By Judy Greenwald
Special to the Jewish News
The kitchen — often the most popular room in the house.
And that’s especially true when the talented team at EuroAmerica Design creates its unique appearance.
The Troy-based distributor (EuroAmericaDesign.com) boasts a 15,000-square-foot showroom that features the largest selection in the U.S. of European- and domestic-crafted kitchens, and offers other home products as well, including baths, wardrobes, furniture and lighting, all to make each client’s living space a reflection of personal style.
Rob Nusbaum, 55, of Franklin, is the company’s president, and he explained how his business has grown over the past eight years. “We were the exclusive distributor of Berloni products, one of Italy’s leading modern kitchen and bath manufacturers, and we were known as Berloni America,” Nusbaum sais. “We developed a dealer network across the country to whom we sold Berloni products and other European manufacturers’ brands. Our distribution network was the central hub for all of the dealers when they ordered from and worked with these overseas companies.”
That changed in 2014 when he decided to re-invent his business. “We didn’t stop the distribution,” he said. “We decided to expand our offerings by developing relationships with other European manufacturers — we met them in Milan, and they were interested in dealing with us — and we brought in three other manufacturers of kitchens and also two closet manufacturers, German and Italian, and an Italian lighting products company.
“We became EuroAmerica Design and opened the store to the public. That was a great decision. The economy was starting to turn, building was starting to go back up, designers were starting to get busy and came to us from our neighbor, Michigan Design Center. That’s how the retail end of the business kicked in.”
Nusbaum’s retail knowledge is well-rooted. He is the grandson of New York Carpet World’s founder Abe Nusbaum, and while working alongside his father, Irving, saw that company grow to be the biggest floor-covering retailer in the country. EuroAmerica Design is growing as well and offers a wide selection of high-quality European and American kitchen, bath, closet, furniture and lighting collections from such manufacturers as Val Design, Warendorf, Greenfield, Crystal, Cerasa, Hulsta, SMA and Arte di Murano.
The company has 12 employees, including Bill Whitford, who worked at New York Carpet World as executive vice president and has been working with Nusbaum’s family for more
than 40 years. The firm also has full-service interior designers on staff who can work with customers who need expert guidance on how to design the best-looking living spaces for their homes.
“Working with a customer from initial contact to drawing up plans to ordering the products could take about two to four weeks,” Nusbaum noted. “We have contractors who can install our products, too, if needed. We feature endless colors, finishes and textures, and price points to match any budget, and have entry-level items up to very high-level products.”
And what’s the latest look, according to Nusbaum?
“European contemporary trends, especially those of Italy, have been popular for a couple of years and include textured woods and laminates, mixed and matched with solid color lacquers in matte or gloss finish … White is always a popular color, as is gray. And bathroom vanities can be high-style, stand-alone pieces of furniture, or more traditionally, might incorporate cabinetry echoing that of the kitchen.”
Houses fall in three categories, he explained: traditional, transitional and contemporary.
“EuroAmerica Design’s products fit those classifications as well,” he said. “And that’s one of the first things we ask a client: What’s your style? That’sour tagline, too! From there, we know to start looking at, and we know what style to follow.”
A newly constructed home Nusbaum’s firm recently completed is that of Anna and Seth Rogers in Bloomfield Hills. The minimalist design is enhanced by the kitchen’s double islands with built-in appliances, an unusual feature which works well in the home’s spacious layout.
Nusbaum noted that EuroAmerica Design has done work for second homes for people outside of Michigan, including homes in Florida and South Carolina. EuroAmerica Distributors, an arm of EuroAmerica Design, is even working on a contemporary Berloni kitchen for a home in Jerusalem in a 1,500-year-old building.
Nusbaum and his wife, Lori, have three sons, and are members of Congregation Beth Ahm. His involvement in the Jewish community includes serving as JARC board president from 2008-10 as well as being a member on the boards of the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network and of the American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (his grandfather was one of the university’s founders).
As he proudly displayed his office featuring Berloni cabinets, Nusbaum stressed the importance of family, both at home and in his business environment.
“It’s important to me to treat my coworkers well, like family,” he noted. “If the company is doing well, then everyone will do well.
“We enjoy working with our clients, taking an idea in a blank space and creating a lifestyle they’ll live with for a long time. This gives us a real sense of satisfaction when the job is complete.
“It’s rewarding to see the end product,” Nusbaum said with a smile. “It’s such a personal business — these areas that we work with, kitchens and baths. We’re getting involved not only with the product but also with the people. We’re invested in our clients’ happiness, and it’s great to know we’ve accomplished something that’s improved someone’s lifestyle.”