Jennifer Diehl graduated from the University of Toledo with a BA in Historical Preservation and Restoration with an Associate Degree in Architectural Technology 1992 - 1995. She funded her college education by working at a local kitchen and bath design studio from 1991-1994. After graduating, she began working for Scholz Design – a nationally ranked, high-end architectural firm. She designed kitchens and baths for clients nationally from 1995-1999. In May 1999, Jennifer founded Design Classics LLC, a Kitchen and Bath Design Firm located in Toledo, Ohio. Jennifer is happily married and has a wonderful 13-year old son. "I love what I do and thank God for all the blessings I have been given," says Jennifer.
Q&A with Jennifer Diehl
Where do you find design inspiration?
My Inspiration comes from a lot of places, depending on the project. I begin each project by asking the client many questions. I want their personality and thoughts to be my inspiration. That inspiration could be texture, nature, color, architecture, or a myriad of other things. It all begins with a conversation and a space, which can be designed many different ways. My client and their personality is my true inspiration.
How do you approach the design process?
As stated above, I begin the process by asking many questions, such as: likes and dislikes, how the family lives, how they cook, and how they entertain. It is important for me to know how they want to feel, when they are in the space. I want to know which colors are soothing to them, and what designs they are comfortable with. My job is to interpret that information and make all ideas work together, functionally and aesthetically.
How does your aesthetic standout amongst designers/architects?
This question suggests that there is an element or elements that are a signature idea, or an element that I use that other designers do not. When I ask my clients what they love about my designs that I have created for them, they say that I have listened to them and their spaces are a reflection of them. Trust is one of the most important elements in the process. I can design amazing things, but if the client does not trust me to make the end result look like what they have conceptualized, then it is all just paper.
What does the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest mean to you?
I think it is the pinnacle of awards in the design industry. The caliber of peers that I am being judged against, as a result of the superior appliances that are being used in each design, is outstanding. It is truly an honor to be selected as a finalist and be honored for great design.
What are some of the current design trends?
Interestingly enough, most people want the coolest newest thing in a kitchen. Ultimately, in the end they want sustainability and timelessness. I still see a lot of texture, simple colors, and pops of personality with accessories, paint, and furniture. In a time when so many things are disposable, and people grow tired of "things" very quickly, I think if a design has good structure, texture, finishes, function and great products you will have that timelessness.
Where do you see kitchen design going in the next 5 years?
I think designs are going to be cleaner lined in nature, not so much of the carvings. Architectural details in design and aspects of furniture will be more understated. The ability to flush out the appliances with the frame, with not just the refrigeration, but with cooking products, as well. Moving toward this direction in order to get a cleaner look, even with a traditional kitchen has been a nice shift from the bulky overlays that we have had in the past. I’m hoping that some of the cooking products will be more integrated, such as the microwave drawers with panels.