kitchen with dark cabinets

Pamela Charbonneau Of The Potvin Design Team

Everyone in the Potvin Design Team is a creative type. But their type of creativity is balanced with a need for structure and organization. These qualities, of course, are ideal when they start designing your custom cabinetry project, be it a kitchen, closet system, built-in wall unit or other.

Today we sit down with Pamela Charbonneau, the resident modern designer.

Describe to me your dream kitchen.

I lean towards a more modern design. A bit edgier with interesting, very angular, architectural details. Some of my fellow designers at Potvin are more transitional or traditional. I’m really on the other side of the spectrum. I like walnut, black, matte finishes, elements of glass and generally very minimalist.

What made you want to become a designer?

From a young age I was planning interiors. Just paper and crayon and off I went. I’d even go so far as to designing the layout of my desk at home. In high school I did an internship at Decor Micheline Boucher and I stayed there for 14 years. I’ve always been in design and I’ve never wanted to do anything else.

What qualities are needed to be a great designer?

You need to keep an open mind. You have to realise that you’re not designing your own home. You have to really put yourself in your clients’ shoes and understand how they want their kitchen to function. That’s very important. At the end of it all, the satisfaction I get from my job is having a satisfied client.

What do you like about the custom cabinetry design work you do?

It’s all about seeking out opportunities for originality, finding ways to get out of the box of the standard kitchen or space. I’m always pushing the envelop in that regard. I’m lucky here at Potvin since the special projects tend to end up on my desk. When I first got here, my first client arrived with a picture of her laundry room. You’ve never seen so many exposed pipes! She wanted a pantry in there, storage and, obviously, she didn’t want to see the pipes. I was the fifth designer she’d gone to and everyone turned her around. I was the only one who took on the project. A problem solving challenge like that is very interesting.

What are the types of projects you prefer working on?

I like working on the large, full house projects: kitchen, bathroom vanities, trim, wall units, nooks, fireplace mantels, TV units, closets and so on. I like the complexity of it and the organization necessary. But regardless of the size of the project, I’ll give the same effort. Right now, for example, I’m working on a TV unit that’s really interesting. It’s really got jazz!

Why should people choose Potvin?

We’re a local company offering a complete before and after service. It’s miles ahead of the big box stores where you’re pretty much on your own. Here your designer is your contact person but you’ll also have access to the after-service team. It’s important that our clients be comfortable throughout the process because building and renovating can be very stressful.