Meet 2020 DM Honoree Joseph Najmy: At the helm of his family’s business of more than 60 years, NuKitchens has been creating sophisticated kitchen designs for generations of homeowners.

The inspiration for the refrigerator of the same Bell Island home came from apothecary drawers, which were recreated with 144 drawer heads on the fridge panels. Photograph by Kyle Norton

NuKitchens in South Norwalk, CT, isn’t just a family business—it’s a legacy. “This has been a family venture for four generations,” says Joseph Najmy, owner and managing director. Founded 64 years ago, Najmy has been at the helm since 1981, when he took over from his mother.

Najmy calls his mother one of his biggest inspirations, saying she was dynamic, a great designer and “a person way ahead of her time.” But the New Canaan, CT, resident—whose daughter now also works for the company—gleans inspiration from a number of sources, including “architecture, furniture, building materials old and new, textures, even old doorway entries to historic buildings when I travel,” he says.

This New Canaan kitchen has a carrara marble backsplash to match the island, complete with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. Photograph by Neil Landino

And that passion is evident in the kitchens the company creates. Najmy describes their style as “a simple, clean design aesthetic” with a mission to “preserve the character of the home.” Najmy himself goes on all initial design consultations—and says, “I believe every great design is a collaboration.”

This New Canaan kitchen features Plain & Fancy inset cabinetry, a work station with butcher block countertop and a carrara marble island, painted a custom blue, with seating. Photograph by Neil Landino

The firm is truly a one-stop shop: They’re able to handle everything from space planning to design to full kitchen renovation. “We have a vibrant, inquisitive staff with broad experience from architectural degrees, art degrees, and evenexperience in boat design and construction,” he explains. “Our team brings a unique aesthetic, color sense and efficiency to our work.” Plus, their veteran building team has decades of renovation experience. “They bring fine craftsmanship and thoughtfulness to each well planned project we do.”

“We have a big family and some of our deepest traditions are based on food and gathering in the most important roomin the house…the kitchen.”

The company is also committed to giving back, and has supported Norwalk’s Open Door Shelter, as well as the Connecticut Food Bank’s BackPack Program and Habitat for Humanity.

On tap for the future? A showroom renovation—and the launch of a private cabinetry collection, both set to launch in early summer. “To find inspiration for our new collection of cabinetry, I traveled to Italy, Spain, Portugal, South America and Germany to find the common core of fine design, symmetry, balance and the most practical, efficient storage options for kitchens and pantries.”

No matter future plans, Najmy is sure they will involve family. He enjoys cooking for and sharing wine with friends and family. Says Najmy: “We have a big family and some of our deepest traditions are based on food and gathering in the most important room in the house…the kitchen.”

This kitchen, for a family with young kids, includes inset cabinetry, white subway tile, oil-rubbed bronze hardware, and a silgranite sink, paired with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. Photograph by Kyle Norton
On Bell Island in Rowayton, CT, this sleek kitchen includes plenty of storage and Poggenpohl cabinetry. Photograph by Kyle Norton