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The Cabinet Center / Blog  / Meet Kathy St. Clair – Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer

Meet Kathy St. Clair – Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer

What is a certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer?

Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer (CMKBD) is a program which recognizes extraordinary experience and achievements in the kitchen and bath industry. The CMKBD must possess their CKBD certification or CKD and CBD certification, and must have two years of experience beyond initial CKD/CBD or CKBD certification, for a total of seven (7) years of experience in the industry. Applicants must also earn a minimum of 100 hours of NKBA coursework, NKBA-approved college coursework and/or hours from the following (3) sections. Each activity from sections 2, 3, and 4 accounts for five NKBA Education Hours

About Kathy St. Clair

Kathy started in the Kitchen and Bath Industry in 1978. Right out of college with a simple A.S. degree in Art, Kathy began working for a kitchen and bath contractor who owned a showroom in San Carlos, CA. This is where she developed her design skills and estimating for remodeling, and also was an instrumental part in starting a warehouse division for the company in Redwood City
and training the general manager for the warehouse. Kathy worked as a bookkeeper, designer, and salesperson with this firm until 1983.

In 1983, Kathy decided to go on to work for a larger firm in San Francisco, CA as an inside salesperson. Selling mid-range to high-end cabinet lines, Kathy also was selling multiple lines of Appliances as well. Kathy was promoted to a management position and relocated to a showroom in San Jose as a general manager for a little over a year before moving on to another job.


In 1986, Kathy joined a high-end plumbing showroom in San Francisco’s famous Design Center area. Kathy was hired to design and manage the new Kitchen portion of the design showroom. Kathy was instrumental in helping build the massive kitchen showroom. This job took her to places like Friday Harbor Washington in the Puget Sound area off the coast of Washington State. Selling cabinets that shipped all over the world, including places like Saudi Arabia and Papeete, Tahiti. Kathy successfully ran the showroom for three years before moving on to next adventure.


In 1989, Kathy was working for a small showroom in San Rafael, CA with some high-end lines of cabinets from the US and Germany. When the earthquake hit in October 1989, Kathy decided to move back to her familiar territory in San Francisco to work on homes being remodeled or rebuilt after the earthquake damage.

In 1991, Kathy teamed up with Ken Topping of Ken Topping Home Improvements in San Francisco where she became a Certified Kitchen Designer in 1992 and a Certified Bath Designer in 1995 under the direction of Ken Topping. In 2005 Kathy was able to change her status as a designer to Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer with over 10 years’ experience under her belt with both certifications and continued education in the Industry. As a Certified designer, Kathy designed and sold cabinets as well as estimating remodeling projects, designing and running a showroom. Kathy eventually became the general manager and handled all aspects of running a business from the designing, drafting, sales, bookkeeping, payroll, advertising, estimating, scheduling, and running the installation crews, as well as pulling permits from various building departments in the Bay Area. Kathy managed the business until Ken Topping’s death in 2010 and the closing of the business for the family.

Kathy has been published in various National magazines throughout her career such as Home and Garden Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens magazine and Kitchens and Baths by Professional Designers (by Kasmar Publications), just to name a few. Kathy also has written articles over a period of years for various publications about the kitchen and bath industry. And had articles written about her in local newspapers. Kathy has also served on the board of the local chapter of the NKBA and is a member of NARI as well. Kathy also has an EPA Renovator Certification after having attended lead control classes.

Contact Kathy any time to set up a design consultation and get the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams! Kathy@thecabinetcenter.com

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