A&D Building Market Days – Notable & Quotable

Published: July 1, 2024

Last week, KBB attended Market Day 2024, where architects and designers come together to discover what’s new at the A&D Building. Here’s a sample of notable and quotable takeaways from select industry leaders who conducted panel discussions and presentations at the two-day event.

decor panelists at a&d building 2024

At Dacor, Geraldine Morrison and Leyden Lewis

At the Dacor showroom in the A&D Building (above), “Luxury Kitchens For Today and Tomorrow” was the topic explored by Managing Director of Interior Design magazine Helene Oberman with panelists Geraldine Morrison, Head of Luxury Brand & Product at Dacor; Leyden Lewis, architectural & interior designer at Leyden Lewis Design Studio; and Bill Caleo, co-founder of The Brooklyn Home Company.

On Appliances. Caleo: For renovation jobs, we start with name-brand quality. Paying a premium now means a good ROI later. / Installing appliances in unexpected places beyond the kitchen – like a wine dispenser in a walk-in closet – creates oases throughout the home. That element of surprise is the difference-maker for luxury homes.

Lewis: Don’t oversell products that will never be used. Scale appliances for peoples’ lifestyles. Ask your clients if they cook or they use GrubHub. This raises your value as a designer to them. / The level of craftsmanship in a kitchen is directly related to the quality of the appliances.

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Morrison: Technology in appliances is about infusing convenience into consumers’ lives. A range that includes air fry, sous vide and dough-proofing modes can conserve resources and eliminate appliance redundancies.

City and Country. Caleo: For our Jackson, Wyoming homes, it’s all about the view, whereas our NYC projects are all about the light. In our large Wyoming houses, we’re building both a back kitchen and a social kitchen. (Morrison: As we say, “One for show, one for go.”)

Lewis: In my own small NYC apartment, I have a 24-inch refrigerator, suitable for a single man. I’m hoping to have a 36-inch model one day…

Simon doonan at scavolini panel

Minda Gralnek and Simon Doonan at Scavolini USA

At the Scavolini USA showroom (above), the bon mots were flying fast and furious as Simon Doonan, writer, media personality and iconic window dresser and Minda Gralnek, professor of brand marketing at Parsons School of Design and former creative director of Target, led the audience through the pages of Doonan’s latest book, Maximalism (Phaidon Press). Recalling the live-or-die decisions of gladiatorial combat, Doonan asked attendees to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down appraisal of dozens of over-the-top interior designs dating from the 17th century to today and offered his own comments and appraisals:

“Maximalists have no desire to seek approval from others. Their goal is to hypnotize onlookers into a state of adoring submission. Maximalist décor puts the viewer on notice: you are here to admire and obey.”

“If you sit in this room, you have to live up to it.”

“Maximalism is a global scourge; in the age of Instagram, everyone’s doing it. Social media did raise the bar on it.”

“This space is sinister and haunting – you can expect ghosts to drift in. You have to surrender to maximalism.”

bakes kropp elements finishes samples

The new Elements finishes from Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry

At the Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry showroom (above), head of design Bob Bakes and COO Paul Kropp dissected their signature Hamptons kitchen look, identifying its fundamental color/cabinet scheme as white with cerused walnut. They pointed out both its staying power and its versatility; with a few tweaks (often involving decorative hardware), the basic concept can assume a soft modern or an artisan appearance.

The pair explained how the BK vision extends to the production and craftsmanship of the cabinets. Adapting to different climate conditions, from steam-heated city apartments to the seasonal humidity of ocean-side homes, requires expert knowledge and careful fabrication.

At the end of the session, a new collection of finishes was revealed. Inspired by the sea and the partners’ predilections for the aquatic life – Hamps resident Bob is a dive master and Paul an avid boater up in Michigan – the Elements family comprises Fog, Smoke, Steam, Mist and Drift stains, all subtle variations on a gray/beige theme.

panel at sub-zero showroom a&d building market day

Courtney McLeod, Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, Elizabeth Sesser and Ellen Hamilton at Sub-Zero

At the Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove showroom (above), designers Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz of BNO Design; Courtney McLeod of Right Meets Left Design; Elizabeth Sesser of Kligerman Architecture and Design and Ellen Hamilton of Hamilton Design Associates shared their client-focused and personal shopping secrets.

Pre-shopping sans clients was endorsed by all to avoid overwhelming customers. Briefing brand reps in advance of bringing clients to showrooms was another way of putting the customer first – and it makes the designer look good, too. Once exception to  excluding clients on pre-shops was when touring a stone yard; with so much unique product on display, letting the clients have that love-at-first-sight experience with a slab can be a strategic move.

Shared secret sources include Franca, McLeod’s pick for pottery; Sesser recommended Freeforms for vintage artist-made glass, ceramic and metalware. Noriega-Ortiz favors Art Addiction for artwork. Hamilton discovered The Architect’s Wife while working on a project located. in Bozeman, Montana.

true residential ice

Marlo Gamora at True Residential

At the True Residential showroom (above), mixologist Marlo Gamora focused his demonstration on the role that ingredients – prime among them ice and water – plays in creating classic cocktails.

fisher paykel brownstone boys panel

Brownstone Boys Jordan Slocum and Barry Bordelon, Renato Poliafito and Edy Massih are introduced by Barbara Kessler, design development manager of Fisher & Paykel NYC

At the Fisher & Paykel showroom (above), the day wrapped up with editor Sarah Lyon speaking with Jordan Slocum and Barry Bordelon of The Brownstone Boys and chefs Renato Poliafito of Ciao Gloria and Edy Massih of Edy’s Grocer in a session that was equal part book party and a celebration of cooking.

The importance of community was the thread that connected the conversation, with the panelists recalling that when building their businesses the support of families, neighbors and customers was key. Pride in doing a job well – whether it’s catering a dinner, refinishing a marble fireplace surround or specifying an eco-conscious induction cooktop – and maintaining a high level of craftsmanship are hallmarks of all the entrepreneurs at the event.

Copies of The Brownstone Boys’ For the Love of Renovating, Poliafito’s Dolci! and Massih’s Keep It Zesty were offered by McNally Jackson Books.

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