Our Design Team

Our Management Team

  • Bill Laurysen – Chief Operating Officer
  • Caroline Castrucci – Chief Executive Officer
  • Corey Laurysen – Vice President of Sales and Service
  • Michael Laurysen – Vice President of Operations
  • Michelle Labelle – Financial Controller
  • Christine Paxton – Human Resources Manager

Wael Bakr

Design Supervisor, CMKBD

About Wael Bakr

A passionate contributor to the New Home Industry for the past 14 years. Working with families to personalize their home from first-time buyers to retirement downsizings continues to be one of the most satisfying experiences in my career. The customer experience is the foundation of what we strive for in our daily habits and interactions. My goal as a leader is to provide my team with the best tools and work environment to allow them to shine as the best design professionals in the business.

Outside of the office, you can find me exploring Ottawa’s many sites and sounds with friends and family. When I getaway to visit my Northern Ontario hometown you will find me in the sky flying to the endless supply of lakes and cabins with my childhood friend and cohort. My #1 bucket list item would be to become a contestant on Jeopardy… but don’t hold your breath on that.

Awards

  • Second Place – Classic Traditional Kitchen Price Group 2, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2023
  • First Place – Production Bathroom, GOHBA Housing Design Awards, 2022
  • First Place – Best Transformation/Before & After Kitchen, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2022
  • First Place – Kitchen/All Styles Price Group 3, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2022
    First Place (w/Tanya Collins & Minto Homes) – Production Kitchen (251 sq. ft. or more), The CHEO Home, GOHBA Housing Design Awards, 2021
  • First Place (w/Tanya Collins & Minto Homes) – Production Bathroom, The CHEO Home, GOHBA Housing Design Awards, 2021
  • Second Place – Classic/Traditional Kitchen Group C, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2019
  • People’s Choice Award – Bathroom, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2018
  • First Place – Contemporary Bathroom, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2018
  • First Place – “Other Room,” NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2018
  • Second Place – Classic/Traditional Kitchen Group A, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2018
  • First Place – Look for Less, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2017
  • First Place – Contemporary/Modern Kitchen Group A, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2017
  • First Place – Contemporary/Modern Kitchen Group A, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2017
  • Second Place – Contemporary/Modern Bathroom Group B, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2017
  • First Place – Traditional Kitchen Group B, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2016
  • First Place – People’s Choice Award – Kitchen, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2015
  • First Place – Traditional Kitchen Group B, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2015

Aviva Ben-Choreen

CMKBD

About Aviva Ben-Choreen

Aviva Ben-Choreen is a graduate of Emunah College in Jerusalem and expanded her knowledge with additional courses from the University of Ottawa in the ’90s. She is fluently bi-lingual in English and Hebrew.

She has worked in the field of design for over 25 years with work experience in Israel and Canada. For the past 20 years, she has been a member of the Laurysen Team. She is a member of the NKBA and is one of the first few to have achieved the Certified Kitchen Designer designation in the city of Ottawa. She currently holds certification for both kitchen and bath design from the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

She has extensive experience with individualized custom designs for one-of-a-kind jobs as well as the ability to work on large scale projects. Over the years Aviva has helped create many model homes with quality builders in Ottawa that have gone on to win awards in the Greater Ottawa Home Builders annual design competition.

Aviva has achieved Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer status with the National Kitchen and Bath Association in 2020.

Awards

  • First Place – Kitchen Design Renovation – $550K or more, GOHBA Housing Design Awards, 2021
  • Finalist – Kitchen Renovation Award – Under $70,000, Canadian Home Builders Association National Awards for Housing Excellence, 2019
    Winner – Renovation $200,000 – $350,000, GOHBA Housing Design Awards, 2018
  • Winner – Kitchen Renovations – $65,000 and over, Canadian Home Builders Association National Awards for Housing Excellence, 2016
  • Finalist – Custom Kitchen (241 sq. ft.) Traditional – $75,000 and more, GOHBA Housing Design Awards, 2015
  • Finalist – Most Outstanding Kitchen Renovation, Ottawa Home Builders Association Awards, 2015 
  • Winner – Production Kitchen (under 125 sq. ft.), Ottawa Carleton Home Builders Association Awards, 2007

Ola Elmaghraby

Designer

About Ola Elmaghraby

Originally trained as an Architecture Engineer, Ola has also graduated from the Kitchen and Bath Design program at Algonquin College.

“Kitchen are the most used space in our homes, where we share joyful moments with our loved ones,” she says. “That’s why I decided to specialize in kitchen design.”

Ola especially enjoys the challenge of making the best use of every available space in a kitchen or bathroom, as it gives her the chance to really put her knowledge and experience to work for her clients.

“Designing a kitchen should be a fun and exciting experience,” she comments. “I love that I’m able to make a difference in the everyday lives of the people I design for.”

Awards

  • First Place — Production Home, 2,001 sq. ft.+ (in collaboration with Urbandale Construction), 2023
  • First Place – Classic Traditional Kitchen Price Group 3, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2023
  • First Place – Bonus Room, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2022 
  • First Place –  Custom Kitchen – Contemporary (176-250 sq. ft), GOHBA Housing Design Awards Winner, 2021 
  • Second Place – Best New Designer, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2018

Janet Spencer

Designer

About Janet Spencer

Janet discovered her love for design very early on in high school after finishing 4 years of drafting and design before continuing on to complete an Architectural Technicians degree at Loyalist College with honours. Wanting to focus her attention to interior design and combine her technical drafting skills led her to commit to specializing in the Kitchen and Bath design industry and enrolling in the Kitchen and Bath course at Algonquin College winning the award for top mark in computer drafting. Janet has been working in the industry since graduating and enjoys taking her customers through the journey of initial concept drawings to the final project.

Jinan Al-Ani

Designer

About Jinan Al-Ani

Jinan graduated as an Architectural engineer from the University of Baghdad and equalized her diploma from the Canadian Architectural Certification Board CACB.

Jinan is also a graduate of the Kitchen and Bath Design program at Algonquin College.

Jinan has worked in the field of design as an architect for over 20 years in Iraq, Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE). She has experience with many award winning luxurious projects that have won prizes.

For the past years, she has been a member of the Laurysen Team working on large scale projects.

“Fulfilling clients’ dreams of having enriched and functional kitchen is always a priority”.

Awards

  • First place NKBA 2017 Design excellence awards – Creative Concept
Transitiona; Custom Bathroom Vanity

Victoria Campbell

Design Operations Manager

About Victoria Campbell

From working in New Home Sales and as a Design Assistant Victoria gained a lot of insight into the Kitchen and Bath Industry from very early on in her career. She first became a Designer at Laurysen Kitchens in 2017, but always maintained an interest in improving procedures and processes. Now in her role as Design Operations Manager, Victoria is able to use her technical skills, strategic thinking, and design experience to assist the Sales Team and Production Departments in creating a more efficient and enjoyable workflows. Victoria also continues to design at Laurysen Kitchens on occasion and to help out the team.

Victoria has a wide range of interests and loves to keep active outside of work. When she’s not at work you will likely find her bike riding through Ottawa’s bike paths or enjoying time with family and friends. Victoria also loves to bake, cook, and craft!

Zeina Agha

Designer

About Zeina

“I love travelling and have developed a strong eye for detail. Visiting unique places around the world has introduced me to several styles, and I’ve collected design inspirations from many different locations.”

Zeina Agha is an experienced designer with an extensive history working in the architectural and interior design industries internationally.

After graduating as an architectural engineer from the University of Aleppo, Zeina began working in the field of design in Dubai and has continued following her passion for the last 13 years. A detailed-oriented designer, she carefully works through all phases of design to ensure the end result is a true expression of her client’s wishes.

Zeina believes that successful design should be timeless and inspiring. Noteworthy skills include a natural eye for beauty and an assured sense of scale. She strives to deliver designs that appeal to clients on an individual level while also serving the practical needs and goals established for the space.

In Zeina’s opinion, the kitchen is the most crucial room in the house. It is the space where families spend most of their time cooking and enjoying meals. She loves working with people to create innovative, functional, and aesthetic designs that fulfill their needs and desires.

Awards

  • First Place — Custom Kitchen — Traditional (251 sq. ft.+ under $100,000), GOHBA Housing Design Awards Winner, 2023

Victoria Preece

Designer

About Victoria

Victoria helps bring design ideas to life. Starting with the excitement of a wishlist through to the thrill of a completed project, she works hard to ensure her clients love the spaces they live in.

“Everyone is different, and I love creating beautiful, personalized designs to meet their unique needs.”

For years, she’s specialized in retail kitchen design. Tailoring this important room to perfectly fit the lifestyle and personality of each customer is her ultimate goal. She equates the design process to collecting and putting the pieces of a giant puzzle together.

Victoria’s love of design started early. Before she ever stepped into a classroom, she had immersed herself in the industry. By shadowing a local designer for a year, she gained valuable experience before completing the Interior Design Program at Algonquin College.

Over the course of her career, she’s spent time developing relationships with clients, tradespeople and contractors. Today, she’s proud to have built a wonderful repeat and referral business.

Victoria is a busy mother and wife outside the office, with her favourite days spent outdoors. She often takes her kids “park-hopping” or to the beach at her parent’s lakeside cottage. Quieter, more peaceful moments include reading a book while lounging in a hammock or taking long walks with her dog.

Shan Zhang

Designer

About Shan

Shan knows that a great design can transform a room in amazing ways, and she loves to create interesting and engaging spaces for her clients.

In order to make this happen, Shan focuses on collaboration.

“I love working with my customers and personifying their space with them.”

She says that many unexpected ideas come from early brainstorming sessions. “It’s really exciting when we start discussing all the available options.”

Shan is involved in every phase of a project and embraces the challenges that sometimes arise during renovations. In her mind, constraints or limitations can make a project more interesting.

She also brings invaluable education and training to her role as a designer. Before moving to Canada and completing programs in Kitchen and Bath Design and Project Management at Algonquin College, she studied Environmental Design at the Beijing Institute of Technology.

In her free time, Shan enjoys traveling; it’s the perfect opportunity to seek out new and exciting design inspirations. Someday, she’d like to start a YouTube Channel and share her creativity with the world.

Classic Kitchen

Rachael Price

Designer

About Rachael

When you walk into a space that Rachael has designed, something clicks in the best way possible—the space just feels right, and you instantly feel good.

That’s what happens when you meld years of technical design experience with a gifted sense of style and a keen understanding of spatial awareness.

Rachael’s love of art, design, fashion, graphics, and all things home-related, started very early. By the age of ten, she was rearranging her bedroom and drawing scaled plans of the space. She diligently followed this passion and earned her diploma in Interior Design from Algonquin College, as well as her Decorators and Designers Association of Canada (DDA) certification.

Before joining the team at Laurysen, she spent over a decade picking up tricks of the trade while working with designers and a custom builder and personally managing a large design showroom.

Rachael loves designing for clients. Each customer comes to her with unique requirements, and she enjoys the challenge of bringing to life a functional and well-balanced space that fully meets their needs and desires.

“I really love the technical side of designing; creatively making sure I am fitting everything in and simultaneously ensuring it is functional and timeless is why I love kitchen and bath design so much.”

Symmetry, and carefully chosen colour combinations, are very important to Rachael and represent some of the subtleties of design that Rachael excels at. She also has a knack for choosing accent pieces (often that tie back to elements of nature) that perfectly elevate a space and create a sense of harmony.

When she is not designing, you can find Rachael renovating her 150-year-old farmhouse, hiking local trails with her dogs or enjoying family time with her husband and two children.

Awards

  • First Place – Look for Less Kitchen, NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards, 2023

Kristen Weese

Designer

About Kristen

Kristen seamlessly combines exquisite design with practical functionality to craft tailored spaces for her clients.

“I love to collaborate with clients and create unique and memorable rooms that also reflect their lifestyle; it’s amazing to transform a kitchen or bathroom into a beautiful space that truly works for them.”

With years of experience and accolades, including a recent NKBA Design Excellence Award, Kristen has developed a keen eye for detail and aesthetics. One thing she enjoys is infusing high-contrast touches into her creative designs.

“I’m definitely inspired by raw materials like wood and natural stone, but I also love to create a ‘wow’ factor, so I might suggest adding an unexpected vintage piece or incorporating black metals into light and airy spaces to create depth.”

Kristen also embraces the technical side of design. It’s her love of math that ensures functionality is never compromised and every inch is used wisely. (She thanks her engineer stepdad for this valuable talent!)

Kristen has always had a passion for design. This was evident from a young age when she repeatedly requested to rearrange and repaint her room to match her evolving personal style. It was no surprise when Kristen went on to thrive in her interior design program and field placements. Upon completion of her training, she immediately began working with clients and has never turned back—the art of design brings her endless joy.

When she’s not busy designing, Kristen loves spending time with her partner, friends, and her two lovable Great Danes, Baz and Winnie, who always keep life interesting!

Visit Kristen’s professional Instagram page for more glimpses of her impressive design work.

Awards

  • 2022, 2nd Place Kitchen ($80,000+), NKBA Ottawa Chapter Design Excellence Awards

Sonia Atkinson

Designer

About Sonia

Sonia, a seasoned senior designer, will transform your vision into a reality. With a successful career spanning years of renovation and design experience, combined with a remarkable 17-year tenure as a Laurysen dealer, Sonia brings a unique blend of artistic flair and technical expertise to the table.

“Pursuing a career that aligns with my passion for creativity and problem-solving is incredibly rewarding.”

Growing up surrounded by her father’s construction blueprints, Sonia developed a unique combination of technical skills and creative sensibility early on. From a young age, she had a passion for drawing, illustration and painting. In high school, she was selected to attend a specialized art and science program. Later, she graduated from the Graphic Design program at St. Lawrence College.

Sonia is a skilled kitchen designer who expertly balances budget limitations and individual requirements. Her expertise lies in creating captivating living areas that not only please her clients but also emphasize practicality and functionality.

When managing full-scale renovations in her previous position, Sonia handled everything from floor to ceiling. Her comprehensive understanding of the design process has become a cornerstone of her work, allowing her to execute intricate plans.

“Design involves a meticulous eye for detail and precision. I love this part of the creative process.”

Outside of work, Sonia is deeply proud of her volunteerism. She actively participated in Homes for Heros – Ride for Refuge, to establish a village of “tiny” homes for homeless veterans in Kingston.

She also cherishes time with her family, including her husband and 20-year-old son, who stands 6’6″ tall, with size 15 feet! Her two dachshunds, Sadie and Winston, add joy and energy to the household. Sonia’s bucket list includes travel to Italy, a place she last visited when she was 13, and a trip to see friends in Africa.

Cynthia Page Boles

Designer

About Cynthia

Cynthia, an award-winning designer, is renowned for her versatility and talent for infusing a fresh perspective into each project.

“My eclectic style allows me to adapt easily and turn ideas into beautiful spaces that truly mirror my client’s individual style.”

Cynthia’s passion for design took root in elementary school when she expressed her dream of becoming a decorator in her autobiography—a dream she has successfully transformed into a thriving career. She began her formal training with Algonquin College’s two-year interior decorating program, followed by an additional third year specializing in kitchen and bath design.

Her talent was immediately recognized, earning Cynthia several awards, including the NKBA New Designer Award (2nd Place), the NKBA Industry Passion Award, and runner-up in the National NKBA Charette Design Contest. After her field placement, she was promptly hired by the same firm to pursue design full-time.

Cynthia continues to share her passion and knowledge of the industry and inspires emerging designers as a part-time Professor at Algonquin College, teaching students the same program where she once honed her skills.

In her design approach, Cynthia aims to identify and address issues in the current environment. By actively listening to her client’s concerns and identifying problem areas, she ensures the new space serves their unique needs.

As a new mom to a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Cynthia relates to clients seeking functional and family-friendly spaces. She and her husband, a real estate professional, both appreciate the importance of creating a home that serves as a sanctuary. In her (ever elusive!) free time, Cynthia immerses herself in creative crafting activities like needle felting and painting.