Month: October 2015

Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge Profile: Martin Spicuzza

Very soon we will be announcing the winners of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. We received so many great entries from around the country! Our judges definitely had their work cut out for them. And speaking of judges, an illustrious collection of esteemed designers from across the U.S. agreed to take the time to review the contest submissions and select the winners. This year’s judges are:

Over the last few weeks, we profiled each Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge. We already profiled our fifth and final judge, Martin Spicuzza with Studio Spicuzza in Chicago, Illinois, on Save Room for Design earlier this year. Take a look at his profile.

Martin Spicuzza, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge

Martin Spicuzza, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge

We asked Martin what he was most looking forward to about judging the entries for the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. Martin said, “What I am most looking forward to on judging the entries is to see innovative and fresh approaches to kitchen design, especially a concept that has never been done before. I know that  my expectation of this may be high, but it would be quite rewarding to see a concept that is really creative and unique. Many kitchens I see today are thoughtful, functional solutions, which in essence is good design, but not necessarily anything that I’ve not already seen before. Let’s see what our entries bring that really go beyond the norm and set themselves apart from the rest.”

Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge Profile: Paula Kennedy

Very soon we will be announcing the winners of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. We received so many great entries from around the country! Our judges definitely had their work cut out for them. And speaking of judges, an illustrious collection of esteemed designers from across the U.S. agreed to take the time to review the contest submissions and select the winners. This year’s judges are:

Over the next few weeks, we will profile each Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge. Our fourth profile features Paula Kennedy with Timeless Kitchen Design in Seattle, Washington.

Paula Kennedy, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

Paula Kennedy, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Paula: I grew up decorating Barbie’s house (how cliche is that) and drawing life-size floorplans in the dirt outside when we would go camping in the NW. I loved to build the house not just decorate it. At my grandmother’s house there was a section of the space we could play and I always moved furniture around. Mom always kept my bedroom door open, “the pretty” room, and closed my sister’s, or asked me to help my sister do her room. After burn out at Microsoft, I was able to go to The Art Institute for Interior Design and launched into kitchen and bath design 18 years ago!

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Paula: My most recent favorite was a whole house remodel/addition for a family I knew well. It was supposed to just be a kitchen remodel but turned into a second story addition/whole house remodel. The husband always teases me about it being my fault. It was a modest budget which pushed us to be more creative to meet the budget without anyone knowing any of the materials were budget-friendly. They trusted me completely and the team I brought in. It got to where we could finish each others sentences, the wife trusted that I “got” her and knew exactly what she wanted. I could go on and on. This project was highlighted on Houzz and in the K+BB Collective.  (Wasn’t GE products though, unfortunately, that was before I saw the light!).

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Paula: Honestly, I’m tired of wonderful good design becoming a TREND, therefore being over-used, over-done, sold everywhere to everyone, and then soon everyone says they don’t want subway tile (for example) because its a FAD, when in fact it is one of the longest lasting timeless design elements that fits in the right home with the right clients. But now that it’s been so overused, it is being looked down on instead of the beautiful option that it was and should still be.

  • I am very nearly over Brushed Nickel.
  • I am over glazed cabinets.
  • Becoming over certain styles of glass mosaic tile, or any 1×1 mosaic.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Paula:

  • Polished Nickel, Polished Chrome
  • Reclaimed wood paneling on walls or other surfaces (not your mother’s wood paneling)
  • Industrial Chic Design!
  • BLUE! From dark, light to VIBRANT!
  • Sleek Sexy Transitional Design

SRFD: What are you looking forward to about judging the design contest entries?

Paula:

  • How other creatives solve solutions.  We all think so differently and we can all always learn from each other.  Also, LOVE seeing what is trending across the country.
  • We find inspiration all around us and getting a birds-eye view of these projects is exciting as well as working with the other judges to see how we use our analytical brains to take in not only the aesthetic side of the project but the solution as well.

Follow along with Paula on LinkedIn, Houzz, Facebook and Ignite Creativity.

Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge: Oscar De las salas

Very soon we will be announcing the winners of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. We received so many great entries from around the country! Our judges definitely had their work cut out for them. And speaking of judges, an illustrious collection of esteemed designers from across the U.S. agreed to take the time to review the contest submissions and select the winners. This year’s judges are:

Over the next few weeks, we will profile each Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge. Our third profile features Oscar De las salas from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Oscar De las salas, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

Oscar De las salas, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Oscar: At a young age I found myself submerged in the world of creativity, and my outlets were many.

It was the creation of anything new and interesting which called my attention; perhaps the availability of suggesting or coming up with an answer (or answers) to a problem. From watching my aunt run her design studio in Barranquilla, Colombia, and helping her to select the right fabrics for her hundreds of Carnival designs, to the simple solution of picking the colors for the walls of our family’s newest real estate acquisition, to the design of a dinner table layout or even to the selection of china and flowers for one of our family dinner parties.

I knew creativity was my line of work, so after working on multiple U.S. Embassies in South America, I completed my studies as an architect but with a special focus. After working in multiple aspects of architecture and design, I chose to master in architectural interior design, and I’ve been practicing for the last 23 years with an intense spotlight on lifestyle.

A well-designed space is a storyline where nothing should need to be spoken for the user to understand what is happening, or to recognize your design intent. Design is a language where silence is your best ally. I am not attracted to designs that require extensive verbal justification.

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Oscar: I am currently working on an interior architectural design tenant improvement project at the Phoenix Convention Center. The result will be an approximately 3,000 sq. ft. multi-functional event space, in which we established as a “design approach” for the intent of the space to be unobtrusive and ethereal, so any type or variety of event can be well-served by the space.

The space incorporates a continuous undulating wave-shaped ceiling 10 to 12 feet high (on it’s soft ridge line), a white stretched canvas lighted with indirect LED lighting, ripple fold white gauzy drapes from floor to ceiling to soften street views, grey and soft white striped flooring – staggered in perpendicular bands – and the combination of frosted glass walls, mirrored walls and bidirectional mosaic and mirrored tile accents to complement, give the space that “cloud-like” like look we are looking for.

In contrast, a single red tone on the bar area’s elliptical ceiling that is set slanted from 7 to 8 feet and encrusted with little jewel crystal star shaped lights, draws guests to bar area where drinks are served.

Perhaps the element that wraps the space to be inviting is the mixture of small triangular stools in a durable microfiber grey and bone color, with alternating small tables made of soft maple in the same shape, placed together in the central space like a vertebrae. The result is a modular seating and table option attached like a long spine in the middle of the space, which can be detached to create separate seating settings.

To label and brand the space, the name “MONROE” (the bar’s name) will be spelled on white acrylic letters on a repeat setting on the window sill facing the street, with one word being red, while the rest will be ultra white.

This project is expected to be complete in record time. This is a very unique space, and a project I am looking for guests to enjoy and for patrons to use in many, many different ways.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Oscar: The glass-tile and tumbled travertine combination, or cheap tile glass, or anything Tuscan-ish. (This is what I consider a ‘developers’ interpretation of what Tuscan style is, of course). Oh, and concrete horizontal surfaces mixed with ultramodern cabinetry – yuck!

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Oscar: Bi-dimensional tile, solid panel frosted glass, mirror backsplash or a single full marble slab backsplash unify and expand the space, in modern settings. I am also in love with transitional white subway tile with grey grouting, and traditional soft textured tile mixed with hand-painted tile.

Waterfall edges on any horizontal surface make me happy.

LED indirect lighting, soft lighting and anything ethereal, and any modern materials in white, grey or frosted finishes.

SRFD: What are you looking forward to about judging the design contest entries?

Oscar: Interior designers and architects are a source of creativity and through these experts, incredible solutions can be found.

As a judge, I am looking for not only for the most jaw-dropping visually stimulating unique design (no matter what the style is) but I also need to see a design with a high level of practicality; I look for excellent use of the triangulation of space, in case of “U” shaped kitchen, (with or without island), a perfect layout in a typical “L” shaped kitchen, or a convenient and handy layout in simple modern galley shaped space.

What I look for is an aesthetically pleasant kitchen space that is multi-functional in which the user is able to thrive, function effectively day-to-day and the design supports a welcoming and appealing space for the day to day “get-ready-to-work-fast” person, the family with a baby and a dog, the stay-home-housewife, the-senior-living-alone, the socialite, the bachelor, or the family Thanksgiving dinner, or the family that constantly entertain. I see these main concepts as complements to the already beautifully designed and leading edge Monogram line.

Since I am the “designated” chef in my house, in essence, I look for the stunning beautiful visual project with a balance of intense and creative use of space with an easy, user-friendly design.

Hear more from Oscar at What Would Oscar Do.

Designer profile: Kirsten and Darrell Becker

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 Kirsten and Darrell Becker with Becker Studios in Santa Barbara, California.

Kirsten and Darrell Becker, recent participants at the Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky

Kirsten and Darrell Becker, recent participants at the Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Kirsten and Darrell: We have always been taken by that relaxed, perfectly satisfied feeling you get in a space that’s done right. But we are more affected by what’s wrong in a space! When it just feels a tad bit off or seriously awkward, that’s what inspires us to look at it from different angles and create a certain mood and better flow that puts anyone that enters it in a “feel good” place. After working separately for many years, Kirsten, a designer, and Darrell, a custom builder, found that collaboratively, their work exceeded expectations, so Becker Studios was established as a one-stop shop for design/build projects. We always stick to two mottos. First: Dream. Design. Build. Then: Rearrange, Refine, and LIVE!

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Kirsten and Darrell: We recently completed a massive commercial development project – The Mill. The Mill is a marketplace featuring local merchants with Santa Barbara roots. We purchased the property, had a vision for it, designed it, processed it, built it and procured the proper tenant mix to bring it to life. What’s special about The Merchants is that they all produce and serve their products – beer, wine, BBQ and more – on site, so it is the ultimate inception to finish experience. The Mill also includes our offices and Becker Studios’ design outlet, Millworks. As a brand extension of Becker Studios, it features our own unique furnishings and designs. We sourced recycled barn wood from Wyoming and created custom, one-of-a-kind hardware, gates and panels to make it feel of era and authentic. It has been a long road, but the results are beyond what we pictured. We are thrilled to watch our vision come to life on such a large scale! Anyone can watch our journey through @themillsb on Instagram!

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Kirsten and Darrell: Restoration Hardware knocking off every cool, unique relic that ever existed – and doing a great job at it!

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Kirsten and Darrell: Raw, authentic goods displayed at the heart of design. Living finishes are comfortable to soak in, plus they are low maintenance and better for the environment.

SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?

Kirsten and Darrell: Appliances not only need to be user friendly and super functional, but also on the cutting edge of design. And not all designers are good cooks…even with Advantium at their fingertips!

Follow along with Kirsten and Darrell on Instagram at @beckerstudios.

Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge Profile: Robin Burrill

Very soon we will be announcing the winners of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. We received so many great entries from around the country! Our judges definitely had their work cut out for them. And speaking of judges, an illustrious collection of esteemed designers from across the U.S. agreed to take the time to review the contest submissions and select the winners. This year’s judges are:

Over the next few weeks, we will profile each Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge. We already profiled our second judge, Robin Burrill with Curb Appeal Renovations, Inc. in Keller, Texas, on Save Room for Design earlier this year. Take a look at her profile.

Robin Burrill, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

Robin Burrill, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

We asked Robin what she was most looking forward to about judging the entries for the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. Robin said, “I’m looking forward to meeting the other judges and being in Chicago, but of course seeing the awesome designs created by our industry. It amazes me how innovative the designs can be and of course I can’t wait to see how the Monogram appliances are used in these designs!  Especially the French door oven!  My personal fav!!”

 

Designer Profile: Chelly Wentworth

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.

Chelly Wentworth, recent participant at the Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky

Chelly Wentworth, recent participant at the Monogram Experience Center in Louisville, Kentucky

Today’s profile highlights Chelly Wentworth with Arciform in Portland, Oregon.

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Chelly: I wanted to find a career where I could be creative and helpful, while making a living. It’s such a privilege to spend the day this way.

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Chelly: Not too long ago we completed a small kitchen project in a jewel box of a home. The cook had waited a lifetime to have the kitchen of her dreams that really worked for her and her family. It was fun planning out every single detail and rewarding to see that it fits the home perfectly and know the client is very satisfied with the end result.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Chelly: Busily patterned, ubiquitous, granite counter tops.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Chelly: Clean spaces with lasting appeal and fewer excesses.

SRFD: What did you learn in Louisville?

Chelly: I learned a lot about both speed and induction cooking.  I also learned that Monogram has at least as good products as their competitors in all categories.

 

Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge Profile: Jeffrey Blum

Very soon we will be announcing the winners of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. We received so many great entries from around the country! Our judges definitely had their work cut out for them. And speaking of judges, an illustrious collection of esteemed designers from across the U.S. agreed to take the time to review the contest submissions and select the winners. This year’s judges are:

  • Jeffrey Blum
  • Robin Burrill
  • Oscar De las salas
  • Paula Kennedy
  • Martin Spicuzza
  • Chip Blankenship, President and CEO of GE Appliances

Over the next few weeks, we will profile each Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge. Our first profile features Jeffrey Blum with Sixzero6 in New York City.

JeffreyBlum1SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Jeff: Do you have a few hours? … I think it’s built in. But certainly fostered by early exposure and then finally, after a very circuitous career search, getting around to building things. Once you have your hands on materials, the need to manipulate them to your will gets into your blood.

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Jeff: I enjoy them all, even with what most of us would consider the most difficult clients. Those are the ones that throw you curveballs, and my job is often about problem solving. So the more challenging the problem, the more satisfying the solution.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Jeff: I am over trends.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Jeff: Well, I encourage a loosening up of any adherence to rules, and I see people not being so stuck on a particular style these days, which is incredibly freeing as a designer.

SRFD: What are you looking forward to about judging the design contest entries?

Jeff: Seeing the work! Everyone approaches design differently, and here’s an opportunity to celebrate that variety. As I always tell my clients, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” (He said with his cat sitting next to him on his desk. What a terrible thing to say!).

JeffreyBlum2