Highlights from Taste of T

Last night was NY Times Style magazine’s much anticipated Taste of T event at the Architects and Designers building. The best part was that it supported God’s Love We Deliver, whose services in the area are needed now more than ever. Each year the St Charles showroom teams up with an amazing chef and joins in the multi-showroom celebration. This time around lobster rolls from Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar did not disappoint! My colleague Bob Schwartz and I even got to play sous chefs to the talented Ms. Charles. Here are a few shots from the festive evening:

Bob and I with Chef Rebecca Charles

In good company with Chris Abbate, Novità Communications & Designer Brad Ford

Seasonal Style

We’re well into fall, but I’m still enjoying coming up with new ways to celebrate the season. My family and I love to go apple and pumpkin picking. As a designer, I’m also naturally inclined to want to spruce up things aesthetically.  After a recent pumpkin-picking expedition, I arranged this assortment of pumpkins and gourds of different colors, shapes and sizes. Composing something like this easily cheers up entryways and table settings, plus it’s really fun to do!

~Karen Williams


Trends Magazine Recognizes St Charles in Top 50 American Kitchens List

At St Charles, we love what we do and feel lucky to be recognized for our rewarding work. A happy client and a project well done is what make us happy. That said, we can’t say we’re not proud to have been a part of the design team of one of Trends magazine’s Top 50 American Kitchens!

Overlooking Central Park, the pied-à-terre was a stunning piece of real estate—except for the kitchen! Headed by my fellow St Charles Principal Robert Schwartz and the owner’s architect & interior designer, the space in question was transformed into a chic kitchen that matched the rest of the luxe abode. Trends called it out for its excellence in design, function, product specification and style.

Check out the coverage here (and below) http://ebooks.trendsideas.com/Book655p12

We congratulate all those who worked with us on the project & our industry peers who also made the list!

And thank you to Trends!

~Karen Williams


American Cancer Society’s DreamBall After Dark

Last night was the American Cancer Society’s Dream Ball After Dark gala in NYC at Cipriani 42nd street. Benefitting the organization’s “Look Good, Feel Better” program,  St Charles thought it was a great cause to support. As a woman business owner, I know that confidence is one of  the keys to success; this program helps women to gain that confidence needed to fulfill life goals.

The popular event is known for going into the wee hours, so we thought gala-goers would enjoy the sweet treats we provided in their swag bags. For the silent auction, we created the “Ultimate Luxe Kitchen Package” by partnering with kitchen & bath manufacturer Axor. St Charles’ elegant custom cutting board was a great pairing with their Axor Starck faucet. We hear the high-end “kitchen kit” went home to a happy (and eager) bidder!

Have a great weekend!

~Karen Williams






































Friday Fun

It’s Friday and what better day to share something fun with you. As part of Condé Nast’s “Fingerprints” series showcasing “style innovators,” I filled out a short and irreverent questionnaire. If you click on this link, you’ll find out that, in addition to poring over glossy design publications, I do enjoy a shot of gossip mags with a side of mac n’ cheese every now and again!

Much like a Pinterest board, the inspirational product collage you will see was put together by Condé Nast using my questionnaire responses. It was interesting to see their choices. I was excited that they included one of my “Signature Elements by Karen Williams for St Charles” pieces, the Aldyn credenza, which was specially designed for the 2012 Kips Bay Show House.

I hope you enjoy checking it out and that you browse through some of the boards of my industry peers–perhaps while sipping a glass of wine or indulging in some mac n’ cheese!  It is Friday after all.

Wishing all a great weekend.

~Karen Williams


Labor Day: A Time to Relax & Reflect

I’m excited for the holiday weekend and I’m sure you all are, too!  While many are lamenting that it signals the end of summer, it’s important to remember the significance of Labor Day. The uniquely American holiday pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of U.S. workers. My colleague Robert Schwartz and I are proud to be at the helm of an American icon that has been a part of our nation’s history since 1935. This weekend, we will certainly enjoy the last bit of summer, but we’ll also be thinking of all those who worked to make St Charles what it is today and of those who are currently a part of our fantastic team.

Wishing everyone a much-deserved holiday!  To kick it off, I’ve got my fresh ingredients for a celebratory dinner at the ready!

~ Karen WIlliams

Breaking News!

Big things are happening over here at St Charles of New York. Robert Schwartz and I [Karen Williams]  have some exciting news to share with our loyal readers… We are proud to announce that we have recently acquired the exclusive design and manufacturing rights to the iconic St Charles cabinetry brand from the Viking Range Corporation.  We broke the news last week and have been making headlines. Below is the official press release. Stay tuned for more!



(New York, NY, August 2012) St Charles of New York is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of the exclusive design and manufacturing rights to the iconic St Charles cabinetry brand from the Viking Range Corporation. Moving forward, St Charles of New York, the multi-disciplinary design studio led by Principals Karen Williams and Robert Schwartz, will conduct all business under the St Charles name. The company’s New York location in the prestigious A&D Building in Midtown Manhattan, will serve as both national headquarters and a NY showroom. St Charles will provide a full breadth of services including kitchen design and interior architecture as well as upscale cabinetry and signature furnishings that bridge the kitchen to other rooms in the home. The recent development broadens St Charles’ nationwide reach and enhances its offering of high-end design products and solutions.

The acquisition gives new life to the beloved American brand, which launched in St. Charles, Illinois in 1935. Called the crème-de-la-crème of vintage cabinets, the made-in-the-USA line has been installed in some of the most prestigious and trend-setting homes, including Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. This corporate pedigree is completely in line with St Charles of New York’s reputation for creating the absolute finest and most exclusive kitchens available. In fact, Williams and Schwartz have been selected as the kitchen design team for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, a nearly unprecedented, four times in the last ten years.

“St Charles of New York is a three generation boutique kitchen design firm that can trace its partnership with the national St Charles brand back for more than 50 years. When we learned about the opportunity to purchase the brand, we could not resist the chance to broaden our national reach and image. We are already busy with projects in markets as diverse as Louisiana to Thailand. The timing was perfect for this new chapter in our development as a brand and design firm,” says Williams.

“St Charles is known worldwide for its timeless design, enduring style and unsurpassed quality. We wanted to build on this tradition of excellence and bring it to another level. We are leaders in the luxury market and pride ourselves on designing, manufacturing, delivering and installing complete environments from start to finish. This acquisition of St Charles will serve to further enhance our offerings and help us to continue to satisfy the needs of our discerning clientele,” adds Schwartz.

In light of the exciting acquisition, St Charles will be launching a new website in the coming weeks, www.stcharlesusa.net. It will offer a comprehensive overview of the company and spotlight a wide range of projects. It will also host Karen Williams’ lively blog, which is currently accessible through www.stcharlesofnewyorkblog.com. An industry speaker and culinary/entertaining tastemaker, Williams’ blog provides tips and observations on kitchen design and lifestyle trends. Finally, the company will also soon be announcing a new Facebook page and Twitter handle, @StCharlesUSA.


In Honor of the Olympics…A Fab Find From London

With the London Olympics already in full force, I’ve been reminiscing about my times in the games’ fantastic host city. I’ve had great luck shopping and design hunting in the land of royals. Take for example this unique red toaster I spotted in the storied department store Harrod‘s.  Bugatti’s Volo toaster is a stand-out, featuring a bold design, wide slots and a warming rack.  What I most love about it is that you don’t have to push anything or stick your finger in any slots to retrieve your toast. The gadget is motorized- your breakfast bread elevates itself once perfectly golden!

Wherever I go I often take snaps of great products like this one. Stay tuned for more fab finds from here in the States and around the world!
~ Karen Williams

A Day of Epicurean Proportions

Even with a new weekend just around the corner, I still keep thinking about what a great time I had in the Hamptons on Saturday. Fellow Principal & Designer of St Charles, Robert Schwartz, accompanied me to James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne® event at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack. I love the culinary arts and admire chefs that have perfected their methods, so this event was a must! With a wide offering of excellent food and fine wine and champagne, I was completely in my element. I even mingled with some world-renowned chefs, including the gastronomic masters from Daniel Boulud’s DB Moderne restaurant. Check out the pic below.

Cheers to health, happiness and the occasional indulgence!

~ Karen Williams