Q&A with Dario Snaidero: Kitchens Help Determine Marketability of Multi-Housing Properties
- May 06, 2009
Snaidero’s new product, Venus, is a customizable kitchen whose main features include a center island integrating food prep, cooking and washing; shelves that can be wall-mounted or suspended; tall units to house appliances; and under-countertop storage area. An optical solution consists of LED lights fitted closely together into a thin aluminum shelf, providing 83 percent power savings. Cabinets are available in the Microtouch finish, which is treated with an eco-friendly tanning process, high gloss or matte Ebony wood, or high gloss, matte or metallic lacquers in the company’s traditional color options.MHN Associate Editor Erika Schnitzer interviews Dario Snaidero, president and CEO of Snaidero USA Inc. about the design inspiration for the new Venus kitchen, as well as its energy-efficient features.MHN: What unique aesthetic and functional elements does the Venus kitchen offer luxury multi-housing developers?Snaidero: Venus was designed for Snaidero by Ferrari cars stylist Pininfarina, with whom the company has a long-running relationship. Pininfarina brought his distinct design style into this kitchen, creating a cabinetry line with a strong character, which is also extremely high-tech and functional. Aesthetic elements that make this model truly unique are: 1) the symmetrical design of the countertops, shelves, light rack and the line of the upper cabinets; 2) the soft curves incorporated in the cabinets which enhance these symmetries; 3) the visual impact, created by interesting color contrasts and the juxtaposition of different materials; 4) the optional, innovative Microtouch finish–an eco-friendly material that looks and feels like leather; 5) the cupboards and tall units that can elegantly house and conceal appliances, for a more sophisticated look.The Venus design is not just meant to be beautiful to look at. First and foremost, it is meant to be functional. Every element has its own purpose to make the kitchen extremely user-friendly. The symmetrical surfaces and curved cabinets are ergonomic and functional as they provide different depths and heights. Every space (even corners) can be utilized for storage, thanks to customizable units. Many different layouts are possible, to be able to meet any room and user requirements. The island can be used as a table/snack bar/ work unit. It can integrate food preparation, cooking, washing areas and Teppanyaki (a Japanese cooking system that uses an electrical/gas plate to cook food quickly without added fat). In addition, kitchen utensils, bottle holders and spice containers can be fitted on the sloped area of the island countertop. The island can house cabinets with lift-up fronts for additional storage.MHN: Describe the energy-efficient attributes/benefits of the Venus lighting system.Snaidero: The lighting in Venus is a strong design element; it plays harmoniously with the architecture of the kitchen. Designer Pininfarina’s background is in the automotive industry, so he brings his experience and technical knowledge into the design of the kitchen. Even the Venus lighting is an application of automotive technology, patented by Snaidero. A strip of LED lights are fitted closely together into a thin aluminum shelf. The benefits of this feature are: 1) low heat emission; 2) even and controlled diffusion of light; 3) 83 percent energy savings, compared to halogen lights; 4) 10 times higher bulb durability.MHN: How do luxury kitchen products in multifamily affect return on investment? What are the benefits of luxury products like this in the multifamily marketplace?Snaidero: I will address these two questions together. First of all, I think it’s useful to give a definition of “luxury.” It is the result of fusing together innovative design and outstanding quality. Just as with single-family homes, luxury furniture raises the value of condo units. The kitchen, in particular, is one of the assets that help determine the marketability of multi-housing properties. If the kitchen model chosen for the building is a product of great design and high quality, the market value of each single unit—as well as of the entire building—increases considerably.This holds true for all the kitchens that Snaidero USA supplies to North American developers, and especially for a kitchen like Venus, which is an example of luxury excellence. This is also why a lot of the builders we work with use the Snaidero kitchen brand logo in their ads; it is a guarantee of luxury quality and design and makes the property more appealing to their prospective buyers. For over 16 years, Snaidero USA has consistently delivered luxury kitchens in large quantities and within strict time standards to comply with luxury developers’ product and service demands.MHN: What has been the response from the marketplace (specifically multifamily)?Snaidero: Venus is one of our newest models, so it hasn’t been available to the multi-housing industry for long. However, so far, whenever a developer has used Venus as the kitchen of choice for their buildings, they have never been left with unsold units. It looks like the higher investment has paid off for them. Now, I don’t know if the merit goes to the kitchen but it certainly isn’t a coincidence either. In fact, developers who have chosen Venus for one of their new buildings have then used it again for other properties. MHN: Can this product be used in a multifamily rental?Snaidero: Yes.MHN: Can it be used to convert a Class C into a Class B? Have you considered Class B properties as part of the market for this product?Snaidero: Sure. However, Venus is definitely more of a “Class A” type of product. It is at the very top of the luxury product offering for the multi-housing industry.MHN: Do you have any other products that could be used in Class B apartments?Snaidero: Snaidero USA offers developers a wide range of kitchen models, all of high quality. Most of them can be positioned at the same level as Venus but we also have cabinetry lines that fit the needs of developers building properties with a lower price point.