NKBA 30 under 30 designer profile: Ebony Stephenson

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 Ebony Stephenson with Criner Remodeling in Newport News, Virginia.


Ebony Stephenson, one of the NKBA 30 under 30 designers

Ebony Stephenson, one of the NKBA 30 under 30 designers


SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Ebony: Legos, Lincoln Logs, and Barbie’s. As a child I had a serious passion for building and creating things. That passion blossomed as I got older and went to art school to study architecture. From there I continued to follow my heart and went to Virginia Tech where I studied Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, and Kitchen/Bath Design.

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

Ebony: It is hard to pick just one project because each project that I work on is so different and exciting. One that really sticks out though was a whole house remodel for a family. The father had a terrible accident and was confined to a wheelchair now. We added a large addition to his small ranch home and made it ADA accessible. We added a new ramp to a large deck made of composite materials, a “man cave” for his new huge flat screen TV, dining room, brand new kitchen, living room, laundry room, full wheelchair accessible bathroom (with a flat screen TV), hall bathroom, and updated all of the bedrooms. The homeowners were the sweetest easy going couple and it was just a pleasure working with them. At the end of the project I actually cried because I didn’t realize that my designs made such a huge impact on their way of life. Oh and the finished product was beautiful!


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SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Ebony: Not really a trend but I am over white ceilings. I made a vow to not do anymore white ceilings. I love using color on my projects and the ceiling is such a large piece of real estate to waste.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Ebony: I am excited about the trend of doing whatever you want. I was never one to follow trends or fads. I encourage my clients to use their gut and incorporate their personal tastes in each project. Do what you love, its your money.

SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?

Ebony: I learned so much in Louisville. I learned the most from the speed oven and the convection cooking. I can’t wait to remodel my own kitchen so that I can incorporate this technology in my own home. I love cooking but at the end of a long day designing and dealing with clients its hard to spend time cooking a meal. I learned that these would help me so much. And they are easy to use, no learning curve.


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