The Monogram Experience Center (MEC) brings designers to Louisville, Kentucky, for three-day experiences to learn about Monogram, the design process, our appliances – and even cook with them! We interviewed each designer to learn a little more about their background and design experiences.
Today’s profile highlights Rhonda Knoche with Rhonda Knoche Design in Portland, Oregon.
SRFD: How did you become interested in design?
Rhonda: I was always interested in art and design as long as I can remember, but what really caught my attention was a major remodel project at my parents’ home when I was 16. It was a kitchen and family room addition. I loved pouring over the plans, watching the process. My mother was a professional caterer and we lived in that kitchen; every inch was planned. In my late 20’s, I went back to school and did a complete career change to align with my design interest and left health sciences.
I added architectural design to my interior design degree when I realized I was much more drawn to changing walls, space and function than surface treatments. It’s still my obsession and first love.
I added to that my CMKBD as a kitchen/bath specialist and CAPS for universal design. As NKBA University Professional of the Year, we all know it’s about continuing education. A special thanks to Monogram for being an advocate of that message, and for being a sponsor for that competition.
SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.
Rhonda: One favorite project that was especially fun was a collaboration with the client who was an engineer and also a metal sculptor. We both love exercising both sides of our brain. I designed and he built the copper pulls that seemingly swirled from one cabinet door to another, creating a continuous composition that made him smile. Functional art. Also, his primary objective and goal was to induce smiles when entering the room. (This also won a national design contest, has been featured on Houzz as one of 10 smile inducing projects, and has appeared in many publications and posts in five different languages. I guess smiles are a universal language.)
SRFD: A trend you’re over?
Rhonda: I was over the Granite Robot, as we call it, long before others were. (I haven’t done one in about 10 years). In general, polished surface counters. In the Northwest, cherry recessed cabinets were the default for quite a while, with no context to the house often times, just an auto response.
SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?
Rhonda: I’ve been working with many of the “thin slabs” that are, trust me, a wave of the future. I love many of the appliance directions. A definite swing from the bulkier pro/commercial scale to more sleek and integrated is much more seamless, less invasive. Integrated refrigerators and dishwashers disappear; we have the technology. Use it. The clean look, easy care, safety and speed of magnetic induction cooktops, I’m very excited about. (I’ve been doing this long enough that I saw the first iterations of it in the 70’s). For space use, I love the appliances that multi-task, like the Advantium oven – three in one, amazing. For one who’s known for Transformer Designs, these are all welcome trends.
SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?
Rhonda: First of all, I adored every bit of Louisville, the Monogram Experience Center and their entire incredible staff. While I’ve been an advocate of magnetic induction cooktops, the process of actually using one sealed the deal. I love their unique finish so much, I’m specifying it for my own kitchen remodel right now! I’m also a convert to the Advantium oven and, as a small space advocate, I’m also a convert of this appliance for my clients and myself, as well.