June 22, 2015

Clarke Designer Spotlight on Rosemary Porto


Clarke is pleased to shine a Designer Spotlight on Rosemary Porto of Poggenpohl Boston, one of the three New England regional winners of the Sub-Zero & Wolf Kitchen Design Contest who were recently announced at An Evening to Remember at Clarke. Rosemary has been an interior designer in Boston since 1985 and specializes in innovative, high-end kitchen and bath interior design that integrates luxury with a function-first mindset.

What attracted you to Poggenpohl Boston?
What continues to attract me to Poggenpohl is the luxury of working with the most innovative concepts and materials. As a senior designer at Poggenpohl, I love incorporating new innovations into my designs. I am especially passionate about aligning my client’s visions with the harmony of their homes by customizing Poggenpohl’s products to match their lifestyles.

What inspires you in general?
My clients inspire me. Their accomplishments. Their unique viewpoints of the world. I soak it all in and try to create something spectacular that speaks to their needs and their lives. Modern European architecture and furniture inspire my kitchen designs. As an interior designer, I look at kitchens as another room that needs furniture. Of course, the need for appliances adds sport to the game.

Rosemary’s Sub-Zero and Wolf New England regional award-winning kitchen.

What are your proudest accomplishments, both inside and outside of work?
My 26-year-old son, Nicholas, is my proudest accomplishment. In regards to my career, being inducted into the New England Design Hall of Fame in 2014 was a very proud moment for me. And, of course, winning the regional Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest this year is a dream come true.

What is you favorite material to use in kitchen design and why?
Poggenpohl’s teak finish is just an amazing textured warm wood laminate that does so much all at once. It adds a warm contemporary texture to the kitchen and, while it appears to be wood, it’s really an easy-to-maintain laminate that’s laser edged for long lasting durability and easy maintenance. I often mix finishes playing one texture against another, such as high gloss lacquer with textured laminates, aluminum and lacquers.

Which Sub-Zero or Wolf appliance is your favorite and why?
Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances are so iconic, they are a great match for our cabinetry. If I had to pick one, perhaps the Wolf Convection Steam Oven since it’s really two appliances in one and allows our clientele to experiment with healthier cooking options. I love designing with the wide assortment of Sub-Zero Integrated Refrigeration and Freezers.

Where do you get your inspiration when you start a project?
We ask our clientele about their lives, how they cook, how they live. There’s always a little something that is special that comes through. Maybe a trip they took, or a particular piece they treasure. We start to weave the idea of their kitchen around that special moment so the room is a reflection of their lives.

What project haven’t you designed that you wish you could?
Boston has so many iconic historic sites – I guess I would love to renovate something special and lasting that would be home to people many generations later. Julia Child’s original home was renovated with a new Poggenpohl kitchen. Her original kitchen is preserved at the Smithsonian. I think something like this would be a joy to create.

I would also like to design a kitchen for a movie star. I have done one for the best quarterback in the world, a TV celebrity and an author. Adding a movie star to my list would be a fun accomplishment.

When you travel, what’s your favorite destination?
The Beach. Any beach will do, I love the beach!

When you turn on music, what do you like to listen to?
Jazz, R & B and Classic Rock are my favorite choices, but I enjoy all kinds of music depending on my mood. When I design I plug in my Pandora and block out the world.

Congratulations to Rosemary on her Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest win and we wish her luck as she heads for the Sub-Zero and Wolf Best of the Best Summit and Gala in Scottsdale in September.