Happy new year! This week we are launching the 2023 Lauren Liess cabinet collections with Unique Kitchens & Baths!!
After years of working with various cabinet companies when designing kitchens/ bathrooms to try to get the look and feel I wanted (timeless, authentic, REAL wood finishes and hand-painted cabinets that didn’t feel like they were done in a plastic-like factory coating- you know what I’m talking about!!) and struggling to achieve it, I began working with UKB to develop a natural, bespoke line of cabinet collections that embody the authentic, timeless cupboards I’d been dreaming up.
With 25 colors in my natural palette (and custom available) plus a number of wax + oil stains on white oak, pine, maple + more (just ask!) UKB’s heirloom quality cupboards are handmade by cabinetmakers in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Since we’ve started using the collection, client after client has been blown away by the quality and craftsmanship and it’s been so rewarding. We’ve recently added a budget-friendly “unfinished” option which means you can now order any of the cabinet styles unfinished to be finished on site by you or your contractor. The oils/waxes/ paint from my collections can be ordered separately so you can still use them! (Heads up- they can’t be ordered without ordering cabinetry.)
The owners are wife-and-husband-team Tanya Smith-Shiflett and Dave Shiflett. Tanya handles the creative + business side of UKB and Dave makes the cabinets + delivers them with his amazing team.
Tanya is a FORCE (to put it lightly.) I remember the first time she called me to discuss the possibility of doing a collection together… talking a mile a minute about how amazing the collaboration could be and how if I could dream it, they could do it, how they made the best cabinets in the country, how they could provide handmade for less etc etc… I remember getting off the phone with (my) Dave being like- “what just happened? I think we might be doing a cabinet collection.” As I’ve gotten to know Tanya, I’ve learned that she sleeps very little, get more accomplished than seems humanly possible in very short amounts of time (basically, she knows how to get XXXX done), is the ultimate optimist, says yes to everything, won’t take no for an answer, cares deeply about the quality and delivery of their products and each and every client who comes across her path, and truly loves her employees and the design and build teams she works with.
Dave is hysterical and leads one of the most talented teams of craftspeople in the country. His commitment to quality and open-mindedness towards any design (he can makes things many others say can’t be done) we come up with make him truly the very best to work with. Just like Tanya, he gets IT DONE. I’m amazed at what the entire UKB team is able to accomplish.
For years in the US, it’s been a thing to simply order cabinetry from local kitchen & bath showrooms that carry various large cabinet manufacturers. Most showrooms carry multiple brands at various levels of quality and price points. Unless you are ordering your cabinets unfinished, it’s also very common for these cabinets to have that “factory coated” feeling to them. They’re real wood and real paint but they are so protected with the unnatural chemically-finishes that they somehow feel like plastic. This is even on very high-end brands. For years, I worked with whatever cabinet supplier my clients’ builders or architects were recommending and I had my cabinets hand-finished on site to avoid the factory coated issue for my clients. It was always an in-depth and time-consuming process to try to get the finish just right and it was difficult to achieve exactly what I was after. This is one of the biggest reasons I felt such relief when UKB entered my world.
It’s rare to be working directly with the actual cabinet maker when ordering cabinets, which allows an incredible amount of flexibility, customization and an entirely different level of care & attention because you’re talking to the makers themselves who take pride in their craft and every single thing going out their doors. When Tanya first approached me about working together, I went over all of my cabinet woes and they found solutions to each and every one of my “issues.” I’m forever grateful to them for always being open to doing things a different, more natural way. (As a heads up, these things are now built-on as the standard for my collections so it’s not something that needs to be requested if you order from the LL collection.)
Unique Kitchens & Baths has honed in on working with clients at a distance – with the use of samples and kitchen designers skilled at communicating design intent via drawings, zoom & phone calls. More of my kitchens are installed remotely than locally, believe it or not!! They own a trucking company and ship to all 50 states plus Canada & Puerto Rico. Shipping is included in the cost of the cabinets and leads times are amazing. This was really important to me when partnering with a cabinetry company as well because I wanted to be able to create a product that was readily available and easy to get.
To check out the new door collections, palette, and other customization options go here .
If you’re a designer, builder or architect, there is a trade program and you can contact UKB to open an account + get started with samples.
If you’re a homeowner looking to redo your kitchen or bathroom, there are a couple of options:
1. Work with a designer at UKB to help you design your kitchen/bath. Get started here.
2. Work with us here at Lauren Liess Interiors via our parcel e-design services. I work directly with a kitchen designer to oversee the design of your kitchen so that it’s got exactly what you want with my spin on it and you communicate and order directly with your designer. Purchase a parcel here.
3. Have your builder, architect or designer work directly with UKB
And if you’ve already got the kitchen of your dreams or are filing away ideas for the future, check out our kitchen portfolio for some eye candy + inspo!
photos throughout by Helen Norman, Stacy Zarin Goldberg, and Mark Weinberg