How Designers Can Benefit From NKBA Membership: Questions and Answers
What are the advantages that professional designers can enjoy by becoming members of the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association)?
Peter Salerno, CMKBD, is the founder and owner of our parent company, Peter Salerno Inc. Since 2002, no other kitchen and bath design firm has won more national design awards than Peter Salerno Inc. The benefits of these awards (and the notoriety attached to them) have assisted Peter and his team in becoming a truly global brand, with their designs in homes and businesses in multiple countries across 3 continents. The past several years have seen Peter Salerno Inc.’s reach continue to spread across America, while new installations reached Canada and Russia.
Peter Salerno has been a member of the NKBA since 1990 – seven years before Peter Salerno Inc. became an incorporated brand in 1997. In the 28 years Peter has been an NKBA member, the experiences gained, knowledge developed, and platforms presented through the NKBA have been invaluable to the development of Peter’s skills as a master custom kitchen and bath designer, as well as to the success of Peter Salerno Inc. as a world-class design brand.
Recently, Peter Salerno was interviewed by the NKBA for their series “The Member Advantage”, discussing how membership in the NKBA is an asset to any kitchen and bath designer or design team. The conversation dealt with the benefits of NKBA membership, NKBA chapter meetings, being a part of KBIS (the NKBA’s annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Showcase and conference) and more.
Here are a few of our favorite excerpts from this exclusive Q&A, which you can find on the NKBA’s website.
NKBA: What do you consider to be the best benefits of your membership?
Peter Salerno: The best benefits have been the exposure to cutting-edge products in our industry. This availability of information can better my skills as a high-end designer.
NKBA: How do you share your knowledge? Have you ever been a VFTI speaker or considered becoming one?
PS: I would enjoy being a speaker. I just did a presentation at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Meeting in Princeton. It was standing-room-only. I received such a wonderful response, it got me thinking: why not share my 36 years of experience with the next generation of designers?
NKBA: What are some positive experiences at KBIS that stand out for you?
PS: The positive experience at KBIS comes from leaving the show with at least one great idea. That idea can be implemented the day I return to work. It may come from a seminar I attended or a product that impressed me. One year, after speaking to Gary Vaynerchuk, a keynote speaker, I came back from KBIS and started my blog. It was a great addition to my social media marketing strategy.
For the complete interview with Peter Salerno about the member advantages of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, click here.
This week, Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer is officially two things we love: a true East Coast trendsetter, and a birthday girl! Ever since we started the Design Your Lifestyle blog movement, we’ve kept tabs on Gabrielle – her fashion, her work, and her personal style.
Gabrielle was one of our first interviews at Design Your Lifestyle, and much has changed since then. She got married, became an intrinsic part of a world-class kitchen and bath design firm, found the most adorable little Boston terrier you’ll ever see (more on that later!), and fostered her own sense of style. (Oh, and she has a little one on the way!)
But certain things have remained constant in Gabby’s life: a love for the arts, a keen sense for spotting trends, a strong connection with family, and finding joy in helping others achieve their dream home designs.
As Gabrielle celebrates her birthday, we thought it’d be a fun idea to look back at some moments, memories, and insightful interview questions and answers we’ve shared with Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer over the years.
The following article contains excerpts from past interviews with Gabrielle from 2013-present.
Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer: Professional Style
Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer currently operates as the head of Customer Relations and Social Media Outreach for Peter Salerno Inc., placing her in the “inner circle” of the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design firm since 2002. (She also serves as Hardware Manager.) Being a third-generation member of the Salerno custom design legacy, Gabrielle has strong ties (and tastes) in the business, and shares memories of then – and now.
Gabrielle: I remember when my brother and I were kids, we would go to our grandfather’s shop (Salerno Kitchens), and sneak into the workshop. Obviously, kids weren’t allowed in there, so we would hide in giant armoires and cabinets and try not to be found. Sometimes we’d get caught and the workers would yell at us, but it was amazing to see how they would create everything. It was like being in Santa’s workshop.
Design Your Lifestyle: What attracts you to the design business now?
Gabrielle: I’m a visual person in general; I have a theatre and dance background. I like the way things move and sound, how they incorporate with one another. That’s why I love the designs here; my dad and the designers make everything move and flow together.
Gabrielle is a shining light of positivity, happiness and knowledge, and is a major reason why Peter Salerno’s clients feel an instant sense of comfort when they arrive at the showroom.
Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer: Personal Style
Let’s be honest. There’s nothing that exudes personal style more than your choice of pet. Gabrielle and her husband Brian have an adorable Boston terrier named Harper, who has become the unofficial Peter Salerno Inc. office puppy and mascot. (Let’s just hope that Harper gets along with the newest addition to Gabrielle and her husband Brian’s family, due in July 2017!)
Gabby is a fan of understated class when it comes to personal style and fashion. Much of her wardrobe is inspired by metropolitan fashion trends, with a taste of Cape Cod and Connecticut seashore style mixed in during the summer months.
Gabrielle also stuns in solid color dresses, preferring to let accessories like chunky necklaces and statement jewelry and belts do the “talking”. She’s truly at her best in a simple black or neutral-color dress (see the gorgeous off-brown dress in the photo below) – it’s an understated elegance that infuses her entire look with confidence and timeless style.
Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer: Family Style
The personal and professional truly mesh for Gabrielle at the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom and offices, and she speaks fondly of her unique work experience.
Design Your Lifestyle: It must be unique to be a part of the third generation of a family business.
Gabrielle: Sure – and I know it means a lot to my grandfather that three generations of his family are in the same business. I absolutely love when he comes in the office, and I can offer him a cup of coffee. His face lights up, and it’s like a really nice bonus for me. In that respect, it’s even more rewarding.
The most exciting piece of Gabrielle’s family style has yet to officially arrive – Gabrielle and Brian Mayer are expecting their first child in July 2017! If Gabby’s personal style and way of life are any indication of things to come, the littlest Mayer will be born into a world of love, joy and grace!
Anthony Michael Salerno Design Interview on NKBA Connect Blog
Peter Salerno Inc. Family Tradition Featured By NKBA
Peter Salerno Inc. isn’t just the most award-winning custom kitchen and bath design firm in North America. It’s a business rich in family history, tradition, and a commitment to master craftsmanship. From Peter’s father Rosolino, through Peter Salerno, CMKBD, and now Peter’s son Anthony, the family business is now in its third generation.
For years, Peter Salerno’s connection with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has been both invaluable and beneficial. The NKBA, considered by most to be the most prestigious North American custom design association, is committed to ongoing education, outreach projects, insightful conferences and the recognition of the very best in custom kitchen and bath design.
Recently, Anthony Michael Salerno (Peter Salerno’s son) was featured by the NKBA Connect blog in its Learner Profile section. As part of his commitment to mastery of the family business, Anthony is furthering his design education through the AKBD Certification program.
Anthony is the 3rd generation of the East-coast design dynasty behind Peter Salerno Inc. His father, Peter Salerno, CMKBD, is one of The NKBA’s most dedicated supporters of lifelong learning, and Anthony is following his father’s lead as he flourishes in the family business. He is pursuing his AKBD Certification through the NKBA both by taking live courses at KBIS and by engaging online with our NKBA University courses.
Click here to enjoy the full NKBA Connect interview with Anthony Michael Salerno. You will learn much more about Peter Salerno Inc.’s family heritage, Anthony’s trip to KBIS 2015 in Las Vegas, and why he chooses to learn with NKBA University.
For more information about Peter Salerno Inc., winner of 29 national kitchen and bath design awards since 2002, please fill out the contact form below!
Designer Insights with Peter Salerno [Courtesy of Terry’s Blinds]
Peter Salerno (and Peter Salerno Inc.) is happy to announce he has been featured on the outstanding blog of British-based company Terry’s Blinds. (A special thank you to author Tudor Davies for the article.)
It’s an outstanding piece, and Terry’s Blinds was kind enough to share the post with us on Peter Salerno Inc.’s official blog. Read on and enjoy!
Peter Salerno Inc. Showroom Featured In Bergen.com Spotlight Article
Visit Peter Salerno’s state-of-the-art showroom in Wyckoff, NJ
“Peter Salerno Inc. combines three stores – a tile store, an appliance store and a showroom – in one building; and the result is a sight to see. It’s room after room of exquisitely constructed kitchens, punctuated by some of the most fantastic details you’ve ever seen…”
The quote above is an excerpt from a feature article by Bergen.com, entitled “A Wonderland Under One Roof”, is not only a testament to Peter Salerno Inc.’s gorgeous showroom but also a wonderfully written piece by talented author Ryan Greene. You can read (and watch) more of Ryan Greene’s fantastic social journalism pieces here.
The feature encompasses a full-scale tour of the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom and building at 511 Goffle Road, Wyckoff, NJ. The author makes stops not only at Peter Salerno Inc.’s state-of-the-art showroom, but also to partners and adjacent businesses Stratta, the Tile Boutique and Oberg & Lindquist Appliances.
Preview video of Peter Salerno Inc.’s Wyckoff, NJ showroom:
Ryan Greene describes Peter Salerno’s craftsmanship as “…Quite possibly the most gorgeous cabinetry you’ve ever seen. Classical bathrooms replete with marble and columns. Contemporary kitchens showcasing imported African lacewood and backsplashes of color-changing LED lights. An entire bathroom decorated in graffiti by a New York City artist and embellished with a wall-to-wall city skyline and a manhole cover in the floor. And on and on…”
Compliments have come from all angles for the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom. The vice president of Sub-Zero stated, “This is the most innovative showroom I’ve ever seen.”
At the end of the article, Peter Salerno says that he wanted his showroom to be “Disney World for adults”. Based on the praise bestowed on it from various sources thus far, he may just have accomplished his goal.
Want your own private tour of the Peter Salerno Inc. design showroom in Wyckoff, NJ? Fill out the form below, or call the Peter Salerno Inc. offices at (201) 251-6608!
Anthony Salerno Talks Peter Salerno, TopBrewer, AMS Knifeworks & More
Our ongoing series of official interviews with the staff of Peter Salerno Inc. continues this month with Anthony Michael Salerno, sales coordinator and design associate for the company. As Peter Salerno Inc. has grown into the most awarded national design firm in the United States since 2003 (by the NKBA), the demand for new sales and designs has skyrocketed. Anthony’s job has become more demanding – and rewarding – than ever.
Of course, Anthony Salerno’s roots to the company have existed since birth – Anthony is the son of master designer Peter Salerno, and the grandson of master cabinetry and woodwork designer Rosolino Salerno. As the third generation of Salernos running the family business in America, Anthony offers a unique perspective on the growth of Peter Salerno Inc.
We sat down with Anthony to discuss Peter Salerno Inc., his passion for knife and sword crafting, his knowledge of TopBrewer and La Cornue, and the music playlist that helps him get through the workday.
Interview with Anthony Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc.
1. You’ve visited your father’s design office and showroom since you were a child. What’s your fondest memory of your dad’s office from childhood?
Anthony Michael Salerno (AMS): My earliest memory was actually at my grandfathers cabinet shop before my father opened up Peter Salerno Inc. My cousins and I would go to the shop on Christmas Eve when they would have a big party during lunch. Tables would be rigged up across the shop with benches, customers would come with accordions and guitars to eat and play music while homemade wine was being served out of gallon jugs. When everyone at the party had a few glasses of wine in them and weren’t paying attention my cousins and I would sneak into the back shop and run around all the machinery, hide inside cabinets, and see who could sweep a path through the sawdust the quickest. To this day the smell of saw dust still makes me nostalgic.
2. What is your current role at Peter Salerno Inc.?
AMS: Currently I design and handle sales. I also handle La Cornue and TopBrewer sales. I’m our office’s TopBrewer expert, so I field any calls about it and show clients how the machine works and how to use it. More recently I’ve been working on new cabinet styles, moldings, and finishes exclusive to our company with my father.
3. We’ve visited your offices, and know how hard you work. What’s the toughest part of your job that people may not realize?
AMS: I’ve found a lot of people don’t realize the initial work that goes into their design. Being a totally custom company, when somebody hands us a plan, we draw out the walls and then start from scratch with the design. You have to imagine yourself walking through the space and seeing how you can interact with it. It’s like getting a piece of paper and having to create a puzzle from it, first you think of the design and style and sketch it out, then you carve out all the puzzle pieces and make sure they fit.
4. What’s the one thing that gets you excited to go to the office, even on days you’re dragging?
AMS: Knowing that I’ll be creating something that will end up in someone’s home. When you start the process with a client it’s a blank canvas and you know nothing about each other, through the design process you get to know your clients and put pieces of their personality and inspirations into the design. It starts with a meeting and a couple of free-hand sketches, then moves to 2-D rectangles on the floorplan, then gains detail and beauty with 2-D elevations, becomes real with hand-drawn 3-D renderings, and finally is brought to life when it’s in a clients home. For a lot of people it’s a very important and personal process, it’s always great to be a part of that.
5. You often listen to music while you work. What are a few great songs that are on your work playlist now?
AMS: My playlist will change throughout the day depending on what I’m working on. I like to start the day at 7 am with the Elvis Duran Show and get a couple of laughs in. Once 10 am hits I usually switch to “The Edge” radio out of Texas (thanks to iheartradio), I listen to some of their alternative rock for another hour to hour and a half and then it usually progresses into metal/symphonic metal and it’s all about Nightwish, Blind Guardian, and Sonata Artica powering me through the afternoon. On high-stress days it may switch to Andrea Bocelli and some classical orchestras. Being a classically trained musician my taste is very vast so there’s usually some variation from day-to-day.
6. Outside of Peter Salerno Inc., you’re also the owner of a custom knifework studio (AMS Knifeworks). How does what your father taught you about design lend itself to your custom knife design work?
AMS: I’ve always loved designing knives, swords, and jewelry – I even picked up a minor in it while at college. For me the design isn’t enough, I need to create functional pieces of art with my hands. We don’t have a shop behind the building like my grandfather had, so I created my own metal shop at home. I take the two necessities of design I learned from my father and apply it to my knives, beauty and functionality. That along with having an extensive knowledge of finishes, woods, and their properties gives me an edge when creating a new piece. Knowing all the different kitchen styles definitely helps when I’m making chefs’ knives as well, I may have one for someone with a very traditional kitchen, and I may have one for a very contemporary kitchen.
7. What’s on the horizon for Peter Salerno Inc. that has you particularly excited?
AMS: With new appliances, new door styles & moldings, and new finishes, it’s a really exciting time to be designing. With the release of Houzz and Pinterest, there has been an influx of people who want to break out of the box with the designs for their home. Breaking out of the box is what we do best (and what we geared our showroom towards) so it’s a very exciting time to be a part of a company that doesn’t believe in boxes and is constantly pushing the limits of design.
Tracy Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc.: Exclusive Interview
It’s often said that behind every great man is a great woman. But when it comes to Peter Salerno, his wife Tracy certainly doesn’t stand behind him. For decades, the two have stood side by side, not only as husband and wife but as the “patriarch and matriach” of Peter Salerno Inc.
Ask anyone in the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom and offices, and they’ll tell you quickly that Tracy is a driving force behind the business. She not only handles much of the day-to-day business operations of Peter Salerno Inc., but also has a vast working knowledge of custom kitchen, bath, interior and cabinetry design.
Since Peter Salerno Inc.’s humble beginnings in 1997, Tracy Salerno has played an integral role in its management, growth and overall success. We were privileged to take a few minutes out of Tracy’s busy schedule for an exclusive interview. In it, we learned about Tracy and Peter’s humble beginnings, current projects and business partners, stories from the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom, and plans for the future.
Interview with Tracy Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc.
Peter Salerno Blog (PSB): What do you remember about the first day Peter Salerno Inc. opened?
Tracy Salerno: First a little background: before opening Peter Salerno Inc, Peter worked in a family business owned by his father and uncle. For various reasons, but mainly so Peter’s artistic vision wouldn’t be stifled, we discussed Peter leaving and going out on his own, but he had to be ready to make that move, so the timetable was all up to him. Meantime, our children were both in school full time and I was going to get back into teaching.
I had my interview all set up and two days before, Pete said, “I’m leaving and you have to come work for me. It’ll just be us for awhile. By the way, I’m looking for a building to buy or rent.” A bit of a shock, but okay – I canceled my interview and took a crash course in Quickbooks, wood species and cabinet styles. Hardware catalogs were my nightly reading. The day we opened our first showroom, I remember feeling a little queasy, not sure if it was excitement or fear. We had it all on the line, all our money, our home….we had to make it work. But somehow, butterflies and all, I just knew it would all be okay. We have always believed the only way to get ahead is to dive in, start swimming and have faith. No one ever got anywhere by sitting on the dock.
PSB: Could you have imagined the business growing to where it is today?
Tracy Salerno: In 1997, we started in a small Cape Cod house on Goffle Road. We had to renovate the building completely. It was a dilapidated disaster when we bought it; I took one look at it and sobbed. After that I wasn’t allowed back in until the construction was done. We had a tiny showroom with 5 displays downstairs and offices upstairs.
To go from there, that memory, to this gorgeous design center, is literally a dream come true. Could I ever imagine it? In all honesty, yes. I know my husband, I know his drive. This was his dream from the day he bought the property. He saw the land and saw the vision. After my initial crying jag, I saw it too. I knew we would get here eventually.
PSB: You recently celebrated 2 years in your beautiful new showroom building. What’s your favorite part of the new showroom?
Tracy Salerno: We couldn’t be happier with the new place. The showroom is such an eclectic mix, two years later it’s still fun to come down here and take it all in. I had a ball “dressing” the displays and I still look for new things every time I’m out. It’s hard to pinpoint what my favorite part of the showroom is. I’d have to say just having the space to showcase the multitude of designs we are capable of creating.
PSB: What’s it like working in an office with both of your children?
Tracy Salerno: Funny thing, we never built the business or the building for the next generation. This was always Pete’s dream and we always encouraged Anthony and Gabrielle to pursue their own paths. Which they did with success. Circumstances and changes in their personal lives led them here as a temporary place to figure it all out then suddenly it was permanent. It’s great having them both here, especially since it was by choice not expectation. Both are growing in their positions and are truly assets to the company. The best part is having lunch with the two of them most days….even if I’m the one paying.
PSB: Tell us a funny story from “behind the scenes” in the Peter Salerno Inc. offices that we wouldn’t otherwise know about!
Tracy Salerno: Behind the scenes….you do realize you are talking about an office full of artistic designers right? Everyone has their own quirky personality which is fun to be around. Randomly funny or odd pictures will appear in such places as…. the restrooms. Federico paints, mainly abstract, so when he brings in a new work, we have a “guess what the subject” is game. A good song on a Friday morning might produce an impromptu dance party.
My personal favorite is a photo/certificate that hangs in Peter’s office. The day we officially opened the new builing, we took a picture outside the design center; everyone was in it–that is a major feat in itself. Being a Zoolander fan, Kimberly took the picture, added some text, framed and presented it to Peter. “The Peter Salerno Center for Kids Who Can’t Design Good and Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too”. It’s epic.
PSB: What are your favorite things to do when you’re not working?
Tracy Salerno: Do I ever not work? Seriously, my ultimate “me time” is to flop in my favorite chair in my sun room with a good book. If I’m at the shore house, substitute front porch rocker with sun room chair. Puzzles. I like puzzles too; the crazier & bigger the better. My family thinks I’m nuts when I say it’s relaxing for me.
PSB: You recently started offering the TopBrewer coffee brewing system. Have you tried it, and what do you think?
Tracy Salerno: Top Brewer. I. Want. One. In. My. House. It’s a great product; my next kitchen at home will have one. Pete and I were at the factory in Copenhagen last year. Top Brewer wanted to enter the American market so select designers were given a tour of the factory and a tutorial. We had to bring it into the showroom as soon as it became available stateside. The clean lines of just a spout integrated in the counter eliminates the clutter of coffee accessories. The grinder & refrigeration unit fit in a lower cabinet. A self cleaning system keeps it low maintenance.
You are your own barista. Latte? No problem. Cappuccino? Espresso? Strong, light, in between, lots of foam, no foam…all there with a touch of the iPad or phone app. Also, seltzer; you can make your own seltzer. Soon it will have juice dispensing capabilities too. I am addicted to the machine.
PSB: What’s on the horizon for Peter Salerno Inc. that has you excited?
Tracy Salerno: Every day is a new adventure here. We never know who is coming through the door, that in itself is exciting. Through our clients, we never know where we’ll end up….like Russia. Seriously, Pete is doing a job in Moscow. Now that is pretty cool. Watching our team solidify and grow as designers and in their personal lives is tremendously satisfying. Right now we are enjoying where we are and the people we work with. That being said, we are always looking to reinvent ourselves to stay fresh and current, so you never know what is around the corner for us!
For more information about Peter Salerno Inc. or to schedule a showroom appointment, please call (201) 251-6608 or email info@PeterSalernoInc.com.