As a new member of the K+BB Editorial Advisory Board, I made my best effort to walk the entire show, seeking out beauty, function and innovation. I really enjoyed the fabulous booths from some of my industry favorites like Kohler, Wellborn, Robern and Brizo. I also loved the retro Merillat kitchen set up as a mid-century modern photo booth. A show highlight for me was finding the booth featuring the Falmec Mare E.Ion hood that I helped to select as winner of the Kitchen Product of the Year in the K+BB Product Innovator Awards. Another highlight came on Thursday morning. During a light drizzle, I took the bus ride out to The 2014 New American Home. The home was fabulous! Although a two story, indoor water fall may not be practical for most of my market, I was inspired to see some stunning wall treatments, innovative outdoor living spaces, beautiful baths and …you guessed it… an open kitchen plan.
Now for my show favorite, and let me say it is true I might be biased in favor of certain lines. I have long been a fan of Thermador . From the introduction of the pro grand range and refrigeration columns through to the steam ovens, coffee systems, and now the frameless induction cooktop series, I have enjoyed showing my foodie clients all that this line has to offer. My unabashed enthusiasm for this appliance company with the tag line “No Dinner Party Too Large” has actually led to a position on their design council and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Thermador + Bosch + Caesarstone + Genius Design of Mick de Giulio = One Killer IBS Booth!
So, yes, happily biased, but all that aside, the IBS booth featuring Thermador, Bosch and Caesarstone, designed by Mick de Giulio was amazing! The simple, clean lines, open flow and textural choices were stunning. I especially loved the use of polished steel in one of the Caesarstone countertops. I really enjoyed watching Chef Kyle create the perfect tuna bite on the new induction cooktop with accessory Teppanyaki pan. I enjoyed eating it, too! Relaxing in the lounge area adjoining the functioning kitchen, I took in the Caesarstone presentation of the “House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year Retrospective”. It reinforced all that I believe about kitchen-centric design. I have always felt that open kitchen plans honor the foodie, the entertainer and most simply, the family.
So I will close with this equation: Open Kitchen + Innovative Design + Friends and Family = Good Living!
How do you do it? Here is part of my thought process for creating something that is both striking and comforting. This Valentino purse and fabric from a vintage Evan Picone skirt were instrumental in making the selections for this bath in progress. The amount of products on the market can be overwhelming so taking cues from a client’s closet is my way of narrowing the options and creating a space the client can really live in. I love rich texture, shine, and compelling patterns. So does my client. Getting the feel of the client’s style by creating custom border with black glass inserts that coordinated to the floor pattern that gives the feel of vintage fashion were how we created this “master-ful” bath palette that the client really loves!
Are you overwhelmed by the selection process? Drop me a note and we can create a space that fits just right!
Well. are you?
If you are a foodie, a kitchen that makes you happy is a true necessity. Having gadgets and makers, a few great cookbooks and recipes, along with great cookware and a good set of knives are essential in my view. Gramps always said that you need the right tool to do a good job. I find that there is nothing like standing at the rangetop and grabbing the wisk from the adjacent drawer as you whip up that Hollandaise! Or looking into your well organized, partitioned drawer and grabbing your pancake flipper just before that batter starts to bubble. Maybe you need a lowered counter surface for baking and rolling out dough. A cookbook shelf may be something you need or a spot for that European style coffee maker you just have to have? What about that cheese curler you can also use for chocolate. Such a great gift, just what you wanted but where, oh where, are you going to put it? Designing a kitchen that flows with organization and looks like a dream is where I come in. I am knowledgeable and actually passionate about such things as warming drawers that will take a full sized catering sheet, ventilation cfm’s and convertible refrigeration. I will discuss your shopping habits, fresh food needs and storage requirements for both the things you already have and those you haven’t gotten yet because you had no place to put them. And then? I bet you’ll be truly happy in your kitchen!
As a young child, I ate very well. Dishes some might consider exotic but always freshly prepared with ingredients from the local farm stand and butcher were the norm. A few years later a change in circumstance introduced Tang, Pop-Tarts and Tuna Cassarole to my diet. This was not a good thing. I realized that preservatives did not make the consumer live longer and began a love affair with cooking and farm fresh ingredients as soon as I could drive. I would read a cookbook, cover to cover, before endeavoring to create anything. I would read the ingredients and also assess the required tools for success. I would spend time perusing the cellar at Macy’s. Stainless pots, knives, colanders and bakeware became my favorite gifts. Cooking became my not so secret passion. Obsessing over organizing the kitchen for the best possible culinary experience became my career.
Hundreds of clients and kitchens later, in search of a gift my foodie clients would really enjoy, I found The Hamptons And Long Island Homegrown Cookbook. This book is not just a cookbook but an eating philosophy and a fabulous food tour of the East End of Long Island. After buying two dozen books I met the author, Leeann Lavin. My devotion to kitchen-centric design led to Leeann’s invitation to be her “plus one” at Author’s Night, a fabulous event in the Hamptons, one lovely summer evening. The first part of the evening was an incredible fundraising event for the East Hampton Library, sponsored in part by the Alec Baldwin Foundation. As I tippled and snacked under a huge tent, I literally bumped elbows with Alec as he and his lovely wife perused the aisles of the likes of Gwynneth Paltrow, my new friend Leeann, and other celebrities signing their books for the fundraising patrons. I then accompanied Leeann to a fabulous party at he home of Michael Braverman, editor-at-large of Hamptons Magazine and Gotham Magazine honoring some of the featured authors, including Leeann. Amazing how my love of kitchens, culinary arts and fabulous food have opened so many interesting doors. As you think of holiday gifts for the foodies in your life, or maybe even yourself, I highly encourage you to check out this book and bring some fresh homegrown love to the kitchens in your life. Cheers!
According to Miriam Webster design is a verb, defined as : to plan and make (something) for a specific use or purpose.
Why do I love being an interior designer? Well, because design is simply everywhere, in everything we see, everything we use…
The past few weeks brought a set of ups and downs that had me looking around long and hard for directional cues. Breakdowns in technology hardware and software had me assessing the benefits of purchases to upgrade my tools like never before and really focusing on what design really means in my world.
Early this week, working on the total renovation of a kitchen on suburban Long Island had me assessing the needs of a family with young children, drawing out the space, providing computer aided drawings, and offering algebra advice to the daughter of a client.
Spending time with Andrea, a man from Italy, here in the US to establish a brand presence for an Italian cabinet company had us talking universal design, changing lifestyles, durability of materials, cost factors and the emotion that an interior creates when we are in it. We spent time walking the kitchen showrooms of the A&D looking for innovations and making comparisons in the myriad of products meant to enhance the enjoyment of this all important room.
Attending the “What’s New, What’s Next” event at the NYDC had me viewing the latest and greatest at some of the designer showrooms and I learned from a colleague that “slipper chairs” were actually designed for women in corsets to be able to reach their feet to put on their slippers. Form following function…….
An internet twitter chat yielded a great conversation on the benefits of radiant heat. A company called Warmboard has a newish product that actually performs well with wood flooring. I find this to be truly innovative and a great benefit in the kitchen. I have always loved toasty toes and the ability to design a cabinetry filled room without the encumbrance of baseboard heat. Truly a good design.
A visit from my daughter’s family to celebrate some family milestones had us enjoying the large scale beauty of Oheka Castle, designed for Otto Kahn as a true single family palace before the Great Depression, and appreciating the design of Central Park, with play grounds, ball fields, food carts, restaurants, nature conservancy and much to amuse worked into the 778 acres centrally located in my favorite city. I also thought about someone actually designing that brightly colored sippy cup that kept the spring water from pouring all over my grandson’s jersey.
So where did that leave me? Loving the career I have chosen and excited about my new computer, printer and in particular the new version of software I have chosen that will aid me in presenting my room designs to the clients I serve.
As an interior designer I find my work to be Kitchen-centric. What do I mean? That the kitchen is the heart of the homes I work in. I don’t think you can overstate the importance of the kitchen and bath industry in our ever changing culture. There is the desire by “Boomers” to “age-in-place” and the economy has created the necessity for more multigenerational families. This combined with the popularity of the FOOD NETWORK and what is being referred to as the “slow food’ culture really accentuate the need for good design in these all important spaces in our homes. In regard to the kitchen, our fast paced lifestyle has given rise to the need for quality down time, enjoyed sharing meals with our family and friends. Creating a space that meets cooking, entertaining and storage needs can really enhance your life. Most of my clients are foodies or they would like to be. I have also noticed more people shopping with increasing regularity at the fresh markets popping up all over my beloved New York City and Long Island. Sales of luxury appliances are on the rise at my favorite local appliance haunt, showing that people are willing to invest in this all important room. I feel that having a kitchen open to an adjoining space really makes for better living. It just needs to be well designed so that the chaos and clutter are minimized. Even creating a simple dinner seems less of a chore in a well designed open environment. Have the tools you need at hand and ample storage for the ingredients and it all seems so much simpler. Thinking about the mail and magazines and matchbox cars on the counter? We can make a place for that. Need a computer station or TV in the kitchen to catch the morning news while having breakfast? We can make a place for that, too. Maybe it is that all important family command center with calendars and notices, or drawers for crayons and kids things…regardless … life happens in the kitchen. Creating your perfect kitchen-centric design is my job. If you’re looking to get your home in working order for a life that works start with the kitchen and drop me a note.
Given a big great room-kitchen addition and a blank slate, I was dreaming up ideas for a client that loves to cook for her family. I started thinking comfort food…. Rice pudding? Chicken soup? Steak and eggs?
Then I thought of honey. As a kid, I would happily watch the golden drizzle puddle on my toast. That rich amber tone of a glistening bottle of organic honey became my inspiration.
The water jet deco glass tiles in the splash really bring that honey amber tone to life. Paired with the milky tone of the glazed white cabinets, it was a natural. These warm tones mixed with the cinnamon in the stone tops create homey warmth that doesn’t overpower in a large room that doesn’t have a high ceiling. All in all a recipe for comfortable family living.
In the middle of a heat wave on a hot night in New York, I braved the 100 degrees to meet up with the American Range tour bus for a Bar-B-Q in the parking lot of my favorite appliance store.
The bus was impressive, a big, shiny, black mobile showroom, outfitted with all sorts of residential and commercial cooking equipment but the product and the driver, “Captain” Curt Saunders really made it worthwhile. American Range is a foodie’s dream. It doesn’t just look professional, it is the real deal. Modified for residential UL approval, each piece of world class cooking equipment is actually made with commercial parts in the same factory as the restaurant equipment. This means you are cooking your steak with the same Inconel broiler that is used in the famed Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain. The sealed burners, they are really sealed. While explaining the burner and top options, Captain Curt actually poured some water on the cooktop, mid sentence to show me. Several burner sizes, easy clean inserts, 22″ griddles, (perfect for making that All-American pancake breakfast), and easy clean infra-red grill give the home chef de cuisine all the options necessary to really enjoy the cooking and home entertaining experience. Other things that impressed me were the 36″ warming drawer that will fit a full sized catering pan and the French door wall oven that allows for easy reach and keeps you from burning your forearms while trying to get the cheesecake out of the top oven. Simple, brilliant solutions for world class cooking at home. When thinking about up leveling your kitchen to a real culinary haven, I highly recommend you check out the product line.