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.
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.
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.