Tag Archives: cabinetry

UPCYCLING….. Don’t Trash That Yet!

would be trash about to become something lovely

would be trash about to become something lovely

Upcycle is a catchy new word I really love. According to dictionary.com, it means to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original. I am always inspired when I see artisanal furniture created from reclaimed wood and fabulous lamps made from old woodwind instruments but had never really thought about how to reuse materials from my own job sites.  While working on the remodel facelift of a kitchen in an old Long Island estate house, my client looked at the pile of rubbish cabinets we were creating and said, “You know, it’s too bad we can’t use those for something. Too bad we couldn’t find a way to make a sideboard out of all of that instead of ordering something…..” As the words were coming out of her mouth, I grabbed my pencil and sketchpad and started to draw. I had an idea to create a dish pantry in her breakfast room and she loved it. A talented carpenter, some new molding and a coat of paint and Voila! Our beautiful upcycled dish pantry gave what would have been a pile of junk new life.

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up-cycled piece

 

Because design is simply everywhere…

design perspective 3

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.

The Land Of Milk And Honey

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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.

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HouzzTV “Small Kitchen Gets Big Kitchen Style” featuring Toni Sabatino

Creating dream kitchens for single family palaces is a good portion of my work. Giving that expansive feel to a smaller footprint is a challenge I enjoy as well. To do that I really need to feel how you function. I want to feel how you live and interact. I want to create a space that has room for kids’ art, pet bowls, Costco runs, phone chargers, PTA calendars and still suits all your entertaining needs. I want to know who is cooking what and when so we have a tv for the morning news or easy access to the outdoor bar-b-q. I want to know if wine storage is important or if a built-in coffee system would really make your kitchen special and keep you from running out to Starbucks in your yellow fuzzy robe! Feeding our family and friends really feeds our soul and makes us happy. I want to help you outfit your kitchen to make the most of home celebrations and everyday living.
So, here I am with Ellen, talking about how we made her kitchen function for her specific needs.
My great appreciation for the work of Rick Spence and deepest thanks to the team at Houzz.com for featuring me in this promotional video.

New Traditional….. Toni Sabatino Style

New tradional crystal pendantnew traditional in CT backsplashNew Traditional is my way of giving traditional an up-to-date vibe without trying to hide it’s conventional nature. In this Connecticut kitchen remodel, I gave a nod to time honored crystal lighting by using a pendant that displays the crystals in a new way. We also took that tradtional classic of crackled subway tile and made that new  by adding a contemporary linear strip of stone and glass. The result?

New Traditional that honors the past but brings the present into view….

TONI SABATINO     toni@tonisabatinostyle.com     516-972-5455

houzz interior design ideas


Window Seats

wall unit with window seat 006Window seats have always held a certain charm to me. They remind me of a childhood I would like to have had! There is some unexplained expectation the outside world offers from the comfy safety of that vantage point. Awkward walls, due to doorways and traffic flow that cannot hold a couch or pair of chairs can become a focal point by adding some shelves and creating that cozy extra seating that is perfect for sitting and dreaming on a rainy day…………

TONI SABATINO

toni@tonisabatinostyle.com

516-972-5455

His and Hers…( or house therapy for the therapists…)

Working for a couple that have quite different visions of their kitchen needs is always a challenge but can be a pleasure! In this case, a lovely women wanted a “pretty, country French feel” and her counterpart was looking for something “industrious and manly…..you know, for serious cooking”…(Oddly enough, they are both therapists and have a major impact in helping people make sense of their lives…Could I help them make sense of their kitchen?)…. Here, we have certainly accomplished all goals. The integration of a French patterned golden travertine floor, stunning Blue Bahia counters, stainless appliances (including a “real” commercial range), whimsical pendants and creamy wood tones create a warm, lovely environment that satisfies both “Him and Her”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TONI SABATINO                          tonisab@optonline.net                               516-972-5455

Another Suburban Remodel Lives Happily Ever After…….

Updating a home can become very expensive, and the ability to make reasonable dreams come true within a reasonable budget is one of my best “Fairy Houzz Mother” tricks…..Dark cabinets don’t have to make the kitchen look smaller. This kitchen was a 1980’s white formica laminate with radius ends and a truly dated look. This alder wood cabinetry in a rich dark finish mixed with sunny golden tones creates warmth without giving the kitchen a “closed in” feel. Reworking the plan within the existing footprint created more storage and a better work flow without the expense of an addition….and so both the budget and the kitchen lived happily ever after……

TONI SABATINO     tonisab@optonline.net    516-972-5455

Installation by Ross Portenoy,         

 Touch of Class Home Improvements, Long Island, NY

Kitchen for a Sunny Seaside Retreat

This kitchen remodel took it’s inspiration from some wooden wall art with a boating motif. The room needed updating but there was a desire to keep some of the home’s cozy personality. The artwork and charts reflected  the home owners’ love of the sea and created a wonderful pallette for texture and color. We decided to keep the old natural pine panelling, painting it a sunny shade of Benjamin Moore  MACADAMIA NUT 191. Cabinetry with “pegged doors” from Dura Supreme was chosen to keep with the rustic textural theme. Stainless appliances with a more contemporary hood style add visual interst and give the room an eclectic balance of elements. Cambria solid surface counters in “Canterbury” color and mosiacs with copper accents in the backsplash add vibrancy to the look. Sunny, warm, functional space by the sea…………..

TONI SABATINO                          tonisab@optonline.net                         516-972-5455

Richly Remodeled………

Everything about this Long Island, New York, kitchen is indeed Lovely! As part of a design team including A.B. Lake Construction, Bruce Spenadel AIA (architect for project including kitchen addition and other remodeling enhancements), Introspect Interiors (tile, granite, paint, lighting and fabric selection), I was responsible for space planning, window placement, cabinetry design, banquette and bookcase design, molding design and implementation of all. I wanted the cabinetry to have a sense of importance, a feeling of richness as the room was to have high ceilings and tall windows. Working with an existing commercial hood, commercial grade range and subzero refrigerator, I decided to forgo reuse of the stainless hood and instead used a wood hood and devised a way to panel the refrigerator to add warmth. With the hood as a center focal point, I used large scale cabinet doors and trims to create balance. The room also incorporates a  table area that includes a wall of cabinetry with a banquette bench and bookshelves that not only allow for additional seating and storage but also add rich personality with cookbooks and personal momentos. Finished room…………..yes, rich and lovely…..

TONI SABATINO                                tonisab@optonline.net                                  516-972-5455