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.

Stoffer Photography Shows Monogram’s Best Side

Written by Kim Mays, Monogram content strategist

We recently had the chance to chat with two of Chicago’s top interior photographers, John and Maura Stoffer. Last year the Stoffer’s bought a studio in the vibrant West Loop neighborhood in Chicago and completely remodeled it—and they installed all Monogram appliances. We love the look of their modern studio and how they were able to make the small space more functional. According to Maura, they wanted to have all the amenities of a full kitchen in their studio, but in a streamlined way. “This is why we love having the Monogram induction cooktop, because it takes up so little real estate and fits seamlessly into our countertop.” The flush installed induction cooktop doesn’t sacrifice any of their work space, either.

But their favorite thing about their studio kitchen is the column duo: “We LOVE our column refrigerator and freezer. They have custom cabinet panels on them, so they blend right into the other cabinets, but when you open them, they are packed with beautiful LED lighting and technology,” said Maura. Having them blend with the rest of the kitchen makes it feel a cohesive part of the overall studio without seeming intrusive.

The Stoffers specialize in residential interior photography, so they know a thing or two about good design and how to make a kitchen look its best. Being photographers, they love a kitchen or room with lots of natural lighting, but they also know that shooting directly into the windows is a challenge: “I’d recommend shooting on a tripod and exposing for the room and also the highlights of the windows and then blending those exposures together in post process,” said Maura about getting the best shot.

The married pair share a mid-century modern home from the 1950s for their dwelling, along with their two children. They skew a bit more toward modern designs if they had to choose a favorite, but they’ve shot many gorgeous homes in the region—including a few designed by John’s mom, Jean Stoffer, a prominent interior designer.

When setting up a shot in a new room, they look for an eye-catching feature or focal point. “We love shooting down aisles in a kitchen because of this,” said Maura.

We love the look of the Stoffer’s new studio and all of the fabulous kitchen photography they’ve done for Monogram. Be sure to follow them on Instagram to catch more of their inspiring work.

Plaza Towers Kitchen of the Year

Written by Kim Mays, content strategist for Monogram

Reflective of the luxury high-rise Plaza Towers’ own architecture, this kitchen redesign in Buckhead, Georgia by Mark Williams Design Associates blends mid-century modern with 21st century amenities. What began as a galley-style kitchen is now an open, inviting space that’s 100 percent functional as a kitchen, yet welcomes guests as a comfortable entertaining area. Designer Niki Papadopoulos filled us in on the details—including its Monogram appliances—that made this Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles magazine 2019 Kitchen of the Year winner such a success for all involved.

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles (Styling by Yvonne Orchard; Photography by David Christensen)

The original parquet floors throughout most of the rooms is similar in color to the kitchen cabinetry; a choice consciously made during the early room-design phase. The Monogram built-in, custom panel refrigerator is clad in the same wood as the cabinets, allowing it to fade into the cabinet-lined walls of the contemporary room. This, along with its concealed appliances, allows the room to feel like an extension of the whole condo and not just a kitchen.

The muted, honey tone of the wood cabinets sets a warm backdrop for the antique brass Eclat chandelier by Jean de Merry—which inspired the rest of the room. Its brass spikes provide an explosion of warm light; it’s an eye-catching element indicative of mid-century design. Many other finishes in the kitchen are also brass in relation to this focal point.

In keeping with the sleek lines and geometric designs of mid-century style, the modern white subway tile backsplash was stacked, creating graphical pattern that lies stark against the organic wood grain of the cabinets. The flooring also contrasts with the wood with its black porcelain tiles that contain gray and white veins to mimic marble, while offering years of durability and ease of care.

Papadopoulos’ favorite element of the kitchen is the waterfall-edge island, which houses the cooking area on the backside. The lower end of the white marble island spills into the open room as a table, providing plenty of comfy seating. Said Papadopoulos, “the giant island… just begs you to sit and linger once dinner is over.”

Though the homeowner didn’t cook much, Papadopoulos said it was important to keep the appliances multi-functional, which included the addition of a Monogram Advantium oven, which the owner loves. “Advantium really appealed to him. [It] was a perfect fit … he uses it all the time,” said Papadopoulos. “We love the tailored nature of Monogram Appliances and how they are able to adapt seamlessly into any of our designs, contemporary or traditional. They are functional, easy to use, good looking, and have outstanding performance,” she added.

We are just as thrilled as Papadopoulos and Mark Williams over this kitchen renovation being named “Kitchen of the Year.” Having a part in this gorgeously designed, award-winning kitchen sets the tone for an exciting 2019.

Monogram Debuts Two Inspired New Collections at KBIS

Written by Kimberly Mays, content strategist for Monogram Appliances

Today’s luxury kitchens are leaning toward minimalism and sleek design, and Monogram reflected this look in our two new collections debuted at the 2019 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Impeccably designed by highly respected kitchen and bath designer Richard Anuszkiewicz, the Monogram space truly impressed designers, builders, homeowners, architects and everyone in attendance.

The revamped Monogram Professional Collection provides a blend of modern design with traditional features. This includes new robust, edge-to-edge handles that feel more integrated with the appliances and a gleaming stainless steel finish. These appliances feature rich, interactive LCD displays with minimal use of knobs and larger glass windows for a refined, elevated look in any kitchen.

Our former European line evolved to the new Monogram Minimal Collection, which takes that streamlined design to a new level. Designers eliminated knobs and handles wherever possible and  replaced them with a new touch-to-open feature along with precisely machined metal framing and wide glass windows. New LCD interactive screens replace knobs, which allows the entire appliance to blend in with cabinetry. The look is sleeker, with uninterrupted lines and a very polished profile.

Both collections also benefit from inspired techniques from the high-end auto industry including precision-machined aluminum extrusions, which makes seams virtually invisible. This also allows for ultra-flush installations and tighter fits between appliances and cabinets.

The craftsmanship and impeccable design of these appliances was demonstrated at KBIS through five zones featuring various appliances and aesthetics in each:

  • Bespoke Area gave a look at the future of appliance design with customized finishes.
  • Butler’s Pantry focused on multiuse of space with under-the-counter appliances.
  • Professional Kitchen showed our new Monogram Professional Collection appliances.
  • Minimal Kitchen debuted our new minimalist design for appliances.

Behind the Kitchen with Claire Staszak

A true balance between traditional and modern design can be tricky. This complex endeavor requires a refined eye, thoughtful attention to detail, impressive design expertise and patient listening. This beautiful old world, new world kitchen design by Claire Staszak is an elegant example of this delicate balance. We interviewed Claire to learn more about the clients, her design process and the overall goal for the home.

Photo by Dustin Halleck

SRFD: What was your inspiration for this kitchen design?

Claire: The design inspiration was really a mix of my client’s taste. The wife wanted a traditional white kitchen and loves intricate detail. The husband wanted something more modern and preferred clean lines. I helped them meet in the middle!

Photo by Dustin Halleck

SRFD: Were there any specific directions or needs given from your client?

Claire: The client wanted white cabinets and the space needed to be very durable and family friendly. We also had to work with the soffit that could not be moved due to HVAC locations. I felt it was very important to camouflage the soffit as much as possible. Creating the built-in breakfast nook was something we all thought would be an ideal use of form and function. Great use of the window bay and family friendly for lots of meals!

Photo by Dustin Halleck

SRFD: Were there any challenges you had to overcome?

Claire: Figuring out the right way to trim out the soffit so it blended seamlessly into the backband and crown was a detail we gave much consideration to. We also were able to use some existing cabinet boxes (we replaced all drawer and door fronts) so the beginning was a bit like a game of Tetris, seeing what we could repurpose and what new cabinets we needed.

Photo by Dustin Halleck

SRFD: How long did it take from beginning to end?

Claire: This kitchen was part a larger whole home remodel. The project started in January 2018 and was completed in July 2018.

Photo by Dustin Halleck

SRFD: What is your favorite element of this kitchen?

Claire: I think the improved proportions of the kitchen overall are my favorite part of the design. The old kitchen had a decent floor plan, but we were able to make it more beautiful by balancing the the space with a bigger hood, built-in banquette and overall modernize the material selections.

Photo by Dustin Halleck

SRFD: What sparked your decision to use Monogram appliances?

Claire: This client needed all new, high quality appliances, some of which could be panelled. Monogram offered a wonderful full suite package with a few bonuses (like the blower for custom wood hood) so it was a great fit for this active family.

Photo by Dustin Halleck

SRFD: What would you tell other designers about using Monogram?

Claire: Monogram has exceptional customer service and training. If you’re near a showroom, send your clients in to have a date night cooking on the appliances!

Claire Staszak is a Chicago-based designer known for her holistic design process, which combines her well-trained eye for interiors with her passion for wellness. Her work has been featured by The Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury, HGTV, Domino, Architectural Digest online and more. In 2017, the company’s namesake blog, was honored with an award for Best Design Writing by the Design Influencers Conference. She has studied interior design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a Certificate of Kitchen and Bath Design from Harper College. Claire is also a certified yoga instructor with more than 500 hours of training. In 2018, Modern Luxury Interiors, noted Claire as ‘One to Watch’ in the interior design industry.

Holiday Entertaining Tips

Photo credit: Laura U Interior Design

Tis the season for holiday entertaining! In a recent blog post, Laura shared her four simple rules for effortless high-end entertaining. Definitely worth a read!

Photo credit: Laura U Interior Design

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!