Testimonials

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia

Some comments from happy clients of Expert Kitchen Designs.
 

Project Date: August 2016
Project Price: $10,000 – $49,999
 
Sandra did an amazing job helping us reimagine our first floor, including a brand new kitchen that opens up to the other spaces in our home. My main request was that the space looked very “natural” since we were changing the basic design of a traditional 1978 Colonial home. We were very impressed with the results!

Sandra was extremely patient as we went through multiple revisions of her plan, so we could incorporate everything we wanted to have and still stay within our budget. She was able to tell us “no” when we needed to hear it and was spot on with her recommendations. She was able to do this while also listening to us and learning about the things that we liked, from a design and finish perspective. Sandra’s professionalism shined through and she was consistently there to help us through the entire project, from design, through construction, to completion of the project.
— Rachel Simon


Project Date: August 2016
Project Price: $50,000 – $100,000
 
Sandra made good suggestions and also let me express my own tastes, which is not often the case in the decorating world. She will steer you in the right direction! She also went out of her way to help me stick to my budget. I would definitely use her again.
— Lynn Trundle


Project Date: August 2016
 
We really enjoyed working with Sandra. She is very responsive–always available to meet and prompt to return emails and calls. She is warm and engaging and genuinely cares about your satisfaction.

She did a great job of taking our vision and turning it into a great design and was very respectful of our budget. She’s open to feedback while being honest about her recommendations, all in a respectful and friendly manner. In all, the kitchen came out fantastic. We definitely recommend her!
—- Melissa DeAngelo, Reston, VA


Project Date: January 2016
Project Price: $10,000 – $49,999
 
We were very fortunate to find Sandra as our designer for our kitchen remodel. She designed an exciting functional space for us integrating my husband’s and my wishes but with much improved interest and creativity. We love the cutout she designed for our corner sink area. So attractive! It is a joy to work in our kitchen now!
 
Sandra is a natural problem-solver, she proved very attentive to our needs and responded to our questions in a very timely manner. We felt she was honest and direct in guiding us throughout the project – which made us feel confident with the outcome, even when we weren’t quite sure how a problem might be resolved. She was very professional as she worked alongside our own contractor. We would whole-heartedly recommend Sandra and her design services. —- Nancy Cruikshank, Warrenton, VA


Project Date: January 2016
Project Price: $50,000 – $100,000

After having had some time to not only admire the finished product, but to actually work in my new kitchen, I have even more to say about Sandra at Expert Kitchen Design and her design work. My husband and I were complete novices at big projects such as this. As a result, there were some rough patches in our communication which I believe was a learning experience for both of us. Us, in learning how this process works and Sandra in remembering that what is second nature to her is new to some and “you don’t know, what you don’t know.”

All throughout, Sandra extended the utmost in patience and understanding as we sometimes muddled through. When my feet would leave the ground at times, she would bring me back down. In the end, her authenticity and devotion to her gift wins out. This gift is being able to create a design that fits well in its surroundings, with beauty and function. For me, she created a feeling, not just a room. It is the design itself, right down to the last detail, that generates the feeling I was looking for in my kitchen. She knew the feeling was primary and the look was secondary. She also knew the importance of making that feeling last for the long haul, even after the honeymoon of a new kitchen is over.

Sandra worked with us and heard what we said. She changed some things but built the trust that was needed for us to follow her guidance when we would suggest something that she knew would compromise the primary goal. This is important because “you don’t know what you don’t know” and we could either do what we wanted, or listen to her advice. I am grateful already for not going with some of my initial ideas and following her “less is more” approach. She knew what she was talking about.

I don’t just love my kitchen, it may sound silly, but I have grown in-love with my kitchen. If not for the time, effort, talents, patience and knowledge of Sandra at Expert Kitchen Design, I am not sure I would know the difference between those two statements. I would highly recommend Expert Kitchen Design as well as her husband’s exquisite creative work as a contractor with Brannock Enterprises.
— Lynn Lauritzen, Jeffersonton, VA


Project Date: December 2015
Project Price: $10,000 – $49,999
 

My niece and I purchased a small country home in 2014. Our plan is to share expenses and to stay in our home as long as we can, maintaining our independence. We are both in our early 70s. Until 2014 we had lived on opposite sides of the country since the 1960s. We knew taking on a kitchen remodel would be a real challenge because we are still learning how to communicate and make decisions together. We definitely felt we needed a designer to help us meet this challenge.

We found Sandra and another designer online. After interviewing them we found we really liked the ease with which Sandra communicated with us and the action plan she provided.

As seniors we had certain requirements like replacing lower cabinets with drawers and not having the microwave over the stove. Sandra was able to address everything including increasing the lighting, creating a flow where two women can cook different meals at the same time, having everything in the right place, selecting paint colors and granite, and where to buy appliances on-line. Most importantly she chose the cabinet maker for us and acted as our agent with them. There were only two items on which the three of us initially couldn’t agree and I reminded myself and my niece that we had hired Sandra for her expertise. In both cases we were glad we took that leap of faith in her abilities.

On a personal level Sandra was wonderful to work with. She takes extreme pride in her work and is very professional. At the same time she has a delightful enthusiastic personality. As a professional she referred us to a contractor who did an excellent job, she was always on time for appointments and with deliverables, and she was always able to find solutions that were within our budget. In the end we have the loveliest kitchen either one of us has ever had.
— Rita and Carol, Culpeper, VA


Project Date: December 2015
Project Price: more than $100,000
 

My husband and I originally intended to design our kitchen ourselves, with some assistance from our contractor and a large commercial kitchen design center. We were knee deep into the project when we realized we were spending a large sum of money, were making major renovations to our home, and didn’t want to look back after and feel we had made any “mistakes”.

I sought out a designer primarily by searching online near my home. I found Sandra and her reviews were exceptional. I called her and she immediately got back to me and had absolutely no problem coming into the “middle” of the job, with knowledge and enthusiasm.

Despite being in the middle of the job, where Sandra was forced to work around appliances that were already purchased as well as plans already in place, she sat down with my husband and me to try to re-create our dream. Her design was absolutely perfect!

The cabinetry exceeds anything you could ever hope to see in a large “box” store and Sandra was there the entire way. She assisted with paint, met with us to pick out tile, anything we needed. While there were a few hiccups along the way (as with any project I am now learning), they were resolved and the end product is truly one of a kind.

We have 4 young children and the design was intended to work for all of us. We enjoyed both Christmas and New Years Eve with more than 35 people and our kitchen could not have worked better. There is an art to design which is a gift Sandra truly has. I hope others get to enjoy her work as well.
— Tammy Smith, Warrenton, VA


Project Date: November 2015
Project Price: $50,000 – $100,000
 
Sandra provided a complete makeover/renovation of our kitchen and master bathroom. Her designs yielded an open, modern and practical expansion of our kitchen. Additionally a rework of our bathroom that gave us a peaceful, Zen-like atmosphere that we both love.

Sandra’s suggestions in the choices for cabinetry, back splash tiles, wall tiles and floor tiles provided beautiful, subtle and still daring variations that fully complimented one another. Sandra also managed to deftly navigate the occasionally conflicted ideas of two individuals to help us reach our final selections. That is no mean feat.

Starting in November with wrap up in February of this year, we encompassed 3 long holiday weekends plus the blizzard of 2016 and through it all Sandra was there with hand-holding and reassurances. It has been quite an experience, one my wife and I are both are very happy about. Sandra was excellent, as was her suggested contractor, Mark McCormack of Compass Construction.
— Michael LaBrecque, Amissville, VA


Project Date: September 2015
Project Price: $50,000 – $100,000
 

We called Sandra knowing only two things:

  1. We desperately needed to update and renovate our kitchen, and
  2. All the moving parts and ‘unknowns’ are overwhelming.

The thought of hiring a designer sounded expensive and intimidating. We learned very quickly it was neither of those things, and it ultimately resulted in a living space which exceeded our expectations.

Sandra asked us initially about our style and our priorities for our new space. We thought we had an idea of what we wanted it to look like but lacked the vision for what was possible. Sandra brought that experience to us. In a series of visits to our home, she sat with us and listened, provided ideas, and quickly developed the concept based on our needs. She provided recommendations and assistance based on our lifestyle and budget and was available to us throughout the project to assist in selecting beautiful cabinets, countertops, fixtures, and tile. Sandra delivered a design tailored for our family’s needs and we cannot wait to host our family for the holidays in our new space.
— Jessica Janisch, Amissville, VA


Project Date: July 2015
Project Price: $10,000 – $49,999
 

Expert Kitchen Designs helped me plan and implement my kitchen renovation. This included 1) finding a qualified contractor, 2) planning a new picture window, 3) designing and acquiring new custom cabinets, and 4) selecting new associated items like the fan, the backsplash, the cabinet color, the wall color, the cabinet hardware, the sink, lighting fixtures, and the faucet.

I absolutely love the result – it is perfect – exactly what I wanted. Sandra did an excellent job balancing my budget concerns and my taste with her recommendations. I was very impressed with Sandra’s ability to see very subtle color variances. Picking the right colors was a major concern of mine, but her recommendations turned out perfect.
— Paula N., Delaplane, VA


Project Date: April 2015
Project Price: $10,000 – $49,999

I am delighted to recommend our Kitchen Designer, Sandra Brannock, of Expert Kitchen Designs, located in Amissville, Virginia. I found Sandra online and sent her an email . She called me that very morning and has continued to be responsive to our every need as the project has evolved.

We wanted to gut our 30 year old kitchen and were seeking guidance concerning the removal of a wall between the kitchen and dining room. Sandra promptly demonstrated her knowledge, her skill and her talents in the design of our new kitchen/dining room, improving the traffic pattern and relocating the pantry to improve the access. Included in our renovation was the installation of new flooring which extended from the kitchen throughout the entire upper level of our home.

Utilizing her keen eye for color and ability to visualize the finished product, she worked with us to identify the perfect floor given our environment and preferences. We have witnessed Sandra’s ability to recognize each client’s unique needs and financial constraints. She brings a creativity and flexibility to her work which makes her a pleasure to work with. We believe we made a good investment and wise decision in hiring Sandra Brannock, and we think you will feel the same should you choose her to improve the function and beauty of your kitchen and home.
— Sandra Fox, Warrenton, VA


Project Date: February 2015
I need to say that getting a designer was not on my radar, until doing a little research online. Finding Sandra in my home town was a very happy surprise. Then after meeting her and hearing her ideas, I was sure I was doing the right thing by using her services. Sandra listens to what you want. If you are willing to listen to her suggestions as well, and let them sink in, you will not be sorry. She thinks of things not even the contractor thought of. We ended up with a kitchen and master bath that have more room and airiness than before and more storage than before. Sandra in not only doing a job, She is making your house a wonderful place to be.
— Jan LaBrecque, Amissville, VA


I personally recommend Sandra Brannock to anyone considering a kitchen rework. Our project was changing out a tiny 1950’s era kitchen into a much larger, modern and charming home-hub with all thought-through conveniences. Her approach is to work with customers for learning their goals and then starting to develop the process of proposals. For each proposal, there were multiple options for review and analysis, with some presented via rather hi-tech computer-generated layouts of how setups would appear.

Sandra follows a mantra of “less is more” and although our kitchen is now huge, it always allows perfect performance from multiple workstations and for a very comfortable and welcoming feel for accommodating guests with the industry-standard spacing set up and locations that allow for seamless meal preparations, even when 20 guests are hanging out. Maybe her former life as a CPA provided her with the knowledge for the exactitude to recognize all potentially relevant best practices for set ups, but I think she has now found her true calling in working as an ally and “gentle leader” in helping customers to discover what works to create the kitchen of their dreams.

As an additional testament, several friends now refer to our kitchen as “their own” kitchen and get a charge out of using it to give it a try for producing great meals for us. I can’t guarantee that will occur with yours, but it is a welcomed result when it happens! — Tom Murray


The most valuable commodity anyone can give you is time. Sandra came as a referral from our contractor. After being with her for five minutes, I told her I knew she was the real deal- no drama, no attitude, and she knows construction. Sandra listened and guided, but did not corral us into a decision. We gave her a wish list based on magazines and books. She considered it, and came up with a solution that was more appropriate for the space and explained why using design intent. We are over the moon and it has the wow factor because of the thought behind the space. It is the crowning jewel of this restored Tudor. — Paul Paolini, Arlington, Virginia

* * *
Sandra Brannock of Expert Kitchen Designs is just that, an expert. She worked with us to redesign our tiny kitchen on a tiny budget. This was our first remodel project and I am not sure what we would have done had we not found her. Sandra is creative, attentive, timely, and has an eye for detail. She provided sound guidance and feedback on all decisions from appliances to toe kick drawers. We also were very appreciative that Sandra was always respectful of our tight budget. I think the thing I appreciate most about working with Sandra is that even though our project was on a smaller scale & budget, I always felt like I was her top client. Of all the decisions we had to make during this process, working with Sandra was the one I felt the best about. — C.M. Riley

* * *
Working with Sandra from Expert Kitchen Designs was such a great experience, I don’t know where to start! After doing a lot research online for our upcoming kitchen remodel, I came across Expert Kitchen Designs’ website. Other designers we had spoken with seemed to be very “cookie-cutter” and weren’t able to offer us any different ideas other than those we had presented to them. We were planning on removing walls and doing a major kitchen renovation. Sandra and I spoke on the phone about our project and she asked questions about how my husband and I work in the kitchen and other functional questions that other designers had not asked us before. In addition, we discussed budget right away and Sandra was sure to keep our budgetary constraints in mind throughout the project. She was able to hone in on specific details about our use of the kitchen (what appliances do you have, what do you want left on the countertops, where do you store your sheet pans, etc). These details allowed her to create a design that gives us a place for everything! She was able to advise us on appliances and even gave us a website to order them from at a great discount. She gathered pictures from us on kitchens we like and carefully listened to what was important to us. She understood our desire for a clean-lined, open concept, transitional kitchen right away. Due to the long distance between us and Sandra we communicated mostly via email and phone which worked out great for our busy schedules. This saved us time and energy as we could get answers to our questions or discuss our ideas right away. She provided blueprint layouts via email which we could then send to our contractor for feedback. We would review the layouts during conference calls with her. This allowed us to review every detail together before moving on to the next step. She presented us with ideas that we would never have thought of on our own while keeping our budget firmly in mind. Sandra was always available for questions and advice. She came out to the house twice and then we communicated almost daily before the start of the project. She left no stone unturned in the project planning and layout which resulted in a smooth remodel once construction began. Sandra has a very good understanding of construction and aesthetics and is able to blend them together. The quality of the cabinetry she provided is impeccable. Our contractor said they were “top of the line”. They far surpassed others we had looked at and were about the same cost. Sandra provided us with a kitchen layout that we never would have imagined, it is absolutely perfect! If we ever need to remodel another kitchen, we will be using Sandra without question. If you’re looking for someone to create your dream kitchen, contact Sandra at EKD! — Lisa Hurley

* * *
Sandra was brought in to finalize a preliminary design that we had made for our kitchen remodel. She provided valuable suggestions for modifications to enhance the layout of the kitchen. For example, our original plan had the refrigerator in one location and she recommended moving it to a different location to open up the space. She was supportive of our concerns, but still able to respectfully communicate her recommendations. We are 100% pleased with the location of the refrigerator and can’t even imagine the kitchen any other way.

Also, based on the budget we provided to Sandra, she was able to guide us toward extremely well-made, beautiful cabinets which we wouldn’t have found on our own.

We appreciated Sandra’s support throughout the process and would absolutely recommend her to others. — Jenny Gutierrez

* * *
Sandra designed our kitchen remodel. She was extremely helpful with her ideas and had a great vision for our space. Sandra was conscious of our budget which helped ease our remodeling jitters. She worked closely with us every step of the way, from the cabinet type, color and design down to the lighting and back splash tile. Our overall experience with Sandra was positive and I would not hesitate to use her again. — Suzanne Paul

* * *
We think most people admire new kitchens for the quality of the appliances and cabinets. Ours are great too. But the special payoff with the kitchen and butler’s pantry you designed for us is the floor plan and arrangement of all the facilities.

At Thanksgiving we had 15 at the table and eight of us worked on food prep. And yet there was almost no “getting in the way of each other.” We could all smoothly move around and get all those different dishes to the table warm and stress free.

We cook more often every week. It’s more fun. After a year of active use this kitchen/pantry still feels new. It can be a quick meal after work made easy. Or a lazy, long Saturday breakfast made romantic. Or bonding as a couple for a marathon dinner prep for friends. Or not leaving work at the cook top but still being able to see out the front window, back windows, side window and watch TV too.

True, we were stunned at first by how different your design layout was from what we had had for years. But we would advise all future clients of yours to seriously ponder any surprising changes you may recommend. The radical changes opened up a cramped space without stealing space from other rooms or expanding the house — heaven forbid! With only trivial adjustments to the original plan you gave us a culinary factory that feels alternately like a limo or a touring car. We could not be happier.

OK. Back to the cabinets. They are elegant, sturdy, and fully functional. We would choose exactly the same for everything whether spice rack, large space for large pots, display for fine glassware, useful space under sink or cook top, or making the most of cold corners. We are glad we got them through you as well. Thank you! 
– Debbie Barthello and Mike Dillon

* * *
Now that we’ve moved back into our house, I just wanted to let you know how thrilled we are with our new kitchen. It’s really lovely, and exactly what we wanted.
We also appreciate how wonderful you were to work with throughout the entire process. We were very nervous about this project, and you made it so much easier and less stressful than we could have hoped. You gave excellent suggestions and advice, you were always responsive to our needs, and you always stayed at least one step ahead of us (and usually more) in terms of anticipating deadlines, decisions, and potential problems. You also were great at coordinating with our contractor who found you terrific to work with.

We plan to recommend you to all of our friends, so be prepared for more tiny DC rowhouse kitchen requests. — 
Miriam and Adam

* * *
Sandra is thorough, respectful and incredibly hardworking. She truly cares about her clients. We appreciate her efforts on our behalf, especially since this was our first home remodeling project.

 — 
Bill, Glynnis and Kevin D.

* * *
Each day we love the kitchen you designed for us even better that we did the day before. Thank you for making such a splendid contribution to our home. You took our rough, and often ill-defined, ideas and interpreted them into a beautiful room that is fully functional andaesthetically exquisite. You guided us around pitfalls, were always available when we needed you, and there were no surprises along the way. We hear a lot of “oohs and ahs” when our friends see it for the first time, and sometimes for the second and third times too. Our only regret is that we like our new kitchen so much we probably will not have an opportunity to have you design another one for us.
 — 
Carol and Kelly M.

* * *


Working with Sandra on our kitchen design immediately laid to rest the fears one imagines when taking on a monumental project.  She took time throughout to listen to us to acquire a feel for our interpretation of the kitchen space and usage, then went to work augmenting our plan with ideas of her own.  At no time was it intrusive or forced. She placed a value on our wishes and questions, then lent her enormous expertise toward shaping it into the kitchen we wanted.  We appreciate the depth of knowledge she has, her respect for us as owners of the project, and her ability to turn rudimentary mind sketches into multi-faceted, contemporary space—translating the kitchen of our dreams into one of reality.  We highly recommend Sandra as a partner in any renovation project!

 — Susan and Steve Wagoner

* * *
Sandra Brannock designed our townhouse kitchen renovation this year. Her creativity in the design allowed possibilities we had not considered ourselves, specifically, the addition of a kitchen island, greatly improving the functionality and appearance of our consolidated kitchen and dining room.
Sandra’s professional and timely advice regarding our tile backsplash also improved the final appearance of the kitchen. Although we worked with a professional tile designer, it was Sandra’s specific advice regarding color choices that allowed the backsplash to become an enhancement to our new cabinets, rather than a distraction from them.
Sandra was available by phone call or email to answer any of our questions or concerns throughout the entire project. Her communication with us was always professional, courteous, and timely.
We enthusiastically recommend Sandra Brannock as a design consultant for kitchen renovations. — 

Karis and Mark F.


* * *
Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much we appreciate your hard work. The kitchen looks absolutely fabulous! So happy that JP picked you to design the kitchen. — Joe C.

* * *
Thanks so much for everything you’ve done….the cabinets really look nice…the whole thing is really coming together. 

 — Kathy H.

* * *
I laid out the floor plan for a single level open 4500 sq ft floor plan house featuring Universal Design.  This included the basic layout of the kitchen and selection of appliances.  Sandra Brannock of Expert Kitchen Designs took my basic plan and greatly improved it.  Sandra’s kitchen design retained all of my desired  wheelchair accessible features and ADA counter top heights, improved the task flow and added balance and symmetry.  Her recommendations and guidance in the selection of counter tops, cabinets and trim resulted in a clean, sophisticated look that will be timeless. This elegant and functional kitchen is the showpiece of a lovely home and is an exemplar of Sandra’s design expertise. — Ron Knecht