2 Illinois offices covering the Wisconsin to Indiana borders (Illinois 847-693-1149)
 our Michigan office covering N.W. Indiana and S.W. Michigan (Indiana/Michigan 269-674-3400)


We have slightly over 500 written references! 
Here are just a few from our client's actual emails and from our Houzz listing...

My "Angie's List" Review for J&B‏

From:Denise Adams (@xxxxxx.net)
Sent:5/08/13 9:39 AM

John and Brigitte of J&B Kitchen Designs designed my high-rise condo kitchen, which I wanted gutted and expanded.  I was faced with some pretty daunting obstacles that needed to be designed around (support walls, concrete floors and ceilings, etc.) and had pondered for years as to how I could possibly work around these obstacles to get the kitchen I wanted.   Then I found John and Brigitte, and wow oh wow, what a fabulous design I got!!  They spent as much time with me as I needed from them over several visits asking lots of questions to make sure all of my needs and wants for my new kitchen were incorporated into appropriate cabinetry, counter space, lighting, etc., measuring and re-measuring so that everything would fit perfectly, holding my hand through visits with the cabinet guy and contractor, conferring with me and tweaking the really cool computerized design they created that brought life to our combined vision of what ultimately turned out to be an absolutely beautiful customized design that my friends, family and I absolutely cannot stop drooling over.   It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with this creative male/female team.  I was entranced watching them bounce ideas back and forth, and I was entertained by the way they played off of each other's ideas and suggestions.  It is clear that they love the work they do.  Their excitement about my kitchen project got me super excited about the project!  Clever ideas, excellent communication and an abundance of humor and patience.  I would recommend this design team in a heartbeat.  I love my kitchen design.  Everyone who sees my new kitchen loves the design.  And John and Brigitte - if you happen to stumble upon this review, a big THANK YOU to you for your wonderful work! 

A for Overall Experience

A for Price

A for Quality

A for Responsiveness

A for Punctuality

A for Professionalism 

Denise Adams




Sent:1/07/14 10:23 PM
To: John Lewis (windycityjohn@hotmail.com)
John, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.  I thought you might like to have a copy of the review I sent to Paul. Overall, I was extremely pleased with my kitchen. Bridgette and John listened carefully to my needs and the first design they presented was a great start. Importantly, they were very open to my suggested revisions and incorporated them making the final kitchen design a wonderful collaborative experience. When the kitchen was finished, I just loved looking at it (my friends did too!) Although small, it is elegant and charming. But beyond looking great, it is so perfectly suited to my needs. Cooking in the kitchen is now a pleasure instead of a chore. I never really thought I could have my dream kitchen at an affordable price, but I do! I couldn't be happier.




Tia-Maria Smith 





Jeff Templeton (----------@xxxxxx.com)


02/23/14 9:17 PM


'John Lewis' (windycityjohn@hotmail.com)


            John and Brigitte:

Bonnie and I would like to thank both of you for the considerable time and effort you gave to us during the design of our kitchen remodel project.  As you know, the project involved a complete demolition of the existing kitchen and new build-out.  From the first meeting with you, it was apparent to Bonnie and I that we were fortunate enough to be working with experienced professionals who were interested in learning about our needs and incorporating those needs and wants into the design.  You listened, captured our thoughts, then offered your professional input in the form of suggestions and recommendations that resulted in a design that Bonnie and I felt was absolutely right for us.

You both responded promptly via phone and/or email to the many questions my wife and I had during the design process.  We went through 3-4 rounds of design meetings involving a very productive exchange of ideas, preliminary designs and positive discussion involving all aspects of the project; you offered suggestions about style, finish, layout, lighting, drawer/cabinet options and color coordination, all consistent with our budget.      

In the end, after Bonnie and I discussed the pros and cons of the designs and pricing received from you and two other design firms, we felt very comfortable and excited about selecting your design.  As you know, our kitchen remodel is in the final stages of being completed.  Bonnie and I agree that thanks to both of you, we will have the kitchen of our dreams within the next few days.  And, we’d like to have both of you stop by within the next few weeks to see the finished product.  I’m sure you’ll be as excited about our new kitchen as we are.

Bonnie and I want to thank both of your professionalism and flexibility in working with us to finalize what we believe is a spectacular design.


Jeff and Bonnie Templeton

            Schaumburg, IL.

RE: End of month and request.....‏


Steve Sesterhenn (---------------@---------.com)


03/30/14 9:31 AM


'John Lewis' (windycityjohn@hotmail.com)


image001.gif (1.8 KB)   




To whom it may concern,

John and Brigitte have been a wonderful team to work with during our recent kitchen remodeling project. We were working with a challenging initial configuration and they came up with several alternates that used our space more efficiently and allows for a much better working arrangement. Through multiple iterations and very useful software produced designs, we finalized on a complete remodeling of the kitchen, including the removal of a pantry and redesign of the island. As a result, we have a much better floor plan, some creative touches that add visual appeal and all of our desired design elements incorporated.

What was most impressive was their willingness to work with us through several options, build easily understood visual representations of what finished spaces would look like and make adjustments with ease. Their professionalism is without compromise and they bring a wonderful attitude to the work. They care about their designs and clients, and are eager to assist by teaching, listening and compromising.

In short, they know their stuff and were a pleasure to work with!

Steve Sesterhenn

Ph: 847-xxx-xxxx (office)

Ph: 847.xxx.xxxx (mobile)

Fx:  916.xxx.xxxx



Re: kitchen update>>>>>>>>>>>>>‏


David Burrage (xxxxxxxx@----------.com)


04/29/1411:05 PM


John Lewis (windycityjohn@hotmail.com)


Hi John,

Here's my endorsement for you and Brigitte:

"John and Brigitte have been just outstanding to work with.  Their friendliness and personality captured my attention initially, but it was their conscientiousness and their follow through that won me over.  I was especially impressed with their ability to listen to my needs and to recommend creative solutions that fit my price range.  They proved to have an excellent grasp of the industry and the kitchen remodeling process, and gave me superb guidance for every decision that needed making.  They are resourceful and always available.  I would gladly use them again."  -- D. Burrage, Arlington Heights, IL 




Jeanette Kratz (xxxxxxx@---------.com)


06/10/13 2:55 PM


John Lewis (windycityjohn@hotmail.com)

  John and ...doc (18.6 KB)
Hi John:
Here's something you
                     can use as my reference: 
John Lewis and Brigitte Manzke make a great team. John’s expertise in
designing kitchens and Brigitte’s qualities of being a
good listener and interior designer make them the perfect complement to each other. 

John’s exuberance about a project is tempered with Brigitte’s calm attitude. He is the big idea man and she is the voice of reason. He will come up with different ideas and she will tell him whether or not they will work or if that is what the client wants.
Both will spend as much time with you as required to understand what you want or need and how to accomplish it. They are willing to go back to the drawing table to redesign your project and come up with a design that will work for you and that you like.
I would definitely recommend John and Brigitte for a kitchen design.
I've also attached the document for your use. Good luck and thanks a lot for your help.

Take care.
From:Susan Stengren (----------@sbcglobal.net) Sent: 10/02/13  7:56 PM To: John Lewis (windycityjohn@hotmail.com); Brigitte Manzke (brig7man@hotmail.com)


Tom and I want to thank you for the phenomenal design of our kitchen.  Your ideas were innovative and you met my primary criteria of a functional kitchen which is also stylish.  I wasn’t sure that it was possible since we had such a small kitchen.  I can’t believe that we went from having 9 cabinets/drawers to 19!  I’ve had as many as six people working in the kitchen at the same time and no one bumps elbows.  Everyone thinks that we moved the outside walls and they’re astonished when we tell them it’s the same footprint.  It was also amazing that the final kitchen looks exactly like your computer renderings.

We also appreciated your management of the contractors and the professional way in which you quickly mediated any issues that arose.  Both Tom and I would be most happy to recommend you to any potential clients.  Thanks again for our wonderful kitchen!!!





Blades (-------@sbcglobal.net) http://by130w.bay130.mail.live.com/mail/clear.gif


9/08/13 9:51 PM


John Lewis (windycityjohn@hotmail.com); Brigitte Manzke (----------@hotmail.com)


August 21, 2013


Dear John & Brigitte,

We’re sorry that this thank you note is long overdue, but we do have a good excuse.  It’s because we’ve been having a great time cooking more than ever in our new kitchen!   Kevin and I really enjoyed working with both of you!  Who knew that the project we looked forward to, but on the other hand we were apprehensive to start, could be made an easier task with the help of professionals like you and Brigitte.

From start to finish, we could always count on you, and for that we are so grateful.  You didn’t just help us design our dream kitchen and then leave the rest for us figure out.  You were there every step of the way, following up with phone calls and constantly checking in with us on the progress.   Our questions were all answered and design details fine-tuned until they were exactly what we envisioned.  Your willingness to listen to what we wanted and your suggestions were very much appreciated.  Pointing out options that we didn’t think of or may have overlooked was also helpful to us.


Thank you so much for all your help!  Our kitchen is exactly what we expected to be and more!  Who would have thought that cooking would be so much more enjoyable, but it truly is!  You will always have our highest recommendation.

John and Brigitte, you both have been a pleasure to work with you.   Kevin and I consider ourselves very lucky because not only did we get a fantastic kitchen design from you, but a long lasting friendship too!

Warm regards,

Kevin & Linda J








J & B Kitchen Designs-Homeowner Reviews Posted on Houzz



Wesley Underwood

Relationship: Client

Project Date: February 2014

Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

Our kitchen dream was just that, a dream. Until we met John and Brigitte at the Lake County home show 2012. The first thing we discovered, about John and Brigitte, is how passionate they are about kitchen design, and how well they get along. As we continued through the show we met other "Designers" and they seemed only interested in getting our information. While continuing meeting with John and Brigitte, my spouse became ill and we had to put this on hold, for at least a year. What was amazing John and Brigitte kept in touch. Fast forward, our kitchen was designed by what we wanted and were only encouraged by John and Brigitte and not pressured on what we should do. After several weeks with some of the most amazing contractors and professionals, we got much more than what we dreamed. This kitchen is no just a kitchen, it's "our" story. Thank you John and Brigitte!


Erik Achramowicz

Relationship: Client

Project Date: May 2013

Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

Absolutely fantastic to work with. We changed our cabinet suppliers and they completely revamped the design to accommodate the change in a few sizes as we have a very tight space. Very friendly and professional, we felt they really wanted to know us and what we primarily were looking for In a space.



Relationship: Client

Project Date: May 2013

Project Price: $1,000-$9,999

Once again J & B have risen to the challenge. After the fabulous job they did on our kitchen/dining room, we asked for a functional yet stylish office space. Our requirements included a hidden printer and shredder/recycling bin. They answered the call with pull-out shelves which work great. When not in use the printer and shredder are hidden inside the cabinets but pull out easily for use. We also asked for effective lighting and a stylish but economical desktop. The LEDs under the cabinet light the workspace very well and are turned on and off with a motion sensing switch. The laminate counter top looks just like granite and the bullnose edges make it look finished. The seams are nearly invisible. The shallow message center dresses up the end of the cabinets in a very functional manner. We highly recommend J & B for their ability to listen and deliver. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Trish Pietras

Relationship: Client

Project Date: November 2013

Project Price: more than $100,000

In late 2011, we started our journey to completely remodel the first floor of a home we recently purchased. The kitchen was our particular pain point given it was half the size of the kitchen in our previous home. Given the size and nature of the project, we decided to pursue an outside firm to handle. We attended a design show in the Northwest Suburbs and gathered a number of cards. We were fortunate we found John & Brigitte just as the event was closing. They were so personal and we like their background and expertise that we knew right away they were one of the teams we wanted to pursue.
We courted three different design teams over a period of several months. One high end firm had nice designs but the process was labor intensive because the designer showed up with hand drawn designs. Any changes we discussed would take several weeks to see the next iteration. The other firm was weeded out early, it was a younger designer who did not have a lot of vision. We had to go to his office and quickly found his focus was on low cost which meant a lot of lower end quality products. John & Brigitte came to our house with the designs on their computer. We could look at the designs and see proposed changes real time. This made the process so much easier! We liked their balanced approach in that they listened to what we wanted and they would honor that but also offer suggestions as to why there may be a better way or more cost effective way to do things. One example was the fact that we wanted a bigger coat closet. Given the amount of cabinet space we had and the fact that we had a pantry in our finished basement, John & Brigitte suggested converting our current pantry space into an additional coat closet. Also, they came up with the idea of using several cabinet doors to create ceiling to floor doors for the closet....smooth move and they look outstanding! These were great solutions & saved thousand of dollars compared to what was proposed by other designers. We went through 10 official designs (I'm sure there were more) before we ever signed a contract. John & Brigitte never lost patience!
We are so pleased with the results of this project. The kitchen they designed truly reflects our personalities and life style.

Relationship: Client
Project Date: April, 2013
Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

John and Brigitte are a great team. They really listened to what we wanted, worked within our budget and used their many years of experience to add additional design elements that we never would have thought of. Besides being great designers, they are also just great people. They clearly love what they do and we love what they did! View our project at http://www.houzz.com/foz ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++farwell5   Relationship: Client
Project Date: January 2013
Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

We met John and Brigitte at the Home Show at Arlington Park last year. My wife and I had been designing our new kitchen in our minds for years. John and Brigitte listened to our ideas and improved upon them tenfold. They understood what we liked and enhanced our ideas. They were respectful of our budget and knew where we wanted to invest money, and where we wanted to conserve.
Once the design was done, they became advocates on our behalf in working with the vendors. Everything was delivered as promised and on budget.
John was great at communicating with us and keeping us informed. Brigitte was an absolute inspiration with her ideas. ...What a team!
See our kitchen on this website under JandB Kitchen Designs. It is call the "Farwe" project.
Call J and B, and it will be the last call you will need to make. Get ready to be listened to!!
dennisck  Relationship: Client
Project Date: April 2013
Project Price: more than $100,000

We interviewed three designers. The first one told us what we couldn't do, the second was an efficiency expert and everything had to be done her way, then we met John & Brigitte. They listened to what we had to say and with their suggestions came back with a spectacular kitchen & remodel design using computerized images to help us visualize the end result. We had multiple sessions with them to refine the specifics of the project. Their expertise, friendly attitude and professionalism was outstanding. Anytime during the design and more importantly thru the construction phase they were available for consultation and advice. I highly recommend them for any size project.


Relationship: Client
Project Date: January 2013

John and Brigette designed our kitchen remodel. Their extensive kitchen design experience brought tremendous value to our project.   

John's 3D images really helped us visualize the finished product and Brigette's decorating sense helped us pick colors and finishes that work well together. We are very pleased with the result. In addition to their professional competence, they are wonder folks to work with. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Relationship: Client
Project Date: October 2012

I had the pleasure of working with John and Brigitte on my kitchen remodel. The project was done with care and precision. They were able to give me an accurate assessment and cost of the project. The crew was extremely clean and curious. I recommend them highly and without reservation. I love my kitchen! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Relationship: Client
Project Date: March 2012
Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

John and Brigitte did a fabulous job designing our kitchen/dining room remodel. The listened to our needs and wants and turned a cramped, disfunctional space with little storage into a bright, open, inviting space with lots of storage and workspace. They were on the spot immediately solving problems when they arose and acting as our advocates to make sure things were done correctly. I would highly recommend John and Brigitte.






Relationship: Client
Project Date: August 2012
Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

John and Brigitte were great to work with. They had outstanding ideas for kitchen design, and communicated these ideas very clearly. We are extremely pleased with the end product. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++lnormann   Relationship: Client
Project Date: October 2011
Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

It was time to turn my 70's kitchen into the kitchen of my dreams.  

John and Brigitte took the time to understand exactly what I was looking for in my kitchen. They came up with a fabulous design, it was very easy to picture just how it was going to turn out before the work even began.

 I love my kitchen it is now my favorite room in the house.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++charmuhl   Relationship: Client
Project Date: November 2011
Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

We hired John and Brigitte to remodel our kitchen and find a way to expand the overall and cabinet space despite a limited area to work with. We had met with multiple companies before and none came up with the fantastic design that J and B did.  

After we approved the design, they took us through every step of the way, from cabinet, granite, appliance, and floor selection to checking in on the reconstruction process. They always listened to what we wanted and found a way to make it happen. They also responded very quickly to any questions or concerns we had.  

The two are a great team, each with different strengths that compliment one another. Their interaction brings out the best in both and is entertaining to watch. Their years of experience doing this and the benefits of that are obvious from the start and helpful throughout the process.

 One other thing you will enjoy with them--they are fun, likable people, which helps immeasurably with an otherwise stressful process. I would hire them again without question! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

david_dlb   Relationship: Client
Project Date: September 2008
Project Price: $10,000-$49,999

John and Brigitte are absolutely wonderful people to work with and work superbly as a team. It is so apparent they love what they do and it shows at every step in the kitchen renovation process.  

I was immediately impressed with their ability to listen to my unique design needs at the start of my kitchen project and they continued to show great care as we evolved the design.

 I thought they might tire of my many changes, but they were *happy* to do multiple iterations until we got exactly what I was looking for. They even suggested kitchen solutions I wasn't aware of and the overall end result was simply fantastic.  

It's been almost 4 years since my kitchen was upgraded and I still love working in it every day. Any remodeling project is a journey and John and Brigitte are the team you want walking by your side.

 I highly recommend JandB Kitchen Designs to anyone considering a kitchen remodeling project. You won't be disappointed.


Relationship: Client
Project Date: September 2011
Project Price: $50,000-$100,000


John & Brig did a great job listening to our needs and providing several options to meet them -- the result was a brand new kitchen that exceeded our expectations. Their patience and willingness to search for "what would work best" for us really paid off.

They were our advocates from day #1 ensuring we received VIP treatment from the suppliers as well as from the project team. It's amazing how many times we find ourselves saying we are grateful for decisions they helped us make.

We have recommended their services to others and would use them again for any future remodeling projects.


















* Your new kitchen can be a very large investment. 








* The integrity of the cabinet company you'll be dealing with is very important.  








* You can rest assured that the company we direct you towards is established and reputable. 









* Most important, however, is the relationship we develop with our clients. 








* Kitchen projects have a myriad of complexities, let alone adding structural and mechanicals. 









* We will be there for all your questions through the entire process. 








* We will give you tips on selecting appliances, flooring, lighting, tile work etc.