Co-Founder + Principal Designer
Rebekah is KitchenLab Interiors’ Co-Founder and Director of Design. Rebekah is a certified kitchen designer, a past contributor at Houzz.com, one of KBDN’s 2018 Innovators and a NKBA Insider/Thought Leader on the Business of Design.
Rebekah has spent the last 15 years expanding a business built on enthusiasm, passion and most importantly, trust. The two most influential aspects of her background are her fine art education and her hospitality experience working in restaurants throughout her schooling. Rebekah and Nick, who met while working in restaurants, see themselves as being in the hospitality business to this day. “It’s all about creating spaces that people want to linger in…our client’s want their friends and family to want to come over and hang out. Just like a great restaurant or hotel, it’s not just about the good food or the great décor, you can have both of those things and have a completely flat, unremarkable experience. I’m interested in what makes an experience memorable – the energy, the lighting, the music, the comfort of a chair and the smell of the food or the way the doors open to the garden. It’s about feeling truly welcome when you come into someone’s home and that feeling is amazing and it’s something a person never forgets.”
Rebekah is extremely grateful for what seemed a liability at the time – an unwillingness to commit to a specific media in college led her to the ultimate 3D mixed media canvas in the form of interior design. Rebekah’s interiors are highly influenced by her fine art background, most notably her collage work. Rebekah worked in various media, including painting, printmaking, photography and film – the last part led her to start her career with a stint working in set design for film and television. “My (art) work was always very process oriented – 7-15 steps to get an image down on canvas. I came to realize that my interior design work is the same… and that I’d be more likely to use words that explain process over style when describing the work we do. And the process is what makes a space have depth. I don’t like rules…no, that’s not true, I like breaking rules, but I feel very strongly about the reasons things work or don’t work and I always go back to fine art principles of scale, texture, pattern, composition, contrast, positive and negative space.”
In addition to art and food, travel is also enormously important to Rebekah and Nick. “Being a guest in other people’s homes really teaches you how to be a good host. Experiencing how other people live, how they gather at the table for dinner, teaches us to appreciate that not everyone does it one way. Getting out of your comfort zone and getting a perspective are critical parts of the creative process – especially when it comes to design because it engages all the senses.” Rebekah’s passion for food, wine, art, and design, combined with her collaborative style and the natural inclination for taking care of people create a synergy that influences the work she does at KitchenLab. She works closely with people to create spaces tailored to each client’s needs, tastes, and budget, always offering unpredictable and unexpected ideas. Rebekah’s studies include University of California, Los Angeles, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Harrington Institute of Interior Design.
John “nick” nichols
Co-Founder, CFO + Operations
Nick is the child of parents with wanderlust and spent his childhood years travelling extensively with his parents and sisters, including an epic year living in the ‘Bedford Bedouin’, a motorized camper, travelling throughout Europe. Winter found them trying to find someplace warm and living in above a stable in a tiny village on the Greek Island of Crete. Nick credits travel and constant change as being a barometer in his life as well as honing his love of culture and food. This ultimately led to a post collegiate career in the hospitality industry which ultimately led to him meeting Rebekah in a restaurant in which he was a partner. This led to collaborating on the design of a brick three flat in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood; naturally, marriage and the formation of KitchenLab soon followed. Nick and Rebekah had a mutual love affair with a farmhouse in Michigan which led to a multi-year renovation, Nick carried out much of the work on his own. In spite of this, the marriage survived and partnership continued to thrive. Nick misses the restaurant business (but not the hours) and takes his solace as a passionate home cook and host, foodie and oenophile. He finds it baffling that Hannah, the couple’s daughter, does not like butter. Nick enjoys his multiple roles at Kitchenlab, dividing his time between CFO, office manager, project manager, and Minister of Magical Objects.
Kate joined KitchenLab Interiors in 2015, and immediately became invaluable to our team. Kate sweats the details, while maintaining a perspective on the whole project. She is invested in each design decision and works closely with clients to develop and realize their vision. Her taste is classic and understated, but she isn’t afraid of making bold choices, mixing pattern and texture, and has an eye for well-made items. Kate’s measured approach ensures that details won’t slip through the cracks, and she’ll gently bring clients back to the narrative when they stray. Kate possesses a rare ability to shift from right to left brain tasks, moving effortlessly between the language of design and project management. She speaks fluent construction and knows what is involved in running a remodeling project from design phase through completion. She loves that each new space brings a new and exciting challenge to the table.
Kate was born and raised in northern California and studied design at the University of California, Davis where she discovered her love for the challenges of problem solving. While planning her move and researching Chicago design firms from California, Kate discovered KitchenLab. “I was immediately drawn to KitchenLab’s ability to make every space feel natural, storied, and fresh, all while keeping the client’s needs at the center of the design.” She couldn’t be happier that it all worked out and now calls KitchenLab Interiors and Chicago her home.
katherine grace andrejevic
Katherine joined KitchenLab Interiors in 2017, but since the day she started it’s like she’s always been a part of the team – a testament to her outgoing and energetic nature. Katherine began her career in real estate before transitioning into interior design. “Seeing the potential in what homes could be inspired me to do residential design, even though I originally dreamed of focusing on restaurant design.” Whether she’s talking faucets or rugs, Katherine’s enthusiasm and passion for design comes through in every client meeting. She isn’t afraid of color or pattern, but also loves a classic black and brass combo. She has a great eye for what works together and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Katherine’s realtor eye is of great help during the project management phase where mistakes need to be caught and fixed in a timely manner, and she’s well-versed in working with contractors in the field whether it’s solving problems or managing deliveries and installations. Katherine can confidently navigate the showrooms of the Chicago Merchandise Mart as easily as hunting for the perfect piece in a vintage store.
Katherine grew up in the Hinsdale suburb of Chicago, and developed a love for interior design going with her father to homes he was building. “I’m fascinated with creating functional/living art. I love interior design because it combines creative and technical skills.” Kat has real chutzpah and “applied” to KitchenLab by reaching out through Instagram. Now, in addition to her other roles, she helps to manage KitchenLab Interiors social media profiles.