Owner and General Contractor
Frank's passion for construction and wood working began in his teenage years, and he chose to attend Kaynor Vocational Technical School as student in their Carpentry Program. His first job during high school was in a shop that fabricated kitchen countertops, mostly laminate back then! After graduation, Frank immediately was hired as a carpenter. He framed houses during the warm seasons and built kitchen cabinets during the cold months. From "framer" he was promoted to the trim crew where he learned finish carpentry. This step opened the door to kitchen installation work, and Frank discovered his real love in the carpentry field. In 1986 he got his first job with a kitchen remodeling firm where he learned how to build and install fine custom cabinetry. After seven years, he set out on his own and became a subcontractor specializing in remodeling and installing custom kitchens and bathrooms for many design firms in the region as well as individual homeowners across Connecticut and Massachusetts, from Greenwich to Cape Cod. In 2009 he formed Christino Kitchens & Remodeling as the first step toward creating his own full design/build company with a team of designers and his own showroom. In September 2011, that dream became a reality with the opening of the showroom on Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury. As proof of Frank's dedication and passion for building, he has built his own home with hand-crafted kitchen and bath cabinetry ... twice... once in Southington and more recently in Marlborough where he lives with his wife Lana and their dog Yoshi, a Finnish Spitz.
Showroom Manager and Designer
Although now with over fourteen years as a kitchen and bath designer, Charles is certainly no stranger to design and construction. Before moving to Connecticut from Texas in 2001, he worked as a theatrical designer in both professional and educational settings for 27 years. His design resume includes over 200 drama, dance, musical theatre, and opera productions with credits in scenery, lighting, and costume design as well as technical direction and production management. The leap from theatrical set and lighting designer to kitchen and bath designer proved to be easier than Charles expected as he quickly realized that the same design principles and space planning concepts guided both fields. Construction and carpentry skills were a part of his theatre training. The fit seemed perfect. Since beginning his second career in kitchen and bath design and remodeling, Charles has won national design awards, and his design projects have been published in both Family Circle magazine and Signature Kitchens & Baths magazine as well as in other trade publications. Charles holds degrees from Wake Forest University (BA) and University of Oregon - Eugene (MFA). He lives in Hartford in a wonderful loft apartment in the Design Center with his husband and their two dogs, Maxwell and Millicent, one a Bichon Papillon and the other a Bichon Pekingese, both with seriously cute under-bites.
Like Charles, Elizabeth comes to kitchen and bath design and remodeling by an indirect but interesting path. She spent 18 years working for The Hartford, rising to the position of Operations Manager, Specialty Programs. She was so good at what she did that, as she puts it, "I streamlined myself out of a job." The idea of starting a whole new career doing something she was already doing in her spare time – renovating houses – became too much to resist. Without realizing it, she longed for something more creative and tangible in her life, something that had the potential to make people happy. Elizabeth got a job as a Design Assistant at a local design/build firm with additional administrative responsibilities while she studied and trained in her new field. In less than eight years, her designs have been showcased in several national trade publications. Superior customer service coupled with personal, unique kitchen and bath designs have made Elizabeth very successful in her new career, and she has found the relationships she builds with her clients very rewarding. Elizabeth lives in West Hartford with her two rescued Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Libby (a nickname for Libby's full name, Elizabeth Taylor) and Remy (like the Champagne).
Having graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Business Administration in 2008, not the best time to be entering the job market. Allison explored opportunities in a range of businesses that included accounting and paralegal work. Part of her post graduate efforts included a course in AutoCAD, computer assisted drafting. This and all of her previous business experiences made Christino Kitchens & Remodeling a perfect fit for Allison when the job of Design Assistant opened up. Definitely the youngest and the most computer savvy member of the team, Allison quickly became the "tech guru" of the office. Not only can she draft plans and elevations as well as handle with Christino Kitchens' social media, but also she can fix the copier and solve computer problems for all the design team and their cell phones! Allison currently lives in Berlin with her boyfriend and adopted cat, Harry.