Author: Rebecca

Interview with Martin Spicuzza

Martin Spicuzza of Studio Spicuzza

Martin Spicuzza of Studio Spicuzza

 

Rebecca: How did you become interested in design?

Martin: My interest started very early while I was still in grade school and had never heard the term “design” but seemed to always be involved in constructing structures and buildings from toy bricks, steel and girder sets, erector sets, etc. all before Legos were around. I would tell everyone that I wanted to be a builder. In high school the art department had a field trip to The Cleveland Institute of Art where we visited several departments, but the one that captured me was Industrial Design. From that moment, after seeing the students designing futuristic looking automobiles, Industrial Design became my passion. My initial thought of becoming an architect shifted to becoming a designer…not that the two disciplines aren’t interconnected, but the dream of designing cars (since I was a car nut to begin with) sealed my direction. Unfortunately the big three auto makers in Detroit weren’t hiring as there was a recession at the time. I accepted a position as a trade show designer, which eventually brought me to Chicago where I shared space with an Interior Design firm and started to collaborate with them on projects.

 

Rebecca: What kinds of trends have you seen come and go over the years and what kinds of trends do you think are timeless?

Martin: I have been working as a professional designer since 1974. I have seen several trends come and go such as post-modernism as defined by architects such as Michael Graves, to the Memphis movement which grew out of a group of mostly Italian architects that were product designers. In Europe there is little distinction between Architecture and Industrial Design disciplines. Colors have also had trends from the psychedelic colors and patterns of the 60’s and 70’s to the mauve and sage green 80’s and 90’s. Woods with dark ebony color stains graced every high end furniture showroom as we progressed into the new century. As GE well knows appliances in the 50’s and 60’s were avocado, harvest gold and brown in addition to classic white. Stainless steel has been the rage for many recent years and should continue for years to come.
As far as classic, timeless design, I feel that white kitchen cabinets will always be in vogue, woods such as walnut and mahogany, natural stone including white Carrera and Calcutta and metals, both polished and brushed nickel.

 

Rebecca: I know you recently attended the Monogram Design Center in Louisville with us. Tell me about your experience.

Martin: My experience was very educational. I was certainly familiar with the GE brand but always associated it with appliances that were mostly specified by builders for multi-unit developments or clients that possibly had budget restrictions. When the GE Monogram showroom opened in the mart I became aware of the high quality offerings for cooking, refrigeration, dishwashing, etc., and that the Monogram products were on par with other high end appliances. At the Monogram experience center I was able to gain knowledge of products to the point that  I am now confident in speaking and presenting to my clients the features and benefits for considering GE Monogram.

 

Rebecca: We plan to feature your one of your upcoming projects on Save Room for Design. Can you tell us a little bit about this project? How did you meet your client? Give us some background of the initial design work.

Martin: The project encompasses remodeling the entire first floor of the home of which the kitchen/great room is approximately 50% of the entire space.

I was introduced to the client by the general contractor, Construction Development, that I have known and worked with for over 12 years.

Since the kitchen is the most detailed area I decided to focus on this space first by developing preliminary design concepts to present to my clients which led to a more finalized design solution. I specified Neff as the cabinet manufacturer as well as introduced them to GE Monogram products. I felt that this was a good marriage of high quality design, engineering and craftsmanship. To date the cabinets are in production with a delivery set for some time in October. Materials for flooring, countertops and backsplashes are currently being sourced as well as lighting and wall finishes.

 

Martin’s new kitchen project will be featured on Save Room for Design, please revisit us for a updates on this project over the next few months.

 

 

Meet Martin …

Martin Spicuzza of Studio Spicuzza

Martin Spicuzza of Studio Spicuzza

 

Save Room for Design is excited to introduce you to Martin Spicuzza. I met Martin last year after we opened our Monogram Design Center in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Martin is a local Chicago designer who has owned his own design business for over 25 years. His company, Studio Spicuzza, is located on the 10th floor of the Merchandise Mart giving him access to a wide range of high end showrooms like the GE Monogram Design Center.

Over the next several months, we will chronicle one of Martin’s current kitchen projects. We will take you through the design process, demolition, construction, all the way to a beautiful finished dream kitchen for his client! Check back for all the exciting posts from Martin.

 

ABOUT STUDIO SPICUZZA

Studio Spicuzza is a full service Interior Design Firm specializing in residential and commercial interiors. Over the last 25 years, Martin has designed private residences, corporate headquarters, commercial spaces, and custom furniture. His design method is simple, clean lined, classic contemporary, traditional, and timeless.

Studio Spicuzza’s aim is to inspire quality and elegant execution of each project regardless of scale or budget. They strive to create interior environments that respond to the specific needs of their clients by listening to their wants and desires. With hands on involvement from start to finish, Studio Spicuzza’s tailored environments exhibit the unique voice of their occupants.

Check out some of Martin’s work: www.studiospicuzza.com

How To Find A Designer

Does your kitchen look this outdated?

Does your kitchen look this outdated?

 

Tired of looking at your outdated kitchen? Or maybe you just bought a house whose kitchen hasn’t been updated since the Nixon Administration? Either way, you are in need of a remodel! For many, a kitchen remodel can be a daunting task. You may feel overwhelmed with all the decisions, having to convert your guest bath into a makeshift kitchen, all while feeling like you are spending money like it’s going out of style. Just remember, it’s finally your time to get the kitchen of your dreams!

Hiring a designer should be #1 on your list when starting your kitchen renovation. Did you know that typically a professional designer only represents about 4% of a total project budget? Having a professional designer can save you time, money, and worry.

Finding a designer can sometimes be the most difficult part of your renovation. However, there are many tools available to you. Here are a few I recommend:

  • Many people will get referrals from friends and family who have already been through the same process. If you secretly covet your neighbor’s kitchen, why not ask them who designed it! For a designer, a kitchen project is like a work of art… they will be great at making yours unique!
  • The national design industry associations have great websites available to consumers where you can search for a professional designer. Many of these designers are accredited and specialize in kitchen projects. Here are two I recommend:
  • National Kitchen and Bath Association: http://www.nkba.org/Design/Homeowners/ProSearch.aspx. NKBA’s ProSearch allows you to search kitchen and bath professionals near you. After you search, you are able to refine the search for designers. Many times the designer’s website will be listed so you can check out their work.
  • American Society of Interior Design: http://www.asid.org/. ASID’s Find a Designer is located on their homepage where you can search for residential designers in your area. I would recommend taking it a step further and typing kitchen into the key words. This will help you find a designer that specializes in kitchen design. From there, many of the designers will have a profile page which gives info on their business and hopefully images of some of their products.
  • Lastly, one of the greatest websites since the invention of the internet is www.houzz.com . Today, Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design. On Houzz’s homepage, there is a “Find a Pro” link. From here, you can search “kitchen designers” in your area. You can also find architects, contractors, builders, etc. Once you search, many of these professionals will have a profile that features information on their business as well as many of the projects they have done. This is a great tool to not only “Find a Pro” but also get ideas for your new DREAM KITCHEN!