Author: Megan

Hi, I’m Megan and I randomly ended up in Louisville, Kentucky, about 15 years ago. Never expecting to stay in this beach-lacking both Southern and Northern city, I have grown to truly love my unexpected home.

Monogram Helps Feast It Forward Connect with People Through Food, Drink and Giving

Written by Kim Mays, content strategist

From a culinary standpoint, Napa Valley is a pivotal scene in the U.S. for food, wine, and cooking. To Katie Hamilton Shaffer, it’s the perfect location for her online lifestyle network, Feast It Forward, featuring programming, blogs, and recipes that inspire people to bring flavor into their lives well beyond just food. Shaffer developed the unique platform to bring together people who love great food and wine and back it with a social conscious message through its own philanthropic, nonprofit arm, Feast It Forward Foundation.

Photo credit: Randall Fong

Shaffer recently opened a community-based space called The Studio in Napa, California to bring Feast It Forward to life beyond the pixels and videos you see on its website. According to Shaffer, it’s equal parts live studio, experiential showroom, and wine collective. And since Napa is the mecca for culinary lovers and oenophilia alike, the location makes the flagship operation the perfect destination for both locals or visiting fans.

Photo credit: Randall Fong

Several companies partnered with Feast It Forward to complete The Studio, including Monogram. Shaffer said that the Monogram suite of appliances helps bring The Studio’s kitchen to life through community events, online programming, and charitable offerings. Shaffer felt that true culinary fans can “connect with the modern, beautiful, user-friendly design” of the Monogram range. It’s definitely elevated everything in The Studio kitchen.

Photo credit: Randall Fong

“Having Monogram appliances in our space really speaks to the consumers who come in. We have a whole suite of Monogram appliances including a hood, range, induction, fridge, dishwasher and beverage cooler,” said Shaffer. “They’re used for filming for our network and used when people come to the property and taste wine. They can come into the studio and look and feel the [appliances] while enjoying entertainment and wine.”

The shows, blogs and other content recorded at The Studio tell the stories of people, places, and events and how they connect. Shaffer and her crew invite the public to “take a seat” at their table and learn about the world through chefs, musicians, tastemakers, designers, and others who create and inspire our world. Recently, Jacques Pepin filmed episodes of a new series at The Studio, and Feast It Forward hosted the Napa Valley Film Festival’s After the Filmmaker’s Lounge.

Photo credit: Randall Fong

On the network’s website, you’ll also find the Feast It Forward Foundation where donations and profits from charitable events and sales of its “products with purpose,” are given back to a host of select charitable categories including those for women, children, animals, health, and international needs. This is where Feast It Forward raises awareness for charitable organizations as it raises its glass in tribute, passing along a truly inspiring message to its fans.

Welcome Home to this Classic Farmhouse Kitchen

If you attended the Parade of Homes in Lakeville, Minnesota, this past September, you were able to take in the gorgeous farmhouse design of this home in person. Created by SD Custom Homes and decorated by Bria Hammel Interiors, this classically styled home seamlessly blends comfortable charm with upscale details, especially in the interior.

Photo credit: Spacecrafting Photography

The home’s interior designer, Bria Hammel Interiors, is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and serves clients nationwide with residential design. They had worked with SD Custom Homes on previous projects and felt like they had a solid partnership with the home designers. One of the most important rooms of the home was the kitchen, and the two firms worked closely together to create a layout that fit with the farmhouse plan and flowed well for a modern family home. It serves as not only a place to create meals, but also as a hub of the home where people can gather at all times of the day.

Photo credit: Spacecrafting Photography

Both teams felt that having the sink under the window looking out over the front of the house created a beautiful focal point in the kitchen and allowed the island to be used as additional dining space. The windows bring in an abundance of natural light, which keeps the space bright and airy, and is a favorite aspect of this kitchen design.

Photo credit: Spacecrafting Photography

A secondary focal point is the area around the Monogram gas range top. The stainless and black range top sits against the gleaming, white tile backsplash and is flanked on each side by glass-door cabinets with curvy brackets beneath each. It’s a welcoming area where hearty meals can be cooked while family sits around the island for conversation and further meal prep.

Photo credit: Spacecrafting Photography

All the kitchen appliances are from Monogram, which Bria Hammel Interiors was very excited about. After touring the Monogram showroom in Chicago, they were taken aback by the innovative features offered by Monogram (especially the Advantium Speedcook oven) and the craftsmanship of the appliances. As they said on their blog, they take comfort in knowing “that whoever purchases this home will truly be getting the best of the best” with the appliances.

Photo credit: Spacecrafting Photography

We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations on designing an absolutely inviting kitchen and a lovely, gracious farmhouse home.

Monogram in Wine Country

In early November, Hollywood invaded Wine Country for five action-packed days during the Eighth Annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) and Monogram was there. Film, food and wine came together at the Monogram Appliances Demonstration Kitchen where attending filmmakers were paired with masters of food, wine and craft beverage to create one-of-a-kind live experiences.

Photo credit: Feast It Forward

The Demo Kitchen was located at the Down-Valley Hub at the Studio by Feast it Forward. All members of the seated audience enjoyed food and beverage samples with all 12 demos. They featured exclusive wines showcased by Miner Family Wines, state of the art Monogram appliances, Cuisinart fine cookware and chef products, and a fully stocked pantry courtesy of Whole Foods Market. Watch all the live demonstrations here.

Photo credit: Brian Malarkey

Celebrity chef Brian Malarkey led one of the demonstrations during NVFF, succeeding wildly at entertaining and delighting the audience. He has created 15 wildly successful restaurants across the United States including Herb & Wood, his newest concept in San Diego’s buzzing gastronomic neighborhood of Little Italy. Malarkey is a judge on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, makes regular appearances on the Today Show and Good Morning America, and was a Top Chef finalist and winning mentor on ABC’s The Taste.

Photo credit: Randall Fong

Monogram brought a fun group of designers from the West Coast along to enjoy the full weekend, all while taking in the awesome Monogram Appliances experience.

Photo credit: Amy Klosterman

Chicago Monogram Design Center Happenings

Written by Mackenzie Elliott, Monogram Lead Product Specialist

Cabernet & Credit Event

In celebration of Design Chicago, the Monogram Design Center hosted several events throughout the week, including a “Cabernet & Credit” Design CEU course led by Vintage View’s Marketing Director and wine sommelier Jacob Harkins. Designers enjoyed fine wines from The Artisan Cellar, a pizza oven product demonstration and amazing appetizers prepared by Monogram’s Executive Chef Jon.

Click HERE to see Chef Jon’s interview with Jacob Harkins

Monogram team, Chef Jon and Richard Anuszkiewicz (A2Z) with Richard Living Designs

Sherwin-Williams Event

Inspired solely by Sherwin-Williams‘ color of the year, the Monogram Design Center had the pleasure of hosting the 2019 Sherwin-Williams Color of the year “Cavern Clay” launch party. Executive Chef Jon spent the evening entertaining guests with Cavern Clay colored appetizers and a specialty bourbon apple crisp cocktail created to compliment the color of the year.

The Cavern Clay Cocktail

Elle H-Millard, CKD (Industry Relations Manager at NKBA) and Suzie Williford (EVP of Industry Relations & CSO at NKBA)

Mimosas at The Mart

Design Chicago came to a close with Mimosas at the Mart and discussing all things kitchen and design with designers and kitchen & bath professionals from across the country.

Monogram team

 

  • Mimosas at the Mart: Monogram Team

Kitchen Renovation Recap 3 Months Later

Monogram had the pleasure of partnering with Kris Jarrett of Driven by Decor on her kitchen remodel earlier this year. The end result is completely elegant and beautiful, and one we are sure her family will enjoy for many years to come! In a recent blog post, Kris wrote about the appliance features she loves after using them for the last three months. Appliances are a critical feature of any kitchen remodel so it’s great to hear Kris’s thoughts on the importance elements to consider when making that decision. Some features were included in her initial requirements but some were surprise benefits!

The Gilded Age Meets Fashion Icon

The Breakers

In September Monogram brought a group of designers, architects and other key individuals to Newport, Rhode Island, to experience the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival. Known as the most sophisticated wine and food festival on the East Coast, it has quickly become one of the most anticipated food and wine events in the country.

Hotel Viking

From the minute guests arrived at the elegant Hotel Viking in the Historic Hill neighborhood, they knew the weekend would be truly extraordinary. Prior to the Festival itself, Monogram guests spent a day exploring the lavish and decadent “summer cottages” built in the late 19th century to provide a peaceful respite from the hectic New York City life. The Elms, Rosecliff, and the Isaac Bell House did not disappoint.

Global fashion designer and cookbook author Zac Posen joined Monogram guests for an intimate breakfast and cookbook signing Saturday before heading to the Monogram Culinary Stage to prepare some of the delicious dishes from his cookbook with chef emcee Annie B. Copps. And later in the day chef Jon Liddell joined Zac Posen on stage to create refined and delicious pizzas in the Monogram pizza oven.  A final celebration dinner at the International Tennis Hall of Fame wrapped up the impressive weekend with sophisticated flair.

Celebrity fashion designer Zac Posen with chef/emcee Annie Copps

Monogram chef Jon Liddell with fashion designer Zac Posen

Elevating a Bright White Kitchen with the Gleam of Stainless Appliances

Written by Kim Mays, Monogram content strategist

When the homeowners saw the vaulted frame of the roof for their home addition, they realized the kitchen they were adding would have standard 9-foot ceilings. They wondered if a vaulted ceiling would make the kitchen feel more spacious, so designer Arrington Russell of Restoration Interiors went to work on her plan. The result is a gorgeous kitchen with its “fifth wall” (i.e., the ceiling) vaulted and covered in shiplap and VELUX skylights. The white, mainly transitional style kitchen was featured in an HGTV shoot sponsored by VELUX, and the proud homeowners and designer are delighted.

“This kitchen has a great mix of styles with its modern tile and pendant lights with the farmhouse shiplap,” said Russell. “Everything came together to reveal a kitchen that feels relevant yet timeless.”

For a kitchen addition, that means it blends well with the rest of the home’s style rather than standing out. “For the kitchen flooring, we also decided to carry the hardwood already running through the home… we didn’t want the kitchen to feel like an afterthought,” said Russell.

Bright white elements make this kitchen stand out, especially the subway tiles and tile backsplash feature above the range. And the white shaker style cabinets connect all the pieces across the room cohesively.

With white being the main color, the homeowners were also in love with the idea of marble counters, but with a family of five including kids, marble required a bit too much maintenance. Russell found a stunning quartz by HanStone Quartz called Italian Waves. It gives the look of marble with its white background and veins of charcoal gray but requires much less upkeep. It’s one of Russell’s favorite features of the kitchen, “I love how these quartz counters complement the stainless appliances and the white color that runs throughout this crisp kitchen.”

Speaking of stainless appliances, the designer and homeowners agreed on using Monogram appliances in this kitchen. According to Russell, “They are absolutely gorgeous and gave the kitchen the upscale feel we wanted. We loved that they came with a great track record for dependability. The modern handles on the Monogram appliances also really feel connected to the pendant lights over the kitchen island. They pulled the space together nicely.”

We totally agree. These appliances definitely elevate the look of the kitchen and tie everything together. Kudos to Arrington Russell, Restoration Interiors, and the homeowners on a beautifully designed kitchen space.

Monogram Enhances a Peaceful Retirement Lake Home

Retired sales and marketing executive Sam Skobel had a plan in mind for a peaceful retirement home on a northern Wisconsin lake. We interviewed him to learn about his design inspiration for the home, specifically the kitchen, and the process to create this idyllic retreat.

SRFD: Tell us about this home.
Sam: This is a rustic-style (not rustic in the roughing-it sense) home on a lake with 500′ of frontage on a very private five-acre parcel of wooded land at the end of a dead-end road in northern Wisconsin. So very laid back and peaceful. We purchased the home in 2001 with the plan to totally remodel it prior to retirement, and then live there full-time. Over the last 17 years, we have remodeled,  replaced, renovated and/or upgraded virtually all aspects of the home – only the original walls remain in place. For example, we upgraded the existing floors by replacing them with 110-year-old reclaimed pine and Douglas fir wood from a grain elevator in northern Minnesota. Very dramatic and a wow-factor of the first order.

SRFD: What was your inspiration for the kitchen remodel?
Sam: Being in the the northwoods of Wisconsin, loving the casual lodge-style type of decor and wanting to remain consistent with the design throughout the rest of the house, we chose the casual-but-elegant barn-board based style inspired by books, magazines, internet searches, model homes and retailer displays. It was very important to us to have the kitchen look high-end with a casual/informal feel, but without the typical minimalist look of many higher end kitchen designs. It’s the style of the whole house, and it’s the way we live.

SRFD: Tell us about the kitchen remodel.
Sam: The kitchen renovation began in March 2018 and, as planned, was the last step in the 17-year remodel plan. Similar to the reclaimed floors in concept and style, the custom cabinets are also reclaimed barn-board, very nicely complimenting but not imitating the floor. The countertops are exotic-grade, book-match granite with “rock-edge.” The sink and range hood are custom hammered-copper, as are the lighting and switch plates. The backsplash is 2″x4″ travertine brick-style tiles with hammered copper accent tiles. All cabinets have custom above and below cabinet lighting on dimmer switches allowing the mood to be fine-tuned.

SRFD: Can you walk us through your design process?
Sam: The design process was very difficult – mostly because of our location in extremely northern WI and the minimal availability of licensed and/or certified kitchen designers. As such, we tackled the design process ourselves. The process started with appliance selection, as those items dictated many of the cabinet/other dimensions and configurations. Regarding appliances, we chose Monogram appliances because we felt they had the best available features and benefits, and they far-and-away provided the best value. We included the 36″ panel-ized fridge/freezer, panel-ized dishwasher, wall oven, Advantium oven, 36″ rangetop and panel-ized wine refrigerator. Now that they’re in place we absolutely love them – especially the panel-ized refrigerator/dishwasher/wine refrigerator. They look great! After choosing appliances we selected our cabinet manufacturer, followed by the sink (a 30″ apron-front single bowl hammered copper) and matching 40″ hammered copper range-hood. Granite countertop selection followed next, with backsplash and lighting last.

SRFD: What was the most challenging piece of the renovation?
Sam: Without question, the most challenging part of the renovation was personally coordinating all aspects of the tear out-to-completion process. We were let down many times by various suppliers who just did not deliver as promised, both time and/or quality-wise. As a result the original time line (agreed to by all) of six to seven weeks turned into about 11-12 weeks. While in the long run the additional four weeks is not a huge deal, it did cause us to live in a “construction zone” for an extra month and, more importantly, was wholly avoidable.

SRFD: What part did you enjoy the most?
Sam: The part we enjoyed the most was, as I’m sure with most renovations, was watching the space come together and seeing the finished product. Because we totally owned the project from concept to design to execution to completion, seeing the transformation become real before our eyes was most rewarding. I guess I’d put it this way – it’s very satisfying to see an image in your head become tangible and real, and be the place you stand back, admire and live in.The finished kitchen is absolutely beautiful and is everything we could have wanted….and more!

Monogram and the COCOCOZY Design House

Earlier this year, Monogram was contacted by Coco from the popular interior design blog COCOCOZY. A Los Angeles native, Coco leads a double life – she is an executive by day and an interior design blogger and home furnishings designer by night. Coco shared her plans with us for the COCOCOZY Design House, her current renovation of an 1860 square foot Spanish style home in View Park, LA. We were so excited about the opportunity, we agreed to provide Monogram appliances for the kitchen.

You can read more about the appliances Coco selected for the COCOCOZY Design House on her blog. Stay tuned for more photos as the renovation moves forward.

Photo credit: KOENIG Building & Restoration

 

Designer Profile: Sarah Nelson

Monogram has the pleasure of working with so many talented and impressive designers across the country. Sarah Nelson, kitchen and bath designer with Kowalske Kitchen & Bath, is a true design professional we enjoy partnering with, and wanted to learn a little more about her background and experiences.

Monogram showroom at Kowalske Kitchen & Bath

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Sarah: My passion for design started very young. As a child, I would insist my parents “re-decorate” my room every six months … from the pillows to the paint color. It was always changing – thankfully, they embraced my hobby! Even as a child I knew that a room was not just a space. It was a place where memories were made. A room should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also functional, inspire an emotion, and give off a feeling that makes you want to stay awhile. I use that motto everyday while working with my clients.

I have been specializing in kitchen and bath design for nine years. At Kowalske Kitchen & Bath, we are a full-service design build company. From the design phase to execution of work. In addition, we cater to numerous other projects that include whole house transformations.

Monogram showroom at Kowalske Kitchen & Bath

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project.

Sarah: Currently, I am working on renovating a 1940’s lakeside cottage. I wanted to keep a lot of the details that would have been original such as the hardwood floors throughout (which were in great shape), arched doorways, and moldings. We kept finishes cohesive due to a smaller, cozy floorplan. However, we did not skimp on any details! Painted cabinets with mullion glass doors, Brazilian quartzite countertops, bead board throughout, made-to-order etched chandeliers, custom iron railings, and a collection of items from the clients’ European travels. It will truly be the charming cottage it once was.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Sarah: I am excited to see the use of stained cabinets again instead of painted. I will say, a painted white kitchen is SO timeless and classic. Of course it’s always beautiful! BUT I am loving the look of lighter wood tones paired with a printed bold tile. It tends to look more livable and unique. Another trend I look forward to is more metals-gold/brass, rose gold, etc.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Sarah: The porcelain wood plank. It seems to be overused. It was once a specialty item and now it’s everywhere.  I get it…the look of wood with all the low maintenance factors of a porcelain tile. I still recommend as needed 🙂

SRFD: Tell us about your experience with Monogram.

Sarah: We had worked with Monogram to create a working showroom display. The goal was to design a kitchen that could appeal to many different tastes. It was a blank space and we wanted to showcase our products with an emphasis on the appliances. It includes a 36” dual fuel range with matching vent hood, the integrated fridge and freezer columns (which have a surprising amount of storage) and the 30” Advantium convection/micro. The microwave convection oven has been most popular as it has many functions, whether it may be heating up a cup of coffee quickly or cooking a full meal. We have enjoyed every aspect!

Monogram showroom at Kowalske Kitchen & Bath

Monogram as a whole appeals to our clientele based off their ability to provide innovative products, transitional sleek designs that accommodate any desired style, and a strong customer service team with a lot of knowledge.

Monogram showroom at Kowalske Kitchen & Bath