Designer Spotlight: Claire Teunissen

  • May 9, 2019

Today on the Mingle blog, we are continuing our designer spotlight Q & A series with Claire Teunissen, one of our award-winning Kitchen and Bath Designers.

Kitchen and Bath Designer Claire Teunissen

What drew you to the kitchen and bath industry?

My father is a hands-on man who has owned a residential contracting business for over 25 years. I’ve been immersed in the construction industry for my entire life. As a child, I loved to visit his jobsites, and as I got older, I would help him on his personal renovation projects. Over the years, I gained great insight into the construction process and a keen appreciation for what goes on behind the walls.

I’m also very creative and love art. Kitchen and bath design allows me to combine my knowledge and experience in construction with my creativity and passion for design. I enjoy the technical aspects and fine details of kitchen and bath design as well as the opportunity to come up with a creative solution to a problem or design something unique for a client’s space.

What inspires you – personally and professionally?

Personally, I am inspired by honesty and integrity. Doing the right thing is inspiring to me.

Professionally, I am inspired by classic design and ultimately, true craftsmanship.

Butler's Pantry design Mingle kitchen and bath designer

A butler’s pantry in a Wayzata transitional kitchen remodel Claire Teunissen assisted on. Photography: Spacecrafting Photography

What do you believe are your strengths or special talents as a designer?

I understand how things go together, which helps ensure that my designs can be installed efficiently and without issues. A typical kitchen design project involves not only the cabinetry, but also electrical, plumbing, and HVAC considerations. A smooth installation must take all these things into account. This comes pretty naturally to me.

I also feel that I have a knack for helping clients balance what they want with what will work best in their space. There are usually a few options, and sometimes a few tradeoffs. I like to discuss the pros and cons of the various designs options and help clients prioritize their desires. Clients appreciate my thorough and honest analysis of their space, which helps them feel comfortable in making a final decision.

Give me an example of a common challenge you face in kitchen remodels. How do you overcome it?

One frequent challenge is microwave placement. The microwave is still a necessary tool, but it is no longer considered a “featured” appliance. Homeowners usually don’t need a large microwave and furthermore, they don’t want it to be visible. One solution for this is a microwave drawer. Another option is a custom work station hidden behind pocket or bi-fold doors.  The work station can hold the microwave (see rendering below) and other small appliances that would otherwise clutter up the kitchen counters.

Microwave hidden work station

Cabinet rendering designed by Claire Teunissen of microwave hidden work station

What made you interested in working at Mingle?

I became interested in working at Mingle when I first browsed the showroom during kitchen and bath design training through Century College. I was thoroughly impressed by how beautiful it was. I began working at Mingle as an intern shortly after I completed my training, and am so grateful for the mentorship I have received from everyone on the Mingle team.  

Modern Cottage Style Transitional Kitchen

Modern Cottage Style Transitional Kitchen designed by Claire Teunissen in Wayzata, MN. Photography: Scott Amundson

What about kitchen and bath design brings you the most joy?

When I think about it, there are actually two answers to this question.

First, I work hard every day to earn my clients’ trust, and it gives me great joy to know that they trust in my design expertise for their major build or remodel project. It’s a very rewarding feeling.

Secondly, the construction side of me takes great pleasure in watching my design come to life. I’m familiar with the process, I enjoy working with the install team, and I take pride in every completed project.  My joy is complete when my clients tell me how much they love their new space!


To learn more about Claire, read her bio on our meet the design team page.

To learn more about what design services we offer or how you could work with Claire, contact us today.

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