New York Style Guide had the wonderful opportunity to interview with ITALKRAFT, Miami’s top and best custom made kitchen, bathrooms, doors, and closets for today’s luxury real estate buyers. ITALKRAFT developed from the shared work of Alex Xakoustis and Raul Gutierrez, who are both very well respected specialists in Italian kitchen design and installation. Since then ITALKRAFT has become the leading consultant in South Florida for these three crucial spaces in a home. The brand’s powerful groundwork is assembled upon the two design aficionados’ combined experiences that has grown through their relationships with the best European manufacturers within the industry, which allows them to acquire materials of incomparable quality and stand out from the crowd of other interior designers and installers.
1.Why did you choose Miami for your location/market?
Being from Miami, we already had a great network with local developers. Miami is also a very fast growing city with a diverse market. Luxury real estate is growing at a rapid pace and we are able to service this segment in a way other local companies can’t. Not to mention that in regards to location, Miami can’t be beat for national in international expansion.
2. What inspires your designs? Does fashion whether it be in Miami or in the world inspire your designs and if yes, how so?
Interior design and fashion has always worked hand in hand. You can see the clean lines, functional cuts, and crisp finishes in a European shirt as well as in our latest kitchen designs. The Italians place high value in the quality of materials used be it in a kitchen cabinet or a couture dress. The material used mainly inspires our designs. We always look for ways to make that exotic natural material stand out and shine. Also, we must keep in mind the space we have to use – how to make it functional while incorporating the different design elements the client wants to see.
3. What interior design trends are the most popular today and which design trends do you enjoy looking at or working with?
We have noticed a consistent trend in mixing finishes, lacquer with natural woods, drawers and cabinets with built in handles, and clean flush designs. We enjoy working with different exotic finishes. We have been able to source and work with material that most people wouldn’t even know existed, much less that we could incorporate them into a kitchen design.
4. Who are some of the high-profile clients that you have worked with?
We have worked with architects on properties for celebrities including Juanes, Alex Rodriguez and Julio Iglesias as well as in collaboration with interior designers in large-scale luxury development projects including One Thousand Museum, Glass, Regalia, One Ocean, Marea and Brickell City Center.
5. What design project did you enjoy, was the most fun, or the most extravagant to work on?
I would say that the toughest and most extravagant project we currently have in the works is Glass Miami Beach. The precious Calacatta Select Marble that the 165K kitchens are made of were only available in certain lengths, which are predetermined by Mother Nature. We searched to find panels long enough to make these continuous kitchens and maintain Architect Renee Gonzalez’s vision. These masterworks were then produced in Italy and we flew several times to monitor the progress. Numbers, or book matches, are assigned to each panel to ensure alignment when it arrived to Miami for installation. Due to the plank’s weight and respect for the organic pattern seen throughout the marble, installation had to be approached with care – the smallest crack or bruise in the marble required for the entire process to begin again. Luckily we have not had any issues with installation thus far.
6. What separates you from other interior design companies?
What sets Italkraft apart is definitely our know-how, superior quality, attention to detail and customer service satisfaction. We meet with all our clients ourselves during some point during the design process as well as the installation. We are always abreast with new technology, design and implementing better systems. We have formed strategic partnerships throughout the years of operation, and they are maintained by valuing our team members – we are successful because of them.
7. Is it difficult working in luxury design with all the extravagant prices?
No it’s not difficult, the only difference is that a mistake will cost you thousands and thousands of dollars to fix!
8. Do you see expansion with your company in the future and if so, where?
Italkraft is definitely expanding north. Not only have we just opened two new showrooms, one in Aventura and another in Fort Lauderdale, but we have been penetrating additional markets including D.C, Houston and New York as well as internationally in the Caribbean.