Luxury Cabinetry- A Modern Heart and Historic Soul

Luxury cabinetry -Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry
image via Rutt Cabinetry

Luxury Cabinetry by Rutt at the AD Home Design Show

On our 3rd day in New York, BlogTourNYC visited with luxury cabinetry manufacturer, Rutt Cabinetry at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.  There, we sat down sipping  on espresso à la modes (compliments of Miele’s CM5200 coffee machine-Mmmmm!) while we listened to luxury kitchen and cabinetry designer Scott Stultz speak to us about his inspiration behind the Ruskin Series, which was making its debut at the show.  Stultz’s talk on architecture, design, theory and the ideas of the late tastemaker, art/architecture critic,  and modern thinker – John Ruskin  proved to be one of the most inspirational moments for me during BlogTourNYC.

Founded in 1951 by Phares Rutt in Goodville, Pennsylvania, the Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry name has been synonymous with luxury cabinetry and high end traditional style since its inception, and has since expanded their line to also include contemporary styles.  Ruskin is Rutt Cabinetry’s first major product introduction in over a decade.  Instead of novelty and a short shelf life, the company wanted a deeper, lasting relevance that would outlast trends.  The Ruskin Series is inspired by the ideals of John Ruskin, with history and strong design principles playing a large role in the design.  More importantly, the Ruskin Series is designed to capture our attention by speaking to our emotions.

Scott Stultz, Luxury Cabinetry Designer of Ruskin
Designer Scott Stultz

The Ruskin Series by Rutt Cabinetry

Stultz then took us through his deep investigation into the history of architecture.  He asked the question: “What makes these architectural styles speak to our primal and intellectual needs?”He explained that it is the tension between our primal and intellectual needs and how these two needs work together  that create the alchemy of beauty and function.  A few of the design intricacies of the Ruskin series that speak to our needs and create the beauty and function that is the Ruskin series:

1) a door profile that is designed so that diffused light creates strong shadows and layers.

Luxury cabinetry -Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry

Luxury cabinetry -Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry

2)  The vertical and horizontal mullions are purposely designed so that they are slightly different sizes.  The horizontals represent gravity and stability and the verticals, ascension and grace.

Luxury cabinetry -Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry
image via Rutt Cabinetry

3)  The contemporary stainless details on the hood follow the lines of the troughs above. So subtle, but very well thought out to create visual  balance and proportion.

Luxury cabinetry -Hood molding-Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry
image via Rutt Cabinetry

4)  The corner posts have no turnings and are instead replaced with a long stretch of elliptical profile, resulting in a warm and inviting profile.

Luxury cabinetry -Corner post - Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry

Luxury cabinetry -Ruskin Island detail
image via Rutt Cabinetry

5)  The door front of the pull front drawer with recessed walnut pull follows the line of the adjacent corner post, resulting in a more cohesive and inviting appearance.

Luxury cabinetry -Ruskin Cove Drawer
image via Rutt Cabinetry

6)  Elliptical based arcs instead of circular based arcs are used in the design details, as elliptical arcs are more dynamic and less predictable.

Luxury cabinetry - Elliptical based arcs - Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry

7)  The luxury cabinetry details in the drawer interiors are meticulously designed to more than satisfy the most discriminating desire for form and function.

Luxury cabinetry - Ruskin-by-Rutt-Drawer-Interiors

For their booth at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Rutt Cabinetry partnered with Miele, Franke, Bastille Metalworks, Grothouse, Studio DUNN, and Emeco.  Below, the Ruskin “Appliance Armoire” is shown with Brilliant White appliances from Miele’s Generation 6000 PureLine series, where the white underneath the glass softens the lines of the rift cut white oak in a Keswick oak finish and makes everything appear “lighter and friendlier”. Also, if you notice on the right side of the appliance armoire below, the mullions are segmented differently on the top than on the bottom.  This is one of the detailed intricacies that make Ruskin so special – a visual push/pull tension results in a more dynamic design.

Luxury cabinetry - Ruskin Appliance Armoire
image via Rutt Cabinetry

A stainless steel Franke sink and Grothouse wood countertop – the perfect complement to the creamy white cabinetry that surrounds it.

Luxury cabinetry - Franke sink and Ruskin by Rutt
Franke sink with Grothouse wood countertop

The beautifully textured cast zinc kitchen island countertop emitted a warm, pebbly glow when viewed at an angle.  This was the first time I viewed a cast zinc countertop installed, and I must say that Bastille Metalworks did a phenomenal job and I wouldn’t mind having one installed in my own kitchen.

A cast zinc counter top by Bastille Metalworks
A cast zinc counter top by Bastille Metalworks

And some more images of the Ruskin series…

Luxury cabinetry - Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry
image via Rutt Cabinetry
Luxury cabinetry - Ruskin by Rutt Cabinetry
image via Rutt Cabinetry

In order for the consumer to connect with a brand, they must be able to effectively tell their story by capturing their attention and connect on an emotional level, and the passion and conviction in Scott Stultz’s storytelling accomplished just that.   I am not easily swayed, but passionate storytelling and the product to back the story definitely does it for me. The Ruskin Series is not modern, nor is it traditional. The next time I remodel my kitchen, Rutt Cabinetry will be the first company I will look at, as their belief in superior craftsmanship, beauty, and enduring relevance parallel my own design ideals.  As Stultz so eloquently phrased it: “Ruskin is luxury cabinetry with a modern  heart and a historic soul”

Please note that Rutt Cabinetry was one of several sponsors of BlogTourNYC, which covered my travel and expenses during my stay in New York.  No compensation was received for this post and all opinions expressed are my own.

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Deborah Main
9 years ago

Beautiful post Jeanne!! You really captured so eloquently the beauty and superb craftsmanship of Rutt cabinetry….and of Scotts presentation. He had a way with words that definitely inspired me too!

Scott stultz
9 years ago

A terrific post, Jeanne, and thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing and hearing a little about what went into the creation of the Ruskin series by Rutt. It was a real pleasure meeting and talking with you at the show.

Warmest regards,
Scott Stultz