Love the Space You’re In

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Photography by Aaron Leimkuehler

When You Remodel, Do It for You. And Do It Right.

One of the many lifestyle changes emerging from the pandemic—when we had to stay home—is now wanting to stay home.

Just as we discovered that working from a home office, at least part of the time, is better than commuting daily, we are also realizing that sipping single malt whiskey at home can be more relaxing (and less expensive) than Ubering to and from the local watering hole.


If—and it’s a big if—we love the space we’re in.

With mortgage interest rates still high, the cost of moving on the increase, and fewer homes on the market to choose from, it could make financial sense to stay where we are. We just need to love where we live.

“We’re looking at what home can be in a whole new way,” says Karin Ross. The Belgian-born designer, owner of Karin Ross Designs, has created custom kitchens, baths, wine bars, and other spaces for Kansas City homeowners wanting that special something. “Now more than ever, what you put in your home will add value—if it is done right,” she says. “But it should be about what you love.”

“When you decide to remodel, don’t think about resale value,” says Ross. “Don’t think about the next buyer. Think of what you can enjoy now, and trust that if the design is done right, the value will still be there when you we sell in the future.”

Photography by Aaron Leimkuehler

“Do It for You. Do It Right.”

“My advice to my clients is to work with a designer to make rooms live the way you want them to,” says Ross. “You might want a coffee station or a wine bar in your kitchen; specialty storage for platters or linens if you entertain a lot. You might love a deep, freestanding soaking tub while your partner might prefer a large shower with multiple jets. The flow of your kitchen might not be optimal. Your partner might want a cigar room, the new man cave. You might want a ‘gossip room,’ the new she shed.”

“Once we touch it, the room will feel completely new,” says Ross, and yet you’re still at home. Ross can look at your kitchen space, and perhaps a warren of nearby rooms, with fresh eyes. Just because the refrigerator has always been in a certain spot, doesn’t mean it can’t fit better somewhere else in a new layout. Maybe that peninsula should become an island. Maybe that tiny bedroom should be part of a larger primary bath. “Every house has a way,” says Ross. “You just have to find the way.”

An extensive questionnaire for clients and an onsite visit initiate the process. “We get to know our clients and their home first, then present them with several design options and solutions,” says Ross, “after I have done all the research.”

Photography by Aaron Leimkuehler

Invest Where It Counts

Keeping a timeless look and investing in good quality pay off, now and in the long run. “A kitchen remodel should last for 15 to 20 years,” says Ross. “And after that, if it is done right, you should only need a few replacements to keep it functioning well and looking great.” Perhaps a new refrigerator or different hardware on the cabinetry, changing out a light fixture over the island. “The basic design, if it is done right, will be timeless and in keeping with your home.”

When you work with a kitchen and bath designer, says Ross, it can save you time—and money, not to mention stress. “We try everything we install before we put it in a client’s home,” says Ross. “We try it in our home or in our showroom. That way, there are no surprises.”

There are no surprises, either, during the installation. Karin Ross Designs keeps products in stock, so no waiting. And Nick Ross, Karin’s husband, does the installation work with his team. “Our clients know we will take care of it all,” she says.

“You’ve worked hard and made many sacrifices. Now it’s time to stay home and enjoy your life,” says Ross. “Do what makes you happy.”

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