NKBA 30 under 30 designer profile: Challaigne Cole

In July, the GE Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 30 under 30 designers. These designers were nominated by their peers and have already shown impressive results in their careers. And they are a lot of fun!

We interviewed each designer to learn a little more about their background and design experiences so far. Today’s profile highlights Challaigne Cole from Kapolei, Hawaii.


NKBA 30 under 30 designer Challaigne Cole

NKBA 30 under 30 designer Challaigne Cole


SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Challaigne: I became interested in designing over time as I worked in the appliance department at The Home Depot. I noticed the cabinetry and countertop materials that were available, and became fascinated with what could be created on the 20/20 program. I knew I wanted to become a part of something like that. I wanted to be able to create people’s projects. After taking the training, I knew I found the right job. I love being able to combine work and creativity.

SRFD:  Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Challaigne: I had a great project where I had to help the Kamehameha schools on Oahu put together five dorm kitchens and over 40 bathrooms. It was a long and trying project but we got through it. It was exciting to be a part of the whole process and I was happy I got to assist the school in getting all the materials needed to complete the project on time.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Challaigne: I am definitely over the standard 1×1 mosaic tile splashes. I love to see subway tiles and varied sizes/textures. Color splash is always beautiful, especially when it’s mixed with glass and natural stones.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Challaigne: I am definitely in love with color! I can easily fall in love with contrasting colors as much as I would with color splashes like painted red or gray cabinetry. When everything is put together, each customer can make a statement about who they are and what colors they love. A little color can make a big difference in making your kitchen or bathroom your own unique space. I will also always love the look and feel of an apron front sink, particularly in white cast iron.

SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?

Challaigne: Having an appliance department background definitely helped me stay interested in the entire training at GE Monogram. I enjoyed learning about the Advantium the most! It was a huge help for me to be able to learn about the way it works and I have confidence in the way I will explain it to my customers. It’s such a convenient and powerful kitchen tool! I also really enjoyed learning about the refrigeration part of Monogram. The different ways you can configure some of the models was neat! And now with the compact built-in, a lot of smaller kitchens will be able to have a luxurious style refrigerator.

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