Since 2009, I’ve been working in the interior design industry. I’ve interned for a hospitality design company, worked in various furniture and fabric showrooms, and been an interior designer for a design-build firm. I decided to hang out my shingle and launch m studio interior design in 2015. And now I get to do what I love best: Design homes that are totally customized to the clients I work with!
When immersed in the world of kitchens & baths, the thought of cabinetry naturally would be intended for these particular spaces. Though when it comes to German cabinet maker Ballerina Kitchens, the world of cabinets go much further beyond just the kitchen.
As an interior designer, I’m constantly on the lookout for new products and trends to not only contribute to the aesthetics of a room, but to improve the functionality of the spaces I design for my clients and enhance their daily routines. A sit down with some of the folks at Ballerina Kitchens, Jeremy Parcels and Christian Käsemann, opened my eyes to the possibilities that are achievable with cabinetry as “whole home solutions”.
Before diving straight into the awesomeness of cabinetry that is Ballerina Kuchen, I was dying to know where the name stemmed from and what it represented! Christian shared that nearly all German manufacturers would name their companies after their founders- ie: SieMatic Cabinets after the Siekmann family, Bauformat Cabinets after the Baumann family, and so on.
BUT, in 1978, since the founder of Ballerina was the nephew of the owner of an existing German cabinet line, E&K kitchens – Ellersiek & Kukohl, which already claimed the family name, Heinz-Erwin Ellersiek had to be creative. Being inspired by “Primavera”, a famous German high-end living room line, he was motivated to embrace his vision of producing superior quality modular cabinets at affordable pricing.
From this notion, “Ballerina” was born as ballet represents the highest art form of dancing with attributes to aesthetics, flexibility and beauty, a name that is recognized internationally. And one of his 2 daughters was orientated to ballet… so that may have had some influence!
Back to whole home cabinet solutions! It’s a trend that’s making its way over from Germany to the US. But what does “whole home cabinet solutions” mean?! Moving beyond the kitchen and bathroom, imagine cabinets to update your wardrobe or a unit that supports your work from life… all without having to customize, literally just selecting items from their catalog!
Jeremy shared that the biggest difference is the metric & grid system used by German cabinet makers. In the US, we want everything to be customized to us in terms of depths, heights, internal accessories, etc. Custom cabinets adds on additional design time (no biggie for me!) but also lead times when ordering due to customization. With German cabinetry, specifically Ballerina, every component works together. This means that you would not need to search elsewhere for a separate cutlery tray or spice pull-out to fit a specifically sized cabinet drawer as one is already made to fit a Ballerina Kitchen cabinet within their offerings. There’s never a need to customize!
These guys have a MASSIVE offering in their product line with over 8,000 SKU’s (that’s A LOT of product!) so that customization is not needed since every cabinet is flexible and modular. You can use an 18” deep base kitchen cabinet that might be for a kitchen and take that into another room like a hallway or living room, as an example.
The options truly are limitless, especially with their accessory offerings. Their “FreeWorld” collection features beautiful modular products that can be utilized for any type of space- the dining room, the office, etc.
Another fascinating feature for me as an interior designer was the lighting components. In the past, I have seen puck lights, linear lights, rope lights that would all need to be sourced from 3rd party vendors or purchased by the electricians to fit within cabinets when focusing on custom cabinetry. A wonderful feature that Ballerina offers is the ability to include these lighting components… this just makes installation on any project that much smoother!
When we think of traditional cabinets, most will often picture wood or painted door fronts with MDF or plywood interiors and shelves. With Ballerina, they offer door fronts in laminate and other durable man-made materials intended to withstand the traffic of busy households. Their interiors, or “carcases”, feature substantially thick coatings that are resistant to abrasion and scratches.
One of my newest discoveries is the use of glass for upper cabinet shelving! Initially puzzled as to why glass, the durability of tempered, Starfire glass products actually makes more sense for shelving as it’s a shelf that will never bow over time opposed to wooden shelves.
Speaking of glass- full glass front doors!! They offer a few different lines of glass front doors that are scratch resistant and finger-print proof, including Smartglass and Resopol. I’ve used glass front doors for many upper cabinets… but to think to use this on a base cabinet… intriguing! You can check out more about their glass front door offerings here.
Of course, going green is more than just a trend, it’s become a norm and an important part of every business. Christian shared more than 380 employees work hand in hand to ensure that fair play and sustainable thinking and acting are given more and more space. Additionally, one of the most important product features is of course the fact that all wooden materials are in accordance with the reduced formaldehyde CARB2/TSCA P2 standard and are environmentally sound, sustainable and ensure a healthy indoor climate.
It was love at first sight when I explored the cabinet options at the booth of Ballerina Kitchens during the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show earlier in the year. Overall, I’m impressed with the finish selections, cabinet door front options and the vast array of interior accessories… I mean, a micro-garden that’s a part of the cabinets without purchasing a separate appliance… come on!!! How cool!! Can’t forget the ability to adjust the toe kicks from 0 to 500cm or choosing from 8-9 base cabinet heights… in 3 different depths ALL without having to customize a thing!
As you can see, what I’m loving about this brand is the limitless possibilities, the attractive finishes and innovative cabinet solutions that go beyond the kitchen and bath spaces.
Hope you’re feeling inspired friends! I know I am and cannot wait to use some of their modular cabinetry solutions in my next project!!
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