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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rutt Regency, Custom Kitchens from a Trusted Name

Bilotta Kitchens of New York Rutt Classic
Designed by Tom Vecchio

 Last week I had a great opportunity to visit the Rutt Cabinetry Factory in New Holland PA, I was there for their Rutt Regency training, but I learned and saw so much more about the company as a whole. Rutt, a well known and respected brand for many years operates their one and only factory in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country known for the vast rich farmland and the culturally unique Amish and Mennonite people who help make up a large part of the population.

Rutt distinguishes themselves from other manufacturers in many ways. among them is that they make their own doors. All of the wood is hand selected by one person for each clients project, thus ensuring a harmonious match throughout. Everything is cut planes and sanded in this one location where it is also then assembled and finished. Barb, the glass cutter is the single person responsible for cutting and installing the glass into the true divided lights.

Rutt Regency Contemporary Kitchen

There is a combination of old technology and new here, much of which is done is literally by hand, including the sanding/polishing of the lacquer doors and the glazing and distressing of the cabinetry when called for.

Always keeping up with the times, almost two years ago Rutt introduced a new line called Rutt Regency (yes it's taken me this long to get out there for the training!) they previewed the line to the dealers with a promise that they could deliver the product offered at approximately 20% less than regular Rutt. Over time it's been tested and can come in as much as 30% less, which in this tough market is a very attractive savings and increases the client pool that can afford a Rutt kitchen.

They have achieved the savings through a variety of manufacturing modifications including replacing the hanging rail system used in Classic Rutt with a 3/4" backing in Regency, the material used could be MDF or Plywood depending on the construction level selected. There are a few restrictions between the products, including the patented doors in the Classic level. However there are so many modifications and door styles that are available, it's hard to imagine not being able to hit the right look and price for almost any client from the mid-point price range up.

Part of the beauty of having the single manufacturing facility is that if you want something for your project that is only available through Classic, you can split the order and take the Regency savings on the bulk of the order with complete confidence that wood selection and finishing will match.

Designer: Gina Viscusi Elson
Rutt of Los Altos
Photo:Dean Birinyi
Enfield, Java stain on mahogany. 

Rutt is continuing to expand their product offerings, introducing new center panel options, the entire Benjamin Moore color palette at no additional charge, quality convenient Hafele Storage solutions, beautiful, economical, and eco-friendly  dimensional laminates, and LED lighting options in the cabinets.

It was an opportunity not to be missed, learning the product, and being entertained all the while by Dave Roos and Jason Artus of Rutt. We had a fun timeexchanging stories and design tips with great designers from all over the county including:Andrea Langford Design, LLC – Albany, NY, OMNI Group – Central City, PA,
Kitchens By Design, Inc. - Mt. Pleasant, SC,
World Class Cabinetry Corp. - Louisville, KY, Baywolf Dalton – Seattle, WA,
Bilotta Kitchens, New York City, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, NY . They topped off our learning experience with a factory tour, where it's evident they effort they put into a safe clean working environment. In the industry, if you are looking for a responsive manufacturer who is working overtime to provide quality and innovation in both contemporary and traditional cabinetry, I couldn't think of a better company to call.

Just one parting question for Rutt, when are you coming out with the "C" channel construction?

Rutt Regency Class of May 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Miele NYC Gallery, Immer Besser

Skyler Stevenson, Director of Marketing for Miele,
Prepping the Kitchen Studio for the
 ICFF Opening Night at the A &D Building NYC, May 21, 2012

Choosing Appliances for your home is a big decision, both because of how much we rely on them to make our lives easier and because they consume such a large portion of our remodeling budget. There is huge competition between the high end appliance companies to provide innovative function, better stying and options to suit the variety of homeowner wants and needs.

A class of propective Miele Owners being served
 Beef Tenderloin by Barbara Porteus
at a recent class.
It's always nice before making a final commitment to have an opportunity to see these appliances in action, something equivalent to a test drive on an automobile. However, while we accept a car with 75 miles on it as a new car, we wouldn't welcome a "new"  refrigerator or oven that has been "on loan". So considering that a complete appliance package can cost as much as a new car, what are the options? Trade shows offer some opportunity to see the appliances in action, but there is a more personal way. Many of the appliance companies have Gallery showrooms in major cities like the Miele Showroom at the Architect and Designers Building in New York.

Miele is well known for it's clean European styling, precision electric ovens, convenient built in coffee systems, quiet energy efficient dishwashers, and also first class refrigeration. When handling their appliances the quality and craftsmanship are apparent, making it hard not to want a full set for yourself after you experience the showroom.

In an effort to give consumers the advantage of seeing and touching the appliances and tasting the food, or experiencing the suction on a vacuum or listen for the quietness of their dishwashers, these gallery locations open up Monday through Friday, not only to be seen, but to have a full blown cooking experience.
They offer classes at no charge, and give hands on teaching with practical knowledge, as well as lunch and a glass of wine to compliment.
Lynne Anne Raabe and Barbara Porteus run the Miele Showroom in New York, and give lively, fun information packed seminars in the showroom. Lynne Anne, a former Kitchen Designer,  has been with Miele for 6 years, and she and Barbara, who has a background in entertainment volley the guests questions and the responsibilites of making and serving the meals,  all the while making it look very easy.

The Reception Area at the
Miele Gallery Showroom in NYC

The Bright Beautifully Appointed Cooking Studio
Where Consumer Get "Hands-On" experience
with Miele Products.
When I asked them what they liked most about their work, their answers were very similar. Each made reference to the interaction with the guests and the fun of doing something new every day. They also touched upon the fact that guests continue to marvel that they can come in and receive so much from a company before investing the product, they don't "sell" anything in the Gallery, so there is never any pressure to buy anything here.
While the New York showroom is open Monday through Friday 9-5, the classes are by appointment. If you are interested in attending one you can call (800) 843-7231, and while you are in the building stop by Bilotta Kitchens down the hall and the Sub Zero Wolf Showroom as well.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Brady Bunch Meets Girls Gone Wild

Home Sweet Home
Just a little heads up that "The Kitchendeziner" is getting married. I have kept this little tidbit mainly under wraps, allowing for the privacy of our four beautiful daughters who are about to become sisters and share a home that we hope will be full of fun and excitement, we know will be full of love, and undoubtedly in need of an array of DIY and professional home improvement projects. I am going to put a sign on the front door warning all who enter "sensitivity training required", mainly I think to remind myself!

My friends and many of my readers already know that myself and my  two daughters, Kenzie and Kendall left a home in Northern New Jersey  four years ago and moved to Millburn, NJ on the Mainline to NYC where I work. It was a cost saving measure and an opportunity to "get really close", going from a five bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment. We have laughed, cried, adjusted, and and crowded countless teenage girls into our small space for weekend sleepovers and movie nights. I can't imagine another community feeling as much like "Home" so quickly, I have great neighbors.

Well, now as our family is about to double in size to six, we, Eric (my neighbor and fiance, didn't I say I had great neighbors?) and me, are buying a house in our quiet little suburb within walking distance to the park, the school, the bagel shop and Starbucks, and of course our beloved NJ Transit, after all, what is life without a train?

Over the next year as we transform and meld, I will look forward to sharing news, products, images and stories that hopefully will be helpful and interesting!

There is a cat in the mix, (also female),  and a dog in the plans;  a  MEIK (modern eat in kitchen) exists...what defines modern---not cooking over an open fire(?), and a cheerful but antiquated main bathroom, oh did I mention three are teenage girls and 1 tub/shower for all to share? Fun, fun, fun!

We don't close until mid-June (fingers crossed) wish us luck...so in the meantime we'll just walk by our dream house on the way to the park and imagine the fun we are all about to have.