Month: September 2016

Why Become a Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer?

Recently we chatted with Lisa “Elle” H-Millard, Manager of Certification and Design for the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), to discuss the benefits of designer certification through NKBA.


SRFD: Why is being a CKBD important in the design world?

Elle: The building/remodeling industry is a $121 billion market in which kitchens and baths represent $31 billion of the industry. We also know that the average home is being remodeled every seven years, so business looks pretty promising for the future. With so much development and construction, mistakes are made daily. Each mistake could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, all affecting your bottom line. As a Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer (CKBD) or Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer (CMKBD), you are able to greatly reduce the amount of mistakes made on a job and can communicate more effectively with other trades using consistent and appropriate industry standards.

I myself had been designing commercially for over seven years as a restaurant designer and believed I was at a point where “I didn’t need to be certified as I am established and doing well for myself.” Little did I know that there was more than I would like to admit that I needed to know more about, such as make-up air, ventilation and mechanical drawings. For me, I knew enough to get by, but couldn’t really consider myself an expert in those areas. I knew that if I wanted to continue to grow as a designer and stand out from my competitors, I needed to make this my responsibility. Certified designers are responsible for making solid recommendations based on a client’s needs and wants and must be competent in writing specifications, creating drawings (floor plans, construction plans, mechanical plans and elevations), communicating clearly with other trades, managing projects, and managing an ethical business.

SRFD: What is the difference between an AKBD, CKBD and CMKBD?

Elle: Short answer … it is a hierarchy of certification starting with an Associate level and capping at the Masters level.

  • AKBD – An Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer has two years of industry experience and passed a challenging exam consisting of 150 multiple choice questions. An AKBD is knowledgeable in the kitchen and bath industry, however, is not considered a certified designer. Also the AKBD exam is not intended for designers only, rather for those interested in gaining more knowledge in the industry.
  • CKBD – A Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer must have an AKBD certification and be able to apply the knowledge to real-life client requests. A CKBD must have five years industry experience, 60 education hours, and pass a challenging two-part exam including eight drawings and 50 multiple choice questions. There are existing Certified Kitchen Designers (CKD) and Certified Bath Designers (CBD) that have taken a drawing exam specific to either kitchen or bath, not both. Specializing in Kitchen only or Bath only is no longer an available option, however those members can test for the remaining designation
  • CMKBD – A Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer must have two years of industry experience AFTER achieving CKBD level, 100 education hours, and be in good standing with the NKBA. In addition, a CMKBD will need to be engaged in the industry, promote professionalism, and cultivate new talent.

For more information about how you can become a Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer, visit

Connect with your kitchen

In today’s world, we are all connected in one way or another to everything around us, so why not be connected in your kitchen as well.  Thanks to Monogram’s WiFi Connect, you can talk to your appliances from anywhere – giving you the ability to monitor and control your appliances with your smartphone.


How will Monogram’s connected appliances help you? So many ways!


  • Preheat your oven, no matter where you are
  • Set timer alerts when you are baking or roasting
  • Change the oven temperature from anywhere


  • See cycle time remaining
  • Lock and unlock door
  • Track pods and rinse aid
  • Get alerts if something is preventing you from the best wash


Learn more and share your thoughts on the NKBA Connect blog today.

The Smart Kitchen Evolution

Written by Molly Ford, Monogram Experience Center intern

We have all seen the home become increasingly “smarter,” or more device-central, but large kitchen appliances have not kept up at the rate that smaller technologies have developed. The heart of the home is finally seeing some long-anticipated upgrades that bring the kitchen up to speed with the rest of the house. The idea of connecting intuitive technologies with powerful appliances creates an impressive duo- with relatively untapped potential.

The Amazon Echo has been on the scene for about a year, and has rapidly grown from a novelty gadget to a hub for home-automation. The Echo is a voice-enabled wireless speaker – think of a stand-alone Siri with a longer list of skills. Here at the Monogram Experience Center, we wanted to see how we could use the Echo in our day-to-day work and personal lives. We have made “Alexa,” the Echo’s trigger name, our assistant chef, secretary, entertainer, and more.

Alexa will provide us with meal ideas, food storage information, beer and wine pairings, measurement calculations, create a synced grocery list, among a constantly growing list of skills. These are fun to play with, and legitimately helpful, but the real “smart kitchen” came when we connected the Echo with our wall ovens.  We can control these ovens with our voice saying something like,

“Alexa, turn on the upper oven to 350 degrees and set the timer for 45 minutes.”

Alexa will confirm and immediately start the oven. Similarly, we can control the range hood and lights, and the team is constantly collaborating with developers to add kitchen elements to blend appliances with devices.

Voice-enabled appliances are a just a peek at how technology could change the way we cook and spend time in the kitchen, and we are eager to see the next convenience we can offer our customers.  The program is still in it’s infancy, but we expect to see everything but the kitchen sink connected to our Echo soon – and who knows, they might throw that in too!

The Amazon Echo and our Monogram wall oven in the Monogram Experience Center.

The Amazon Echo and our Monogram wall oven in the Monogram Experience Center.

Monogram Modern Home in Houston September 9 and 10

Join us on for the fourth stop on our cross-country modern design road trip with Dwell. Our first destination in May was Seattle, Washington; then we stopped in San Francisco, California; followed by Los Angeles, California; and this weekend we’re back on the road and traveling to Houston, Texas!


The Monogram Modern Home will be heading east to Houston, Texas where it will join the Houston Antiques + Art + Design Show at Silver Street Studios on September 9 – 10. The Monogram Modern Home will be open for tours, live product demonstrations and culinary tastings prepared by our tour chef on Saturday, September 10.

For accredited industry professionals, please join us on Friday, September 9, for a day of continuing design education. For additional details and to register for the CEU’s, visit the Dwell website.

Find Monogram on Twitter and Instagram.

Find Dwell on Twitter and Instagram.