Welcome to the Network…

Knocknock cabinets overcomes a dilemma while maintaining its love for Italian design
Fridays on the Homefront
The Eichler Network welcomes Knocknock and its owner, Nadja Pentic (pictured above), a new addition to our roster of preferred service companies. Knocknock specializes in custom cabinetry (with Italian flare) and design, serving the Eichlers of the East Bay. Photo: Jonathan Braun
Fridays on the Homefront
Coming in February '18: Eichler Network's 'Home Maintenance Directory 2018'—where you'll meet more companies you can
trust with your next home improvement project. For the 2017 edition, click here. Photo: Hunter Lewis Wimmer

For its owner, Knocknock is clearly no joke, but rather the answer to a dilemma that comes with loving Italian cabinet design.

After earning a degree in fashion merchandising, owner Nadja Pentic spent 17 years learning and retailing Italian design products, first in fashion and then cabinets and furniture. Along the way, the native of Croatia acquired a taste for what she sees as the single most important American contribution to design: mid-century modern.

"It is my preference, and it is the design style that I like the most. I'm basically a minimalist at heart," she explains. "That's why people come to me, because when they come to my website, they see Italian modern design."

The logistical challenge of getting product from Italy, combined with the desire to use American craftsmanship, compelled Pentic's move five years ago to take on her own design and production by opening Knocknock. She moved her work into a 30,000-square-foot facility in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland, where she also lives.

"Basically, we looked at what Italians are good at, which is design and ergonomics, all the things they figured out years ago because they ran out of trees," Pentic says, smiling. By applying her decade of European travel and experience with local craftsmen and economy of scale, Pentic created what she calls "a hybrid line that makes for the best of both worlds…It's basically Italian style, but made here."

Another European touch at Knocknock is Pentic's insistence on using hardware from Austria because, she says, "The Austrians still take the cake, I don't care what anyone says."

Pentic said her larger production facility was necessary to reach a "medium price-point market" affordable for people who don't own $2 million homes. That's where her line connects with owners of Eichler-size homes.

"I understand how Eichlers work. It appeals to my own visual sensibilities," she promises. "I think we need another Joe Eichler today! How he approached housing was brilliant."

The moderate-sized kitchens in Eichlers emphasize another important advantage Knocknock has over Italian-made cabinets: the ability to offer custom designs rather than the modular units available abroad, which Pentic says "is actually a big deal" for customers.

"It really depends on what the client's priorities are. The options are almost infinite," said the designer and business owner. "I work with a huge amount of sources so that my clients get exactly what they want."

Custom Cabinetry & Design
Serving the East Bay