Author Archives: Mick

Choosing Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen

One of the most daunting tasks when starting a kitchen project is choosing the materials. Instead of trying to visualize an end result, what’s helpful for me is to create a narrative; to write down in words the feeling that my clients and I want that kitchen to express.


That may sound elusive. But by focusing on the spirit of the space, I find the right palette of materials with which to begin creating visual compositions (the island, sink area, oven wall, range hood, etc. are individual compositions to me) that come together to form the kitchen.


Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

For instance, if I want the space to feel clean, white is an obvious choice. I think of white as both a color and mood. I might choose Caesarstone Pure White for my palette, because there is a depth and a precision to the material that give me the visual strength of a natural stone with a level of performance that’s exciting. If I want the feeling of serenity, I look to the same idea of clean and simple—and white. If I want the kitchen to feel more informal, I may look for a countertop material with texture, such as a brushed stone. It doesn’t feel as tailored as a polished granite, for example. The idea is that materials connect to the feeling of the space, the comfort and warmth—and there’s a whole spectrum of that too. Color brings out those emotions: white with a tinge of blue feels cooler, while white with an underlying tone of pink or red is warmer.


Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

Then comes the interesting part, the mixing of materials. I often use many types of woods, countertop materials, finishes, and design vocabularies in a single kitchen. It’s about creating visual texture and, again, that goes back to the feeling I’m trying to create. If the space is to feel soft, I will choose a mix that feels effortless—perhaps Frosty Carrina Caesarstone for the field of an island countertop with a similarly-toned, 4-inch frame of London Grey Caesarstone around it. The effect is subtle texture.


Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

And then there are mixes that create drama, and they’re often based on counterpoints. At the recent International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of designing the Caesarstone/Bosch/Thermador exhibit. And in it, I trimmed Caesarstone countertops with an edge of stainless steel or bronze to great effect, in much the same way one would use piping on upholstery.


Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

That kind of unconventional use of materials (stainless steel in that case, as piping) is something I constantly explore— and really pursued at that IBS exhibit with Caesarstone as my focus. Instead of using the material only in long, continuous sheets as a countertop, we evoked new uses and feeling from the material.


For instance, I often like to de-mass cabinets by putting a frame around them. Because of its ability to be precision cut, Caesarstone is a beautiful material for that kind of application.


Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

We also showed different colors of Caesarstone combined in the same countertop, with a 1/8-inch pinstripe of polished stainless steel embedded between the two. Again, Caesarstone’s ability to be cut with impeccable accuracy makes this more exacting application possible. We also created a Caesarstone tile wall, where the material was cut into pieces and then reset tightly with no grout. The effect was fabric-like texture.


Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

I like to tell clients that the process of choosing materials should be liberating. Materials help express a feeling and can unlock the spirit of a kitchen. What materials do you envision in your dream kitchen?

Sneak Preview of Mick De Giulio’s Booth Designs for IBS 2014

Award winning kitchen designer, Mick De Giulio, has teamed up with Bosch, Caesarstone and Thermador to create a one-of-a-kind booth for International Builders Showcase (IBS) 2014 in Las Vegas. Over the three days, the brands will share their vision of today’s kitchens and aspirational designs in De Giulio’s masterfully designed booth.


Show attendees can experience the booth from Feb. 4-6, 2014 during Construction Week, but until then, De Giulio gives exclusive insight into his latest design.


Describe the booth you have designed for Bosch, Caesarstone and Thermador at IBS 2014.


With this being the first year that KBIS and IBS are combined for Design & Construction Week, Bosch, Caesarstone, and Thermador wanted to do something special. Their decision to unite all three brands in one booth set up unique possibilities for my design. They came to me with clear direction on the concept -- modern with a look to the future, reflecting the sophistication of their product lines.


I wanted to create a setting that felt friendly and residential – where practical, relatable design concepts would be presented in an open and comfortable environment. They wanted the booth to be a memorable experience for attendees and not just a place to see their products.


Sneak Preview of Mick De Giulio Booth Designs IBS 2014Image: Mick De Giulio designed the 2012 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year, featuring Caesarstone; House Beautiful

Instead of official points of entry or a formal reception counter, I designed sculptural, freestanding elements made of Caesarstone as centers for lead scanning, creating a more open and inviting space for representatives to greet clients one-on-one.


Sneak Preview of Mick De Giulio Booth Designs IBS 2014Image: Sculptural edge detail in Caesarstone by Mick De Giulio; House Beautiful

Though there are divisions between the brands’ areas, I wanted the overall space to feel unified. Words like sculpted, transparency and layering helped to drive my design story, and I used elements like bronze grids, floating wood sections, and a wood floor to weave a common thread throughout the exhibit. At the center is a Demonstration Kitchen -- which combines and showcases a range of new products and kitchen solutions from all three brands – and a Lounge – which provides a comfortable area for attendees to hang out.


Sneak Preview of Mick De Giulio Booth Designs IBS 2014Image: Polished stainless steel and glass create transparency in Mick’s design of the 2012 Kitchen of the Year; House Beautiful

What was your inspiration for the booth?


The idea of creating real settings – sophisticated, thoughtful, relatable environments that combine the innovations of all three of these brands is what inspired my design. It’s the experience I have in working with my own designs for clients. The number one thing people are looking for today in their kitchens are spaces they can live in. Bosch, Caesarstone and Thermador embrace this, as it’s what drives kitchen design today. This is what interested other companies (SieMatic, Exquisite Flooring, Kallista) to be a part of this exhibit.


Sneak Preview of Mick De Giulio Booth Designs IBS 2014Image: The number one thing people are looking for today in their kitchens are spaces they can live in; House Beautiful

To read the rest of this sneak preview, visit CaesarstoneUS.