About Me

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I have 20+ years experience in Home Furnishings and Interior Design, specializing in Kitchen and Bath Design since '01. I work for Bilotta Kitchens in the A&D Building on East 58th Street in the Mid-town Manhattan. I have a passion for learning and love the opportunity to collaberate on projects of all sizes. My strengths in the field begin with my design background, use of color and texture to bring interest to a room, spatial relationships, organizational skills, innovation, decisiveness, and planning. I have had the thrilling experience of helping hundreds...?maybe thousands of people with their projects, and what I love is it never gets boring, and no two are ever the same. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Right Size The Kitchen to Fit the Home

Right sizing the kitchen to the home is an important consideration and best addressed when the designer gets to be on board from concept to finished product. When this happens we get to balance the reasonable number of occupants the space would accommodate and the number of cooks against the floor plan and the size and function of the appliances, counter tops, and seating etc. 

Unfortunately this isn't always the case. Often we get a predefined, sadly inadequate space and have to make the most of it. It's what they call a "design challenge" and it keeps me in a job I love. What's  worse is when a new home or newly remodeled and doesn't fit the needs of the new homeowner.  In the affluent New York City real estate market, it's nothing to gut a $3 million apartment and kick new cabinets, appliances and counter tops to the curb because they aren't right for the owner. This offends my frugal Scottish nature...but is made more palatable when the client allows the kitchen to be donated to a company like green demolitions. There are many companies across the country who will take your old kitchen away in exchange for a tax right off.

Recently I had the opportunity to "expand" a kitchen at the new Philippe Starck building on 23rd Street, known as the Gramercy Starck. The building is beautiful, the impressive lobby is decorated in Black and White with an intimate seating area and a large lavish round shaded light fixture floating above. The apartments in the building are very well appointed with freestanding bathtubs and high quality fixtures.

The Sink side had almost no available
counter with the microwave on it.
The one complaint from my client who owns a 3 bedroom, 1600+ s.f.  apartment on a high floor with downtown views, is the small kitchen. Instead of gutting in this case we added a wall unit in the adjacent dining room which matched the furniture. The original galley kitchen shown here was approximately 13 linear feet in a rich wenge finish.

With custom Stainless Steel, Statuary marble counters, and
under cabinet lighting, the elegant unit
is a compliment to the sophisticated space.
The new wall unit was finished in an very dark ebony engineered veneer and Statuary marble it fits the space and the mood of the building. The design was not only eco-friendly and functional, but offered the family 3 additional seats for dining and a buffet area for entertaining. The small dining area is propped 6" higher than the main counter area supported by a 40.5" tall stainless column and a custom designed 4" stainless steel standoff. Creating the wall unit provided a home for the microwave which wasn't wasn't otherwise designed into the kitchen, and gave them a place to display their Viking wine fridge which heretofore was stored in one of the apartments ample closets. At just 11 feet long it nearly doubled the storage space of the existing kitchen.

Overall the building is breathtaking and the apartments very sophisticated, but some of the kitchens are not quite right sized for the size of the apartment. It was great to have an opportunity to be creative and enhance the space rather than demolish and rebuild.