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Dream Kitchens Made In Italy

Flux by Scavolini designed by automotive designer Giugiaro who designs for Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini

Daniele Busca lives for Scavolini.  After spending an hour chatting with him and touring the showroom and US headquarters in Soho I can understand why.  Daniele is the Manager and Creative Director who makes it all work on this side of the pond.  The new location which has been open since last October is enjoying a brisk business and I think it’s largely due to Daniele’s knack for tweaking this Italian product for an American market.  “American kitchens are generally bigger”, he says, “and where you would have an island in America we might have a kitchen table instead in Italy.”  Another major difference is the appliances.  American refrigerators are almost always bigger.”  White still reigns.

Showroom Manager and Creative Director Daniele Busca

I thought it was interesting to hear that home owners are requesting glossy finishes and architects prefer the matte look.  A artful mixing of textures, both tactile and visual,  is also important.  I asked Daniele to define a trend.  He says, “in the end a trend is what sells.” The showroom spans two floors.  Displays were designed in Italy and re-designed by Daniele for an exact fit both in size and taste for the US market.  “Americans also tend to prefer symmetry in kitchen design,” he added.  Scavolini is a family business based in Pesaro, Italy and has been the largest cabinet manufacturer in Italy since 1984 with 40 dealers  in the US.  This year marks the company’s 50th anniversary.  Clientele for the New York location is largely an international group who keep an apartment in New York City as well as elsewhere.  This year Scavolini will roll out seven new models.  Four new displays are already in the works for this new showroom.  The Tetrix line, as seen at IDS,  designed by internationally-famous British designer Michael Young, is also being featured.  Tetrix is not yet on display here but Daniele’s sending me some pix to share with you.  Designers may be interested to know that Scavolini has developed their own design and pricing program.  Scavolini is very involved in the Green movement.  I was surprised to hear that the manufacturing facility in Italy is 85% powered by solar panels and they are planning to make it 100% by the end of the year.  All cabinet boxes and door panels are made from 100% recycled fire retardant and water resistant wood.  All lacquers used are water-based.  Scavolini is involved in the local community offering the showroom for fund raising events  organized by trade associations and design schools.  Generally speaking, a Scavolini kitchen can be yours for from about 10K to upwards of 90K.

Cool corner storage


Love the sculptural upper cabinets (if you have the room)

Ultimate trash/recyling pull out.


The magic of efficient pantry storage!

A place for everything

check out that hood!

Follow the red glass steps to a whole other world of displays downstairs

The traditional display is down there just in case someone wants it. Daniele wants you to know that the exact same cabinets in black are HOT!

Italian walnut

You can probably afford this laminate kitchen but it still looks like a million bucks!


This is "niche storage", very specific (love the Italiano shoes and skinny trousers)

Thank you to Daniele for hosting my visit.  I really enjoyed chatting with him.  I asked a million questions and he was up to the task, warm and most gracious.  If you’re ever in Soho stop in and see for yourself.  Tomorrow I will be back with more from New York.




I will see a replica of this kitchen at Counter Space at the MOMA

That’s right. Today I’m back in the BA (big apple but you should know that). If you recall, I was here only 6 months ago during fashion week courtesy of  Brizo Faucets. Click here for a journey 6 months back in time. Wouldn’t you know it, the amazing exhibit Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen at MOMA opened within days of my departure necessitating a return trip before it closes on March 11th.  Some savvy bloggers wrote about it on the front end so I’m going to wrap it up for you and send it out with a bang.   I’ll be there on Sunday. Tomorrow I’ll be visiting the new super slick Scavolini showroom in Soho.  I hear it’s not to be missed so I will also be bringing you the latest in Italian kitchen design from this progressive cabinet manufacturer.  Now if you know me, you’ll know I have to fit in a little art and guess what’s happening this weekend? Yes that’s right, the Armory Art Show.


Scavolini Showroom NYC here I come! Photo from Scavolini


You can now subscribe to Kitchens for Living on your Kindle!  Check it out here.

If you’re paying attention you’ll notice yet another badge on my sidebar.   I am now officially an “expert” at with one published article and loads more to come,  as soon as I have time.    More from New York tomorrow.

PS.   If there’s anything you think I should check out while I’m there drop me a comment and I’ll try to squeeze it in. Cheers!


Armory Art Show




Do your homework. (for my friends up north)

Seems like the consumer is a little leery lately.  Everyone’s radar is on high alert looking to avoid the big RIPOFF.   I can only speak for myself but I’m confident that I am in the majority.  All we kitchen and bath industry professionals want is to make you happy.  Do we have to eat?  Yes, and so do all the hard working people that make your life possible.  That said, I do understand where you’re coming from.  After all, I am a consumer too.  With that in mind I have come up with a cheat sheet for you.  Run through these 5 tips as a prelude to your decision making and you should be able to trust once again.  Oh and remember there is a difference between cheap and value for the money.  I know cheap is tempting but it isn’t cheap anymore if you have to replace a product that doesn’t make the cut.

1.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER–  Today there is no excuse not to educate yourself before you go shopping.  There is a wide array of media at your disposal.   Use the internet and talk to people!  Yes, people, in person (ok can be online too).  Talk to the experts.   Read blogs.  Ask questions and talk to other consumers.  One of the best ways to feel good about your choices is to know other people who have made them before you and been happy.  No, you can never know for sure but the more knowledge you have the more equipped you are to make the right selection for yourself.


NKBA offers a wealth of information

2. RESEARCH-This goes hand in hand with #1 but it is really the next step.  Once you have defined the scope of  your project  you will be ready to select specific products such as appliances, counter tops, cabinets etc. that fit into the big picture.   Research the choices.  What are other people saying?  How long has a company been in business?  The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau are good national and local resources and can indicate if you’re headed in the right direction.

3. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE– Take a little time to find out what your style is.  Who wants to spend a butt-load of money on something they’re going to hate looking at?  The best way to find what floats your boat is to do something I call “kitchen scrap booking”.  Time to have fun.  Collect images from magazines, catalogs and the internet.   These don’t even have to be photos of kitchens.  They should be anything that appeals to you, a style, product or just a general ambiance.  In this way you will begin to see the patterns and perhaps even discover some things you never consciously knew!  For example you may find that 7 of 10 photos contain white cabinetry but maybe you never considered that.  Getting what you love is good value.  It just takes a little vision.

Okay this is a bit much but you get the idea.

4. LET THE PROFESSIONALS DO THEIR JOB- A WORD OF CAUTION: Don’t get carried away here.  You’ve all heard “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.   It’s true.  Never succumb to thinking you know it ALL.  That’s why there are people who have studied and spend a large part of their waking lives becoming certified experts so they can get paid to help you.  Use them.

5. COMMUNICATE FOR GOD SAKES! Once you’ve got some semblance of  a plan in your head it’s time to take it (along with your scrapbook) to the magician professional who can make it happen for you.  This is not about money.  You have to buy your products somewhere and that place should have a professional on hand to take your vision and translate it into your dream.  That’s all we do folks.  It is my experience that the best projects are really good collaborations between client and designer.   Getting what you want equates to good value for money invested.  The NKBA is a good source for qualified professionals in your area.  Many of us are also willing to work on a consultation basis, so ask!


If this is your idea of sublime you can recreate the feeling in your kitchen

Voila! Cabinets and photo by Holiday Kitchens

Holiday Kitchens



This modern kitchen features G.E. Profile appliances.

As a kitchen designer and writer,  my inbox is always filled with news of all the latest products, websites and all manner of things to do with our favorite room, the kitchen.  G.E. has always been known as the bread- and- butter of the appliance world.  Not only have they been around forever but they have evolved with the times.  Today they still offer the basic affordable options as well as higher end appliance packages under the names G.E. Profile,  Monogram and the new Cafe’ Series. These offer a wider variety of functions and integrated modern styling.

Early days (Note dangerous placement of stove! Sliding in between cabinets would have been better!)

Another thing that really makes them a 21st century contender is their state of the art website.  There is a wealth of information here whether you aim to use their products or not.  Of course they hope you’ll be seduced once you have entered their “web”, so to speak.

Play with this design on the G.E. site. They left room for art. I love it!

One of my favorite features on the site is the kitchen design function.  Simply choose a kitchen which is similar to your own space.  Then simply click on the various color choices.  It’s a lot of fun and a great way to start to narrow your choices and make the big decisions like dark vs. white cabinets, black vs. stainless appliances.  You get the picture (literally).  You’ll also find lighting ideas, safety tips and even recipes.  Oh, and the “must have’ G.E. product in my book is the Advantium Microwave Oven. My clients love it.  You can use it as a regular oven or as a microwave, so it’s like two ovens in one!

This bachelor client opted for TWO Advantiums, one built-in to the pantry and one over the range!



Thank you  for the out pouring of love and concern for our family.  No matter what happens the sun always rises again and we begin another day.

White cabinets and a shiny blue glass tile backsplash lend a coastal feel. Photo by Southern Accents

As you guys up in the northern regions are beginning to crank up the heat,  I thought I’d share a little warmth from down here in sunny Florida.  If you love warm tropical beaches, even when there’s snow (instead of sand) on the ground, here’s how you can bring this ambiance to your “anywhere” kitchen.

Blue & White will give you an instant feel of sun and surf.  White cabinets are hot!  Blue calls  to mind the ocean and may be added to your backsplash, walls or even used as  accent color for an island or hutch cabinet.

A modern version with Balthaup cabinets. Photo by Elle Decor

A sea view is a must and you can have one even if you don’t live by the sea.  Think art!  That way you can choose the sea view of your choice.  It can be a painting, a photograph or even something more abstract like a mixed media work of art.

I wish I was at the beach by ABSTRACTINC from

Gifts from the Sea are fun ways to add a beachy feel.  Shells, starfish or even bits of beach glass are great accents.  Try using a shiny glass tile backsplash for a watery feel or tiles with more of a honed finish look like glass that has been eroded by the sand over time.

seashells, starfish and beach glass tell the story of the sea

Burled Beach Corian countertop by Dupont

Throw some sand into the mix with solid surface counter tops in colors like Dijon from the Elements collection by Denova or Burled Beach by Dupont’s Corian.

Dijon from the Elements collection Denova Solid Surface Counters

The nice thing is you can add a little or you can pull out all the stops.  If you have “Floridified” your kitchen sent me pix.  I would love to show and tell.  Oh, and by the way, it’s nice to be back!

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