We don’t normally do a lot of interiors on this blog, but if you’re a regular reader you may have noticed we’re working on that.
Recently a little birdie dropped a seed into our tip line letting us know that suburban gadget megamart Abt Electronics expanded its Glenview store with a new “Inspiration Studio” to flog high-end appliances. Not being HGTV fans, we were going to pass, until we saw the video that Abt put together about the space. Kitchen designer Mick De Giulio talks about the process, and it is visually stunning. Imagine being able to design the ultimate kitchen with virtually no restrictions. Shiny doesn’t even begin to describe it.
So, enjoy the short video above, especially if you hate your current kitchen, or you watch a lot of DIY television. Unless you’re at work, in which case you’ll have to enjoy the photographs below by Dave Burk Photography.
Abt Electronics Celebrates 80th Anniversary Expanding Showroom to Feature Elite Kitchen Appliance Brands
Internationally Renowned Designer, Mick De Giulio Creates the Inspiration Studio Dedicated to Abt Patriarch, Bob Abt
Glenview, Ill. – Abt Electronics, the nation’s largest single-store retailer of electronics and appliances located in Glenview, Ill., has once again expanded its 100,000+ square foot showroom in honor of its 80th anniversary. The new Inspiration Studio, premiering on Oct. 13 from 6-9 pm, adds an additional 10,000 square feet located in the loft area of the store’s famous atrium and features premier kitchen appliances from a dozen luxury manufacturers including Bosch, Dacor, Gaggenau, Jenn Air, La Cornue, LG, Miele, Monogram, Thermador, Samsung, Sub-Zero/Wolf, and Viking.
The idea for the Inspiration Studio was dreamed up by and is dedicated to Bob Abt, the Abt family patriarch who sadly passed away last year before he had the chance to see his dream come to fruition. “We’re always updating our retail environment to stay on top of the latest trends and technology, but my dad’s goal was to always do it in a way no one else was doing it,” says Jon Abt, one of Bob Abt’s four sons who share the title of co-president at Abt Electronics. “His vision was to create a completely unique and unexpected space that showcases the best luxury appliance brands available and exposes Abt’s customers to innovations in kitchen design.” That idea led Bob to contact an old friend and colleague, internationally renowned kitchen designer, Mick De Giulio. Mick owns de Giulio Kitchen Design and has worked with the Abt family for over 25 years. “His motivation was to provide the best customer experience, as in everything that Bob did,” recalls De Giulio. “And to do that, Bob wanted quality to be felt at every level in the new space, in his words, ‘first class.’” Bob gave Mick total artistic freedom to bring his vision to life through Mick’s unique style and creative eye.
The result is awe-inspiring and features many one-of-a-kind designs and high-end appliances that can only be found at Abt. “We named the space the Inspiration Studio because dad was an inspiration to the entire staff at Abt who respected him not just as a boss, but as a mentor,” says Mike Abt, Jon’s brother and co-president. “We also hope the kitchens Mick designed will inspire our customers to explore new ideas while shopping.”
Some of the more original and impressive items featured in the Inspiration Studio include Sub-Zero ovens with no handles that open with one touch, Thermador’s Freedom Induction Cooktop with a large, fully usable surface, Dacor’s in-home wine station, La Cornue’s custom oven with gas burners and an induction top as well as a gas and electric oven all in one, La Cornue’s Island and Range set-up valued at over a quarter of a million dollars, among many other high-end appliances.
The twelve interconnected spaces are each devoted to a particular manufacturer, showcasing its own style. “I wanted to challenge conventional design and inspire visitors to think differently about kitchens and appliances,” says De Giulio. Also impressive is that each space allows live cooking demonstrations, as they are fully functioning. All of the architecture, interior design and decorative lighting is by De Giulio and designed with the sole purpose of bringing Bob Abt’s dream to a breathtaking reality.
Accentuating De Giulio’s design is colorful artwork throughout the Inspiration Studio that tells a special story. Giclée prints were produced from paintings by autistic children. The paintings were created especially for the studio by children at Have Dreams, a Chicago-area nonprofit serving young people impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and coordinated through the For Autistic Kids Foundation, established by the Abt family to raise awareness and funds for children with ASD.