Why kitchen design?
That’s a great question. My father is in the renovation trade – he’s a tile installer. And ever since I was a kid of maybe 10 or 12 years old, I always enjoyed being on jobs with him. Then, when I got a little older I began to help him. My role grew as I grew.
I really treasured being invited into people’s homes and seeing how they worked with my father to turn their visions into reality. I studied business in school and when I finished I decided to get into the industry. I worked with my father for six months and during that time I was able to get a feel for the different aspects of the field. I found that the kitchen design business really fit my creative skills and my business skills and was a natural fit for my personality – something I was really looking forward to doing.
What’s your favorite part of a project? What do you enjoy most about it?
I design every kitchen. I have a hand in every single project. What I like is that every job is a brand-new job; a new challenge. It’s never repetitive and mundane; and since we do all custom design, we’ve never done the same kitchen twice. It’s also a chance to make new friends. I love the relationships we develop with our clients.
How do you keep up with trends?
Most of the time I don’t think the designs are driven by us – I think they’re driven by the homeowners and the clients. So, I try to get a finger on the pulse of what’s they’re looking for and that’s what really guides us in how we interact with clients who are turning to us for ideas.
We also use Houzz and Architectural Digest and other shelter magazines for inspiration, and of course many of our clients work with interior designers so I let them guide us.
Our real focus is on the layout and the function of the kitchen. If the kitchen is really well laid out and well thought out. Everything else is just an overlay. The kitchen needs to meet our clients’ needs – not just look great. It has to work well too.
What’s your philosophy?
To be client focused. Although we sell cabinetry, what we really sell is design and customer experience. I want all of our customers to feel that they were really listened to – and that the results were just what they envisioned.
How do you accomplish that?
I pay careful attention to my clients’ needs. I ask them “Who cooks in your home? How often do you cook? How often do you entertain? Do you need a bar? Do you need a place to put out hors d’oeuvres? How many people do you usually have when you have parties or meals?” Their answers help me tailor the space and the cabinetry to the way my clients want to live.
What’s in your kitchen?
My wife and I have different tastes, so our kitchen is unique. We used brown cherry with a touch of gray for the lower base and island cabinets, a nice wood hood, and white upper cabinets. There are white and gray marble countertops throughout. And we have a professional range because both my wife and I like to cook. It’s not a true modern/contemporary – it doesn’t check one particular box. It has the elements of a lot of things that all work for us.