Our Founder's Story
Designing Beautiful Kitchens Is In Our DNA
As the saying goes, excellence is never an accident. Performance Kitchens’ founder Brian Forman knew this when he began in the business in 1974 but his journey in becoming the premier kitchen designer in Philadelphia started with artisanal roots.
Brian began his wood working career as a carpenter. Recognizing the need for finely grained, hand selected wood, he built a chain saw mill which supplied various woodworkers with hardwood slabs from locally sourced trees. These slabs were selected and cut to complement the work of fine cabinetry and furniture makers; the most famous of which was George Nakashima, internationally recognized as one of the finest craftsmen of modern times.
Drawing on Japanese designs and shop practices, as well as on American and International Modern styles, Nakashima created a body of work that would make his name synonymous with the best of 20th century American Art furniture. Nakashima taught Brian how to read wood grain and select trees with the character he desired. George’s rare skill in wood selection was possessed by very few craftsmen and Brian benefited immensely from this specialized knowledge.
Brian’s cabinet making apprenticeship was with George Brauntrager, a German craftsmen and naturalist, who also ran a remodeling company specializing in jobs involving complicated built-ins and cabinetry.
With a degree in Biology and a minor in Business Law, and years in the construction and woodworking trade, it wasn’t long before Brian recognized the need for coordinating the many elements of difficult remodeling projects. He then expanded his knowledge base with a further study of lighting and architectural design.
Brian and his team have spent the last 40 years collaborating with homeowners and the best architects, interior designers, home improvement contractors and tradespeople in our region. Now, with over 2,000 beautiful kitchen and addition projects under his belt, Brian is most proud of the design and creation of what has come to be known as the Performance Kitchen. Brian’s belief is that a Performance Kitchen must show the best usage of space, utilize timeless and cost-efficient materials and products and, above all, feature a superior design.
Brian personally trains each employee as to the specifics necessary in communication of good design to the client, suppliers, and installers so each job is a unique and beautiful execution. The end result is a Performance Kitchen that is designed so that its creation is flawless, insuring that it will be beautiful and functional for years to come.