Curving Out a Niche

Whoever said that custom kitchen cabinetry and design was mundane has obviously never seen the elaborate craftwork of Rick Fahmie. More than just a run-of-the-mill remodeling job, his expertise with exotic wood veneer ensures a five-star facelift for your kitchen, nipping and tucking common appliance and storage eyesores until the transformation is so complete you might not recognize which room of the house you’ve wandered into, the designs and furniture so ornate you may as well be sitting in your living room, minus the plush leather sofa.

For Rick, who founded Kitchen Expo 25 years ago with his wife, Robin, it’s all in a day’s work. The full-service kitchen, bath, and construction firm travels the globe delivering truly customized projects from start to finish, from suggestions on how to improve construction for increased flow to individualized cabinet, lighting, and flooring design, in addition to a personal field crew to certify maximum control of all installations. By shaping veneer to encase appliances and customizing curved sinks carved out of a block of granite to match any interior or exterior shape, he is able to maintain the utmost consistency in the kitchen’s design. He strives to create a unique look every time and goes to great lengths to ensure that no two kitchens are ever alike, traveling to different veneer suppliers all over the world to find the right pattern or color that will correspond both with his client’s needs and the overall aesthetic of their home. Got a Rolls-Royce or a Ferrari? He even customizes burrow wood interior doors to match the dashboard in your luxury auto.

“I design only for my client,” said Rick, who is president and senior designer of the firm. Robin handles the advertising, marketing, public relations, and operations side of the company. “Some people continue to design just one thing they know they’re good at over and over again. What I’m good at is finding something that my clients love, even though they may not know what it is at first, and presenting them with a variety of different options that are guaranteed to please. I tend to do a lot of original designs and furniture, much like an artist doing an original painting.”

Curved cabinetry, which is a part of their signature look, is no easy task to achieve, but Fahmie is a master at his craft and has been perfecting it with increased skill, grace, and a palpable fondness for the past 20 years. Due to the exorbitant cost and complexity involved in manipulating straight boards of wood, most cabinet manufacturers choose not to work with curves, but his unwavering, creative spirit welcomes the challenge. Considering he started to design and build furniture at age 12 and graduated to professional kitchens by the time he was 17, it’s no wonder his creative evolution has taken him to seemingly limitless heights.