FEATURING AWARD WINNING DESIGNERS
This series of blog posts features designers who have been recognized by Decor Cabinets LTD and awarded an Elite Design Award for their designs with Decor products. Brian Novak is being featured for his grey and white modern kitchen design that won the Zonavita People’s Choice category.
UNDERDOG DESIGNER TO AWARD WINNER
When Brian started at United Wholesale Supply, he knew nothing about cabinets. Apart from some previous experience working for a supplier of building materials (junction boxes etc.), he knew nothing about home design – let alone kitchen design.
He did not journey into design in the typical way. He knew he liked to draw, and his mom had always encouraged him to pursue a creative career. But he didn’t think that was the path for him. So, when United Wholesale took a chance on Brian, they couldn’t have expected he would end up winning a design award.
Brian has been improving his skills over the 8 years he has been at the company. With the help of a kind mentor and a strong motivation to succeed, he built up his accounts and created lasting professional relationships. He discovered that this was a career he could find meaning and growth in, not just a 9-5 to pay the bills.
He had to go back and tell his mom she was right.
EVERY DETAIL MATTERS WHEN YOU’RE THE LAST PERSON IN THE DOOR
The kitchen is a major focal point of the home. Most clients won’t see a small flaw in their insulation. But they will notice if something in their kitchen isn’t right.
Brian explained that every detail matters in a kitchen. When you’re the last person in the door at a construction project, things are looked over with more intensity. A high-quality result is expected.
THAT’S WHY HE TREATS HIS CLIENTS LIKE FAMILY
Brian gives every customer the same special attention that he would his mom. He enjoys every opportunity to meet with them, whether it be because they want to discuss a change or have a concern. He enjoys getting to know his clients and every chance to connect is welcomed.
A GREY AND WHITE MODERN KITCHEN WITH SYMMETRY
For the project Brian submitted and ultimately won an award for, the client was looking to update her kitchen (she previously had older oak cabinets). The rest of her home has been modernized to keep up with the trends in Seattle and she needed her kitchen to have the same symmetry and flair that the rest of her home did.
The symmetrical built in unit that included the fridge was what sold this project. It perfectly matched the way that she wanted her kitchen to feel. Each door and drawer in this built-in is aligned with another on the opposite side.
CREATING A KITCHEN WITH A SIGNATURE
Everyone is different, so every kitchen design should be as well. Creating a custom kitchen means bringing the clients’ dreams to life. Brian tries to add that one thing to each kitchen that represents the homeowner and is a special touch just for them.
He described one project in which an entire kitchen was designed around a drawer that was custom made to fit a large box of Ceran wrap. The homeowner always purchased this wrap but could never find a spot for it in her old kitchen.
For the award-winning project we are featuring today, the signature feature that is unique to this homeowner was taking the lower cabinet material and wrapping the upper cabinets with it.
COMPONENT DESIGN WITH ZONAVITA
Brian collaborated with Robins Design, who helped create this grey and white modern kitchen for the client. Symmetry is a big part of this design. With custom cabinetry, every component can be made exact to the size required.
Modifying cabinet sizes and materials can be done to achieve specific design requirements or to create unique combinations. This was crucial in creating symmetry in this kitchen.
Products from both Zonavita (a contemporary brand from Decor) and Decor Cabinets were used to achieve this design. Integrating the two lines together was a challenge Brian was up for, and we think he executed it beautifully.
Zonavita product was used to wrap the upper cabinets and for the entirety of the base cabinets. The dark grey (Anthracite Mountain Larch) TFL cabinets are manufactured to give the appearance of real wood grain. The White Matte painted HDF upper cabinets are Decor. Choosing flat panel door fronts keeps this design modern and fresh.
Minimalistic Under Cabinet Lighting
Factory lighting is also on display – but not as you would expect. Usually, under cabinet lighting would be partially shown or some wiring would be exposed. With Decor products, the lighting is routed into the bottom floor of the cabinets, hidden from view. This gives the cabinet a clean, modern look.
AN UNEXPECTED END
Shortly after this project was submitted to the Elite Design Awards, the homeowner experienced a flood. Luckily, with Zonavita, the toe kick is removable, and she was able to see the flood water underneath her cabinets.
The client loved the original grey and white modern kitchen so much; she is having it put back exactly the way it was. Brian is taking special care to make sure things are restored back to square one.
If that isn’t a testament to how this symmetrical modern kitchen met the client’s expectations completely, I don’t know what is.
Anthracite Mountain Larch TFL
Door Style 100
Plain Vertical Grain Drawer
O/S Profile G
White Matte HDF
Door Style MDF800*
O/S Profile L
*Doors are made of HDF, not MDF. Door style codes are being updated.
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