The Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest was created to celebrate the imagination and creative vision inherent in beautiful kitchen design. All designs were required to integrate Monogram appliances and were judged across several award categories. We announced the winners last year and will be profiling each of them on Save Room for Design over the next few months.
The first place winner in Best Showroom Kitchen Design is Daniel Thompson from DDK Kitchen Group in the Chicago, Illinois area.
SRFD: How did you become interested in design?
Dan: My folks started DDK in 1978. I started doing deliveries, then touch ups and repairs, and then became fascinated by how all the parts of the jigsaw puzzle came together. I loved the opportunity to envision a space, communicate that vision to the client, work then with the cabinet makers and carpenters to bring the project to completion.
This is a very unusual career that allows me to bring an idea full circle from beginning to end. DDK just completed our 5000th project. I have been designing kitchens for 31 years. I think I may finally be getting the hang of it.
SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.
Dan: Below is a photo of a job we just completed. It was a large space and the client wanted to bring a bit of East Coast feel into their Chicago home. We added some authentic barn wood elements and gave her a modern day Nantucket farm house. The kitchen is spectacular.
SRFD: A trend you’re over?
Dan: Heavily ornamented kitchens.
SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?
Dan: I don’t get too excited about trends. If a client wants a white painted kitchen, I try to match their level of passion and provide the best white painted kitchen possible.
SRFD: Tell us about your winning project.
Dan: This display was a challenge. It is 10’ by 16’ so it is a small space. We had to incorporate 12 appliances including a 48” range, (2) 30” refrigerators, ovens, a 36” cooktop, dishwasher, wine cooler and of course, a kitchen sink.
Because we have three distinct focal areas formed by the cooktop, sink and range, we needed to come up with an elegant tile backsplash that had three unique designs that would highlight those areas while staying consistent with the entire space. The floor and even the lightly faux painted walls had to marry all the disparate elements of the display.
A big part of doing showroom displays is cajoling the various suppliers that it is a big opportunity to have their products integrated into a busy store surrounded by high-end Monogram appliances. They all had to sharpen their pencils to make this work.