KBB - September 2011 - (Page 58)

Favorites 1 2 Robert Schwartz’s Top Product Picks Although Robert Schwartz, principal of St. Charles of New York, embarked upon a career in kitchen design quite “by accident,” he has stayed with it for 31 years, having been “romanced” by the profession. Along the way, Schwartz has participated in several showhouses and garnered design awards. He counts among his more intriguing projects nothing less than the governor’s 3 mansion in Albany, NY. The secret to his longevity? Perhaps it’s versatility, rather than a signature aesthetic. “I like to think of the firm as having the ability to accommodate any aspect of the client’s desire,” Schwartz said. “It’s much more in my mind to work to the client’s needs, their storage requirements and their counter space.” However, he does claim a personal preference: “I like the idea of a furniture aesthetic.” And eclecticism. Instead of cookie-cutter kitchens loaded with uniform runs of cabinetry, Schwartz is “about multiple pieces, heights, textures and finishes all tastefully coexisting.” This inclination is reflected in his list of personal favorite kitchen products, such as a high-lacquered cabinet door he developed using car paint colors (3).“A client could request a cabinet in Mercedes silver or BMW alpine white, and we would use the same paint formulation,” Schwartz said. “We can also do metallics.” As a finishing touch, the door is framed in nickel, creating a truly striking look. Another favorite is white glass countertops (1), which he has used for more than 20 years. Schwartz, 4 likes their ease of maintenance: “They’re impervious to anything—oil, lemon, wine.” In addition, their fronts can be mitered to any desired thickness, making them versatile and more convenient than stone to transport, especially when space is limited. As Schwartz noted,“You eliminate the logistics of being in the service elevator with five people lifting a stone countertop.” Versatility and an all-stainless construction have endeared True undercounter wine and beverage refrigerators (4) to Schwartz, who has recommended them to his clients. Unlike other similar products that have white interiors or wood shelving, they’re “totally neutral” and so sturdily built as to be suitable for indoor or outdoor use. More importantly, the refrigerators can be adjusted in temperature and outfitted with different accessories to chill either wine or beverages. Which brings us to what is truly a personal favorite: Vinturi wine aerators (5). “Everyone knows I love great wine,” Schwartz said. “And those who love to drink great red wines find they never open up—you have to decant them and then wait.” The aerators reduce the waiting time by spinning the wine and drawing in air, resulting in improved bouquet and enhanced flavors. Rounding out Schwartz’ list is LED-based undercabinet and task lighting (2)—such as Häfele’s LooxLED (shown)—which he believes has finally progressed to a point where it’s “kitchen-ready for primetime.” “It’s beautiful, soft warm lighting,” he said.“It doesn’t heat the cabinet” and, because of its small package, can be integrated discreetly to highlight drawers, articulate cabinet interiors and illuminate a variety of kitchen applications. n —Alice Liao 5 58 + K BB September 2011 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - September 2011

KBB - September 2011
Table of Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Show Director’s Note
Trends
Products
Design
Meet the Judges
Top Projects
Merit Projects
Honorable Mentions
Modern Classic: An eclectic bath with timeless appeal
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - September 2011

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