our country home

Building traditions, creating comfort, one kitchen or bathroom at a time


JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — When designing a kitchen or bathroom, everything comes down to choice.

Whether you’re undertaking a remodeling project or new construction, Linda Lee Babicz and Eddie Gilbert of Building Traditions in Jeffersonville will guide you in those choices and help turn your ideas into reality.

Considering the wide range of cabinet choices, appliances and fixtures to choose from, working with a professional kitchen/bath designer will actually save you time and money in the long run. “More than most rooms in your home, kitchens and baths are governed by strict rules and design guidelines that need to be followed,” said Linda Lee. “These guidelines include items like the correct height of the countertop, the placement of lighting or safety issues in bathrooms that include non-slip flooring.”

Building Traditions will work with you, or you and your contractor, following these guidelines to create a unique design that is within your budget. “We work with both local and second-home owners,” Linda Lee said.

Most of their customers are contractors who turn to them to design and order kitchen and bath materials. “It’s simply that for them it helps tremendously,” Linda Lee said. “A lot of contractors are just one person outfits who don’t have the time required to orchestrate the entire project. We are also happy to work with non-contractors too!”

Linda Lee is from Sullivan County and studied interior design at the FIT. She later attended the Beauty School of Middletown and worked as a make-up artist and hairstylist for a number of years until she went back to interior design.

She’s focused on kitchens and baths for the last 21 years.

So her experience focuses on creativity and design, whether you are changing a person’s look or their environment. You’re creating a personal style.

Eddie Gilbert is from Orange County and went to SUNY Delhi for carpentry. He has worked in the trade for more than 30 years.

“We really, really wanted to do our own thing,” Linda Lee said. And they have, for eight years now, culminating in a business and showroom on Main Street in Jeffersonville, which launched in 2018. “Our focus is to provide design services in conjunction with the merchandise.”

Now, when she gets a new client, “we meet with [them] at their homes so I can see the space, see how they live,” she said. “It’s important that the finished design is reflective of their personal style.” If the client is a little unsure, she steers them to Pinterest or Houzz to collect photos of things they are attracted to. “It’s helpful but can often be overwhelming, so my job is to guide their choices.”

What do they talk about? “We discuss their budget, storage needs, design preference—country versus modern— rather than focusing on a single item. “The initial meeting is about what people want.”

What do they offer? “We have a full custom cabinet line and also a budget-conscious line.” Each includes products made in the U.S., like Pennsylvania company Adelphi and Nations Cabinetry in San Antonio, Texas. .

Why buy American? “Mostly it’s a quality thing,” Linda Lee said. Even foreign-made quartz countertops can be of poorer quality than American ones, “and our fabricator refuses to supply them.”

One thing she likes to do, she said, is go “in person to check on orders” as they arrive, making sure everything is correct. There’s a lot that can go wrong, but Linda Lee is there to catch it before disaster ensues. This saves contractor time and gives the client peace of mind, she says.

What’s she seeing in general? Second-home owners are thinking about becoming full-time, test-driving their lives in the country, so to speak. Otherwise, every client is different, every house is different, “from rustic log homes to streamlined modern kitchen farmhouses.”

Linda Lee loves her clients and the contractors with whom she works, and she’s also grateful for her community. There’s a presumption that interior designers here only work with second-home owners, but “Locals were very excited and so supportive of us.”

Building Traditions is located in Jeffersonville, NY on Route 52.

Contact them at 845/482-2021 or email buildingtraditions1@gmail.com. They’re on Facebook too, at Building Traditions.

What do Building Traditions’ clients want these days?

In the kitchen

The main consideration for any kitchen is how it functions. It doesn’t matter how attractive a kitchen is: if it isn’t laid out properly, it won’t be comfortable to work in.

So clients “want islands,” Linda Lee said.

They’re looking for “quartz countertops, butcher blocks, grey cabinets. White is a popular choice, too. People are remodeling.”

Renovating an existing kitchen will not only make the kitchen more comfortable, but upgrading can also increase your home’s market value.

In the bathroom

 “People are looking for a spa experience at home,” Linda Lee said. It renews the body, mind and spirit.

“And as for tubs, we seem to be ripping them out and replacing them with walk-in showers.” Clients are interested in a complete bathroom renovation. “A lot of tiled-in recessed shampoo niches. It’s very clean and sleek.”

Other bath designs offer amenities such as whirlpool tubs, multi-headed shower massage and heated towel racks.


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