Custom Design, All the Time
Creative Nook, which specializes in spectacular custom “dream kitchens” and other interior home renovations, goes to great lengths to ensure each client’s satisfaction
by Lindsey Getz

Since its inception in 1979, Paoli-based Creative Nook has built upon its top-notch reputation for customer service, integrity and, of course, compelling design. Creative Nook’s breathtaking home renovations have earned the company a track record of satisfied clients, not to mention the attention of one organization in particular that truly understands the value of superior service and craftsmanship.

Although Creative Nook specializes in kitchen renovations, the company has evolved into a complete design-build firm and can also handle other interior renovation projects, including great rooms, basements and home theaters, among others. The common denominator among all these projects is the company’s dedication to meeting its customers’ needs.

Part of that process is an understanding that, despite similarities, no two projects are ever completely alike. Creative Nook owner Alex Hall, a certified kitchen designer (CKD) and a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS), says he comes to each new job with a fresh approach. “We are serious about avoiding cookie-cutter work,” he says. “We try to make each project unique because we know that no two families’ needs are exactly alike. That means paying attention to those small details.”

For Hall, those small details aren’t actually so small when it comes to the big picture. In developing a kitchen renovation, he will base the renovations on a homeowner’s cooking habits and lifestyle, down to even the smallest of details. For instance, is the person left-handed or right-handed? What cooking items or products do they need easiest access to? Which appliances get the most use and by whom?

“If the children are going to be using the microwave frequently, we want to make sure it’s at their level,” Hall explains. “We truly customize our design based on all the family’s specific needs and try to pay attention to the ergonomics of how a family prepares its meals. When those small details are given attention, they add up to make the overall experience in the kitchen much better. It’s one of the reasons our clients are so happy and why they continue to come back to us and refer us to others.”

That ability to capture even the smallest needs has also been incredibly helpful in Hall’s aging-in-place specialization. These days, most people report wanting to stay in their homes as they grow older. This desire can be made feasible with certain renovations—from something as minor as the addition of grab bars or a zero-entry shower in the bathroom to something as major as a whole-house transformation into a single-level living space. Whatever the case may be, Hall says Creative Nook can tackle such projects with confidence. Creative Nook also has a state-licensed occupational therapist on staff for CAPS projects.

Dream Kitchen Creation
Hall says most kitchen renovations include an expansion of the existing space. Because the average Chester County home has a kitchen space approximately 18 feet long and only 13 feet deep, in order to truly do the kitchen of a homeowner’s dreams justice, “blowing out” the back wall of the kitchen and expanding it by 5 to 8 feet can make a tremendous difference.

“With that kind of expansion,” Hall says, “you can do a beautiful kitchen design that truly has all the bells and whistles.”

Those “bells and whistles” include the latest trends, such as a large island with wraparound seating and a new trend Hall describes as “going double.” Recently Hall has seen many homeowners going toward split refrigeration. On average, Hall recommends about 8 cubic square feet of refrigerator space per family member. If a household has more than one cook, Hall says it’s not uncommon to see split “wet areas,” where there are two sinks that are removed from each other in order to allow two cooks to work at once.

Another popular trend is the addition of a “keeping room” off to the side of the kitchen. Long popular in the South, a keeping room is basically a secondary living room that is connected to the kitchen. It was a popular space in colonial times due to the fact that the heat from the kitchen kept the keeping room warm. It has since become a space where family may gather after their meal but before the kids’ bedtime.

“It’s basically an evening crash area,” Hall says. “They typically have a small seating area, a television and a fireplace. With their close proximity to the kitchen, it makes it easy for people to grab a bite to eat while enjoying a little television or family time.”

One-on-One Service
Although an expansion of existing space can be an excellent way to achieve one’s dream kitchen, Hall admits that budget can be a constraint for some. For those who can’t afford to add on, Hall often suggests finding an unused room such as a dining room and expanding within the home’s existing footprint.

“We’re doing a lot of renovations that include taking out the wall between the kitchen and the formal dining room and creating one big kitchen, which includes an eat-in area,” Hall says. “We work one on one with our clients to find out their needs and their budget, and then we really customize our service to them.”

Clients aren’t the only ones who have taken notice of Creative Nook’s service and expertise. These factors are what have made Creative Nook so popular on Houzz, the online community dedicated to interior design, decorating and home improvement. In fact, Creative Nook recently earned “Best of Houzz” honors, which means it was rated at the highest possible level for client satisfaction among constituents of the popular website.  

“So many people go to Houzz to get ideas for their renovation, and I encourage my clients to do so,” Hall says. “There are beautiful pictures to look for and they have an incredible search engine where you can search for very detailed requests. If you create an account, you can start folders and save your ideas. It always helps when clients bring their ideas to me and we look through pictures together. Then we can work together to create the kitchen of their dreams.

“In the end,” he continues, “it really comes down to ensuring the customer is happy.”

Creative Nook
95 E. Lancaster Ave.
Paoli, PA 19301
610-644-6665 |

Photograph by David Van Scott Photography