• 5038 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
  • info@akbchicago.com


AKB Chicago Designer Michelle Raymer

20/20 Design’s “Expert Choice” Winner

“Being able to maximize the rendering capabilities helps set our design services apart from others. Just about every client I work with tells me how invaluable it is to be able to see exactly how their kitchen will look, as many people have a difficult time visualizing things” —Michelle Raymer


Designer Spotlight Story

as featured on www.2020spaces.com

Michelle’s interest in interior design began at a very young age. “My mother runs a showroom and I grew up around her business, watching, learning, and helping her when I could,” she says. Michelle graduated with a degree in Graphic Communication, and being able to express herself and show people her ideas through pictures is something she always knew she would do in some fashion.

Michelle has been working as a full-time interior designer since 2009, and the jobs she is most proud of are ones where she has challenged the client to abandon their initial idea and opt for something completely different. “I’m typically very nosey when I visit the client’s home and look through their cabinets to see how they utilize the space,” says Michelle. “I ask them if they have any specific storage needs that aren’t being met and discuss the overall look they’d like to achieve with their new space.” She finds it very helpful when a client shares the main goal they want to accomplish with their remodel. Michelle asks a lot of detailed questions, because she wants to deliver designs that her clients will be pleased with.


Working with 2020
Michelle first started working with 2020 Design in high school in her mother’s showroom. At first, she was drawing walls and setting up rooms to help the designers, and when she eventually became a full-time employee, she started using the software to work with customers. “Being able to maximize the rendering capabilities helps set our design services apart from others,” says Michelle. “Just about every client I work with tells me how invaluable it is to be able to see exactly how their kitchen will look, as many people have a difficult time visualizing things.”

Michelle uses elements from 2020 Cloud and the 2020 Catalogs to make renders as realistic as possible. “It gives the client peace of mind when making a large purchase that the final product will not differ much from the renders I present them with.” Her most-used items from the catalogs are the tile options.

When asked about her Inspiration Award-winning project, she said it was one of her favorites because it strayed from the ordinary in a lot of ways. “In Chicago, I work in a lot of tiny condos, so getting the chance to start from scratch in a very open space was exciting. The cabinetry used in this project was from Dura Supreme and it was the first time I’d been able to incorporate their (at the time) newly released grey-toned wood stains.”

After attending the KBIS show in 2018, she’s been using VR goggles to showcase her 3D designs to her clients who really seem to enjoy the experience and find it very helpful. She has also been able to share some ideas she saw at the show with current and potential clients, which has been valuable to her.


Advice on using 3D CAD tools
“If a designer is not using any sort of 3D renderings now, starting to use them will certainly only add to what they can offer their clients. As I mentioned, almost every client I have tells me how beneficial the renders are and give them the confidence to buy. Gaining the trust of clients is paramount to a good working relationship and any tools that can help do so should definitely be taken advantage of.”

“As far as guidance and tips go,” says Raymer, “I was taught the absolute basics when I started but continually played with the software trying to make renders as realistic as possible, even when the computer I was working on didn’t allow me to do so very successfully. As I continued my career, I picked up tips and tricks from different coworkers and people in the industry over time. I use them all constantly and try to expand and continually make renders as realistic as possible to serve my clients to the best of my ability.”


For more on the 20/20 design program, please visit: http://www.2020spaces.com

And to reach out to schedule a consultation with Michelle, please contact us today by submitting your design inquiry!