“The kitchen is truly the heart and soul of every home,” said designer and longtime Renovation Angel and advocate Kimball Derrick. “It’s the one place where the story of our lives is constantly unfolding.”
That’s the type of insight and passion Kimball Derrick brings to any project. It’s also the reason why we at Renovation Angel are so honored to present him as this month’s Industry Spotlight!
The Custom Craftsman
Born in Cincinnati and raised in Blanchester, Ohio, Kimball Derrick is the epitome of the home grown success story. “I had one of those idyllic childhoods, the stuff of great American novels, where my friends and I could roam freely, exploring all of the wonder nature had to offer,” he said. His connection to nature from an early age led him to form an appreciation for art in its various forms.
This ability to see beauty in all things had a profound impact on his life and career. He attended the University of Cincinnati’s School of Architecture, and went on to the intimate academic setting of the Apeiron Photography Workshop in New York. After exploring the diverse offerings of New York, Kimball returned home in 1981 to partner with his father in opening a custom woodworking business.
His grandfather spent more than 50 years as a skilled hardwood flooring craftsman. His father studied architecture and was a well-respected builder and contractor in his own right. Kimball feels this family tradition in high quality craftsmanship helped him to cultivate his own art. He continued to explain:
“Our property included a workshop, where we spent countless hours together, the two older generations, builders and artisans, imparting decades of wisdom and experience on their willing apprentice. Both men imbued in me a deep and abiding appreciation for exquisite design and the timeless beauty of fine craftsmanship.”
Kimball says as important as his “grandfather and father were in my development, it was a high school art teacher who played a pivotal role in helping to define my career journey.” He attended Cincinnati Country Day School, where art teacher Mrs. Pierce, recognized not only his ability, but also his passion for art appreciation.
She drew out that passion, pushing him well beyond his self-imposed limitations common to many young people. “She helped instill in me the belief and confidence to pursue my dreams and to explore the outposts of my creative potential,” he said.
The Demand for Custom Quality Work
Eventually, 1985 the business he shared with his father would evolve into KD and Steel Cabinetry. During this time Kimball’s appreciation for custom craftsmanship only grew. Kimball later became a Certified Kitchen Designer, and in 2001 opened the Kitchen Design Studio in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The demand for custom cabinetry dovetailed with the growth in the kitchen design industry. As the size and value of homes increased, so did the importance of kitchens as the centerpiece, the soul of those homes.”
Kimball also brought his bespoke elegance and leadership skills to the fore when he served as President of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Southern Ohio Chapter. As a two-time winner of Sub-Zero and Wolf’s Regional Design Competition, he was also honored to twice serve on the same competition’s Judges Panel.
From Ohio to Florida & Beyond
Kimball and his interior designer wife, Leslie, split their time between their homes in Ohio and Florida. This allows them to service the needs of both communities with ease, and helps them create the highest level of collaboration with their clients.
“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,” said Kimball. You can see this attention to detail in the custom work he does, and his unique way of troubleshooting a client’s specific set of needs without sacrificing the most beautiful design esthetic.
Many of his projects in Ohio, Florida, California, New York, Michigan, Kentucky, and Indiana have been featured in the media. In fact, Kimball’s kitchen designs have been featured in over 100 national, regional and local magazines.
His success throughout the country can only be attributed to his consistent work ethic. “My collaborative approach to every project is built on more than four decades of experience as an artisan, cabinet-maker and design consultant.” His seven stop process insures that the client feels empowered for the entire project life-cycle.
“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,” he said.
A Renovation Angel
Kimball Derrick has no doubt been a strong advocate for Renovation Angel since our inception. “He was the first design-build professional to take Renovation Angel under his wing,” said Steve Feldman, President and CEO of Renovation Angel.
“He gave us counsel when we needed it most, and truly the amount of time he spent with us has had a tremendous impact on our success today.” The remarkable effort by Kimball Derrick to help make luxury kitchen recycling an industry standard makes him a true visionary and pioneer of the movement.
“We are profoundly grateful for Kimball’s continued commitment and we thank him for being an early adopter, as well as a lion for responsible renovation,” said Steve.
Visit Kimball’s website to see his most recent work and learn about his design process in depth!