suppliers or manufacturers based on their own tastes or prior experiences.


I develop a detailed analysis for each project, combining both product and labor cost estimates. This includes a comparative analysis and competitive bids to help fit the right products into your design, at the right cost. When clients are interested in very special pieces, I’m honored to have developed long-standing relationships with some of the most accomplished artisans in the building trades: metal workers, sculptors, cabinet –makers, glass artists, stone fabricators and custom hardware specialists. These relationships provide my clients with access to the kind of exceptional design and craftsmanship they may not even know exists.


I take an active role in managing the procurement process for my projects, beginning with serving as the responsible party to order the products. Once products are ordered, I will monitor production and coordinate delivery times. The final and perhaps, most important phase of the procurement process is to be on site in order to take delivery, inspect and approve the products.


For me, it is important to be onsite as each part of the project is installed. I often refer to design projects as elaborate symphonies, whereby I play the role of conductor working in close collaboration with the “musicians,” –the experts who use their skills to bring a project to life.

It is important to note that I follow these 7 steps when retained for all phases of a design and remodel project. My clients always have the option to use different vendors for specific aspects of a project OR handle various aspects themselves. It becomes, as mentioned earlier in this section, a question of comfort and control. Regardless of how a client chooses to run a project, my focus on collaboration never wavers.

Please feel free to CONTACT ME if you are interested in starting this 7-step process to transform your kitchen.