By Aiko Austin
The owners of Bilotta Kitchen & Home share tips on the latest and greatest in kitchen design and the importance of hiring a kitchen designer.
The story of Bilotta Kitchen & Design dates back to 1955, when Jim Bilotta Sr. founded a residential construction company followed by a custom millwork shop. By 1985, siblings Jim, Maria, and Regina Bilotta joined their father to open the company’s flagship showroom in Mamaroneck. Inspired by their Italian heritage, rich with decades of talented artisans, they were determined to build a company that promised to create the most beautiful kitchens and interior spaces in the world.
“Over the last 35 years, my siblings and I have worked together to carry on my father’s legacy,” says Regina. “Fulfilling the functional desires and needs of our clients has been easy. It’s with design and aesthetics that we are truly raising the bar and delivering something that exceeds our clients’ expectations and dreams.”
Bilotta Kitchen & Home now has showrooms in Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Greenwich, and Manhattan, all of which feature traditional and contemporary kitchen displays from the company’s own line, Bilotta Collection, as well as other high-end manufacturers. While Bilotta depends on its partner factory in rural Pennsylvania for handmade custom cabinetry expertise, the company also benefits from the factory’s cutting-edge technology, machinery, materials, and finishes.
“Our philosophy is to provide the highest-quality products and services while treating our customers like they are family,” says Jim. “We strive to create beautiful, functional, lasting, and inviting living spaces that enrich peoples’ lives.” Expanding on the topic, Maria says, “We believe in the team approach – combining the efforts of a builder, architect, interior designer, and more – all managed by a kitchen designer.”
Latest Trends in Kitchen Design
Homeowners looking to update their kitchens might be interested to note that the Bilottas have seen several key trends on the rise. According to Maria, two-toned kitchens, where there is a mix of painted and wood cabinetry, are very popular at the moment. “While colors come and go, the old favorite – white paint – never goes away. However, people will mix it with other natural finishes, such as a white-painted perimeter and a walnut island,” she says.
When it comes to cabinetry, Jim says, “For more contemporary cabinet doors, the use of metal is very popular, whether it’s polished nickel, blackened steel, copper, or bronze.” The metals have an indestructible finish and develop a wonderful patina with age. “We are seeing a demand for cabinet doors with metal frames and fabric sandwiched between two pieces of glass as the center panel,” notes Jim.
In terms of fixtures, workstations, such as The Galley (thegalley.com), offer well-organized platforms for both prep and cleanup. “These often feature one to two workstations and faucets as well as extremely handy accessories that range from cutting boards to colanders and drying racks,” says Jim.
Maria also points out that filtered-water systems and faucets for better drinking water are now available from many different manufacturers. “You have the option for filtered, chilled, heated and even sparkling water,” she says.
When it comes to countertops Regina says, “The standout is quartz. It provides the look of natural stone with the durability of granite. It’s truly a beautiful, useful, and indestructible manmade product.”
Looking for trends in appliances, Regina notes induction cooktops are gaining more and more popularity after being on the market for more than 25 years. “The decrease in natural gas availability is fueling this trend, as well as the induction cooktop’s ability to boil water in half the time as gas and also deliver a lower simmer,” she says.
Interestingly, the pandemic has resulted in changing demands for kitchen and home design. Adult children have moved back into their parents’ houses, and many family members are working remotely. “Clients that have been coming in for new kitchens are asking for integrated desk areas and more seating as well to accommodate the best use of their spaces in this new world,” says Regina.
The Bilottas’ Favorite Products
EcoDomo leather cabinet doors
“These fabulous, sustainable leather products for cabinet doors can be used as an insert on a wood or painted door, or you can fully wrap the door in it.”
Armac Martin hardware
“One of my favorite brands is Armac Martin hardware. This luxury brand is made from solid brass in their factory in Birmingham UK. Their pieces are meticulously hand-crafted and hand-finished and look like actual jewelry on your cabinets.”
THG Paris’s Grand Central Collection
“THG Paris offers the most beautifully designed, hand-crafted faucets made by true artisans.”
Operable backsplash panels from Bilotta’s Artcraft Line
“Panels give access to hidden storage space not previously available. Rolling up or opening to the right and left, panels can conceal knife blocks, spice racks, wine bottles, and more.”
“This lava-based slab with a ceramic finish is extremely durable and available in unique colors. Pyrolave is suitable for both contemporary and traditional homes as a countertop, dining table top, or an accent piece in a bar or butler’s pantry.”
“An authentic indoor pizza oven, covered in stone and copper, is the perfect item to gather family and friends together at any time of year.”
Reasons to Hire a Kitchen Designer
Some people think they are prepared to design their own kitchens, not only laying out the space to its best advantage but also picking out and pricing the best cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, flooring, countertops, and more. However, hiring a kitchen designer has many advantages:
Coordinating functionality with aesthetics.
“At Bilotta, we think of kitchen design in five main parts: prep, cooking, serving, storing, and cleanup. If you aren’t working with a professional, it’s often very difficult to coordinate all these elements for the best possible space both functionally and aesthetically speaking,” says Regina. She points out that a kitchen designer can help make sure your beautiful new kitchen has the perfect “cooking triangle” (sink, refrigerator, and stove), with plenty of prep space and storage to make working in the kitchen as easy and efficient as possible.
Inside knowledge and access to the latest and best products in the industry.
“Kitchen designers know what’s trending beyond cabinets, from appliances to plumbing and tile, and we have access to the very best products in the industry,” says Jim. “On top of that, we can coordinate it all for you because we are backed by engineers and an installation department that oversees the project from start to finish.”
Expertise in design and installation.
Maria says, “Ultimately, it’s not just about the selections, design, and ordering; it’s about getting it all in and putting it together. Starting with our drawings, everything we do is heading toward the final installation, which is the last word on how well the kitchen will look and last.” She notes that when you work with a kitchen designer such as Bilotta, you have the support of a design firm that supervises installers who are at the top of the industry. “They are not general contractors; they are artisans, cabinetmakers, and carpenters,” says Maria.
It’s difficult to have a kitchen that stands out for its unique design when working with brands that specialize in one material or product. “Kitchen designers have the benefit of working with several factories that can help deliver the best-quality products that are unique to their clients’ needs,” says Regina. “For example, our custom cabinetry is made in our partner factory in Pennsylvania to match our own designers’ exacting specifications.” In addition to cabinetry, kitchen designers also can help clients with bespoke backsplashes and flooring, tailor-made countertops, and distinctive lighting fixtures that will make their dream kitchens a reality.