Month: July 2015

The Most Stylish Encore Career: Interior Design

Written by Kennedy Williams, Monogram Experience Center intern

Today’s designer profile highlights Sharon Bond from Louisville, Kentucky. Sharon is Chief of Planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Louisville and began her career with the Corps as an Economist. As she approaches the final years of a fulfilling career with the Corps, Sharon is planning for her second career in the field of interior design. Her passion for interior design inspired her to begin taking classes at Sullivan College of Technology and Design.

Sharon Bond, Chief of Planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District, and Interior Design student

Sharon Bond, Chief of Planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Louisville District, and Interior Design student

SRFD: Economics and interior design are quite different from one another. What made you interested in this field?

Sharon: The two are not as different as one might think. In the design field, one’s job is to listen to the client and help them to achieve their creative vision for their home or office. The client’s budget is a key factor to consider. Scope, schedule and budget are important considerations both in my current and future careers. I have always had a passion for design, going back to elementary school when I’d spend hours cleaning out the garage and transforming it using treasures “borrowed” from our home. I love experimenting with color, texture, and fabrics; and I am frequently up until the wee hours of the morning pouring over a Florida Homes magazine, reading design blogs, and visiting interior design websites. I don’t plan to retire and then figure out my next career move, which is why I’m planning for that transition now.

SRFD: What are your favorite styles and trends in interior design today?

Sharon: I’m drawn to timeless, classic style. For example, custom cabinetry designed with the look of built-in furniture. I love the focus on natural materials and sustainable design. I start with a neutral palette and add in color, while working in favorite pieces of art, family photos and other treasures. I tend to stay away from trendy styles. Most people redo their kitchens every 15 years. If you have to live with something for that long, it should have more of a classic, traditional feel. If you want to add in something that is “of the moment,” do it with accessories or paint colors, which are relatively inexpensive and easy to change.

SRFD: Tell me about a project you recently completed at Sullivan that you enjoyed?

Sharon: In my Intro to Design class, I had to research a well-known interior designer. I was assigned Billy Baldwin, a tremendous talent who was quoted as saying, “Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style.”

SRFD: What is your favorite room to design?

Sharon: For me it’s the kitchen. Our family’s activities are centered around the kitchen so it’s important that it be a comfortable, efficiently-designed space. There are also wonderful choices to explore in cabinets, countertops, appliances, lighting, flooring and organizational products.

SRFD: Now that you have visited the Monogram Experience Center and are more familiar with Monogram, will you recommend it to your customers one day?

Sharon: Absolutely! I am extremely impressed with the Monogram line and with the attention to quality and detail. Once you’re exposed to Monogram, you won’t be satisfied with anything less.

Monogram Modern Home in Austin July 17 and 18

We’re traveling on a cross-country modern design road trip with Dwell in a prefabricated house, custom-built and outfitted with Monogram appliances. Our first destination in April was Portland, Oregon; in May we visited Dwell on Design in Los Angeles, California; in June we visited the Phoenix, Arizona metro area; and this weekend we will be in Austin, Texas!


We will be popping up at Nest Modern July 17th and 18th.

On Friday, July 17th, the home will host a series of Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Check out the details and sign up here!

On Saturday, July 18th, the doors will be open to the public. Plus, when you stop by, you will have the chance to enter to win a Monogram appliance. A full schedule of events is listed here. Sign up for CEUs, join us at the open house and follow us on social media for surprise – yet to be announced – events and giveaways.

See you there!

Find Monogram on Twitter and Instagram.

Find Dwell on Twitter and Instagram.

Blue Ocean Traders: For the Trade and also the very curious!

A friend’s new job led us on a fun field trip to Blue Ocean Traders. Located in an old bread factory in Louisville, Kentucky; it is 100,000 square feet of curiosity and the unexpected, and all available For The Trade.

Photo1It’s hard to explain all that Blue Ocean has to offer, so I’ll quote their website: “Blue Ocean Traders specializes in the importing of the finest antiques and reproductions for home and garden. We are a trade only, wholesale source open to all types of retailers and interior designers. Whether you are looking to add variety to your store, or want that special something to accentuate your client’s decor, Blue Ocean Traders can help.”

Photo2Think American vintage furniture and accessories or one of a kind pieces from Europe, Asia or Egypt. There are rooms devoted to British war collectables or a whole area of nothing but antique rolled maps. Not only does Blue Ocean Traders work with Designers and Retailers, but they are also a source for television / movie studio props and commercial-themed restaurants and attractions. Need an Asian fisherman’s hut? They’ve got one.

Photo3 Photo4You can find Blue Ocean Traders at the four major American furniture markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, and High Point or at their warehouse in Louisville Kentucky. For more information, visit their website.