Kitchen & Bath Design News

JAN 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Page 27 of 77

SAN FRANCISCO — Like many kitchen and bath professionals, Bay Area designer Nadja Pentic came to the industry from another field. Prior to entering the world of kitchen and bath design, she spent over a decade working in the garment industry. Pentic, who originally hails from Croatia, got her start in kitchen and bath design close to 20 years ago, when she got a call from her father. "He was running a dealership for [an Italian kitchen company] in Croatia and was really close with the family who owned the factory. At some point…they found out that he had a daughter who lives in San Francisco and was doing business here. They suggested that I start the West Coast representation for the fac- tory," Pentic recalls. "So Dad called me up one day and said, 'Hey, you want to start a kitchen business?' and I was like, 'Sure!' You know, I had no idea what I was getting into but really, that's how I got my start." After Pentic and her father opened their first showroom in 2000, she began to learn the ropes of the industry under the tutelage of her father – "through the school of hard knocks," as she puts it. EUROPEAN FLAIR, AMERICAN TWIST For the better part of a decade, Pentic and her father operated two Italian import showrooms. With the retirement of Pentic's father and the advent of the recession, it became clear to Pentic that she needed to explore other business models. During her time working in Italian kitchen showrooms, she gained an understanding of not only European minimalist style, but also the needs and idiosyncrasies of the American market. "I started looking for ways to interpret the Italian kitchen here so that I wouldn't have to import European products," Pentic explains. "I ended up working with a custom shop here in the Bay Area and basically learned from the ground up how to build custom kitchens here." She recalls how her first partner in the business "took it upon himself to [help me] understand the construction, the hardware… how to spec [an American product] to make it look European." In 2012, Pentic hung out her own shin- gle – Knocknock – and set out to bring her European take on American kitchen and bath design to the Bay Area. Her penchant for clean and ergonomic European design combined with her appreciation of American craftsman- ship and customizability have since enabled her to become a unique and innovative voice in the industry. COASTAL CLIENTELE With her location in Oakland, CA, Pentic is perfectly positioned to attract clients who are drawn to her distinctive Euro-American style. "The two coasts are much more Designer Offers the Best of Both Worlds BY AUTUMN MCGARR Designer Nadja Pentic draws upon her experience managing Italian showrooms to blend European style with American craftsmanship. 'For this renovation, designer Nadja Pentic removed a wall separating the kitchen and dining room in order to open the space and create an indoor/outdoor living plan. Pentic notes that, because the owner of this project is an architect, the creative collaboration between her and the client was very enjoyable. This renovation features custom built Italian Fenix nanotech laminate cabinets. Photo: Olga Soboleva Photo: Brian Ashby, 28 Kitchen & Bath Design News • January 2019 DESIGNER PROFILE Continued

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