The thing about influencers is that they also have real lives and houses and families, which means they interact with companies and products they use, just like everyone else. Recently HGTV star and professional home stylist Kortney Wilson needed to renovate the kitchen at her house in Kentucky, but she didn’t want to gut it entirely, with all the disruption and expense that entails.
Kortney turned to Nieu Cabinet Doors for a solution. We asked both Kortney and Teri Simone, head of design and marketing at Nieu Cabinet Doors about how it went.
Tell us a little bit about the activations NCD does with influencers?
Teri Simone: NCD works with influencers for all types of projects – big and small! We’ve partnered on projects like small bathroom vanity makeovers all the way to custom kitchens using store-bought cabinet boxes and our custom doors, and everything in between – mudroom installations, large kitchen refacing projects, and more. We have a co-branded product line with Angela Rose Home and pride ourselves on offering a custom-looking kitchen at a fraction of the price (without ripping everything out!) When working with influencers, our approach is collaborative over anything else. We believe in the talent and creativity of our brand partners and celebrate this! We don’t use scripted campaigns or stuffy messaging – we work with the people we’ve partnered with to craft a project, message, and content plan that is uniquely theirs and targets their unique audience.
Tell us a bit more about working with Kortney?
Teri Simone: Working with Kortney has been a fun partnership! Her eye for design and creativity is unparalleled, and by working so closely on this vision as it was for her personal property, we were able to follow the process every step of the way. From planning how Nieu doors could work into the kitchen makeover to DIY measuring and installing it herself, Kortney was part of every phase of the renovation. By being so involved, she was able to show how the product works and was just as excited as us by the end result!
Can you elaborate on some key learnings?
Teri Simone: A key learning in working with Kortney was the power of updating cabinets after countertops had been replaced. Often our clients are looking at replacing doors only, or replacing doors and counters at the same time. However in Kortney’s case, updating to beautiful new countertops made the existing doors stand out more, and then came the need for cabinet refacing to help both the cabinets and countertops shine.
What was the best part of this partnership?
Teri Simone: Working with Kortney was an absolute dream! Seeing the evolution of the kitchen to its final completion with Kortney’s exceptional look and style was such a joy. This partnership started out exciting when in an initial conversation we were able to be part of that “aha” moment with Kortney, realizing that after updating the countertops in this lake house that the doors could use a little love too, and that there was a way to completely update the look without gutting the entire kitchen. She created a stunning, designer kitchen without moving a single cabinet, and simply replacing the doors, but the result looks like she started new. Working together collaboratively to deliver this message has been exciting since day one, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.
Kortney, what was the best part of working with NCD?
Kortney Wilson: I was thrilled to partner with Nieu Cabinet Doors on my lake house kitchen. The entire process was so much easier than gutting an entire kitchen. From measuring to install, I’m a pretty happy camper with the results. I can also see a boatload of people in there making memories for years to come.
What are some of the sustainable aspects of the brand?
Kortney Wilson: I was insistent on reducing my carbon footprint during this renovation. The previous cabinets boxes were old but in great shape. The doors, however, were not only dated, but legitimately broken and damaged in places beyond repair. I wanted to increase the look and the value without feeling like I was unnecessarily creating waste. This was the reason it took me as long as it did to even start the project. I so badly wanted to modernize, but I couldn’t justify gutting the kitchen and starting from scratch.
What were some key learnings of this project?
Kortney Wilson: A key learning was measuring for a project like this can feel overwhelming but it was completely doable by just following the directions. When I doubted myself, I just called to get clarification and the team reassured me that I was overthinking it. It was the part of the process that I can now say with confidence, If I can do it, you can too!
What made this partnership unique?
Teri Simone: This partnership was unique in that the kitchen update had begun with countertops, instead of with cabinet doors. This was a fun way to see the transformation in an even more impactful way –the sleek new counters looked amazing, and the old cabinet doors stood out more against the new countertops. After refacing the cabinet doors the result was unrecognizable, but it was exciting to have this in-between stage of new/old with counters updated and not doors, and then see the new doors as the icing on the cake.
Kortney Wilson: This project was unique in that, I worked a little out of order. I thought replacing the green-tiled counters would settle my need to update the kitchen. In reality, it just brought more attention to the cabinet doors, calling out for some design help. It was also unique in location. This place is not exactly in the middle of a city where I could call on people to help. My fiance, Ryan, and I completed the entire installation on our own. It truly felt like a doable DIY that was made possible by great directions, a great product but most importantly, great labeling! I was impressed.
Kortney, how does your creative process work when working with brands? Did that differ with NCD?
Kortney Wilson: Anytime that I work with another brand on a personal project for my own family, I feel less pressure to get everything perfect. The result is usually that I enjoy the process a bit more. To be involved not just in the design of the kitchen, but from measuring to installation, I can truly endorse that the process is doable for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in reno. I mean, I hung the cabinets, installed the hinges and hardware and there is a sense of pride knowing my family and friends will enjoy this space for years to come. Gutting a kitchen is a creative process, but completely daunting. Replacing the doors was fun!