Every remodel is different. Whether it’s a kitchen or a bathroom, a remodeler should consider your tastes and spaces.

“You think a kitchen is a kitchen, but each one is different,” says Cathy Johnson, who co-owns Kitchens by Design in Kettering with her husband, Miles. “We’re very hands on; we work with you from the beginning of your project to the end. We do everything in house.”

The Dayton natives have been married for 42 years and opened the first Kitchens by Design store in 1995, but Miles has been remodeling for 30 years. “We’re partners in everything,” says Cathy.

Cathy runs the administrative aspects of the shop, but Miles and Jarrod Shell do the design.

“If I learn the design part, then he [Miles] doesn’t need to be here,” laughs Cathy. “We tag team on selling and we work together on all the selections. Customer interaction is our favorite part [of the job].”

If you stop by the store, try some of Geneva Bowman’s cooking. Bowman, Cathy’s mom, is always cooking in the showroom’s full kitchen, nicknamed Jenny’s kitchen. You can also find her recipes online, like her broccoli soup.

“There’s not a day that goes by where there’s not a cake or cookies,” says Cathy.

“I sold a kitchen for them [Cathy and Miles] one time. I was making broccoli soup and I asked if he [the customer] wanted a bowl, and he ate that soup and looked at her [his wife] and said, ‘We’ll buy our kitchen here,' ” laughs Bowman.

The family business, which now includes daughter Melissa, sells everything customers need from floor to ceiling, such as cabinets, decorative hardware, lighting, flooring, quartz and granite counter tops.

Melissa, who is learning the ropes after 20 years in the medical industry, came on board as part of the company’s succession plan.

“We didn’t have anything in place, except for our 10-year-old grandson who says he will run it,” says Johnson. “He’s helped lay floor. He truly loves the aspect of it. But in the meantime, Melissa is changing her career, coming into the business to learn the design aspect.

“I read every trade magazine that comes in this building from front page to back, research all the things our manufacturers send us. But we try to focus on the things that have the most longevity,” says Cathy.

The Johnsons are up on the trends and they follow the ones that will stand the test of time.

“Trends tend to become time dated. Some of the trends right now are wonderful, open design and more lighting: those are going to be traditional,” adds Cathy. “You don’t want to notice that the kitchen was done in the ‘90s.”

Kitchens by Design is remodeling itself. They’re expanding the showroom from 1,500 square feet to 4,500 square feet so there will be more kitchens and baths. There will be a warehouse on site and more convenient parking. And once the renovations are complete, Cathy intends on bringing in a Keurig because even now, there’s always a pot of coffee brewing at the store to make guests feel at home.

Someone in the family is at the store almost every day. It’s become almost a second home with plenty of memories.

“I have pictures of her [Melissa’s] oldest daughter, who’s [now] 15, sitting in one of the sinks. She was so small it looked like a bathtub,” says Cathy. “When our daughter-in-law found out she was expecting, we actually held her baby shower here in the shop. Our grandchildren have been part of commercials. It’s such a part of our family and tradition.”

Cathy also credits Miles for the company’s success. “He’s very good. There’s almost nothing that he can’t fix or repair. I’ve never paid a repairman, but I have paid a lawn man. He hates yard work,” laughs Cathy.

Although Miles didn’t go to school for design, he had a lot of on-the-job training as a subcontractor for a lumber company. “They had these displays they wanted to put in and asked him. It snowballed from there,” says Cathy. “It was one of those things where he had these innate talents. He truly has a God-given talent.”

Kitchens by Design will work with you from start to finish, including plumbing and electric. They also have a 3-D design system that can show you a rendering of your kitchen throughout the design process, which is helpful because there’s a lot to choose from.

Most of Kitchens by Design’s suppliers are local or at least based in the United States. Medallion Cabinetry, from Minnesota, is the biggest brand name that Kitchens by Design sells. It includes 195 color and stain combinations, about 40 different door styles and three different lines of cabinets from good to better to best.

“It’s a lot to look through, but that’s where we help and guide them. That’s why we like to go to their home,” says Cathy. “If you have a light-stained baseboard, you may or may not go with a dark cabinetry. We try to make sure that everything works together. We want your home to flow.”