FEATURED COVER ARTICLE, BUILDER & REMODELER
BEST SHOWROOM AWARD
Farmingdale, NY - Douglas Kitchen & Bath is the winner of this years LIBI (Long Island Builders Institute) Best Showroom Award
Douglas Kitchen & Baths winning combination of knowledge, creativity and passion has earned the trust and respect of builders from coast to coast. The 7,500 square foot showroom reflects the commitment to expand the client's options and bring fresh innovative products and designs to the remodeling industry. Home to over 50 kitchen and bath displays, including several live kitchens, the showroom offers a wealth of resources to explore, learn and inspire cutting edge designs, discriminating clients demand. Choose from a wide selection of door styles located on the premises or peruse kitchen vignettes for the latest trends in style, layouts, cabinet construction and finishing options. The projects portfolio, shown on a wide screen plasma, offers clients an additional source of inspiration and reinforces our reputation for quality design.
Six cabinet lines, Kitchen Craft, Urban Effects, Omega, Lauriermax, Signature and Dutch Made, include stock, semi custom and custom options, represent a comprehensive selection of quality, pricing and design choices available on the market today. Centrally located in Farmingdale, the facility offers a relaxing, professional atmosphere to work with clients and the in-house design team. Trade services include dedicated commercial account managers and designers, project management, quick quote turnaround. 20/20 Auto Cad design, product and project specifications and field measures. Clients may enjoy the use of private consultation rooms, training rooms which accommodate groups of 30 in classroom like settings and a in-house nursery. Fully functioning, live kitchens make the showroom an ideal setting for events. Douglas hosts monthly seminars, industry meetings and cooking classes on site.
Recognizing that each project is unique in it's demands, Douglas employs a diverse team of highly skilled licensed professionals including Certified Kitchen & Bath Designers, Certified Interior Designers, Certified Lead Carpenters and Certified Remodelers.
FEATURED COVER ARTICLE, HOUSE MAGAZINE
Tradition- a term so rooted its application rarely changes its meaning, yet so dynamic it reflects culture, time, geography, means and values. But more then a term, tradition is a code and as the case with any code some choose to honor it, some worship it, and some prefer to abandon it.
Long Island, despite its proximity to one of the most modernistic cities in the world, Manhattan, embraces the code of time honored tradition most obviously with its landscape, architecture and design. From its East Coast Farmhouses to its Gold Coast Mansions tradition weaves through the islands neighborhoods as surely as the breeze. Garden City is no exception. Residents here approach every facet of the town’s esthetics with fundamentalist certainty.
You might for a moment explore the idea that designing in such an environment requires less talent then, let's say, designing without boundaries. However, it's quite the opposite. Design by prerequisite requires thorough knowledge of the key elements that define the style and the creativity to explore its limits, bringing it to new heights while achieving the predefined outcome. The challenge becomes even more evident in the kitchen and baths, two rooms riddled with code limitations and the inclusion modern day appliances. So when the builder set out to build a new Colonial in Garden City that looked as though it had been there for decades, he turned to Douglas Kitchens to ensure traditional authenticity in every facet of the kitchen and bath designs.
Doug Walsh, CKD, owner of Douglas Kitchens worked with the builder to design the kitchen and six bathrooms. To mirror the homes exquisite custom detailing Dutchmade custom cabinetry was chosen for its furniture like craftsmanship and seamless construction. In the kitchen, white cabinetry cleverly lines the rooms perimeter providing ample storage and workspace, but with an understated presence that enhances the magnificent millwork and allows each piece to enjoy its own recognition. To compliment the symmetry of the room’s high ceilings and open, airy layout Doug choose mullion doors to offset the cabinetry and create a sense of depth and light.
Central to the kitchens design is a handsome, twelve foot island clad in cherry, beaded inset paneling, topped with a 2 1/2" thick Double Roman Ogee granite top. The islands rich wood and architectural detailing add contrast to the perimeter workspace and serve as a transition from the kitchen to the rest of the great room that includes quarter sawn 6" wide oak floors, a 6' fireplace, French doors and custom, built in bookcases. Furnished with an antique copper bar sink and additional cabinetry the island is well suited for entertaining, prep work and dining. "We wanted the island and cabinetry to look as though they were natural part of the home and not separate furnishings," notes Doug. Most of the cabinets are virtually seamless and the island was actually shipped from Dutchmade in one finished piece." Finishing off the kitchens custom look are 4 1/2" beaded columns framing the range and farm sink and 3 1/2' beaded columns en-casing the wall oven and built in refrigerator with integrated paneling. The architectural toe kicks complete the look giving the base cabinetry furniture like finishing. All of the appliances are by Viking. Just off the kitchen is a marvelous butlers pantry furnished in floor to ceiling cherry, cocoa cabinetry with Gothic mullion doors, a granite counter top and a hammered antique copper bar sink.
FEATURED ARTICLE, BUILDER & REMODELER
DEMAND AND THE MAN WHO SERVES IT IN STYLE
Doug Walsh seems to be writing the book on "How to Excel in an Ever Changing Market - The Building Industry." With its economic ups and downs and insatiable appetite for new products and fresh ideas, building a business that caters to the building industry is far from a quick read of Jack Welch's "Winning" or Michael Gerber's "The E-Myth Revisited". No, unwavering determination and a keen aptitude for flexibility are something you are born with.
Sure Doug was born with a bit of the industry in his blood. His family owned and operated Walsh Enterprises, a commercial plumbing and architectural building manufacturer's representative business for 35 years which Doug worked at straight out of college. He spent no less than nine years specking kitchen and bath projects for Architects, Consulting Engineers and Builders and growing a steady client base in the process. While the bulk of their business was commercial plumbing products, a bestseller was the one builder cabinet line they offered. Doug soon noticed that the line did not offer the design options that many of his clients desired. So, Douglas Kitchens & Baths was born to meet the needs of those clients.
Fueled by its clients demand for design and pricing flexibility, the 7,500 square foot state-of-the-art showroom now carries six cabinet lines including stock, semi-stock and custom options as well as a smorgasbord of design styles. "My clients include single unit, high end residential, multi unit and high rise residential builders" notes Doug. "I needed a selection that would satisfy everyone in that spectrum." The result is a showroom that boasts 75 kitchen and bath displays (many of them fully working), hundreds of door styles, countertop options, appliances, plumbing fixtures and hardware.
A countertop fabrication shop is also located on the premises allowing them to offer the most competitive pricing in that market. Aside from solid surface materials fabricated in house, their product offering also includes stone, wood, metal and glass as countertop options.
Other "trade friendly" amenities include private conference rooms so that professionals can sit down with their clients and carefully go over plans and blueprints, training rooms and a warehouse.
Product selection and showroom design alone won't grow you into a successful showroom overnight. Being in a business that caters to a design industry means staying one step ahead of new trends, products and technologies - a plight Doug continues to master.
Take a trip to the showroom on any given day and chances are Doug is right there meeting with clients or working on a kitchen design. No corporate office upstairs or in the back. His desk sits amongst the other designers in the showroom. It is precisely that roll up your sleeves, in the trenches mentality that keeps Doug in synch with his clients. To keep up with trends and technological advances Doug and his team maintain several industry certifications and are active members of NKBA, LIBI, NARI and ASID. His team now 30 and growing includes Certified Kitchen & Bath Designers, Certified Interior Designers, Certified Lead Carpenters and Certified Remodelers. Doug himself is CKD and CBD certified. "My designers have years of experience in their respective fields and really enjoy their work. By allowing them to focus on that field they are better able to grow in their position, stay current with trends and ultimately better service their clients," claims Doug.
Looking to the future, Doug sees nothing but possibilities. "This industry is always changing," he points out. "If you're accepting of that and willing to change with it, then there is always room to out do your self."
FEATURE ARTICLE, HOUSE MAGAZINE
DESIGNING TO SCALE
With an eye on scale, designer Doug Walsh set out to create a space that marries traditional elegance with transitional simplicity. The result is an uberchic design exhibiting the precise restraint and charm their Oyster Bay clients envisioned.
"The room is large, tall and perfectly square", recalls Doug Walsh. "The challenge was filling the space proportionally with out loosing a sense of intimacy."
Rather than using taller cabinets to punctuate the rooms' height, they opted for a linear row of glass cabinets nested atop of the storage cabinets. The glass cabinets seem to anchor the room while creating an understated focal point and a casual distinction the home owners were looking for.
Using the height of the window as a guide, Doug Walsh, CKD, selected a 15" custom glass cabinet to ribbon the kitchens cooking and preparation areas. To keep an uninterrupted linear flow, all large appliances were housed in one wall where larger glass cabinets were used to compensate for their scale. Keeping the larger appliances together also allowed for a tremendous amount of countertop space.
To achieve an elegant yet clean look the designers borrowed elements from traditional and transitional styles that could work together. The kitchens massive island, which serves as both a preparation and eating area, is outfitted with a classic Carrera marble top. The honed finish, eased edge and 2" thickness give it a magnificently subtle presence and work seamlessly with the overall rhythm of the room. Inset shaker door cabinets in a Harbor finish with flush toe kicks by Signature Custom Cabinetry mimic the rooms linear detailing while adding furniture caliber sophistication. The island also houses a cookbook library, 6 working drawers for storage and a sink for preparation.
For variation, the color scheme was inverted on the rooms' perimeter walls with earthy, warm granite on the counter tops and a light Oyster finish on the cabinets. The back splash features glass tile banded horizontally in on offset pattern.
To add drama careful attention was given to the lighting effects. High hats and pendant lighting provide functional light while under cabinet and invisible cabinet lighting give cadence to the room's lateral focal points. Overall, the architectural effects artfully bring your eye around the room.
FEATURE ARTICLE, HOUSE MAGAZINE
SOMETHINGS GOT TO GIVE
Any kitchen designer can tell you that each project comes with a unique set of obstacles. Some are expected, some surprisingly, set the tone for the design and some - like zeroing in on a clients design style can, on occasion, prove to be the most challenging. So when a Great Neck Estates, mother of two walked into Douglas Kitchens asking for a design that mirrored the one in the movie, Something’s Got to Give, Helen Murray, CKD, knew exactly what she was looking for. In case you haven’t seen the movie, the Something’s Got to Give kitchen, renowned for its elegant simplicity, seems to elicit the same response from would-be kitchen remodelers across the country – I’ve Got to Have It. Flooded with milky white hues, soft finishes and subtle detailing, its clean design packs universal appeal. “It’s the type of kitchen that lends itself to a pretty broad range to tastes,” notes Murray. “It's very much traditional, yet it’s toned down to the point where people looking for something less formal, sometimes country cottage, even transitional find it’s a style they can and would like to live with.”
The style is actually English Colonial characterized by un-adorned cabinetry and mill work, pale hues in dull sheens, soft finishes, and hardware in the silver-tone or black families. Understated subway tile is also a hallmark of this style. The overall look is bright, understated, sophisticated yet homey.
Working with a 19’ x 14’ space the first obstacle was designing it to meet kosher standards. All cooking, preparation and cleaning areas needed to be doubled and separate so the bulk of the projects work focused mainly on space planning. The work space lining the kitchens perimeter houses a sink, dishwasher, 36” pro range, wall oven, microwave, Sub-Zero refrigerator & freezer and preparation area. The island is equipped with another full size sink and dishwasher as well as ample preparation and serving space.
With the space planning complete they turned their focus on capturing the design. White painted shaker style cabinets with flush, inset doors by Signature Custom Cabinetry were used through the kitchen topped with honed black granite. Giving the kitchen a healthy dose of personalized charm are the honed marble Carrera subway tiles on the backsplash, a built-in desk area for the children, custom columns flanking the islands corners and sink area and a richly stained oak floor. Chrome hardware and pendant lighting add the finishing touches that complete the look.
The homeowner was so happy with the outcome that she sent a friend in to work with me on creating the same design in her own home,” recalls Murray. So how do you achieve this look in your own home? The foundation for the design is white or variations of white in dull finishes. Originally, English Colonial homes actually painted cabinets, walls and furnishings in milk paints made from a combination of pastel pigments and skim milk.
Cabinets should fall into the shaker, mission or recessed panel flush mount families - sans any fancy ridges or curvilinear detailing. Same goes for the mill work. Exposed hinges are a plus. For hardware, stick with in the silver-tones – chrome, nickel, pewter in honed or brushed finishes or aged black classics such as irons or oil rubbed bronze. Think classic restoration style pulls and handles.
Decorative lighting should be pendant with silver tones or combination silver and frosted white or white. Bell and dome shapes are popular. Avoid sharp edges that make may lend a contemporary style to the room. Additional decorative lighting can include lamp style wall scones in similar finishes with or with our shades. Recessed lighting can and should be used for functionality but down play their presence in the room by utilizing low profile, recessed cans.
What really drives this style home is the contrast of a few well placed soft dark colors juxtaposed against volumes of white - floors and countertops being the most common.
Common countertops include honed black granite, grey solid slates, soapstone and dark woods all with eased edges. The idea is soft and lived in but not over worn.
For the backsplash, stick with subway or rectangular shaped tile in whites, pale or pastel colors. Offset brick patterns are extremely popular. The backsplash should look clean and subtle. Avoid using busy patterns, heavy grout lines or earth tones as they will take away from the overall look.
FEATURED ARTICLE, HOUSE MAGAZINE
For the born entertainer, seasons present the ultimate genre for parties. Especially for residents of the north east who, for every season enjoy a new atmosphere of color, texture and temperature. With that inspiration Garden City homeowners turned to Douglas Kitchens to help them create a space that captures both the beauty of the seasons and their passion for entertaining.
"The homes original floor plan was somewhat choppy with many small rooms," recalls Doug Walsh, CKD of Douglas Kitchens. "For the new kitchen, they added a large addition that would serve as both a place to cook and entertain.
The new addition features a 30 foot kitchen with a dining area overlooking the gardens and leading out to the patio area. To maintain a continual flow between house and garden soft, neutral colors provide a pallet that can easily transition with the landscape. Oyster colored cabinets by Omega Cabinetry's custom line were chosen for their combination of subtle warmth and design flexibility. Integrated panels were used to down play the commercial like presence of appliances. While some appliances were covered, a 48" pro-range, the hallmark of any serious cook, was used as a focal point in the room. Clad in tile and architectural paneling, a hearth gives the range it's much deserved presence. Additional appliances include a double wall oven, two dishwashers, a power microwave and a 48" built in refrigerator. Keeping with the entertaining agenda, a 9 foot island was included, offering both ample space for preparation as well as a snacking and socializing area for their guests and children. Adjacent to the kitchen is a butler's pantry fitted with cherry burgundy cabinets an integrated dishwasher and a sink. Finally the mud room off the kitchen provides guests with a not so out of the way place to hang their coats when the season calls for it.
FEATURED ARTICLE, HOUSE MAGAZINE
FIT FOR A CHEF
If there is one client that knows precisely what they want in a kitchen it would have to be a chef, and rightfully so. They spend the better part of a day in the kitchen, far more than your typical homeowner or house wife has time for. Now imagine said chef is also the owner of a popular Long Island restaurant and it almost goes with out saying, their dream kitchen would have to be nothing less than marvelous. Contrary to popular belief, not all pro kitchens are clad in wall to wall stainless steel and oversized appliances. This multi disciplined home owner wanted something more traditional that mirrored the Victorian design of the rest or the home. Working with Doug Walsh, CKD they set out to design a kitchen that marries the pleasures of home with the power of professionalism.
As with any kitchen design, the outcome needs to embrace the lifestyle of the homeowner. Because this was a new construction, they designed the kitchen to open up to two additional large rooms in the house, a dining area and a family room, making it a virtual hub for entertaining, socializing and cooking. Therefore, the kitchens overall design really needed to flow with these two rooms. To accomplish this, the floors and millwork run uninterrupted though out the three creating a sense of belonging. To keep the design light with out loosing interest, emphasis was focused on dimension. The cabinetry is set in varying heights and depths highlighting focal points in the room. The difference in height not only draws you eye around the room but also ensures that the fabulous moldings don’t go unnoticed. Dimension was also the focus of the island which features large seating and preparation areas. The seating area is well defined with a raised countertop and circular form while the preparation area resides in the unit’s lower level. Cabinetry on the island is also set in varying depths. Bead board door fronts add just enough detailing to compliment the dimension and strength of the three rooms.
No chef’s kitchen would be complete with out a full range of professional appliances and this kitchen is no exception. Included are a pro range, a stainless steel side by side refrigerator/ freezer, professional microwave, wine refrigerator and one heavy duty dishwasher.
Finally, the overall harmony of the three rooms is complimented by the placement of some well selected furnishings. Rich, sturdy woods and leathers lend a contrasting sophistication to the otherwise delicate palette and really bring the room to life.
FEATURED ARTICLE, BUILDER & REMODELER MAGAZINE
Growth. It's the kind of thing that's measured in business not just by an increase in profits, a few more employees or a larger inventory. Real growth, sustainable growth, is measured over time, tested, challenged and re-tested. It is the ability to create, recognize and seize opportunities.
Rick Walsh owner and President of Walsh Enterprises is well versed in the ups and downs of business growth. He started WE some thirty five years ago in Hicksville originally as a manufacturers rep for a few commercial plumbing lines. He spent the first few years in business were establishing a client base and expanding their product offering. Within 5 years, Rick Walsh one of the owners, bought out his two partners and began to diversify, adding two architectural lines to the product mix. Within 10 years he had grown his client list, product offering, inventory and staff enough to warrant a move to a larger facility. By this time, his two sons Doug and Rich had joined the business as well.
Among the new lines they offered, a best seller was a compact kitchen line. His son Doug however, noticed that the line lacked many of the features that clients were looking for. Recognizing the market potential for cabinetry, Doug started the Douglas Kitchen & Bath division and set out to expand their cabinetry product offerings.
What primarily began as a one desk division selling and specking solely to architects, engineers, builders and remodelers, flourished into a 7,500 square foot state of the art showroom in a building adjacent to Walsh. Today the showroom, open to the public and trade alike, carries six cabinet lines including stock, semi-stock and custom options, appliances, countertops, home furnishings and showcases over 50 kitchen and bath displays (many of them fully working). Products and displays are constantly being updated to reflect changes in the business, product lines and new designs and the showroom is the recipient of numerous industry awards. Recently the showroom was updated to include an new line of Viking appliances.
Over the years the company has relocated twice to accommodate their enormous growth and success. Today they are located in two adjacent buildings on Allen Blvd in Farmingdale. Overall, the company's focus is to be a single source for developers, builders and contractors. Aside from the showroom and fully stocked warehouse of building products the facility also offers conference rooms and training rooms.
Recently the Walsh Architectural Sales Division (WAS) has been undergoing an expansion. The division, managed by Tony Ditizio, sells and stocks a large selection of building specialty products including, washroom accessories, toilet and shower compartments, fire extinguishers & cabinets, wall protection, lockers and shelving, wire mesh partitions, cubicle and tracking curtains, floor mats & grates, visual display boards, projection screens & lifts, interior signage, shower doors and tub surrounds, Quartz surfaces, Corian and custom products, medicine cabinets, mailboxes and house numbers.
Catering mainly to the commercial building and and multi unit residential developers, WAS offers single source purchasing, a dream for developers of large projects and detailed job take offs and competitive bids. Additionally, they maintain a considerable inventory of products and offer same day pick up. Over the last two years they have included roughly 20 new product lines in an effort to meet client needs and expand the new division.
What makes the entire business a success is their ability to recognize new business opportunities and cater to them. All three divisions operate independently and run in complete synergy with each other enabling them to share knowledge and resources while specializing in service areas. The overlap of product needs from clients of all three divisions create multiple opportunities for the divisions to work together.
The company has been in a major growth phase over the last several years and shows no signs of slowing. Current projects include several Manhattan sky rises, Stonybrook University, and multiple school, ,government, hospital and library's contracts in the Tri State area. New expansion is underway at both Walsh Enterprises and Douglas Kitchens including new offices to accommodate the growing WAS team, a larger plan and takeoff, an expanded literature room and of course, showroom updates and enhancements.