Kitchen & Bath Design News

JAN 2018

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

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BIRMINGHAM, MI — Barbi Stalburg Kasoff has spent the last decade focused on designing kitchens and baths for clients in Southeast Michigan. And while her heart currently re- sides in the residential market, her path to the present wound through a rather atypical past. After graduating with degrees in architec- ture and urban planning, Kasoff worked for corporate design firms, most recently for an architectural firm in downtown Detroit. Over the course of her first career, she specialized in mixed-use and urban infill, gaining extensive knowledge in urban design and project man- agement, both of which have proven applicable to her second career in that she can readily see a project on a larger scale, easily visualizing the end. And because she routinely bid projects, she can walk into a space and effectively esti- mate costs, with minimal surprises at the end, while being sensitive to a budget. "I was working in a much larger scale," she says. "I was traveling the country helping people revitalize downtowns, and helping them to understand that residential is a base to any successful city or urban area. You can't have only restaurants and office buildings. You also need schools, municipal buildings, libraries and grocery stores. And, you need people living there. They are the heart of a city." Within this capacity, Kasoff discovered a commonality amongst people. "From tradi- tional small town main streets to larger urban infill projects, one common theme remains: People want to feel a sense of belonging," she writes on her website's bio. "People want to feel a sense of 'ownership' and pride over the spaces in which they reside." Kasoff also discovered something about her- self…a strong desire to help people create better spaces to call home. So, building upon a career of working on the outside of people's homes, Kasoff changed course and opened Stalburg Design in 2007. "Now I focus on the inside of people's homes, rather than creating the space outside of their homes," she says. "Both are actually very similar. What I've learned is that design is design. You can design a neighborhood or a kitchen. When I design a kitchen, the elevation isn't much different than a streetscape. It's just a different scale. Both need to have proper flow and movement with ease of access, and both need to be functional, and feel good." LESSONS LEARNED Kasoff admits that early on in business owner- ship she thought residential design was more preferential and less socially responsible. "But I've learned over time that it's a gift to be able to create someone's private haven," she says. "My clients are very high-profile. They come home after a day of operating or trying cases and they want a space they feel safe in. They want a space where they can feel authentic. That's what design on a smaller scale is all about." In addition to high-profile clients, Kasoff routinely works with builders and developers, creating kitchens and baths for spec homes where homeowner interaction can happen at any phase of a project. In cases where the home is not sold before completion, Kasoff is challenged to design it top to bottom, creating From Streetscapes to Kitchens BY KIM BERNDTSON Designer transitions from her urban past of creating spaces outside the home to designing spaces inside that feel safe and authentic. Barbi Stalburg Kasoff remodeled this kitchen and adjacent eat-in sunroom with beauty and function in mind. It was inspired by the homeowner's artwork, supported with a vintage mosaic tile backsplash and turquoise glass tile walls. White cabinetry and Calcutta quartzite counters contrast with a dark hardwood floor. Photos: Brett Mountain Photography 50 Kitchen & Bath Design News • January 2018 DESIGNER PROFILE

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