Designer Crosses Great Barrier For New Challenges

by WOHe

Designer Crosses Great Barrier For New

By John Filippelli

LOS ANGELES, CAIt has been said that the only thing that remains
constant is change. For Lance Dixon, principal of Lance Dixon, this
could not ring more true. In fact, his desire for “new pastures”
has led him to branch out his highly successful design firm from
his homeland of Auckland, New Zealand to the United States.

But despite this big move, one thing has not changed for Dixon:
his desire to create unique, high-end kitchens that fill a
spiritual role for his clients.

Catering to affluent clients who desire high quality products
with a ‘wow’ factor, Dixon’s primary focus is on producing luxury
kitchens and bathrooms that have a personal touch, be it for
private residences, apartments, private retreats or estates.

“I’ve been part of many innovative kitchen and bath projects,”
he explains. “[For instance,] I’ve done a spiritual estate owned by
an American/Australian couple who requested to have elements in the
space appear to be floatingI’ve also done an exquisite home on a
coral reef in Rarotonga for a Parisian couple with very specific
food separation requirements including four ovens and five

Dixon has long been a household name in New Zealand kitchen
design, having won “New Zealand Kitchen Designer of the Year” in
1996, the first and only design competition he ever participated

His thinking-outside-the-box approach to design is what he
believes set him apart from his competition in New Zealand and he
believes the same “dare to be different” attitude will bring him
similar success in the States.

“One of our design specialties is the use of curves,” he notes.
“We try to put a twist on our projects. So, there will always be a
curve somewhere in the space and sometimes it’s not even that

He adds, “Another design specialty of mine involves the
utilization of stainless steel detailing shown in cornices, sink
cones, countertops and flying shelves.”

Creating a harmonious flow is critical to good design, he
believes, and he capitalized on this with the “Flow” and “Space”
design concepts that he originally showcased at a national design
show in New Zealand. These concepts rely heavily on the careful
positioning and combining of curves, angles and materials, and such
design concepts remain trademarks of his work today. “[The
concepts] were an instant success with the buyer looking for
something different, looking for that X factor,” he explains.

But, while talent and the willingness to do something different
are important to achieving growth, Dixon adds that having a vision
is also key to design success.

He explains, “As a designer, one of the most distinctive
advancements I made was when I stopped looking at what everybody
else was doing and focused on what I was designing. This was a very
exciting revelation for me. As time went on, I learned to combine
this with listening to what my customers were after in their
kitchen projects.”

Dixon, who works closely with his wife as well as selected
manufacturers and suppliers, uses the art of listening to his
advantage, working “one-on-one with customers to create a totally
exclusive product,” he notes.

Likewise, giving the client options to help create that
customized final product is at the heart of Dixon’s design

“We have a standard range of kitchens that can be personalized
to customer requirements. We also offer a “one off” kitchen design
service tailored to customers requiring a unique design. This is
achieved through private in-home consultation which familiarizes us
with the customers and the way they live in the home while adding
the creative soul in design to achieve the desired result.”

He also notes that a great deal of significance is placed on
ergonomic function for everything from bench heights to storage
access. Manual and automated fittings are used as well, he

While Dixon has taken on a major challenge, bringing his design
expertise to the States, he is also focusing on other avenues of
growth. He is currently working with a business brand and marketing
strategist to open the company’s first showroom in Los Angeles.

“The showroom will showcase my standard luxury kitchen range. We
will also strategically market through various media, such as
magazines and interior design shows,” he adds.

Dixon also believes that partnering with other affiliated
professionals is one of the best ways to grow a business, and he
notes, “We have architects who regularly refer their customers to
us to complete their kitchen and bath contracts, [trusting that we]
will complement their architecture in the best possible way.”

As far as product choices, Dixon notes, “We carry timber
cabinetry finishes, tailored to the design requirements and
available in either paneled styles or flat veneer. The timber is
finished in matte, satin or gloss sheens. Color exterior finishes
are also available for flat and paneled cabinetry exteriors and can
also be satin or gloss sheens.”

Dixon also notes that he is a proponent of glass finishes, and
he carries it as a feature finishing material. “I love the
simplicity of glass and how it can be integrated into any design
style in a contemporary manner,” he offers.

But, in the end, what Dixon does with the materials is what
makes the difference for his firm, he believes. “Kitchen décor
integration is a key factor in creating a harmonious look and feel
to any design,” he says.

Summarizing his design beliefs on the company’s new Website, he
offers, “We are changing, the world around us is changing, the
thoughts we have about each other are changing, the way we live is
changing [and] as a result, our homes are changing. We are starting
to notice things in a way that we have never noticed before
individual awareness is heightened, world consciousness will follow
and our expression of this as a race is beginning. With this, the
kitchen will continue to evolve with us as it must [always] remain
a special place.”

Lance Dixon

Principals: Lance Dixon
Showrooms: 1
Hours of Operation:
By appointment
Number of Employees: 1
Major Product Lines: Timber cabinet finishes in either paneled
styles or flat veneer tailored; glass finishing materials; granite,
marble limestone and
timber countertops; New Zealand or German-made interior cabinet
Specialties: Standard or “one off” design service, in-home
consultation and kitchen décor integration.

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