As we shared back in September, Monogram is the proud sponsor of the Boulevard Show House in Houston, Texas, in collaboration with Laura Umansky. You can learn more about the announcement here and read our interview with Laura here.
Earlier this week the Laura U team talked with Alexandra Skobel, Monogram Designer Engagement Leader – Central Region, about Monogram appliances and the new appliances soon to be featured in the Boulevard Show House kitchen. Read the interview here.
As you may know all too well, remodeling projects take some serious time and then shift into super-speed. There are lots of exciting updates happening at the Boulevard Show House now! Check out The Boulevard Show House website and Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the progress updates and exciting announcements.
In October we opened a new Monogram Design Center at Specialty Appliance in Denver, Colorado. We interviewed Christina Dragota, Monogram Lead Product Specialist, to learn a little more about our new showroom.
SRFD: Tell us about the space.
Christina: It’s like a mini version of our Monogram Design Center in Chicago. People love that space because it not only helps them visualize what their kitchen could look like, but more importantly, what their home could feel like. We wanted to emulate that feeling, but on a more local level, so we decided to partner with Specialty Appliance and create a space that incorporates an innovative yet beautiful design.
SRFD: Why Denver?
Christina: It’s a great city that includes such a diverse manner of living where you can choose to be in a loft downtown, a cabin in the mountains, or both! The real estate business is thriving in Denver, so much so, that in this last year, home builders have increased production by 22 percent just to try to keep up with the incoming population. We wanted to tap into this growing market to really showcase what the Monogram brand is about and build a showroom where people can gather inspiration while learning about our products.
SRFD: What’s something there that is unique?
Christina: We have the first ever indoor, electric Pizza Oven, that requires no venting, NOW installed in a flush application (we don’t even have this in our Chicago location yet). No one has this technology available, let alone installed in this style, which is why we wanted to showcase it live. This allows people to come in our space to see, feel and use this exciting product. Seeing is believing- and we wanted people to take part in that experience.
SRFD: What else will be available in this space?
Christina: We offer cooking demonstrations with our on-site Chef and Design Center Manager so that customers are able to get an overall understanding of whichever products their interested in. When dealing with appliance technology, it’s important that the customer feels confident using it. Whether it’s using an induction cook top for the first time or wanting to perfect your Sous-Vide skills; we offer different types of demonstrations tailored to our customers’ interests. This way, they feel comfortable asking our Chef questions while enjoying meals prepared on our products.
SRFD: How did you become interested in design?
Laura: Creating beautiful environments has been important to me for as long as I can recall. As a child, I would draw home plans, sketch my room layout, and design my personal space from top to bottom. Luckily, my mother let me have control of this from a very young age. Most likely because she was not interested in interior design at all!
In undergraduate school, I studied Art and didn’t hone in on the profession of Interior Design until late in my college career. After graduation, I knew that I wanted to dive head first into interior design and I started working for a fantastic designer who showed me the ropes. After a year, I enrolled in graduate school and, in 2005, received my Master of Architecture Degree. Studying Architecture definitely had a huge impact on the way that I approach interior design and how I structured my firm.
I started Laura U Interior Design in 2007 and we are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. It is such an incredible milestone and I couldn’t be prouder of our team. I am so excited to see what we can all accomplish in the next 10 years!
SRFD: Tell us about a recent project.
Laura: Currently, I am working on my own home: a 1925 Tudor Revival in a Historic District of Houston. It is a fantastic home and I love the neighborhood. Being a historic home, it has had it’s share of challenges: foundation issues, termites, etc… All things you may expect with a home that is nearly a century old, but none of them are really fun to deal with.
What is fun to deal with is the design of the home and bringing it back to it’s original glory. It will be a gorgeous and stately home when it’s finish; perfect for the Monogram appliances that are going in our new kitchen and butler’s pantry!
SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?
Laura: As I write, I am at High Point Market in North Carolina. I love market because I get to see all of the brand new introductions from the best design houses and manufacturers in the business. Right now, I am very excited to see the classic contrast of Black and White everywhere! I love the crispness of this pairing and you will see plenty of this in my new home when it is unveiled in the Spring.
SRFD: A trend you are over?
Laura: I am never really completely over any trend because it always comes back around at the right time. For example, who saw macramé being 2017s go-to wall art? For this very moment, I can do without large scale floral wallpaper. It is gorgeous but I think I have seen it implemented just enough to get me through the next decade!
SRFD: Why are you partnering with Monogram?
Laura: Monogram is everything my Classically Current design philosophy is grounded in: it is synonymous with luxury and livability. My Monogram appliances are timeless in look yet are modern in performance. As a mother of 5-year-old twin girls, my home must be beautiful, warm and welcoming to our friends and family, and it has to support our busy (aka crazy) daily lives. Monogram appliances easily check each of these boxes!