Creative Collaborations

Celebrating  A Thirteen Year Relationship

By: Dawn Carroll, Stone Specialist, CUMAR Marble and Granite

 

(L-R) Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto at The 2007 Builders Association of Greater Boston. Winners of Silver PRISM Award for Best Kitchen Remodel Unlimited.

(L-R) Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto at The 2007 Builders Association of Greater Boston. Winners of Silver PRISM Award for Best Kitchen Remodel Unlimited.

Pure fascination. That’s typically the reaction people have when designer Rosemary Porto, of Poggenpohl Kitchens, unleashes her creativity. We are left in awe with the end result. However, her designs and unparalleled talent is only part of the entire process.  The other half of her success is due to her uncanny ability to assemble the perfect team for each job. How do I know this? For many years, I have found myself on her winning team.

For those New England fans out there, you can think of Rosemary as the Coach Belichick of the design field. As Belichick has said, “On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”

Cumar Marble and Granite Table- ASID AWARDS Honoring Over My Shoulder Foundation Designing the Next Generation Mentoring Award

Cumar Marble and Granite Table- ASID AWARDS Honoring Over My Shoulder Foundation Designing the Next Generation Mentoring Award

Over the past 13 years of working together, Rosemary has led me to many “Design Super Bowls.” Together, we have won prestigious awards. The Subzero,  Best of the Best Kitchen Design, which showcases top talent, featured two amazing projects that I was lucky to be a part of, along with Hacin + Associates. I have also been very fortunate to have had the opportunity, through Rosemary, to work with some of the finest architects and builders, in some of the most well-known addresses on the East coast. Not only had the experience working with these individuals been wonderful, but I can also now call most of them by dear friends.

Editorial feature project in September 2016 Design New England issue. (Photo courtesy of: Greg Premru)

Editorial feature project in September 2016 Design New England issue. (Photo courtesy of: Greg Premru)

Rosemary is also a big believer in the power of mentoring. She has been a huge supporter of one of my passion project,  the Over My Shoulder Foundation and our Design Mentoring Mission. Rosemary embodies the words of our co-founder, Patti Austin, when she says “we are all increasingly interdependent on each other, rather than independent individuals.” She invests in her friends, their dreams, and gives her time as she graciously hosted a dazzling mentoring event in collaboration with designer and friend, Leslie Fine.

 Collaboration between Poggenpohl Kitchens and Cumar Marble and Granite.

Collaboration between Poggenpohl Kitchens and Cumar Marble and Granite.

 

As Rosemary consistently reminds us, it’s all about the team and I couldn’t agree more. Therefore, I would like to give recognition to my colleagues at Cumar Marble and Granite, who are the true “Rock Stars” of this collaboration.

My super star boss Ivo Cubi, owner and patriarch of Cumar, travels around the world to hand pick the gems of the earth to bring back to Cumar. After the designers make their selections, our engineering team examines each slab spending hours creating a layout where the elegant stone patterns and designs come to life,

Team from L-R: Bob Earnst at FBN Construction, Rosemary Porto, our client Bonnie Berman, Dawn Carroll.

Team from L-R: Bob Earnst at FBN Construction, Rosemary Porto, our client Bonnie Berman, Dawn Carroll.

weaving the perfect story. Then the fabrication shop talks ownership of this creation, slicing and polishing each rare stone, sculpting the shapes needed for each individual project. Once it’s complete, the installation artists secure the stone in its final home, where it becomes the epicenter for a family, hosting many family gatherings.

 

As I celebrate with Rosemary thirteen years of friendship, mentoring, design, and collaboration, it is with great pride that I share the news of an exquisite editorial piece that is in the current Design New England’s Fall issue. A stunning team design- a Super Bowl win for us.

Poggenpohl and Cumar Marble and Granite display at Clarke Distribution Boston Showroom. Cumar and Poggenpohl's second collaboration for this prestigious company, Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto celebrate with designer Eric Roseff and Real Estate professional, Colin Sullivan.

Poggenpohl and Cumar Marble and Granite display at Clarke Distribution Boston Showroom. Cumar and Poggenpohl’s second collaboration for this prestigious company, Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto celebrate with designer Eric Roseff and Real Estate professional, Colin Sullivan.

 

Congratulations to the entire team and bravo to my Cumar team! Looking forward to thirteen more wonderful years creating masterpieces.

 

http://cumar.com/1832-2

Feature Employee: Karen Smith

This month, CUMAR highlights the talented Karen Smith as the featured employee. Karen has worn many hats at CUMAR, and because of that, Karen has been able to learn many scopes of the business. She credits each role as an asset to her career, which has allowed her to personally and professionally grow.

 

FEATURE EMPLOYEE: KAREN

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Stone Specialist, Karen Smith has been an employee at Cumar Marble & Granite since 2011. Since joining the team, Karen has moved up the chain of command, starting as a receptionist then moving to administrative sales and project manager, and now to her current role as inside sales associate. In her free time, Karen is a wife and mother of three, and enjoys traveling with her family, specifically to the Caribbean.

 

 

 

 

A PERSONAL TOUCH

When I am introduced to a new project, I always seem to take a personal approach. I envision myself as the homeowner, and try my best to get a grasp on what is truly important to them. It helps when the client opens up and shares their likes, dislikes and what they ideally envision for their space. Then I can put myself in their shoes and guide them in the best direction. In a way, I act as an interior designer. While, it might not be creating the whole space, stone is a key element in structuring that particular room.

There are so many beautiful stones that Cumar has to offer. The Taj Mahal Quartzite is one stone I continue to fall in love with. I personally lean towards classic materials, rather then what’s trendy. I find that classic materials end up being something that lasts, something that rooms can be designed around, and then re-designed around.

I’ve completed several kitchen projects where the Taj Mahal has been used all with different styles, ranging from Contemporary to Traditional. One of my favorite projects was for a lovely couple from Cambridge. The client had brought their favorite ideas and visions to Cumar. Throughout each meeting we were able to combine our thoughts and visions together. Their choices of color, pattern, and texture, led us to build a beautiful masterpiece. We were able to create a harmonized home using stone that married each room together. Of course, they also fell in love with the Taj Mahal for their kitchen.

Be on the lookout for more details and photos of this exceptional project as it develops!

 

KAREN’S FAVORITE STONE: TAJ MAHAL QUARTZITE

STONE

 

Taj Mahal Quartzite, from Bazil, resembles the Italian Calacatta marbles in appearance, but is much more durable. Ideally used for Kitchen countertops, the Taj Mahal does not have the scratching or etching issues experienced with Marble.

National Mentoring Month: Honoring Ivo Cubi

Ivo Cubi and Carlotta Cubi of Cumar Marble and GraniteSince January is National Mentoring Month, we would like to honor CUMAR’s mentor and inspiration, Angelo “Ivo” Cubi. Ivo created Cumar, Inc., building on his family’s illustrious history in the marble business, to share his love of natural stone with others.

[Read more…]

Meet the Stars of Cumar’s Boston Design Week 2015 Mentorship Event – TONIGHT

Cumar and the M-Geough Company are delighted to host a very special Boston Design Week event next week, in partnership with the Over My Shoulder Foundation, “Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes.” This panel on the importance of mentorship in design will be moderated by media personality and Ellen DeGeneres brand ambassador Taniya Nayak as well as Patti Austin, Grammy Award–winning singer, Over My Shoulder Foundation co-founder, and interior design mentee. Get to know the star panelists before the event, which takes place on March 23 at 2:30 pm at the Boston Design Center:

 

meichi1MEICHI PENG

One of Boston’s most highly-acclaimed interior designers, Meichi Peng is renowned for her ability to marry eclectic design with a modern sensibility. She is founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio, and in 2009 opened Peng Furnishings, a South End boutique. Peng was named “Best Modern Designer” in 2010 by Boston Home magazine and a “Rising Star” in 2009 by Metropolitan Home magazine. “No one in Boston can match Peng’s vigor and style,” writes Boston Home, “everything she touches becomes a study in elegance and grace.”

 

 

goldstein1ANDREW GOLDSTEIN

Andrew Goldstein served as CEO for Thoughtforms, a design-build firm (thought + form) founded in 1972 that has partnered with some of New England’s most exceptional architects and design professionals. Under Goldstein’s leadership, Thoughtforms has been awarded “Custom Builder of the Year” as well as numerous “Best of Boston” awards. Having spent many years as mentor to his expert team, Goldstein ensured that his legacy of premier quality and creativity would remain intact when he finally passed on the torch.

 

 

HACIN1DAVID J. HACIN

David J. Hacin is the founding Principal and President of Hacin + Associates, established in Boston in 1993. Hailing from a design family—he trained at his father’s architecture firm in Geneva, Switzerland—Hacin’s career includes positions with organizations like Owings and Merrill, SOM/Skidmore, the Office of City Planning for New York City, Gwathmey Siegel Associates, and CBT Architects. An exquisite mentor, Hacin provides unique learning experiences for all his employees, building an innovative team brimming with talent and imagination.

 

 

cherylkatz1CHERYL KATZ

A local girl, Cheryl Katz attended the School of Education at Boston University. But in her heart, she knew that design was her true calling. After a couple years teaching and writing curriculum, she wrangled a job at Bonwit Teller and never looked back. While working at Bonwit, Cheryl ran into an old friend who helped her land a job in the fashion office of the Jordan Marsh Company, where she was mentored by James Sullivan, the stores’ talented fashion director. Later she and her husband co-founded C & J Katz Studio, and a critical part of the studio’s mission is mentoring those interested in the design world. Cheryl believes that not only can her mentorship be an important component in a designer’s success, but that there’s an immeasurable amount she can learn from those she mentors.

 

clarke1SEAN CLARKE

Over more than fifty years and three generations of family leadership, Clarke Distribution has long been a cornerstone of the appliance industry in New England. Sean Clarke joined the family business in 1999 as a trade sales representative and has since become general manager of the company. Clarke Distribution has redefined the luxury residential experience under Sean Clarke’s innovative leadership: he was included in a New England Real Estate Journal “Industry Leader Spotlight” and named one of DealerScope Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders. Sean has been mentored by the generations before him, and foresees many more generations in the Clarke legacy.

 

 

EVENT SPONSORED BY

BDW2015_brands

Boston Design Week Event: Meet the Moderators, Taniya Nayak and Patti Austin

Untitled-1Taniya Nayak, left; Patti Austin, right

On March 23, 2015, Cumar Marble & Granite, with the M-Geough Co, is proud to present a special Boston Design Week Event, “Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes.” Taniya Nayak and Patti Austin will lead a panel of design stars as they discuss the importance of mentorship in the field of interior design. Included in this panel will be Meichi Peng, founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio; Andrew Goldstein, retired CEO of Thoughtforms; David J. Hacin, founder and principle of Hacin & Associates; Cheryl Katz, owner and co-founder of C & J Katz Studio; and Sean Clarke, general manager of Clarke Distribution. It’s guaranteed to be a brilliant, uplifting discussion. And Cumar is particularly honored to feature two shining co-moderators for the day in Nayak and Austin. Let’s get to know them a little better.

 

Taniya Nayak

One of America’s leading interior designers, Taniya Nayak rose to stardom as a design expert on HGTV and the Food Network. In 2005 she founded Taniya Nayak Design LLC, a Boston-based interior design company that specializes in residential and commercial spaces. Nayak’s known for her mile-wide smile, personable demeanor, and easygoing attitude, as well as her genius for marrying rich textures and stunning finishes with functionality. She currently hosts the HGTV series House Hunters on Vacation and Billon Dollar Block, and appears regularly as a featured designer on Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible. In 2012, Taniya launched her first collection of home products, Taniya Nayak Lighting, available exclusively via Wayfair.com, and very recently became the brand ambassador for Ellen DeGeneres.

Nayak remains at the leading edge of the interior design industry. She has worked with a striking range of high-end clientele, from television celebrities to famous musicians, and her designs can be found all around Boston too, at Petit Robert Central, 88 Wharf, Lola’s Cantina, Whiskey Republic, and Julep Bar, just to name a few. Taniya’s design wisdom has been featured in print at major outlets like People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Ladies Home Journal. She has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today, The View, and Rachael Ray, among others.

 

Patti Austin

Patti Austin is one of the world’s most beloved jazz and R&B singers. Her most recent project, Avant-Gershwin, which reimagines Gershwin’s classic songs for a contemporary audience, won Austin the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocalist. “You can judge a brilliant piece of music by how you can bend and stretch it,“ said Austin. “I always believed George Gershwin to be avant-garde so I wanted to challenge myself and rework everything melodically and lyrically.”

Mentoring has been crucial to Austin’s life and career. She attributes a significant part of her success to the guidance of her mentors, notably that of her godparents, Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington. That’s why she co-founded the Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF): to recognize the vital importance of mentorship in individual lives as well as its positive impact to society as a whole. Austin is currently being mentored by members of Boston’s prestigious design community, foremost among them OMSF co-founder and Cumar designer Dawn Carroll, as she pursues her lifelong dream of becoming a professional interior designer.

 

Event Sponsored by
BDW2015_brands

EVENT | Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes

CUMAR_POSTER_10(20x36)COMPMentorship is the engine that drives the design industry. Relationships between up-and-coming designers and industry leaders both enrich the design world today and ensure its future. At this Boston Design Week event, mentoring takes center stage as a constellation of home design and construction stars reflect upon the importance of mentorship in their own careers, how mentoring helps enliven the field of home design, and ways to foster those key mentoring relationships.

Included in this panel will be Meichi Peng, founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio; Andrew Goldstein, retired CEO of Thoughtforms; David J. Hacin, founder and principle of Hacin & Associates; Cheryl Katz, owner and co-founder of C & J Katz Studio; and Sean Clarke, general manager of Clarke Distribution.

The discussion will be moderated by interior designer / media personality and Ellen DeGeneres brand ambassador Taniya Nayak along with Patti Austin, Grammy Award–winning singer, Over My Shoulder Foundation co-founder, and interior design mentee.

This Boston Design Week event is co-sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite and the M-Geough Company, created by Dawn Carroll, Cumar designer and founding director of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote mentorship through personal stories, multimedia, and events, along with fellow designer Holly Miller Dono of M-Geough.

Event Details:
Monday, March 23, 2015
2:30pm seating / 3:00pm panel
Boston Design Center
1 Design Center Place, Boston, MA 02210

Following the panel, a reception will be held at the M-Geough Company, Suite 410

An Interview with Paula Daher, Designer of the “Home for the Holidays” Versailles Room

The “Home for the Holidays” exhibit—sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite, the Over My Shoulder Foundation, Neiman Marcus, Boston Design Week, and New England Home magazine—features three gorgeous, unique living spaces decorated for the season and inspired by a royal residence. “Home for the Holidays” is the vision of Cumar’s own Dawn Carroll, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes mentorship in design. Each of the participating designers—Paula Daher, Eric Roseff, and Gerald Pomeroy—worked closely with a mentee on the project.

Recently, Cumar had the chance to chat with Paula Daher, founder and principle of Daher Interior Design. Since 1995 she and her team have designed elegant, stylish living spaces in Greater Boston and beyond. For “Home for the Holidays,” Daher teamed up with mentee Virginia Sherrer-Thoss to produce the stunning Versailles Room (pictured), on display at Neiman Marcus, Copley Place, through the new year.

 

How would you describe your personal design philosophy?

Scale and proportion are the foundation of any space I work on. Proportion and scale have everything to do with how a room is viewed and how it functions. Fabrics, colors, and textures play strongly into the scale of the room by helping to balance the overall field of vision. My personal aesthetic is that of simple elegance, uncluttered, with forms, shapes, and color harmoniously integrated.

 

What was the first design element you chose for your “Home for the Holidays” room?

Ah, the two antique chairs and settee were the first elements. My overall feel for the room was to have a modern interpretation of what Versailles would look like if created today. The shape of the two antique chairs with their round backs and simple tight-back interiors feels modern, yet the carved-wood detailing echoes the past. My inner visual was always to approach the room with the back of the chair, upholstered in an interesting way, framed by sumptuous curtains.

The Versailles Room fireplace by Cumar

 

Which is your favorite design element in the room? Why? 

The fireplace, with stone and fabrication by Cumar, is the most dramatic and awe-inspiring element in the room! The way the stone has been bonded into a mass, yet has softly curved lines and polished edges, allows it to visually carry the weight of being the center and star of the room!

 

Which do you think is the most unique element?

The beautiful painting by Luc Leestemaker brings vibrancy and personality to the room. The artist was so adept at bringing the viewer into his painting with color, blending, and abstract imagery. Each viewer sees something different, something personal.

 

What were the biggest challenges to this project?

An eight week timeframe from sketchpad to opening party was the greatest challenge. The build-out of a complete room—flooring, electrical, furnishings, all custom, all posing a great degree of technical difficulty—was an extraordinary feet. All of the artisans involved worked diligently, with many long nights and weekends, to make this room the success it is.

 

Tell us about the experience of working closely with a mentee.

How fun to be able to work on a complete project, in a short amount of time, and be able to show all of the tenets of interior design at the same time. The opportunity to show our mentee how hard work, collaboration, scheduling, flexibility—the ability to change a design plan if something either did not work or was unavailable—showed the true picture of what it takes to be successful in the world of interior design. Our mentee, Virginia Sherrer-Thoss, proved herself a valuable team member that was an integral part of the success of this project.

 

Photographs courtesy of Michael Lee.

“Home for the Holidays” Launches at Neiman Marcus

The Cumar team in the Winter Palace room.

 

A glamorous reception last Wednesday night kicked-off the “Home for the Holidays” exhibit at Neiman Marcus’ fabulous Copley Place location.

“I never thought in a million years that our little gift gallery could be transformed into three amazing royal residences,” said Daniel Kramer, Vice President and General Manager of Neiman Marcus Boston, in his opening remarks. New England Home publisher Kathy Bush-Dutton spoke next, echoing Kramer’s sentiment and crediting the three designers and their teams.

Tony Fusco, co-producer of “Home for the Holidays,” announced the schedule for Boston Design Week 2015, which takes place March 19–29 in Boston. He then put the spotlight squarely on Cumar’s own Dawn Carroll, who took the microphone to emphasize the vital importance of mentorship in the world of design and in this exhibit especially.

Dawn Carroll talks about mentoring.

“There’s no school for stone design,” Carroll said. “That’s why mentorship is so important to Cumar, and that was part of the reason I founded the Over My Shoulder Foundation. In mentorship, we act as good stewards for our industry and our society.”

To produce “Home for the Holidays,” three Boston designers were invited to re-imagine famous royal palaces, and each were asked to allow a mentee to contribute significantly to the vision and project.

The Versailles room, designed by Paula Daher and mentee Virginia Seherr-Thoss, offers the classic gold trim in perfect balance with the decidedly modern furniture. The finishing touch? A pair of Christmas trees that sparkle with silver and gold ornaments.

Intoxicating in its blend of comfort and style, Gerald Pomeroy and mentee Lauren Cozzi’s Balmoral room boasts green-and-white wall panels of British country scenes, tweedy wall-to-wall carpet, and a rustic lantern chandelier above the table.

In the Winter Palace, Eric Roseff and mentee Evie Hickey dazzle with deep blue walls, a mélange of richly-textured furniture—including green leather chairs and a lush blue sofa-in-the-round—as well as faux windows that face an array of mesmerizing portraits.

Cumar Marble and Granite provided magnificent pieces of stone art for each space, carved fireplaces, framed pieces of semi-precious stones—and something special in the Winter Palace: two gorgeous white natural quartzite columns, both back-lit for ambiance, resembling floor-to-ceiling icicles. Each piece is a stunning work of art.

“Home for the Holidays” can be visited in the home section of the Neiman Marcus store in Copley Place, Boston. The event will close in January 2015 with a mentoring gala sponsored by Cumar and the Over My Shoulder Foundation.

The Potter Estate Undergoes A Metamorphosis

Exciting things have been happening on the grounds of the Jackson-Walnut Park Schools in Newton! Through a month-long Show House event hosted by the Junior League of Boston, The Potter Estate undergoes a metamorphosis; while preserving the charm of this 1867 property, distinguished local design firms unite to re-design 36 areas – volunteering their time and resources toward this project.

The goal of this event has been to give local designers and landscapers the ability to showcase their creativity and innovation. At the core of this effort, the Junior League raises funds for its important mission of “promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”

Our stone design specialist and founder of the mentoring organization, Over My Shoulder Foundation, attended the event. Dawn had this to say: “Working with the energetic design community in New England is exhilarating. Each room in the show house makes an impression that is hard to forget.  It’s an honor to work with the designers.”

We would like to congratulate the participating designers whom we also have had the pleasure to collaborate with over the years:

Gerald Pomeroy / Gerald Pomeroy Design Group

Frank D. Hodge / F.D. Hodge Interiors

Stephanie Rossi / Spazio Rosso, Inc.

Kate Maloney Albiani / Kate Maloney Interior Design

Diana Kiker and Janet Heyde / Sticks & Stones

Michael Carter / Carter Dayton Home, Carter and Company (Winner of The Junior League of Boston Designers’ Pineapple Award. This prize recognizes “accomplished interior designs who demonstrate utmost creativity and dedication to their art as well as to the mission of the Junior League of Boston.”)

Read more here!

Cumar Marble and Granite Invites You to its 20th Anniversary

Join us, as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and present “Designing The Next Generation.. an inspirational evening of mentoring stories and song,” on June 18th, 6-9pm at The Liberty Hotel — 215 Charles Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

Cumar Celebrates 20th Anniversary - Invitation June 18, 2012

R.S.V.P. here