By Kelly Serra Donovan
The much anticipated House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year descended upon Rockefeller Center in NYC yesterday. I was lucky enough to attend, my inaugural visit, and see the fantastic display in person this year. And, consequently, so were my two daughters, Chloe 3 years and Annabelle 6 months, courtesy of a last minute emergency that kept my childcare unable to come through.
From the moment we clumsily pushed the extra wide double stroller through the gates, we were greeted with nothing short of hospitality and grace, despite the marketing staff most definitely not anticipating a bottle-sucking, mommy-tugging crowd amongst the early visitors to their "press only" debut. Susan sent an email the day before asking if it was ok, with a reply "it's fine with us!" They handled the underage party crashers with aplomb, even doling out an extra name tag so Chloe could rub shoulders with Newell and Mick.
This hospitality was tangibly conveyed (over and over again by House Beautiful staff-and others) once we were inside the event, as we instantly felt as if we were in a cherished friend's warm and cozy home. The wooden ceiling beams and heringbone floors offered a nice contrast to the clean lines, stark shades (save for a rich pop of blue from the beloved Kohler Jonathan Adler Atlantis Sink), and ever so slight industrial edge of the Kitchen of the Year.
I'll save the full nuts-and-bolts review for our resident expert, Susan, to follow shortly, but I would certainly be remiss to not shout from the proverbial rooftops my appreciation for the welcome reception and accommodation we received from the House Beautiful staff.
Susan here: Oh, and Newell...Kelly and I enjoyed chatting with you and when Chloe, uh, whipped the nametag lanyard against your shins, you didn't skip a beat! :)
As Kelly, Chloe, Annabelle and I departed the event en route to the Bryant Park carousel and lunch, Chloe proudly wore her nametag through the streets of New York (and insisted I keep mine on as well...which I did.) I think House Beautiful just scored a positive brand connection with one member of Gen Z.