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The daughter of an architect and builder, Kathryn O’Donovan was inspired by beautiful design from an early age. While visiting the construction sites of her father’s projects, Kathryn developed a true appreciation for the artistic effort and talent required to create beautiful space and structure. She also learned to recognize the importance that detail brings to good design.
Aspiring to combine the basics she had learned with the creative energy she possessed, Kathryn pursued her own dream of becoming a designer, and today is a valued member of Normandy Remodeling’s talented design team. Raised in Ireland, Kathryn moved to Chicago in 1995 and studied for a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts at the International Academy. She quickly found her niche in the kitchen and bath industry, creating stunning designs and quality work that have earned her the reputation of a highly regarded industry professional. Her success has made it possible for her to work with two celebrity designers, and she also assisted in design projects across the globe from Hawaii to Austria.
Kathryn’s success as a designer is rooted in the relationship of trust she develops with her clients. By truly listening to their concerns, needs and ideas, Kathryn is adept in being able to conceptualize a design solution that brings function, beauty and style to the newly remodeled space that reflects the homeowners’ tastes and personalities. Her commitment to providing her clients with a positive, enjoyable remodeling experience is sincere, her design ability is inspired and the end results of her efforts are spectacular.
If you’re ready to take the first step toward your remodel, we can set up a time to talk about your project. We’ll discuss wants, needs, and concerns while starting to develop a plan just for you.Schedule A Conversation
Find design inspiration around every corner. Read some of Kathryn’s featured articles and case studies.More Articles
"Normandy did a great job on our bathroom remodel. We could not be happier."
“Normandy did a great job on our bathroom remodel. We could not be happier.”
"We just finished our second remodeling project with Normandy at this house, and we're very pleased with the experience, and...see more
“We just finished our second remodeling project with Normandy at this house, and we’re very pleased with the experience, and with the finished product. Our experience is that remodeling requires three key elements: an excellent designer, an excellent construction manager, and excellent trades. If any one of those is lacking, it causes big problems. Normandy has shown that it has all three. Our designer did a great job envisioning the job and planning it, our project manager was experienced, diligent, and respectful of our living space, and the trades, without exception, were skilled and committed to doing a good job. Normandy doesn’t cut corners–they do the job right. There is high quality in their design, their materials, and their work.”
"We have recommended Normandy to a friend and would gladly continue to recommend them."
“We have recommended Normandy to a friend and would gladly continue to recommend them.”
"The project and working relationships were high quality. We understand and appreciate it comes with cost. And for us, it...see more
“The project and working relationships were high quality. We understand and appreciate it comes with cost. And for us, it was worth it.”
“Working with Normandy was truly a great experience. Kathryn and Shawn were both so amazing, responsive, professional and accessible at all times. We cannot say enough wonderful things about them and about Normandy. We would highly recommend Normandy Remodeling again.”
"Overall a terrific experience that exceeded our expectations. Normandy is professional, fairly priced and our project was completed on time....see more
“Overall a terrific experience that exceeded our expectations. Normandy is professional, fairly priced and our project was completed on time. The design work from Kathryn was exceptional. We absolutely loved working with her, she made our vision a reality. She also went above and beyond and helped / guided every decision. She is a true professional. We would recommend her all day long.”
“This is our second project with Kathryn & she is an outstanding designer! She is extremely detailed; has great design recommendations; looks for ways to stay within budget; & has tremendous follow through skills. We would highly recommend her as a designer!”
"Over the last few years, my husband and I have been updating a 1970’s home. We started with the outside...see more
“Over the last few years, my husband and I have been updating a 1970’s home. We started with the outside because we could agree that we needed new landscaping, siding, driveway, and front walk. However, we left the inside for last as we were having difficulty coming up with a shared view as to what to do. All we knew was we wanted to tear down the wall between the family room and kitchen and renovate both spaces to make one great room. Kathryn O’Donovan (our designer) was great at helping us navigate all the design choices and product selections. She came up with a beautiful design. One of our favorite elements in the design was to convert an old wet bar in our family room into a built-in “beverage center” that appears to be a piece of furniture recessed into the wall. Kathryn listened to us and gave us logical explanations for how certain choices would or would not work. She spent hours with us at the design studio helping us make our selections. Kathryn was also very responsive during the construction process.
A few days before our honed quartz countertops were to be installed, Kathryn learned that the countertop supplier, who was just venturing into honed quartz products, wanted its customers to sign a waiver stating that we realized that a honed surface could be scratched or marked more easily and that they would not warranty the surface. We were reluctant to sign such a waiver. Even though Kathryn felt the honed countertops would not pose a problem, she listened to our concerns and switched gears. She helped us select a polished quartz countertop. It was installed two days later. And to be honest, we like this polished countertop as much if not more than the first choice.
We were equally pleased to work with Daryl Kemp, our project manager/superintendent. He kept us well informed as to what would be happening each day by either calling us or sending an evening e-mail. We always knew when trades people would or would not be coming to our home. Daryl went above and beyond to make sure we were satisfied. The original design for our undercabinet lighting was puck lights. We did this in order to save on cost. However, Darryl felt we would be unhappy with the lighting as the light rail would not hide the pucks. He thought we should have recessed strip lighting instead. And he found money in his budget to do this at no additional cost to us. Lastly, Daryl is very helpful. He and my husband spent a couple of hours installing the kitchen television in the specially designed cabinet nook.
Overall, we are very pleased with Normandy’s work for several reasons. First, the work was completed on schedule. We were leaving for an overseas trip and told Normandy that we did not want to start the remodel unless they could finish before we left. They completed it two days early. Also, Normandy adhered to their budget. Once we received the project price for Normandy’s work, we realized that the amount was a little higher than we wanted to spend. So, we asked Kathryn how often Normandy stayed within or exceeded the quoted budget. Kathryn said that barring any hidden or unforeseen conditions behind walls that we were tearing down, that Normandy worked hard to come in at the project price. And they certainly did. At the end, the total project cost was less than 1% over the original project price.
Normandy employs professional and excellent tradespeople. For example, Normandy’s electrician, Freddie, discovered that our electrical panel was obsolete and potentially a fire hazard. In fact, new circuit breakers could no longer be purchased for this particular electrical panel. Electricians had to purchase refurbished ones. Consequently, we followed Freddie’s and our PM Darryl’s advice to replace and enlarge the electrical panel for $300. Had we waited until we were ready to sell and trying to pass a house inspection, we figure it would have cost a lot more to make the needed change.
Lastly, Normandy addresses and resolves problems effectively. For example, we learned a few days before starting demolition that the dumpster was going to be placed on our recently installed concrete driveway. Normandy asked us to sign a preconstruction checklist stating that they would not be held accountable if the dumpster left any cracks in the cement. We felt uncomfortable signing off on that item so Normandy modified their plan to place the dumpster on the grass adjacent to the driveway. Except for a little grass re-seeding, which we expected, no damage was done.
We are definitely pleased with our kitchen/family room remodel. We highly recommend Normandy to others.”
“Kathryn was a pleasure to work with and very knowledgeable. She was a great resource to us all throughout the process from initial design to final construction. Our kitchen was transformed. We love it and our guests and family enjoy it too.”
"From start to finish the entire project was done to the highest standards. I have recommended Normandy Remodeling, Ken Garrison,...see more
“From start to finish the entire project was done to the highest standards. I have recommended Normandy Remodeling, Ken Garrison, and Kathryn O’Donovan to other families, friends, and neighbors. They have become good friends because they are just really great people. They hire the best contractors for all electrical, carpentry, etc. and we will use them again in the future as often as we have building projects.”
“We used Normandy for our 1st floor remodeling project. Our designer, Kathryn O’Donovan, was and is a consummate professional. From our very first design meeting with her, to our very last, Kathryn was uber prepared, organized, knowledgeable, professional, supportive AND a lot of fun to work with. She had brilliant design suggestions or options for us to consider, but always let us lead with “our vision” on how we wanted the project to be realized. Our project Superintendent was Eric Rieman and he truly is outstanding at his job. Eric explained the project’s timeline so we knew what was happening exactly when. He was able to have each stage of the project flow seamlessly into the next and we were very satisfied that there were almost no “down days”. He was courteous to the point of being aware of our family’s schedules and travel dates and was able to have some critical projects completed during our absence so as not to interfere or interrupt our family life even more so during a project of this magnitude. Eric was consistent with his communication with us; always answered our questions promptly, offered flexibility when we needed it, offered solutions when warranted… The patience and grace he showed us is truly remarkable when one knows he probably has been asked the same questions a thousand times over by many different homeowners. We give Kathryn O’Dovovan, Eric Rieman and the Normandy Company our highest recommendation. We look forward to using them in the future!”
“We are thrilled with our new kitchen and the entire experience with Normandy Remodeling. Our designer Kathryn O’Donovan and project manager Bill Thomas made the entire project a pleasure with their expertise and professionalism. We had numerous questions and requests and every single one was dealt with in a timely and professional manner. Our kitchen is beautiful and we are grateful for the job Kathryn and Bill did for us. We highly, highly recommend Normandy to anyone thinking about remodeling their kitchen. Worth every penny! Thanks again Kathryn and Bill!”
"When I was the CEO of our family men's garment manufacturing company I can't recall ever having personnel the quality...see more
“When I was the CEO of our family men’s garment manufacturing company I can’t recall ever having personnel the quality of Kathryn O’Donovan or Bruce Pettingill. There was no way we were going to tumble and fall with Kathryn at our side. She had answers at every turn of the road – and by the way, they were good answers. She demonstrated ultimate support for us, guidance that was sound and thoughtful and the assurance that our kitchen would be just what we wanted. And that is the outcome.
Jan and I have done a lot with our home and through these various endeavors we could tell you more than one story that started in the sunshine and ended up in the mud. I sometimes wonder how we got to where we are with our home when we consider the phonies, the liars and the cheaters that we dealt with through the years. The best thing I can say is that with Normandy I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did. We were very pleased with your staff, your work and that you faithfully kept your word.
The tradesmen who were in our home were cordial, respectful of our property, careful in their work and they even put up with our chocolate Labrador who barked when they arrived and totally lost interest in them in the next second. We are only sorry that we were not fully aware of Normandy in the past because there is no question in our minds that we would have had a higher level of satisfaction with the projects in our home with you at our side. In addition, thank you for the beautiful cutting board.
Kathryn stayed in touch with us throughout and was more than thoughtful. Bruce just could not have been any nicer. We liked him from the start and he was never bothered by our questions. Jan knows a great deal about construction and has surprised many a tradesman with her knowledge. I am stupid when it comes to such matters and have neither the inclination nor the desire to learn. However, when Bruce explained things I understood and admit that I learned a bit. He presented not only Normandy, but himself in the most positive ways. If we decide to do another project I would request that great team of Kathryn and Bruce. It’s a better combination than peanut butter and jelly. In appreciation I told Kathryn I would be happy to speak to a group of your potential clients at one of your presentations. I would neither accept nor expect any remuneration of any kind.
You have built a wonderful organization based on integrity and performance. We thank you for that because in our experience such things are a rare commodity.”
“We recently completed a kitchen and master bathroom remodeling project with Normandy Remodeling and are absolutely thrilled with the results! The number one key to the success of our project was our designer, Kathryn O”Donovan. Kathryn quickly impressed us with her vast knowledge and her communication skills. She developed a very creative design plan with our input. A major change for our home design was the removal of an interior wall separating the kitchen and dining room. The resulting space is beautiful and the design is so well thought out. Kathryn expertly guided us through what could have been a rather intimidating process with her amazing attention to details and product knowledge. We applaud Kathryn’s excellent design skills, creativity, and how pleasant it was to work with her. And, once we had a masterful design, Normandy executed the project flawlessly. Yes, there were a couple surprises along the way, but they were addressed very professionally and resolved with minimal impact. After our project was completed, we have engaged Normandy on a couple occasions for follow-up items that came up and they have been extremely responsive. Design excellence, great execution and exemplary follow-up sum up our experience with Normandy and we highly recommend them.”
"We recently completed a large addition project with Normandy and I honestly can't say enough good things about them. The...see more
“We recently completed a large addition project with Normandy and I honestly can’t say enough good things about them. The entire process from design concept through construction to the final touches was seamless. We had never undertaken a project of this size and scope and needed a resource that could oversee the whole process including working with our Village to secure the necessary permit approvals. Having everything “under one roof” was incredibly helpful and made the process easy and low stress. The team we worked with was extraordinary and completely dedicated to the job – highly experienced, super responsive, trustworthy and genuinely good people (specifically, Al Lovas, Troy Pavelka and Kathyrn O’Donovan). I would recommend Normandy to anyone looking to do a remodel or addition of any size.. they’ll certainly be the first people we call for our next project!”
“We are very pleased with the result of our recent kitchen remodel. Our designer, Kathryn O’Donovan worked very closely with us to ensure that our customized cabinet stain was perfect, and was able to help us maximize our working space while giving us the clean modern look we wanted. Everyone who was part of our project team was committed to customer satisfaction, especially our superintendant Joe Campea. Anytime we had a question or suggestion, Joe and Kathryn worked with us in a timely fashion to ensure our complete satisfaction. I would recommend using Normandy Builders as they are highly professional and strongly committed to customer satisfaction.”
"We recently completed a kitchen/powder room/family room remodel with Normandy Remodeling & couldn't be happier with our choice & the...see more
“We recently completed a kitchen/powder room/family room remodel with Normandy Remodeling & couldn’t be happier with our choice & the project outcome! We worked with designer, Kathryn O’Donovan, & were delighted with her professionalism, design talents, & attention to every detail. It was obvious after our first meeting with Kathryn that she was someone who “thought outside the box” & who was able to provide us with three beautiful & creative design options. All her options were within the budget guidelines we had given her & would not have exceeded our budget IF it were not for changes/additions WE made!
Kathryn understood our vision & executed it beautifully. She has the ability to design very traditional spaces, as well as contemporary spaces – which I feel makes her a unique design talent! She led us through the design process with expert skill & professionalism – making us feel as if we were her only project. Kathryn was unbelievably responsive to any & all of our requests/concerns – following up with us late in the evening & even on her days off. She was there to guide & reassure us on our design choices, including coming to our home on short notice to modify our design when issues arose during the demolition process. We really never expected this level of client focus & am quite sure we wouldn’t have received it from other remodeling firms we had considered. We highly recommend Normandy Remodeling & without reservation give Kathryn O’Donovan an outstanding review!”
“We absolutely love our newly remodeled kitchen! Designer Kathryn O’Donovan fine-tuned our ideas and and drew on her considerable professional expertise to deliver far more than we expected in design and function. It doesn’t just look great (which it does), but it functions so well. Kathryn took the time to learn how we cooked and entertained to make sure the design met our needs. She was patient with our decision-making and encouraged us to think a little “outside the box” to get what we wanted.
Construction manager Andy Healy kept work moving and his crews were professional, tidy and always responsive to our questions and needs. This project began by gutting the entire kitchen and dining area and knocking out a wall. It could have experienced many bumps, but it came in on time and on budget.
The bottom line is that we love the result. Great job!”
“Our experience with Normandy Remodeling was better than we could have possibly imagined. Every individual from our designer, Kathryn O’Donovan, to our site manager, Chris Beck, and everyone in between were professional and attentive to the highest degree. Many places say they treat you as if you are their only customer. Normandy Remodeling proves it. Every detail of our remodeling project was gone over thoroughly multiple times. Kathryn made sure nothing went forward until we were 100 percent satisfied with every aspect of the project. There were no surprises regarding budget or schedule. Chris kept us updated on every step of the project. During remodeling Normandy communicated with us every single day. Everything regarding the project was kept on schedule. We would recommend Normandy to anyone with complete confidence. Costs were reasonable, quality was outstanding, and service was peerless.”
"Kathryn O'Donovan came recommended to us by a friend. Her visits to the house were professional, yet casual and very...see more
“Kathryn O’Donovan came recommended to us by a friend. Her visits to the house were professional, yet casual and very relaxed. We visited her at Normandy Builders to pick finishes and look at model kitchens. When we saw the design she had worked up, we were floored! It is more beautiful than I had imagined. She captured all that I was looking for in a kitchen and let’s say that I am looking for a lot. She has been very patient with us in our planning and a timeline that works for our family. I can’t wait to start!”
“Kathryn O’Donovan’s tireless dedication to every aspect and every detail always amazes us. She astutely and efficiently provides options, answers, suggestions and knowledgeable guidance every step of the way.”
“When we started the project, we had two goals in mind: we wanted ourselves and our friends and family to...see more
“When we started the project, we had two goals in mind: we wanted ourselves and our friends and family to think it was absolutely fabulous and we didn’t want it to look like an addition. Normandy did a fantastic job. Kathryn O’Donovan provided a great design. They exceeded our expectations.”