Start a Conversation
-A A +A
Adjust Font Size:

Meet Our Designer

Anne Arundel Designer

Is there a perfectly designed kitchen? Bath? Paula Shantzis (pronounced Shans-zis) believes she can work with a customer and go through a series of compromises with design vs. budget and create the perfect kitchen or bath for the customer.

“We want to get you the best kitchen or bath with the money you can afford,” said Paula. “When we do that, the kitchen or bath is perfect for you.” Getting to know her customers is important to Paula. “We like to see what they would love to see.” The end result is perfect for the design and budget of each specific customer.

“We like you to be really happy at the end,” said the interior designer. Paula and her dreams fit right in at DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Anne Arundel County.

But her dreams didn’t become reality overnight. In fact, she had another career before she went back to school to follow her first love: a creative job in a community-oriented career instead of one on a national level.

In her first career, Paula worked as Director of Insurance Services for AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons). As director, she worked in promotions, direct marketing, with national ad agencies and oversaw brochures and writing. Her audience: 30 million people.

“I was a 40-year-old without a child,” she said. After 13 years of marriage to Steve, the couple had a baby daughter, Abby. Six months later, she said no to returning to her job. “I took time to be a mom,” she said. When Abby entered middle school, Paula said she noticed she wasn’t as needed. That’s when she enrolled in some interior design courses at the local Anne Arundel Community College.

She started doing interior design work in 2008. She returned to the college to teach interior design courses for three years. It was at that college that she completed her first design projects in 2007. One was an atrium, and the other was a lobby. “Those made me feel very good, and I won first place student award at the Chesapeake Home & Design show.”

An architectural course is what led her to start designing kitchens and baths.

“I knew doing commercial interiors, it would mean a lot of time away from home, or I could be at home doing kitchens and baths,” she said, explaining why she chose to focus on bath and kitchen remodeling.

Paula has studied under a nationally known premier designer as his design assistant . “I learned kitchens and counters and took that knowledge with me to DreamMaker. He actually was my teacher for kitchen and baths.”

While at the college, she responded to a request from the DreamMaker staff for an intern. Though she was older than the average student, she wanted to use her experience and creativity to use at DreamMaker. “It’s a small community, and we all are very comfortable with each other,” she added.

“Brian, Jennifer and John are great people, and I love that it (DreamMaker) is a family business. They have tremendous integrity.” The staff echoes similar feelings about Paula.

“Wow! Paula is very gifted when it comes to her design talents,” said her closest co-worker, Brian Moran, one of the company’s co-owners. “She’s like the Energizer® bunny, up at 4 a.m. and going, going, going.”

Another co-worker said, “Paula loves what she does more than anyone I know.”

“She’s the perfect addition to our company,” added John Walker, who owns the company with his wife, Jennifer, and her brother, Brian.

Paula is on the board for the Maryland National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Her daughter is now 23 and in graduate school this fall. She and her husband, Steve, enjoy sailing. She still enjoys a book club that started as a mother-daughter book club when Abby was in sixth grade.

She also spends as much time as she can with her mother, who lives nearby.

“I’m in the sandwich generation, and I have a parent I love being with” she said. She also has two cats: Tulip and Pi.

Soon, though, Paula brings the discussion back to the DreamMaker customer.

“I’ve said it before: To me, coming to DreamMaker and having a designer in the same budget leaves no stone unturned for our customer,” she said. “We help you see the kitchen you may have that you might not have thought of … we see so many options that when we look at your needs and desires, we can give you the kitchen you really want and need. Our process leaves no option unexamined.”

Visit a Design Center Near You! Schedule your Free Consultation Today!
National Association of Home Builders
National Kitchen & Bath Association
National Association of The Remodeling Industry
Remodeling Big 50
NAHBR Remodelers