Author: sherigold

Designer Profile: Debra Gelety

The Chicago Monogram Design Center (MDC) brings designers to Chicago, Illinois, for two-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 Debra Gelety with Lori Carroll & Associates in Tucson, Arizona.

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Debra: Since the time I could hold a pencil, I have been drawing. My first degree was a BFA in Illustration and I worked as an Illustrator/Graphic Designer for many years. In 2004, I had some major life changes and found myself with the opportunity to try something new. I went back to school and got a BA in Interior Design. I joined the Lori Carroll & Associates team in early 2011, where I am an AutoCad drafting diva, associate designer, and presentation assistant.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Debra: Although stainless steel finishes certainly have their place, I find they are overused. Also, I am not fond of the resurgence of gold tones in plumbing fixtures.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Debra: I tend to think of trends as the design fashions that will be “dated” looking in a few years so I don’t look to follow trends. I am pleased with the increased attention to Universal Design, and love that there are increasing numbers of suppliers of cleverly designed storage fittings. As people are becoming more interested in smaller homes, especially in urban areas, storage becomes challenging. I also find I am specifying quartz as a countertop finish more and more. There are so many new and interesting patterns.

SRFD: Tell us about the Best Kitchen award that your firm recently won at KBIS 2016.

Debra: The project was a new build contemporary home on a spectacular view lot in Arizona. The kitchen was located at the center of the home, open on one side to the breakfast area and the view, and partially closed to the formal entertaining areas. Pass-thru openings allow for the cooking member of the family to stay in contact with her guests. I think this kitchen is a great example of the implementation of NKBA design standards. We try to keep those standards in mind when space planning. The kitchen has great storage. The hidden pass-thru to the pantry where small frequently used appliances are stored out of sight, yet are instantly accessible, is my favorite feature. I also love that the design is very contemporary, yet warm. Kudos should go to the whole team, within LCA, as well as Jeff Willmeng Homes, Eglin + Bresler Architects, Rings of Wood Cabinetry, Tucson Stoneworks, and a great and enthusiastic client.

NKBA Winner 2016 Best Kitchen - Lori Carroll & Associates

NKBA Winner 2016 Best Kitchen – Lori Carroll & Associates


NKBA Winner 2016 Best Kitchen – Lori Carroll & Associates


SRFD: What did you learn at the Chicago Monogram Appliances Designer Training Session?

Debra: Overall, it was a valuable experience. In design school we only receive basic information on appliances. Because I do a fair amount of space planning and often write the specifications documents our firm produces, I am aware of the technical specifications of the appliances we use, but I have never before actually used these models myself. I have a better feel for how one uses each appliance and why one might choose one type of cooking appliance over another. I now understand my mother’s love affair with her Advantium oven.

Designer Debra Gelety with Chef Jon at the Chicago Monogram Design Center

Designer Debra Gelety with Chef Jon at the Chicago Monogram Design Center

You can learn more about Debra and the team from Lori Carroll & Associates on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Design Chicago

On October 6 -7, the Merchandise Mart in Chicago created the Midwest’s largest annual residential design conference for interior design, architecture, and luxury homebuilding called Design Chicago. Over 2,000 trade professionals attended. The focus was on kitchen, bath and home furnishings and included 120 showrooms located on three floors and over 600,000 square feet of the Merchandise Mart space. Presentations were made by the industry’s most acclaimed designers and thought leaders. Over 35 CEU courses were available, as well as showroom open houses, hospitality events and new product debuts. There was a Ones to Watch reception toasting up and coming designers. And the event culminated in a Gala celebrating top residential designers, architects, and luxury custom home builders.

In the Monogram Design Center, we were excited to host a CEU on the The New Face of the Affluent Consumer-taught by Dwell CEO Michela O’Connor Abrams. The session was completely filled on the day it was announced, and received rave reviews from the attendees. She also hosted our afternoon showroom VIP designer cocktail event and shared a visual presentation on Dwell’s Take on Modern Design. It was a packed house with an excited crowd. The Monogram Design Center was a favored place during the event, with Chef Jon’s delicious light bites and a signature cocktails.

Michela Abrams, Dwell CEO

Michela O’Connor Abrams, Dwell CEO


Welcome Susan Cozzi

We are excited to welcome Susan Cozzi to the Monogram team as our New York Design Center Manager.


Following a career in publishing, Susan received her degree in interior design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City and ran her own design studio for eight years. She was showroom manager for Grohe, launching their trade showroom in NYC; and for Artemide in the A&D Building in NYC. Susan’s work has been published in K+BB Kitchen and Bath Magazine; the books Green Interior Design, Residential Design for Aging in Place, Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide; and on Style Me Pretty Living. She was a National Media Spokesperson for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) from 2009-2013 and has spoken on Sustainable Design.

Please stop by the Monogram Design Center in the A&D Building to say hello to Susan!


KBIS 2015 Recap: KOHLER

An exciting event for companies and individuals involved in the design world is the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which was held in Las Vegas this year. In addition to introducing new Monogram products to designers in our own booth, we took the opportunity to check out other booths for trends, highlights, and new products. One product that we were very impressed with is the KOHLER Choreograph shower wall and accessory collection – which is a shower system that allows you to design a shower around your needs. This was a hot new item at KBIS 2015, and a brand new product offering by KOHLER.


Image from KOHLER

Typically, tub surrounds and one-piece shower systems tend to be basic and lack features. Thanks to KOHLER’s Choreograph collection, however, your shower can be customized to create a beautiful and well-organized system that works ideally for you. Choreograph still has the efficiencies and convenience of a one-piece shower surround – such as low daily maintenance because of the lack of grout lines to clean – yet in a much more stylized manner. With the many color patterns and designs available for the wall panels and accessories, it’s easy to create a shower that fits your functional and aesthetic requirements. A unique element of the Choreograph collection is the ability to select wall accessories (known as “lockers”) to accommodate the products your family uses regularly. With various sizes available, even the jumbo bottles now have a place in the shower! There are quite a few options for shelving and storage, and you can even create a shower system such that each family member has their own locker.

In short, the KOHLER Choreograph shower wall and accessory collection is highly functional and high-style. The response in the booth was very positive and our friends at Kohler were kept busy providing overviews of the collection to groups of 25 designers, architects and builders at a time. Can’t wait to see what they show next year!