Northport, NY –
Some might say that Susan Serra’s design firm is born again.
The reason is that Serra, CKD, CAPS, award-winning designer and owner of Susan Serra Associates, based here, has recently – after 20 years in the kitchen and bath industry – taken the unique step of starting her own cabinetry line, Bornholm Kitchen.
According to Serra, the move comes as a response to the recession, as well as a way to meet the demands of her very discriminating clients.
“Having just launched my new collection, Bornholm Kitchen, we are designing kitchens, bath, and other furniture only with this brand. Being both a manufacturer and a design firm adds another dimension to the creative process, which differentiates our firm from others,” says Serra, who as president of Bornholm Kitchen, runs the company with her daughter Kelly Serra Donovan, who serves as director of sales.
“My clients are eco-conscious and style-conscious. They have interest in a modern kitchen and whole-house design or may own a second home. They want a different aesthetic, one that is original, therefore, not a trend, but is simply good design, which will always stand the test of time,” she says.
To that end, she notes that her firm serves as designer and supplier for builders’ spec homes, multi-volume middle and high-end condominiums, and Manhattan apartments while catering to a geographic area of Long island – from the Hamptons to New York City – to Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut and beyond as required.
“Thinking as a manufacturer enables us to think from the ground up in regard to issues of function and aesthetics as well as focusing on more modern issues within the design of cabinetry such as universal design,” she concludes.
Adjusting her sales
For Serra, a student of international design trends, it was her penchant for risk-taking during the recession that led her to establish her own cabinetry line.
“I chose to bring the Bornholm Kitchen product to market to capture clients who desired a niche product, yet within a wider geographical area which I felt would be an interesting challenge, partially as a response to the recession,” she says, adding that it reflects the best properties of Scandanavian cabinetry.
She adds: “Bornholm [represents] a philosophy surrounding living with furniture in the kitchen that combines utility with pure beauty. It took several years to bring it to market. It is manufactured in Pennsylvania and features full custom kitchens, islands, vanities and soon, furniture.”
She notes that the creation of the Bornholm line also reflects her desire to provide a sustainable option for her clients as the cabinetry is made with sustainable wood products which have no urea formaldehyde added and which contain soy-based resins.
She adds: “Our high quality oil finish, typically used in fine furniture, is extremely durable and is 100% VOC-free. The finish is made from natural plant oils, natural waxes and organic pigments. There is no added formaldehyde, ammonia, solvents or other toxic chemicals.”
In the spirit of Serra’s exploration of current industry trends, and also a concept she calls “the social kitchen,” she says the firm is interested in moving into furniture design in the near future.
“We are developing a kitchen furniture solution for smaller kitchens, and we plan to continually develop the line and introduce new pieces and concepts. We will soon be moving toward online sales for individual pieces as another dimension of our business plan.”
Lastly, she also specks a variety of other high-end product categories, such as Vermont slate for countertops as well as engineered and natural stones.