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.

Form and Function: New Monogram Website is Sleek, Modern — And User-Friendly

The new Monogram collections feature high-end appliances designed to function as fabulously as they look.

The same can be said for the redesigned Monogram website.

Monogram tapped into the expertise of master designers to create a contemporary feel for its new Statement Collection and Minimalist Collection, both of which were launched in early 2020. The end result: luxury appliances that exude elevated craftsmanship, meticulously selected materials and attention to detail.

These characteristics are reflected in the new-and-improved Monogram website, too.

“I would describe the new aesthetics as bold but tasteful, airy and sophisticated,” Marie Davis, senior digital marketer with Monogram, says of the new website. “We are using larger, more full-width imagery, which gives the site a very modern feel.”

The site’s design is elegant and unobtrusive, taking a backseat to the images that highlight the brand.

“We really wanted to showcase the design elements of the new collections in the beautiful kitchen photography throughout the site, and on the Statement Collection and Minimalist Collection pages,” Davis says. “We also highlight key materials or performance features in each product line, such as the sapphire crystal knobs on our gas cooktops. It really helps to tell the story of the quality materials and engineering of our products.”

The site’s aesthetic is modern and sleek, yet it doesn’t sacrifice function for the sake of form — which perfectly aligns with the Monogram brand.

The website now features a more streamlined navigation, enabling users to see product specifications in fewer clicks. It also shows key features and specs on product results pages to allow for quick reference while browsing.

“We know that a significant percentage of appliance shoppers begin their journey online, so we want to have a beautiful destination where they can explore our products and easily find information and specifications,” Davis says. “User experience is an important part of site design.”

And though the new site is subtle and sophisticated, it’s far from boring. There are engaging animations and interactive features, along with personalized touches, such as quotes from designers highlighting what they love about particular Monogram products.

When asked what inspired the look of the new Monogram website, senior UX designer Amber Glisson points to the streamlined luxury feel and refined aesthetic of both the Statement Collection and the Minimalist Collection.

“It is important to show the elegance in the industrial design and thoughtfulness of the engineering with every opportunity we have in marketing to a savvy luxury audience,” Glisson says. “A website is often the first touchpoint someone experiences as they are researching what to buy. The more effectively we provide them with the information they need to find the right fit, the more likely they are to want to experience the appliances firsthand.”

Take a look at the new website — and come back often, as Monogram will update the site regularly throughout the year to reflect new products as they are released.

Monogram Takes it to The Next Level at KBIS

In 2019, Monogram made an indelible mark at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) with a booth exquisitely executed by respected designer Richard Anuszkiewicz. The impeccable space wowed designers, builders, homeowners, architects and everyone in attendance, nabbing the honor of Best Large Booth at the renowned trade show.

“This year, we wanted to take it to the next level,” says Richard, who is once again leading the design of Monogram’s booth at KBIS, which takes place in Las Vegas from Jan. 21-23.

“In every which way we tried to heighten the space. It’s a true showpiece,” adds Richard, who describes the Monogram designs as “future-minded, but with a nod to the past that honors the heritage of craftsmanship.”

The stunning KBIS booth has a theater-like quality, with plush velvet curtains serving as a backdrop to the stars of the show: two separate kitchens featuring Monogram’s new Statement Collection and Minimalist Collection, which were launched in early 2020. Both designs exude thought-provoking concepts, meticulously selected materials and attention to detail.

The Statement Kitchen is a contemporary take on French gourmet influence. It showcases a library wall book case with integrated floating wall ovens and a classic French hearth custom hood above Monogram’s never-before-seen 48-inch professional range and bespoke gold hearth oven. An exotic eucalyptus refrigeration armoire in a starburst tailored grain pattern with leather stitched appliance handles is a show‐stopper.

The Minimalist Kitchen takes inspiration from a dining room setting. The centerpiece of this modern room is a fresh take on a Parson’s table, with both gas and induction cooking elements suspended like pieces of art. The table is comprised of hand‐planed wood, stainless steel counters with brass-inlay detailing. Bringing further dimension to an often‐austere palette, the Minimalist kitchen has two signature brass refrigeration panels by Richard Anuszkiewicz.

“We wanted to bring our booth to life in a multifaceted way by incorporating an interactive ‘show within a show” to enhance and engage each of the audience’s five senses, to stand out from the crowd, and to be ‘The Greatest Showman,’” says Christina Reed, Monogram’s Senior Manager of Custom Display Design. “From enhanced cooking technology to meticulously curated materials, the attendees will be taken on the Monogram brand story and find an appreciation for the finer details used within our products.”

The design team focused on showcasing forward-thinking design — from exotic woods to fine-quality metals — and state-of-the-art products that highlight the mark of luxury you can see and feel.

“2020 is the year of Monogram,” Christina says, “and we are setting a new tone while also elevating to the next standard of luxury unprecedented in this industry.”

Follow along on social media with the hashtag #markofmonogram

Meet the Council: Lori Gilder

California designer uses Monogram to highlight soul, spirit and style

Lori Gilder considers herself one of the “lucky ones” because, at an early age, she already knew what her life’s work would be.

Fascinated by architecture, interiors and puzzles as a child, she knew she wanted to explore how those elements collided to create unique living environments.

Now running her own design firm, Lori says her approach to design is to, “…create chic and classically modern interiors that are elegant and tranquil – by blending organic and natural materials – that integrate seamlessly with the surrounding architecture and landscape.” Monogram helps Lori achieve those goals in the kitchen with clean lines and minimalist design.

Being a part of the inaugural Monogram Designer Council and having a voice within the product development space is very exciting to Lori. “I’ve been most interested in the launch of the Minimalist Collection, as this design aesthetic speaks directly to our client base,” says Lori. As a luxury interior designer, her clients rely on the knowledge and expertise in all aspects of sourcing and product specifications. Lori believes in Monogram’s quality of craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and product aesthetic.

Photography by Karyn Millet

Her design firm collaborated with Monogram on a recent project. “We gutted and renovated a 1958 mid-century home in Beverly Hills,” says Lori. They removed a fabulous, 60-year-old, original, pink, metal General Electric kitchen – that was still working – and reimagined it with more organic aesthetic and natural materials. “Partnering with Monogram, and integrating updated GE brand appliances into this modern project, proved to be a huge success for us and for our client.” Lori expects the appliances to last for years to come, just as the pink predecessors.

Photography by Karyn Millet

Now more than ever, Lori is convinced it’s time to rethink how kitchens are designed. “The function of the kitchen is evolving into the ultimate living space,” says Lori. It takes on several roles throughout the course of a day. It’s where meals are prepared and served, where families lounge, where business deals are made and where parties gather. The kitchen really is the heartbeat of a home.

Meet the Council: Hannah Tindall

Chicago designer talks flow, function and kitchens

Design, flow, function. That’s not something at the top of every kid’s mind, but it’s been a part of Hannah Tindall’s life for as long as she can remember.

Growing up, the Chicago-based interior designer watched her mom decorate and renovate, and her father make furniture in their basement woodshop. In her own room, she followed her parents’ lead, arranging and rearranging things to get the perfect flow.

“Their creative sides rubbed off on me,” Hannah says. “I knew from a very young age I wanted to be an interior designer.”

And the design world is better for it.

An accomplished member of leading design firm Habitar Design, Tindall sits on the Monogram Designer Council, a group of 18 professionals from over 10 cities that helps Monogram cultivate a vision on everything from product design to the experience of ownership. We talked to Hannah about the Council, her approach to design and one of the most important rooms in any home – the kitchen.

Tell us about your job. What are you most passionate about in your role as a designer?

“I love taking a space and totally rethinking the layout to maximize its functionality and make it flow better.”

So much of a home’s flow depends on a kitchen. Why is the kitchen so important to home design?

“The kitchen is truly the heart of the home for so many people. They enjoy spending time there together, so it needs to be super functional but also reflect the client’s aesthetic and lifestyle.”

How do Monogram appliances help you to mix form and function in a kitchen?

“Monogram’s appliances are very user-friendly, and their style is classic and sleek. They can truly fit into any style of kitchen. I think approachable interior design is so important. I don’t want any client to feel intimidated or overwhelmed by a kitchen remodel, no matter how large or small their budget. As a part of the Designer Council, I hope to bring the voice of the average American family to the table.”

What’s your experience been so far on the Council?

“I’ve learned so much about what makes an appliance great in terms of quality and functionality, and how it can fit into anyone’s lifestyle – whether or not they’re an avid cook! I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know my fellow Designer Council members. Everyone has so many great ideas and we can all learn a lot from each other’s experiences in the industry.”

Stylish Holidays Start in the Kitchen

When you walk into Laura Umansky’s kitchen, it’s clear you’ve entered a space that’s anything but typical. The clean lines and bright pops of color are complemented by the buffalo plaid design of the floor tile.

The bold decision for the plaid pattern, typically reserved for blankets, creates a cozy feeling while maintaining a sophisticated and neutral style.

Laura, an interior designer by trade, understands the beautiful combination of practicality and style. That’s why it was important to her to have appliances that could carry the design of the room with all the useful features found in a hard-working, gourmet kitchen.

“I selected a full Monogram appliance package and designed my new kitchen around those pieces,” says Laura. “My kitchen is not only highly functional – for even the largest celebratory dinners – but it is beautiful, too.” She chose cabinet pulls that match the stainless steel for a look that is completely integrated, classic and chic. “For me, elevated design is timeless design, and that’s what Monogram does very well.”

Inviting Friends In 

One of Laura’s newest holiday traditions includes hosting friends at her home where they share food and laughter. Last year, they cooked and baked an elegant meal of Cornish hens, apple blossom tartes and crisp haricot verts. “It was divine, and I would love to do that again this year,” says Laura. “My girls loved watching their pastries puff up in the oven – a Monogram oven of course!”

To help continue the tradition of good food and good friends, Laura invited Chef Kelli Bunch to her kitchen. Kelli created new holiday favorites for Laura to share with her friends. “I was intrigued,” remarked Kelli as she slid a wedge of Brie into the oven. “…by how quickly the oven preheated. The faster I can get out of the kitchen, the more time I get to spend with my guests. I love how Monogram appliances are so thoughtfully engineered with both the modern entertainer and professional chef in mind.”

Laura agrees. “The Advantium cuts roasting time in half, which means more time I’m spending time with my family and friends. And that’s not just for the holidays, but on the busy weeknights as well.”

If you’d like to try Kelli’s delicious recipes for your holiday gathering,  we’ve included them below. Don’t forget to check out the latest additions to the Monogram line to make your kitchen beautiful and functional. You can also invest wisely without compromising style when you choose our Monogram Rebate and Reward program.

Baked Brie with Blackberry Compote and Candied Pecans
Recipe from the kitchen of KB Table

This is the PERFECT appetizer for your holiday entertaining needs! I also love changing up the toppings with the season. During Thanksgiving, I use leftover cranberry and orange compote (or I make extra to keep on hand for the holidays and store in freezer!) Fresh figs, pistachios and honey is also a delicious combination … and the colors are just to-die-for! For summertime, I like to use fresh peaches from the local farmers market, candied walnuts and fresh honeycomb…so divine!
For presentation, look around your kitchen for any extra fruit lying around. Place a bundle of grapes and lay them off-centered on the plate. I also love decorating my serving platters with fresh herbs from the garden—love the aesthetic and aroma it brings off!

Ingredients:
1 wheel of Brie
1 pint of fresh blackberries
¼ cup Candied Pecans
Fresh rosemary, for garnish
Blackberry Compote
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Place brie on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper, sprinkle with two tablespoons of brown sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese starts to ooze from sides.
3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine ¼ cup brown sugar, honey, butter and cinnamon. Without stirring, bring to a boil, for about 30 seconds. Then reduce heat and add lemon juice and simmer for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally for another 2 minutes. Stir in pecans and blackberries. Spoon mixture generously over the baked brie.
3. Serve brie warm with thinly sliced fresh baguette pieces, crostini or your favorite crackers! Enjoy!

Sangria Apple Cider Spritzer
From the Kitchen of KB Table

This is such an easy recipe to make ahead in a large batch! I like using a clear glass beverage pitcher so you can see all of the different fruit!

Ingredients
1 bottle of red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 ½ cups good quality apple cider (I prefer Martinelli’s)
1 ½ cups sparkling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup liquid honey, (slightly warmed in the microwave or stovetop)
1 large orange, thinly sliced and quartered
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 large Honey Crisp apples, diced (tossed in fresh lemon juice to prevent browning)
1 pint raspberries
Ice
Dehydrated citrus (I used dehydrated grapefruit and orange wheels)
Fresh thyme or rosemary for garnish
Other optional garnishes: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise

Directions:
Add the apples, raspberries, pomegranate seeds and oranges to a pitcher. Add the wine, apple cider, pomegranate juice, honey and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours for flavors to combine. Pour into a wine glass or your favorite cocktail glass, top off each glass with a splash of sparkling water. Serve over ice! Garnish with fresh thyme or rosemary and dehydrated grapefruit or orange wheels.
Enjoy!

 

Designer Samantha Oaks’ Fashion Career Led Her Straight into Interior Design

Written by Kim Mays, Monogram content strategist

Samantha Oaks used her fashion experience to design the rooms in her home out of necessity. “I built a custom home a few years ago and the builder didn’t have a designer,” she said. So, Oaks decided she knew her style best and took on the role herself. “Designing for me came organically. I came from a fashion industry background and was always inspired by color, shapes, and mixing materials,” Oaks explained. Working with her builder, she was able to design her ideal home: “We created the most beautiful space together, and I fell in love with the build and design process,” she said. That love became her new career six years ago and in 2015, she started Lucien Porter Design.

Oaks looks to many fashion icons for home inspiration. “For me it all starts with fashion: Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang, and Christian LaCroix just to name a few,” she said. Other designers Oaks admires are also inspired by fashion and she sees that in their work. “I find elements of fashion in designs by Martin Lawrence Bullard, Curtis Elmy, and Powell Architects,” she added.

She loves bringing together unconventional details in her designs. Said Oaks, “I lean towards simple and clean with a little character like doors from the late 1800s and adding a contemporary twist. Each room will have a subtle wow factor but still maintain an overall flow.”

For kitchen designs, Oaks likes to use a variety of elements for texture and color. “I love mixing materials! One of my favorites is incorporating reclaimed wood in shelving or countertops,” she said. Oaks is also a fan of Monogram appliances; particularly the Advantium oven, which comes in handy for busy families. “I love recommending the convenience and function of the Advantium,” she said.

In fact, Oaks has an Advantium oven at home that she uses a lot. “I use my Monogram  Advantium oven every day,” she added, “It’s great for large meals or baking or just cooking for one.” Oaks also loves her Monogram range’s griddle feature, which she frequently uses for “gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and Sunday morning pancakes.”

Said Oaks, “If I weren’t a designer, I’d probably… be a chef. I cook anything from crusted red snapper in the oven to lobster paella and homemade chocolate chip cookies, too.” We’d love to be a guest at Samantha’s table just to taste all the delicious dishes she creates in her stunning kitchen with her Monogram appliances.

Pattern Addict and Designer Drew McGukin

Written by Kim Mays, content strategist for Monogram

A part-time college gig selling real estate in Atlanta brought Drew McGukin into the world of home ownership. “I fell in love with the whole process—begged my broker to hire me as her assistant. 10 years later, I had built a huge business selling 70+ homes a year,” said McGukin. That’s how he realized he had a keen eye for space. In 2008, he took a break from real estate to follow his new passion as he enrolled in The New York School of Interior Design. Now, he’s the lead designer in his own firm, which he started in New York in October 2010. McGukin also recently joined the Monogram Designer Council, where he shares ideas and suggestions with the Monogram team and other designers on the council.

As a self-proclaimed “pattern addict,” McGukin is known for his bold choices in home design. As for kitchens, he feels that bold choices should be expressed through use of unique materials. “I recently wallpapered walls, cabinetry, and my refrigerator in a chic Surfaces by David Bonk vinyl. It’s easy to clean and adds a nice layer,” he said. The island in this kitchen was designed out of copper so the natural patina will change over time, adding further depth and color to the kitchen.

“I also love thoughtful decoration in kitchens,” said McGukin, “people often forget to add artwork, mix in beautiful shapes, and accessories.” After installing a small art piece as cabinet hardware on a cabinet over his refrigerator, McGukin says “Who says we have to use a basic cabinet pull?”

If the kitchen is the “soul” of the home, designers need to capture the soul of the client and build a design around that in much the same way McGukin has done with his kitchen. He recommends a two-fold approach:

  1. Make strong decisions and thoughtfully design an envelope around timelessness and function.
  2. Allow your inner decorator to enjoy some freedom in the layers, color, texture, and overall mood of the space.

One big mistake people make in kitchen design according to McGukin is “trying to tick all the boxes.” Instead of trying to include every cool bell and whistle you like from other major kitchens, step back and try to make a list of what is absolutely important. Sometimes you have to let go of something you want to fit in something you really need—like nixing a second wall oven to fit in that Monogram Advantium oven.

McGukin loves how Monogram delivers products with a modern aesthetic that are also reliable and amazingly functional. “It’s inspiring to see how beautifully Monogram is integrating design and a designer’s vision into the basic tenants of their products,” says McGukin. He also feels that his clients enjoy Monogram’s breadth of options and deliver greater value than other luxury brands.

As for his time on the Designer Council, McGukin loves all the people and the team from Monogram. He also has a solid plan for his tenure: “I hope to be a strong voice for actual, true, good-old-fashioned interior design on the Monogram Designer Council.” We’re happy to have you aboard and thoroughly enjoy hearing your ideas, Drew.

Mid-Century Modern Renovation by Studio 513 Architects

Photographs © Greg Benson

Written by Brad Barker, AIA, LEED AP, Studio: 513 Architects, LLC

I did what most architects do, Graduate architecture school, obtain my license and buy a house that needs to be fixed up. Where else could I explore my creative talent early in my career? I found a one- of-a-kind mid-century modern house in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Much of the town saw a boom in the 60’s and 70’s, but most of the mid-century modern style was incorporated into restaurants and office buildings. The house had been changed over the years and did not reflect its former style. My goal was to bring it back to its former glory while incorporating touches of current design. I used the main living space to accentuate the details I fell in love with, such as the open floor plan, post and beam structure, and great views to the lush wooded lot.

Photographs © Greg Benson

Before and during architecture school I worked in a restaurant as a cook for eight years. I learned that having good quality appliances was key to cooking good food. So, when I was selecting appliances,  Monogram had the clean line style I was looking for with the true tested name of GE behind it. It was a perfect fit for my kitchen.

Photographs © Greg Benson