The Innovators: GO – MA

authors Janice Costa Ashley Lapin Olian   Eliot Sefrin Anita Shaw | October 8, 2017

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

Designer and author spotlights today’s timely issues

Designer Jamie Gold is passionate about good design – and she knows that’s about a lot more than just pretty spaces. The San Diego-based independent kitchen and bath designer and author was one of the first to embrace the healthy home movement, and she considers it a personal mission to educate consumers and the industry at large about important issues such as sustainability, aging in place and how good design can also promote health and longevity. Indeed, these are all topics that she addresses in depth in her New Bathroom Idea Book, published in May.

She states, “Kitchen and bath professionals have long been involved in creating safe, functional, sustainable and stylish spaces that enhance our clients’ properties. It’s increasingly clear that we are also pivotal in enhancing their wellness through the growing link between healthy living and healthy homes.”

A three-time “Best of Houzz” award winner, she has also been published in a diverse collection of media ranging from The Huffington Post and SmartMoney.com to a monthly Trend Spotting feature in KBDN. A well known blogger who can be found at trade shows and design events from coast to coast and internationally, she approaches each project with an an eye toward “sensible style” that works for that particular space and its residents’ needs.

Christopher Grubb

A passion for design leads down multiple roads

Christopher J. Grubb’s passion for the design industry is presented through his multiple roles. His internationally recognized design firm, ARCH-INTERIORS, based in Beverly Hills, CA, has had work profiled in hundreds of national and international magazines, newspapers, books, and on social media. In addition, he is the owner and lead designer of The C.G. Collection and Autograph by Christopher Grubb, studios that collaborate with manufacturers on licensed home furnishing collections, lighting, plumbing fixtures, tile, decorative hardware, etc.

With regard to his lines, Grubb says, “I love designing product because it inspires me to focus on the detailing and intricacy of each unique piece.”

Grubb also shares his design skills and expertise on multiple radio and television shows. This past summer, he recorded a series of educational courses for Construct-Ed, an on-demand website that provides online learning for the pros by the pros.

A sought-after speaker at industry events, Grubb enjoys his time connecting with other professionals. “There is such a sense of fulfillment when people come up to me at the end of a presentation and want to ask more questions, or even if they just say “wow,’” he stresses.

But at the end of the day, designing for a client is what sparks the most creativity. “My passion for design is having a client say ‘we love what you did. It manifests us.’ That’s the end game. That’s the reminder of why I went into this.”

Cheryl Hamilton-Gray

Cutting-edge designer offers global perspective

An award-winning designer known for her innovative approach to kitchen and bath architecture and design, Cheryl Hamilton-Gray is always on the cutting edge in everything from design to social media. Her broad-based design background is grounded in a variety of global influences that address elements of balance, practicality, originality and textural harmony.

Hamilton-Gray was an immigrant to the U.S. who incorporates architectural and cultural influences from other continents into her distinctive designs – so it’s no surprise that her work has earned her “Best of Houzz” awards for three years running, along with rave reviews on social media.

The well published 30-year veteran designer sees design as a holistic endeavor, explaining, “Arriving at a specific kitchen and bath design style, finish and color choice is an emotional experience for most clients, based on their life experiences, knowledge and beliefs. By taking time with clients to explore the possibilities of introducing, and combining, multiple colors, textures and finishes, I innovate by shifting away from the all-white or monotone ‘comfort-zone.’

“As in nature; kitchens are, living and breathing, functional spaces. By introducing, and grouping, more colors and textures into the heart of the home, we create timeless, energetic and uniquely personal kitchens and bathrooms.”

Leslie Kalish

Hitting the right color notes is in this designer’s DNA

Drawing on her background in textile and clothing design, Leslie Kalish has brought a new dimension to interior home design by paying particular attention to one detail: color. “Color is the pro-generator of everything we do,” notes the designer, who is a Certified Color for Your Home Color Consultant.

As the design director for Obermeyer ski wear for 10 years, Kalish sat inside a control light box and analyzed lab dips to achieve perfect matches between the clothing line’s various items. “From the hours I spent inside that box, I developed this eye for the undertone, rather than the mass tone,” she explains.

Her firm, LMK Interiors in Lafayette, CA, utilizes a similar control light box that is a neutral gray with five different light settings. “When you put something inside this light box, it changes dramatically,” the designer notes. “We basically do all of our work inside this box.”

LMK has so many samples of tile, flooring, countertops and fabrics that its designers can build entire story boards inside the light box, providing complex woven color stories. “From the tone of flooring, cabinetry and stone, to a piece of art, a textile and finally the color on the walls – the simultaneous reactions of all these design elements should create harmony and beauty,” Kalish stresses.

Photo: Suki Medencevic, ASC

Elina Katsioula-Beall, MFA, CKD

Designer brings the magic of the movies to her clients’ kitchens

Award-winning designer Elina Katsioula-Beall infuses cinematic drama into each of her kitchen and bath designs, helping clients to live in their very own movie set. Prior to designing kitchens, Katsioula-Beall studied classic art in her native Greece and then obtained a master’s degree in theatrical design from Yale. The next stop was Hollywood as an art director for stage and television, including the Academy Awards.

Continuing along her design journey, she co-founded DeWitt Designer Kitchens with her husband, DeWitt Beall, in 2002. After her husband passed away in 2006, Katsioula-Beall moved the showroom to Pasadena from Studio City, and again in 2015 to Hollywood Hills. While working in a “disposable economy,” Katsioula-Beall attempts to maintain a more sustainable design practice by taking cues in using reclaimed and repurposed materials from the “avant-garde” European market; she spends four months abroad in England, France, the Netherlands and Greece.

“Refined taste meets resourcefulness in less privileged societies, which feeds my imagination and fuels my creativity to be innovative when I design in Los Angeles,” notes Katsioula-Beall. “As a designer, I believe that innovation means ‘creating faster than they can copy.’” It  is certain that her journey will continue to be compelling and full of accomplishments – in addition to the 17 NKBA Awards already received.

Ken Kelly, CKD, CBD, CR

Designer furthers knowledge in the kitchen and bath design industry

Decades of experience in the design and remodeling industry has allowed award-winning kitchen designer Ken Kelly to be successful for more than 30 years.

Kelly, who studied architectural design and management in college, started the Williston Park, NY-based Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly in 1982 along with his wife, Grace. The couple remains principals and partners at the Long Island showroom.

In addition to being the number one Wood-Mode dealer in New York, and number seven in the nation, he has his own signature line of Ken Kelly cabinetry. His award-winning designs have been showcased in The New York Times, House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day, Designer Kitchen & Baths and Distinction magazines. His work is also featured in several books and online in HGTV’s Designer’s Portfolio.

Kelly speaks regularly at industry events about kitchen design, and also serves on Blanco USA’s Design Council. As an educator in the field, Kelly is instrumental in furthering knowledge in the kitchen and bath industry.

Rhonda Knoche, CMKBD, CAPS

Designer’s ‘path less traveled’ drives successful collaborations

Many years ago, while interning for the renowned Ralph Palmer, Rhonda Knoche learned an important lesson from her then-mentor. He told her, “You see things a bit differently…use it.”

The winner of 16 design awards and 2015 NKBA U Professional of the Year has had the opportunity to learn from several impressive mentors since then, including Martha Kerr, Johnny Grey, Neil Kelly and Mick de Giulio – but she’s never forgotten that first lesson.

Her specialty is to “approach things differently” – whether that means using an old movie poster mural over her built-in refrigerator or choosing colors that “change and transform – like a bit of magic.” When a prospect asks what everyone’s doing “right now,” she suggests that they might not be a good match. “Because you won’t see what I’m doing all over the place…you can’t see photos of things that haven’t been done before.”

After 23 years working for Neil Kelly, she went out on her own five years ago, focusing on creative collaborations with her clients that start with what she jokingly calls “a Columbo line of questioning” to better understand their needs and lifestyle.

Ergonomics and creative use of small spaces are current areas of interest, but it’s her willingness to take that path less traveled that continues to drive her success.

Leslie Lamarre, CKD, CID

Eco-conscious designer has an eye for sustainable projects

Kitchen and bath designer Leslie Lamarre, CKD, CID, was designing sustainable homes in California even before the rigorous CALGreen Code was put into place. Sustainability is something to which Lamarre, principal/interiors at San Mateo, CA-based TRG Architecture + Interior Design – started in 1995 with her husband, Randy Grange – is deeply dedicated.

Many of the company’s early efforts toward green building, such as energy-efficient lighting and water-use reduction, are now standard requirements of the CALGreen Code. This allows Lamarre and her team to focus their energy on additional sustainability improvements. When specifying products for kitchens and baths, she seeks out businesses that do their part to provide sustainable and recycled products, and minimize waste created by their manufacturing processes. Lamarre’s firm is now working on its first rammed earth house, a planet-friendly technique that literally deploys rammed, or compacted, earth on select walls. In addition to the sustainable aspect of this building technique, Lamarre loves the design aesthetic of the striations.

As far as moving the industry forward, she says, “The bottom line is this: in order to advance, the industry has to accommodate sustainability along with smart design. In fact, they are becoming one and the same. And the companies that are not embracing sustainability risk being left behind.”

Lauren Levant

Unique interests and pieces inspire young designer’s creations

As principal and creative director of Lauren Levant Interior, Lauren Levant is carving an impressive path early in her career. A native of Connecticut, Levant honed her design craft in the demanding markets of Connecticut, New York and Washington DC before settling in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

The young designer has received numerous international design awards, and been honored as Viking Appliance’s National Designer of the Year. HGTV also named her one of the top 10 American designers under 35. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous publications and design books.

“Inspiration comes from the strangest places and, as a result, my portfolio is very eclectic,” notes the designer. “As I develop my designs, I use the unique personalities and life experiences of my clients. I try to challenge myself to dig in until I find something to work with, and I think editors and judging panels have been excited to see details that are out of the ordinary.”

As a Women in Business honoree, Levant collaborates with local craftspersons, fabricators and artisans in her design of interior spaces. “Through their talented hands, we designers can create something truly unique for our clients,” she offers. “The process of bringing this piece to life together connects everyone involved in a soulful, profound way. Clients find the process unforgettable and exciting.”

Tatiana Machado-Rosas

A design leader creates a big impact on trends in San Diego

Tatiana Machado-Rosas has excelled in kitchen and bath design for more than two decades, and her leadership as design department manager for San Diego’s Jackson Design and Remodeling has inspired multiple award-winning projects. In 2017, Machado-Rosas’ design won “Kitchen of the Year” from San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles. In 2015, she won the Kitchen + Dining category in HGTV’s “Fresh Faces of Design” competition.

Machado-Rosas is an ardent proponent of professional certifications. She is an active member and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Interior Designers, and her work has been featured in the ASID Kitchen Tour since 2002. One of her designs was named Best Kitchen in the Architectural Digest 2013 Before + After: Reader Kitchens contest.

Tatiana has received numerous national and regional awards including ASID Awards, Chrysalis Awards, NARI CotY Awards, NKBA Awards, and Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards. Her designs have been spotlighted in a number of media outlets, including HGTV.com, Better Homes and Gardens, Cottage White, San Diego Magazine, San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, Kitchens, Kitchen & Bath Design News and Modern Luxury, among many others.

Click here to continue to McD – RE: McDonald; Morgan; Nordell; Otten; Peacock; Peterson, K.; Peterson, M.J.; Poehling; Quinn; Reynolds

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