Deane Inc. is cooking

The family-owned and -operated design firm Deane Inc. has been serving Fairfield and Westchester counties since 1961. Now, more than a half-century later, the firm continues to be a leading provider of the latest styles.

Returning from the recent “Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2016” in Las Vegas, Pete Deane, principal of the firm, has brought back a trove of new trends he foresees taking hold.

Deane drew specific attention to man-made countertops so resilient you can flambé bananas on them, and textured laminate cabinetry that provides the look and feel of wood but is more cost-effective and durable.

Deane sees transitional design, a blend of classic and modern, as a growing theme — particularly with an influence of high-gloss cabinet finishes combined with reclaimed woods and textured hard plastic.

High contrast black-and-white color schemes as well as brushed brass, neither shiny nor antiqued, are on the horizon as well, he said.

According to Deane, sliding doors are once again taking the design world by storm, and smart technology is increasing its presence in the form of touch-activated or pedal-controlled faucets that can dispense sparkling water alongside chilled drinking water and feature their own in-system water filters.

Smart technology in the home goes far beyond the kitchen sink, Deane said:

“At the touch of a button, our clients can turn on the lights to a specific setting to create an appropriate ambiance while turning on their music and raising their window blinds.”

The technology is displayed at the company’s Stamford showroom, one of two locations it maintains, along with a showroom in New Canaan.

Some of the most exotic designs Deane’s firm has brought to life are kitchens featuring aquatic environments.

“We have incorporated fish tanks into a few kitchen projects over the years,” he said. “These tend to be large focal points within the space, which transform a typically static room into a natural living environment.”

According to Deane, the firm completes a variety of 100 to 120 projects a year, including kitchens, libraries, closets and mudrooms. Projects can range from $30,000 to north of $300,000, he added.

The firm was originally founded in Pound Ridge by Deane’s grandfather, Raymond Girard. Deane’s father, Peter M. Deane, would join the firm shortly after in 1965 and later open another location in Darien. Now Deane, alongside his sister Carrie, manages the two current showrooms.

“My sister and I were exposed to the business at an early age and both had an interest in design and the construction industry,” Deane said.

A family lineage in the business is no guarantee of immediate employment, though.

Deane said while the fourth generation is still too young to take on the mantle, its members would need to work elsewhere within the industry for a few years prior to joining the family business full-time.

“This policy has been in place and has served us all very well,” he said.

Prior to joining the company, Deane worked for a general contractor in Breckenridge, Colo., and then for a cabinetry shop in New Holland, Pa.

Carrie cut her teeth working in an art gallery and a kitchen design firm in Chicago, he said.

While the cost of a freshly designed space may seem stratospheric, an investment in style is often worth it, Deane said.

“It is common to make the analogy between the price tag of a kitchen and the price tag of a car,” he said. “As everyone knows there are extreme price ranges when it comes to purchasing a car and many upgrades that will influence the price. This holds true for kitchen design. However, the advantage to the consumer when purchasing a kitchen is the return on investment is typically stronger.”

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