A Tribute to Ray Gardner, an Award-Winning Designer.

It was exciting times at Main Line Kitchen Design when Ray Gardner won our company’s first design award. Ray went on to have his kitchens written about in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kitchen and Bath Design News, and Kitchen & Bath Business Magazine. Photos of Ray’s kitchens can still be seen in cabinet brand catalogues and on websites of many companies.

Photo Ray Gardner, A.J. Ahrens and Paul McAlary
Ray Gardner on right with Paul and A.J. Ahrens during the 2014 CoTY Award ceremony.

Sadly, Ray who retired from MLKD for health reasons 5 years ago, passed away in the early days of Covid.

Ray was special beyond his abilities as a kitchen designer. He was an accomplished artist, and a graduate of the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art. Ray was also a successful furniture designer and salesman before he entered into kitchen design, working personally with large accounts like Conrail.

His talents as a kitchen designer were particularly suited to the kitchen styles popular during his career. Nobody did the French Country style like Ray. Ray stacked moldings and employed ornate carvings and island legs in artistic ways that made his designs special.

It’s his gentle soul and joy at watching the hummingbirds in my backyard that Julie and I will remember most.

Below is my favorite photo of Ray’s 2014 CoTY award winning kitchen. The warm light seen in the family room off the kitchen feels like a place anyone could go to relax and rest. Rest in peace, good buddy.

Kitchen designed by Ray

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