For Matthew Ferrarini, it’s all about lifestyle.
Ferrarini, principal designer for Ferrarini Kitchens and a Thirty Under 30 honoree in 2013 — the first year of the program — believes the focus on life-changing spaces is of primary significance when it comes to the kitchen, bath, or any other element of home design.
“Aesthetics are important, but when I approach a job, I assess the problems of the space from a lifestyle perspective first, and present a solution to solve those problems,” he says. “I try to create the best space to improve the client’s lifestyle.”
Ferrarini has been around design and construction his whole life. His mother, Donna, an interior designer, is active in the family’s business, and his father, John, is a retired contractor.
“As I got older, I started to see my design potential, and it was a natural progression for me to pursue this field,” Ferrarini says.
Ferrarini Kitchens, in Elkins Park, Pa., a suburb just north of Philadelphia, was founded in 2009 and is a member company in the NKBA. Matthew, who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University in Philadelphia in 2010, is also a certified construction manager. The Thirty Under 30 recognition, he says, “has helped separate me from other designers and gave me credibility, on a national level, to operate at the top of my field. It was an incredible honor.”
While well-versed in all areas of construction and interior design, he considers luxury kitchens and baths to be his forte. Among the most interesting current technological developments, he cited touch-screen shower controls that can regulate water flow and be customized for individual users. Tile speakers that can be controlled via Bluetooth from a smartphone are another innovation, and he says multi-function toilet seats, with automatic opening, closing and heating features, are increasingly popular. Additionally, floor-warming systems are becoming more efficient and more in-demand.
As for aesthetic trends, he points to navy kitchen cabinets and islands, a full range of gray cabinetry, in stains or painted treatments, and he says brass is making a comeback — in fixtures, handles and accents.
One of the biggest shifts in the process has customers becoming more comfortable with digital renderings and shopping. “This has cut down on showroom visits and has led to a lot less time in the design process,” he says.
A word of advice to aspiring young designers: “Focus on problem-solving,” Ferrarini says. “There are a lot of talented designers out there who know aesthetics and space relations, but they don’t [identify] the problem. If they focus on the solutions, they’ll have successful careers.”
NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 program spotlights rising stars in the kitchen and bath industries, and is accepting nominations for the class of 2018 through July 28. For details on how to nominate an outstanding young professional, visit www.NKBA.org and click on “Thirty Under 30” under Industry Opportunities. Honorees will win a free trip to KBIS in Orlando, Jan. 9 to 11, and get the chance to network with leading industry executives and take advantage of many show amenities.