It was early in May of 2013 when I first made contact with Sue and Adrian Cook. They contacted me through this website late one evening. The timing couldn’t haver been more perfect. I was in search of a kitchen project that would allow me to really push my abilities as a designer and project manger.
It turned out to be an exciting email all about Sue's planned extension to her family home in Newport. We made plans to meet and Sue brought her husband Adrian and mother Pat. We then got down to the task of creating the dream kitchen that Sue was hoping I could deliver. We clicked immediately. Sue was a lover of all things design. She had a keen eye and knew what she liked. She understood the concepts and how to make a room work. It wasn't long before I'd created the design that Sue loved. We built a level of trust that enabled us to work together and collaborate with a level of mutual respect that made working with Sue a complete joy.
The kitchen installation was a long time coming. It took approximately one year for the extension to be built and made ready for the kitchen. I don't mind admitting that it was a frustrating wait. Sue and I had created a stunning design and I was impatient to see it come to life. During the process I wrote two blog posts on the subject.
The installation didn't run as smoothly as I would have liked. Sue and Adrian had commissioned their own builders and certain aspects of the work had been delayed. Obviously, this affected my scheduling which complicated matters greatly. This was one of those projects that taught me never to install a new kitchen when builders are still on site.
However, we got there in the end and by the beginning of June 2014, Sue and Adrian's stunning Schuller kitchen was completed. They were delighted with the result and wrote me a wonderful testimonial. They loved the space, the quality and the unique layout that was designed around the way they wanted to use the kitchen.
Mr and Mrs Cook's Schuller kitchen is a sight to behold in their Newport Home
I received an email from Sue's daughter in law a couple of weeks ago. It was terrible news. Shortly after Christmas in 2015, following a brief illness, Sue passed away. I was devastated, I couldn't believe it.
My husband and I attended Sue's funeral last week. The ceremony was a true celebration of Sue's life. The vicar spoke at length about Sue's love of design and I realised that I had been given an opportunity to help someone fulfil their dream. I know that Sue loved her kitchen and the fact I had a small part to play in her happiness fills me with pride.
Creating wonderful kitchens and interiors for people is a tricky task and often I find my self having to work long and difficult hours coming up with ideas with minimal client input. Quite often, I have to show clients what they don't want before we can begin to grasp what they actually do want. It was different with Sue. She 'knew' design and collaborated with me on an equal footing. It was a wonderful experience and I thank her for giving it to me.
Sometimes in life two people cross paths and their dreams align. That was the case with Sue and myself. It was a pleasure knowing you Sue, you taught me so much and I am indebted to you.
Mr and Mrs Cook