September Pro of the Month: Todd Zitzkat
Todd Zitzkat is living the dream. He designs and builds houses – just as he’s always wanted to do ever since he was a kid. And he’s his own client. Work doesn’t get much better than that.
Every year, Todd takes on just a few projects near his Connecticut home. For him, every one is personal. Because many of his customers tend to be younger, first time buyers, he keeps them in mind when he makes design decisions and chooses materials.
Todd explains his philosophy this way, “I want to give people their money’s worth so that when they fall in love with a house, I know it’s one they can live in and enjoy for a long, long time.”
His concerns about quality and workmanship are high on the list of reasons he chooses CliqStudios cabinets again and again. Kara Lepley, his CliqStudios designer is another.
“Kara and I work together so often that we can get things done quickly,” says Zitzkat. “We trade ideas back and forth and then, in a day or two, she’ll send me a full kitchen design. I appreciate everything she does and really look forward to turning her concepts into actual kitchens.
Kara is an ideal partner for Todd. That’s because she’s not only an expert in kitchens – she also has a background in residential design so she often participates in concepts for the entire house.
The two of them have developed a mutual admiration society. They appreciate each other’s professionalism and creativity. And having a similar sense of humor makes the whole process even more enjoyable for both of them. It’s no wonder then that, together, they’ve done about a dozen kitchens – all completely different.
“Todd is not only easy to work with but he’s always receptive to innovative ideas,” says Lepley. “I think that’s at least partly due to experienced people he brings in to do the installation. The workmanship is always first rate.”
The more Todd uses CliqStudios cabinets the more he realizes how much flexibility they offer. The wide range of cabinet sizes means they can fit perfectly, even in unusual spaces. That’s important to him because he doesn’t like to build the same house over and over. He’s found that even when using traditional cabinet styles, by finishing with interesting hardware or adding glass doors, he is able to create an endless number of unique kitchens. He often adds to that uniqueness by using reclaimed materials like barn wood, stone or old bricks to maintain the historical integrity of the houses he renovates.
In addition to enthusiasm about the collaborative process, Todd and Kara also share a touch of impatience. Once the plans have been drawn, they’re both anxious to see the completed kitchen. Kara explains it this way, “Because I know Todd’s work so well, I know the kitchen is going to be beautiful and I just can’t wait to see the photographs he sends.”
She’s right. Todd’s photographs tell the story very well. His kitchens are creatively designed and beautifully built for a lifetime of use and enjoyment.