When kitchen designer Matthew Ferrarini embarks on a new project, doing a deep dive to learn about the client’s lifestyle is a critical first step.
“Lifestyle is huge. I want to know everything about my clients,” he says. “How do they live in the space? How often do they grocery shop? Are they right or left handed? How do their kids use the space?”
Over the past decade, he’s utilized this approach in designing countless kitchens for discerning clients — and it also served as the foundation in renovating his own kitchen.
“We have younger kids, so we wanted it to have a relaxed feeling with strokes of luxury,” says the father of three — ages 5, 8 and 13. “It’s all about creating a hub that can cater to many different lifestyles within a family.”
The new Ferrarini family kitchen juxtaposes comfort and elegance, with rich walnut cabinets contrasting white Carrara marble counters. The eclectic design also taps into inspiration from past world travels: a leafy green and white wallpaper is reminiscent of Japan, swaths of marble evoke memories of sightseeing in Italy. Then there’s the unexpected splash of blue on the island (adding a pop of color has become one of Matthew’s signature design moves).
“We wanted a space you can come home to and escape the rest of the word,” he says. “If you can get aesthetic sparks of joy, that’s the goal.”
While aesthetic form is at the heart of all designs at Ferrarini & Co. — the Philadelphia design and remodeling firm Matthew co-owns with his mother — function cannot be overlooked. And when it comes to function, appliances are key.
In most kitchens, the cooking area typically takes center stage. But the layout of this particular room called for a refrigerator that makes a bold statement. “Most refrigerators are just a big tall block. They either detract or neutralize from the room,” he says. “I needed to find one that would elevate the space. That’s what made us fall in love with the Monogram refrigerator.”
Appliances should be considered long-term investments, Matthew adds, not an afterthought.
“Appliances are the engine of the kitchen. Without them, it’s just a pretty space that doesn’t function.”