Oklahoma City, OK — For Melissa Fitzgerald, “design has always been a huge interest and pastime of mine…whether it be fashion or interiors.” Despite obtaining a degree in an unrelated field, Fitzgerald “shortly after regretted not going into design. I decided to go back to school for design and took an internship with a high-end kitchen and bath design firm where I learned a lot about the luxury design world, custom cabinetry and how technical this type of design is.”
This marriage of aesthetics and technical know-how appealed greatly to Fitzgerald, who has since opened her own design firm, Kitchen Society Design, in Oklahoma City. Even more recently, Fitzgerald opened her first brick-and-mortar showroom.
Fitzgerald has developed a distinctive way of blending elements of different styles to create a cohesive, timeless whole. According to Fitzgerald, this approach enables her to design for a wide variety of clients. “Each geographic area leans a certain way in design, southern or coastal, etc., but my goal is to create a classic design that fits the style of the home, while at the same time it looks like it could be picked up and placed anywhere else.”
For Fitzgerald, design begins with beautiful cabinetry. “I understand and love the limitless options with truly custom fine cabinetry,” she says. “Understanding the ins and outs of cabinetry and working with cabinet lines that allow me to draw just about anything and offer the most unique finishes, and beautiful and functional interiors – [this] allows me to create these one-of-a-kind spaces for my clients.”
Of course, timelessness in a kitchen also means understanding what long-term needs the space has to serve. “I really try and ask clients as many questions as possible to get to know them and their families and how they use the space. I want to know what they like and don’t like, and what would make their lives easier day to day,” Fitzgerald says. “I’ve also taken inventory of what is inside their kitchen cabinets to make sure all of their belongings have a designated space in the new kitchen, along with extra storage.”
Although a large portion of Fitzgerald’s focus over the past few years has been her move to a new city and a new market, as well as the debut of her showroom, “I definitely plan on exploring new business strategies and technologies as they come along to keep my business current,” she says. “I am a bit old school at times, too, and believe while it’s important to keep up with the constantly evolving technology in products, the most important part of my job is taking care of my clients and giving them the best service and experience I can throughout the project.”
Fitzgerald’s old school approach has netted her plenty of recognition thus far, with NKBA Kitchen & Bath Design Awards and the Rocky Mountain NKBA Awards first place prize under her belt, as well as a nod from KBDN’s Innovators. ▪