Principal and founder of Ingenium Design Group, Andrea Raimondi has partnered with Jenn Air for the launch of their newest collection.
CSL: Tell us about the new Jenn Air Line and your involvement?
Raimondi: The launch is exciting because the line offers a huge range to a serious kitchen, more integrated appliances, very exclusive engineering features. Right down to their downdraft Jenn Air has offered quite a bit more engineering than previous models. It’s quite impressive – there are upgrades to the handles, the styling, and what you’re able to do to integrate it with panels.
CSL: What differentiates the Jenn Air Line from others currently on the market?
Raimondi: If we do a large renovation project it usually starts with the kitchen. It is one of the main entertaining areas. One of the key things that Jenn Air has done is the engineering of the product. The second thing is all of Jen Air’s unique finish options for example floating glass in white or black. Also, the availability to completely panel the front so the kitchen becomes completely integrated.
CSL: What are some of the top trends in kitchen design?
Raimondi: An integrated kitchen – appliances that are counter depth, we don’t really know that there is a fridge, because it is hidden behind a panel. It is integrated together with the cabinetry either on one plane or we’re able to pop out different planes. Think of it as a hidden kitchen. You want simple lines. It’s more European in its influence very compact and space saving. Another thing is minimal, unobstructive hardware and multi-functionality of the space. Instead of having a space where we cook, a space where we entertain, a space where the kids come home to do homework, it’s about really making the space functional and the integration of green conscious design.
CSL: With the current economic situation and the Canadian government’s incentives for home renovation – what are some projects customers can undertake to spruce up their kitchens on a budget?
Raimondi: On the home decorating side you can start with a backsplash, you can incorporate glass or make it glossy, really play with a bit of contrast. Also on a budget, replacing countertops, cabinet door hardware are easy things to do. If you’re looking into the bigger picture – start with replacing some of the appliances, and really looking at how to live in their kitchen. Overall, I think people are safer now in this economic climate, and they are very knowledgeable about the design aspects, and what they can do to have the maximum impact. The consumer is more educated in design.
CSL: Best advice for those renovating a kitchen?
Raimondi: Some clients move out, other clients live through it. I would really say research and planning is key – make it uncomplicated and maximize the function of your space. Take a really good look at it, analyzing the entertaining with the work areas.
CSL: What are three (3) must haves for the kitchen?
Raimondi: 1) Adequate storage, and really good workspace, 2) efficient and user-friendly appliances 3) low maintenance surfaces and finishes, if you don’t like cleaning the kitchen all the time then find things that are user-friendly. Really sit down and figure out your core goal in the kitchen and what you want it for whether entertaining, or family meeting place or both.
CSL: With your involvement with Built Green and LEED certified projects canyou give us some tips for building or renovating ‘green’ in the kitchen?
Raimondi: Recycling content is an easy thing. When you get into the LEED certification there’s things you want to watch out for formaldehyde free, low VOC’s, low off-gassing, some of the material is closer to the area you’re living in, for example. The one really important thing, if you’re looking at the appliances, is Energy Star, high efficiency appliances. Also some of the fixtures have lower energy and lower water consumption.
CSL: As we see with the Jenn Air line there is considerable use of technology. How is technology revolutionizing the kitchen?
Raimondi: Jenn Air has had to engineer the products to make them smaller and the expectation is to make these products smarter and smaller. The one thing I really like is Jenn Air’s versatility with the downdrafts so you don’t necessarily need the big hood fan. Even with the convection side, everything is getting better, and the technology is what is making these products so amazing. If you’re trying to integrate a full line it’s nice because Jenn Air has a full line that you can design with. You’re able to pick a line design with it or pick the components you want so you have versatility.
For more of Raimondi, see the Winter 2009/2010 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.