Each year, Houzz, an online platform for home remodeling and design, selects the top home remodeling professionals throughout the nation. The Best of Houzz 2016 is a homeowner-to-homeowner guide of the best home builders, architects, interior designers, landscape pros, and other professionals. This year, there were several Traverse City winners including Sara (Dakoske) VanderStelt with Creative KitchensKitchen ChoreographyUrban-Diversions, and B.C.D. Interiors.

There are three categories for the award: design, customer service, and photography. Urban-Diversions earned a Best of Houzz for design while B.C.D. Interiors, Kitchen Choreography, and Sara (Dakoske) VanderStelt took home awards for customer service, which are based on several factors, including the number and quality of recent client reviews.

We talked with Traverse City interior designer Sara, a kitchen and bathroom design and sales specialist at Creative Kitchens, about the award and what she loves about interior design in Northern Michigan.

All photography and design bySara (Dakoske) VanderStelt.

Sara began her career in 2004 after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in interior design. The Northern Michigan native started off in Rochester, Michigan before moving back to Traverse City in 2009.

Creative Kitchens, Traverse City“I missed home and the water,” Sara says. “I love working in design up here, and I’m very fortunate to have been able to build up my portfolio and clientele in such a beautiful area.”

Once back in Traverse City, one of her first projects was designing the kitchens and bathrooms in the condos at Building 50 in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. She then began working with Creative Kitchens in 2012 and has quickly become known for her customer service.

“I love working in Northern Michigan,” Sara says. “The people are so friendly, outgoing, and easy to work with. In our area, bringing the outdoors inside is a big thing. People want to bring the colors and feelings of the water and trees into their cottages. It’s exciting and inspiring to work with people who are as passionate about how their home looks as I am about designing it. I love what I do.”

Sara’s passion for her clients has played a role in her success and her recent Best of Houzz award for customer service. She also won the award last year along with a Red Hot Best.

“It’s incredible to win a Best of Houzz, and I love getting one for customer service,” Sara says. “It helps people to see what I’ve worked on and designed in the past, and it helps them to get ideas of what’s possible for their own home.”

Check out Sara’s Houzz profile here.

Read more about Traverse City’s Best of Houzz winners: Kitchen Choreography in Traverse City Wins Best of Houzz & Best of Houzz 2016 Traverse City Winner Urban-Diversions.

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