Laurysen has a great reason to celebrate! Our designer Aviva Ben-Choreen recently became the only Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer (CMKBD) in Ottawa — in fact, there are only two others, one east of the GTA and another in Cornwall. This prestigious certification acknowledges Aviva’s career-long achievement.
Recently we spoke with Aviva about her work and the importance of CMKBD certification to her and her future clients. Our prediction: This talented designer has many more great accomplishments ahead of her … perhaps designing a stunning new kitchen or bath for your home?
What Is Required to Be CMKBD certified?
The CMKBD requirements defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association are quite stringent, comprising:
- 7 years of verified professional experience, including a minimum of 4 years as a full-time kitchen and bath designer
- 100 NKBA hours of education or an NKBA-approved college program above and beyond the usual continuing education credits needed to sustain the accreditation.
- Must already have Kitchen and Bath Design Certification.
All CMKBD candidates are assessed based on meeting requirements in multiple quadrants and must demonstrate contributions in the following areas: meeting all functional requirements, engaging with the industry, promoting professionalism, and cultivating new talent. For all of these requirements, a third party endorsement in writing must be submitted.
Fortunately, Aviva’s impressive design background positioned her well to earn this impressive certification.
Aviva “never imagined” ending up as a kitchen and bath designer. Her career path has taken several interesting twists and turns, beginning with her graphic design studies at Emunah College, Israel. After graduating, she freelanced as an artist.
Aviva’s interest in interior design began with contract work, drawing floor plans for a renovation company. From there, she transitioned into a position with a building development firm — which involved working with architects and tradespeople, as well as overseeing a wide range of details, from kitchen hardware to window trims and dealing with clients. At the same time, the budding designer was studying cutting edge 3D computer design in Tel Aviv.
A move to Canada marked a new phase in Aviva’s multi-faceted career when she joined the Laurysen Kitchens team in 2000. The new position drew on her substantial experience in design, as well as working with homeowners and contractors. For Aviva, focusing on kitchens, rather than whole houses, was a refreshing change.
Since that time, Aviva has designed thousands of Ottawa-area kitchens! Throughout her career, she’s continued to develop her design skills and grow professionally.
Asked about her style, Aviva explains that part of being a good designer is not imposing one’s personal aesthetic on anyone, but rather finding ways to express the homeowners’ own style in the best way possible.
What Does The CMKBD Mean To You?
Aviva describes the significance of the certification: “This master certification is very rare. There are only seven of us in all of Canada. It’s a lifetime achievement, not something you can take an exam to obtain. They’re looking for life experience and what you’ve done for the kitchen and bathroom design world, basically everything you’ve done in your career.”
And on a personal note, “When the business of everyday life consumes you, you don’t have time to think about your achievements. Taking time to submit the qualifications to the NKBA made me think back on all the things I’ve done. It feels really good to be recognized for your professional accomplishments from peers in the industry.
“Especially during this pandemic, you need something to make you feel good, so this was a great time to get it done”
Why Should You Hire A CMKBD?
When you hire a CMKBD, you’re getting the benefit of someone with proven experience and training. The certified master designer’s vast knowledge of the industry allows them to see the broader view of your renovation project.
Aviva feels that those with her certification can not only make sure that the flow through the room is good and ensure things harmonize well with the rest of the house but also, wherever possible, using design limitations to spark ideas, ultimately giving you the best possible design for the limitations of your project.
CMKBD designers also have extensive experience coordinating with other trades, skill to communicate and educate the client on options and see potential problems before they occur. They “have your back” as a client. She adds that, “ultimately, the biggest benefit of hiring a CMKBD is peace of mind.”