In this engaging video, join host Joanne Curtin as she sits down with Curtin Team Agent Partner, Kanani Briggs for an inspiring and heartfelt conversation. You’ll learn about Kanani’s unwavering commitment to fostering community connections and how it has become an integral part of her personal and professional life.
Kanani Briggs is not your typical real estate agent; she is a force of nature when it comes to building bridges within her community. With a warm and inviting personality, she has earned the trust and admiration of countless individuals, both clients and neighbors alike.
But it’s not just about business for Kanani Briggs. Throughout this conversation, you’ll witness her genuine love for people and the places they call home. She discusses her involvement in various community initiatives and how giving back has become a cornerstone of her life. Kanani’s passion for community connection goes beyond transactions; it’s about building lasting relationships and nurturing the spirit of togetherness.
In addition to her dedication to community, Kanani’s remarkable journey in real estate is highlighted by her exceptional achievements. She proudly received the “Rookie of the Year” award in her very first year in the industry, a testament to her dedication and hard work.
Aspiring and seasoned agents alike, take note: Kanani Briggs has invaluable advice for you. She emphasizes the importance of seeking out mentorship or joining a successful team. Her guidance is a beacon for those looking to thrive in the real estate world.
So, whether you’re a homeowner, aspiring to be one, or simply someone who values community bonds, this interview with Kanani Briggs is a must-watch. Join us as we explore the world of real estate through the lens of someone who believes that building strong communities is the key to a better future. Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired and learn how you can make a positive impact on the place you call home, just like Kanani does every day.
Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to the Curtin Team channel to stay updated on more enriching content like this!
Joanne Curtin Interviews Curtin Team Agent Partner, Kanani Briggs
“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners who live well in their homes to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.
“Behind the Curtin” Episode 9 – A Scullery Retrofit in Milton, Georgia
In this episode of “Behind the Curtin”, we delve into the captivating world of scullery design and functionality, as Joanne Curtin sits down with homeowners, Jessica and John Lee. This entertaining interview promises to unravel the mystery of scullery design, where innovation meets aesthetics in the heart of the home.
Joanne: Jessica, John, thank you for talking to me today. Where did you live before you moved in to your current home?
Jessica: We lived inside the perimeter, in a small neighborhood. It was up and coming, and it was before we had kids. It was a wonderful neighborhood. But as our family grew, the small house and yard wasn’t enough space for us anymore.
Joanne: What was it about this house, in particular, that attracted you to it?
Jessica: We both came up with our own “non-negotiables” list. John wanted a flat yard. I wanted a front porch. We both wanted a daylight basement. And essentially, we both wanted a house that we could invest in for the long haul.
Joanne: What have you done to increase the value of your home?
Jessica: The home was in foreclosure when we purchased it. We immediately invested almost $100K because of all the deferred maintenance. We took the brick off the front of the house and replaced it with stone. We resurfaced the floors, painted our cabinets, and updated all the bathrooms. We also redesigned our “mud room”. The way our home is situated, people naturally come to our side door. So, we felt like this area off the kitchen needed to be more inviting and not just a spot where everyone dropped all of their belongings.
The main impetus for the kitchen project was how much updating the kitchen needed. We actually had duct tape holding some of it together! So, since we were doing the remodel, I wanted to make sure that we could essentially take this shell [of kitchen space] and make it very practical for our family. And out of that came the idea of a scullery, or working kitchen. We actually called it “the kids’ kitchen” because we wanted them to have a place to make their messes. The reality is it also offers us a lot more prep and storage space. So, it’s changed everything in our kitchen.
Joanne: Did you use a designer? And what was that like?
Jessica: We used a contractor who had an in-house designer. But essentially, we came up with the plan ourselves. We admit that we’re very particular and we took the reins on the design. Before we found our contractor, we had multiple people from different companies come out, but they couldn’t see our vision. They thought it wasn’t possible.
Joanne: Tell me a little bit more about the choices you made for your kitchen remodel.
Jessica: I think the trend is moving towards very simple design. People are moving away from knickknacks and appliances out on the counters. So, we extended the countertop up on the backsplash because we wanted the clean lines. And we moved the plugs and light switches from the walls to under the cabinets because we wanted that clean look. But of course, we still have appliances that we use. We still have to cook and live our daily lives. And so, we wanted to make sure we had a spot where we can still make messes and actually it [the scullery] provided a lot more storage space. The scullery has a sink so we didn’t have to put one in the center island. We house our microwave oven in there as well, in addition to a smaller “kids’ fridge”. It’s so much easier for the kids to prepare their own snacks now.
In the course of remodeling the kitchen, we played around with the design of the pantry, laundry room and side entrance. We didn’t need to dedicate a whole room for the laundry, since we have units on each level. This gave us the space needed to create our scullery. And it also gave us the chance to find a spot for everything. Even simply preparing our morning smoothies is easier because we don’t have to move all around a large kitchen. Everything is conveniently located in the scullery.
Joanne: What’s your favorite room in the house?
Jessica: I definitely think the scullery. I honestly love being in there. I didn’t cook much before but I love it now. And having the big island in the kitchen as a place for the kids to come and hang out with their friends is something I had always envisioned.
John: Before we had the kitchen redone, I would always direct our guests to the basement. We would hang out down there or by the pool. But now the kitchen is a great spot for entertaining guests as well. But my favorite room was the screened in porch. Of course, now we hang out more in the kitchen and family room.
Joanne: What did you splurge on?
Jessica: Well, I feel like the scullery itself is a splurge. And we really do love our gold fixtures. But being practical, we repurposed our kitchen cabinets to fit in the scullery.
John: I definitely think moving the stove from the island to the other counter and adding a hood.
Joanne: What have you learned from this process?
Jessica: We worked with five or six different contractors on different projects since we bought this house. But I think, you always want to get to know your contractor. They should be honest, upfront, and responsive. The contractor we used for the project said in our first meeting that inevitably something would go wrong. But he assured us that when that happens, we would sit down together and work it out. I really appreciated that.
John: We also learned the importance of picking out your countertop, especially if you want a seamless countertop like we have on the center island. We actually shortened the size of the island to accommodate the countertop we picked out. Otherwise, they would have run a seam down the middle. And our contractor learned a lesson in that process as well. Different styles come in different sizes and your choices are limited if you have already built the island to certain dimensions. So, if you want more options, pick out your countertop before you design your island.
Joanne: Is there anything you would recommend not skimping on if someone is considering a remodel like this?
Jessica: We were both glad that we invested in new cabinets in the kitchen that have the soft close feature and go all the way to the ceiling. The countertops are quartz. And even though I initially wanted marble, we decided quartz was a better material for us.
John: So, this isn’t necessarily related to the kitchen, and Jessica really helped me understand this, but after you finish a project like this what you realize is that the stuff that is important to you – your family, your friends, how you live, how you entertain – makes it worth it. For example, putting a fireplace in the screen porch is nice, but what’s better are the memories you and your family make around it.
Jessica: This home is a gift. And we want to make it a blessing to others as well. Obviously, the remodel adds value to the home. But it also adds value for our family and friends. We can open up more of our home to them. We are people that serve and give back and share. So, that’s what it means to us.
In the heart of a bustling city lies the promise of a dynamic future, shaped by the vision, determination, and leadership of its residents and officials. Roswell, a city known for its vibrant community and rich history, stands at a crossroads where possibilities are endless. Joanne Curtin, sits down with Mayor Kurt Wilson, a visionary leader committed to propelling Roswell into a new era of prosperity. This candid conversation is about the city’s future trajectory, the challenges it faces, and the timeless principles of leadership that will guide its journey towards an even brighter future.
Joanne: Thank you for having me over today. I am admiring your wall of photos here. Can you tell me more about it?
Mayor Wilson: I am glad you’re here. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you. I’ve enjoyed your “Behind The Curtin” videos. These photos on the wall are all people that have had an impact on me.
Joanne: I think it’s great that you reflected on who to put up there. That’s awesome, because you don’t get where you’re going without learning from others. So, if you could have dinner any of these people, who would you invite?
Mayor Wilson: That’s a great question. I would probably be more contemporary oriented than historically oriented. I definitely would talk to Mother Theresa. Everything I read about her is authentic, honest, and courageous. She’s an incredible warrior who has this great courage most of wish we had and she’s challenging her faith all the time. And Johnny Carson, of course. My dad was Carson’s doppelganger, they looked like twins.
Joanne: Most of our clients are in the area we like to call “The Platinum Triangle”, that’s Roswell, Alpharetta, and Milton. I’m curious about what you think sets Roswell apart from Alpharetta and Milton?
Mayor Wilson: I love my sister cities, let’s start there. I routinely have the mayors of Alpharetta and Milton over to my home. I believe in personal engagement because we are all in this together. Roswell has been successful in part because it won the geographic lottery. It was once the crown jewel of North Fulton County. Now, I acknowledge that Alpharetta has grown and they have some advantages over us, take for example the number of exits off the 400. Whereas Milton has stuck to their vision of being made up of mostly single-family homes. And that works for them.
The city of Roswell is 42 square miles, that’s it. And 65% of that is made up of single- family homes. We’re looking at the other 35% that, until now, did not have a viable long term economic strategic narrative. How do we get ahead in terms of industry? We can’t chase manufacturing businesses that we don’t have the room for. And without an intentional strategy, someone else was going to make the strategy for us – the state, the federal government, Fulton county. When I came in to office it was clear to me that Roswell needed to be a city of 120,000 people in 20 years. We are currently at 96,000. That means the city of Roswell is going to be very intentional. In other words, the development community is not going to come to us. We’re going to do the placemaking for the development community. As I said, we have limited space, 42 square miles, and because we have limited space we have scarcity. So, we’re about to use that to our economic advantage. The city is already heavily invested in zero based budgeting. That means we’re really serious about how we spend our money and reimagining how each department works and what services to provide, from an entrepreneur perspective. We are looking at what we do well, and what we don’t do so well.
Joanne: Since you’ve been in office, what’s something you are most proud of?
Mayor Wilson: All credit goes to God and my team. I am proud to say we’ve gotten more done in 12 months that has been done in 20 years. We have the best in class police force focused on de-escalation, a full-time fire department, and passage of the $180 million dollar bond overwhelmingly approved by voters.
I am a big believer that we’re building our organization in a different way. I hope we are building a political legacy and leadership that will last beyond my term. The question we ask ourselves is “what’s the right thing to do for the city of Roswell?” I hope the legacy is an organization that is highly competent, highly effective.
Joanne: You talked about looking at things done well and things that need improving. Is there something in particular that you’re working on?
Mayor Wilson: Communication is the hardest thing for us. We’re a fairly static organization and it seems we’re always playing defense. The challenge is to reach people with consistent, authentic, and sophisticated messaging.
I really believe that leadership has responsibility, not just for governing, but for bringing rational discussion into the marketplace. The overwhelming majority of us want to have sober discussions with healthy skepticism. I hope we heal the acrimony that has overtaken our political debates.
Roswell is a great place to live, There’s an unbelievable quality of life here. And I want to people who live here to really know that, to enjoy it, and to celebrate it.
Joanne: We love Roswell. In 2017, Tom and I started a 501c3 non-profit, Curtin Team Cares. We are committed to helping local families and organizations where help is needed most. Currently we are actively working with the Children’s Development Academy of Roswell (CDA). Are there any other organizations in Roswell that you feel others should know about?
Mayor Wilson: I love our community and I love CDA with the leadership of Maggie DeCan. I believe in the mission of CDA [www.cdakids.org]. We have so many great charities that operate in Roswell. HomeStretch [www.homestretch.org], North Fulton Community Charities [www.nfcchelp.org] with Sandy Holiday at the helm, Sunny and Ranney [www.sunneyandranney.com], and can’t forget The Cottage School [www.cottageschool.org]. The Cottage School has a beautiful mission and has really helped save students and their families.
Joanne: Since we’re in the South, I’m sure you know that people are just as interested in where you are from as who you are for.
Mayor Wilson: You saved the toughest question for last. Well, I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama where half the town loves Alabama and the other half loves Auburn. I went to college at Ole Miss. And then I moved to Georgia and I’m still learning how to respond whenever someone says, “Go Dawgs!”. I love the Braves. So, I guess, I root for everyone. How’s that for a politician’s response?
Joanne: (laughs) Okay. That’s a fair answer. It’s been pleasure talking to you today. I am excited to hear about the new developments in Roswell that will soon be announced. We’ll have to meet up again so we can talk more about them.
Mayor Wilson: Thank you! It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Roswell is a remarkable place and I’m looking forward to its bright future.