Influencer Kortney Wilson discusses DIY kitchen renovations

The thing about influencers is that they also have real lives and homes and families which means they interact with companies and products they use just like everyone else. Recently, HGTV star and professional home stylist Kortney Wilson had to renovate the kitchen in her Kentucky home, but she didn’t want to completely demolish it, with all the inconvenience and expense that entailed.

Kortney turned to Nieu Cabinet Doors for a solution. We asked both Kortney and Teri Simone, head of design and marketing at Nieu Cabinet Doors, how it was going.

Tell us something about the activations that NCD does with influencers?

Teri Simone: NCD works with influencers for all types of projects – big and small! We’ve collaborated on projects such as minor makeovers from bathroom furniture to custom kitchens using store-bought cabinet boxes and our custom doors, and everything in between – mudroom installations, major kitchen renovation projects, and more. We have a co-branded product line with Angela Rose Home and pride ourselves on offering a custom-looking kitchen at a fraction of the price (without taking it all out!) When working with influencers, our approach is more collaborative than before. the other. We believe in and celebrate the talent and creativity of our brand partners! We don’t use scripted campaigns or dusty messages – we work of the people we partnered with to craft a project, message, and content plan that is unique to them and targeted to their unique audience.

Tell us more about working with Kortney?

Teri Simone: Working with Kortney was a fun collaboration! Her eye for design and creativity is second to none, and working as closely together on this vision as she did on her personal properties allowed us to follow the process every step of the way. From planning how Nieu doors would work in the kitchen makeover to measuring and installing them in-house, Kortney was part of every phase of the renovation. Being so involved allowed her to show how the product works and was just as excited as we were by the end result!

Can you explain some important lessons?

Teri Simone: An important learning point in working with Kortney was the power of updating cabinets after the countertops were replaced. Often our customers only look at replacing doors or replacing doors and counters simultaneously. In Kortney’s case, however, updating to beautiful new worktops made the existing doors stand out more, and then came the need for a cabinet overhaul to make both the cabinets and worktops shine.

What was the best thing about this collaboration?

Teri Simone: Working with Kortney was an absolute dream! It was a pleasure to watch the kitchen evolve to its final completion with Kortney’s exceptional look and style. This partnership started exciting when we got to be part of that “aha” moment with Kortney in an initial conversation, realizing that after updating the countertops in this lake house the doors could use a little love too, and that there’s a way to completely update the look without stripping the entire kitchen. She created a beautiful designer kitchen without moving a single cabinet and without replacing the doors, but the result seems like she has started over. Working together to get this message across has been exciting from day one, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Kortney, what was the best part of working with NCD?

Kortney Wilson: I loved working with Nieu Cabinet Doors in my lake kitchen. The whole process was so much easier than gutting an entire kitchen. From measuring to installing, I am quite pleased with the result. I can also see a boatload of people there making memories for years to come.

What are some of the sustainable aspects of the brand?

Kortney Wilson: I insisted on reducing my carbon footprint during this renovation. The previous cupboard boxes were old but in good condition. However, the doors were not only dated, but legitimately broken and damaged in places beyond repair. I wanted to increase the look and value without feeling like I was creating unnecessary waste. This was the reason it took me so long to even get started on the project. I wanted so badly to modernize, but I couldn’t justify stripping the kitchen and starting from scratch.

What were some key lessons from this project?

Kortney Wilson: An important learning point was measuring, because a project like this can feel overwhelming, but it was completely doable just by following the directions. When I was doubting myself, I just called to get clarification and the team assured me I was thinking too much. It was the part of the process that I can now confidently say: If I can do it, so can you!

What made this collaboration unique?

Teri Simone: This collaboration was unique in that the kitchen update started with countertops, rather than cabinet doors. This was a fun way to see the transformation in an even more impactful way – the sleek new counters looked great and the old cabinet doors stood out more against the new countertops. After refitting the cabinet doors, the result was unrecognizable, but it was exciting to have this new/old intermediate stage updated with counters and no doors, and then see the new doors as the icing on the cake.

Kortney Wilson: This project was unique in that I was working a bit out of order. I thought replacing the green tiled countertops would solve my need to update the kitchen. In reality, it just brought more attention to the cabinet doors and asked for some help with the design. It was also unique in location. This place isn’t exactly in the middle of a city where I could call on people to help. My fiancĂ©, Ryan, and I did the entire installation on our own. It really felt like a doable DIY made possible by great directions, a great product but most importantly, great labeling! I was impressed.

Kortney, how does your creative process work when working with brands? Was that different at NCD?

Kortney Wilson: Every time I work with a different brand on a personal project for my own family, I feel less pressure to get everything perfect. As a result, I usually enjoy the process a bit more. To be involved not only in the design of the kitchen, but from the measuring to the installation, I can truly attest that the process is doable for someone who does not have much experience with reno. I mean, I’ve hung the cabinets, installed the hinges and hardware, and there’s a sense of pride in knowing that my family and friends will enjoy this space for years to come. Stripping a kitchen is a creative process, but completely daunting. Replacing the doors was fun!

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