When kitchen designer Matthew Ferrarini embarks on a new project, doing a deep dive to learn about the client’s lifestyle is a critical first step. “Lifestyle is huge. I want to know everything about my clients,” he says. “How do they live in the space? How often do they grocery shop? Are they right or left handed? How do their…
Refrigerator door panels generally don’t top the list of eye-catching design elements in a kitchen – unless, of course, they’re custom-designed by renowned mid-century architect Jim Tyler. Tyler is behind the simple-yet-stunning Monogram refrigerator panel in the newly-renovated kitchen at the Kirk Douglas Estate in Palm Springs, Calif., revealed at last month’s Modernism Week. An associate and principal designer with…
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.
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.
Design blogger Colette “Coco” Shelton’s work on the 1930s Spanish colonial COCOCOZY Design House shows off her design talents, especially in the kitchen. Coco believes kitchens should be livable—a place to cook, dine, live and entertain. For this home, that meant paying homage to the charm of the house while bringing it up to date with today’s modern kitchen aesthetic.
Said Coco, “The design offers a blend of old-world Hollywood meets modern classic with clean lines, luxe textures and countertops, and contrasting black trim.” Though she doesn’t subscribe to a specific design style or trend, she uses a mix of styles that speak to her to create a mélange of elements that flow from room to room.
What was once three cramped rooms became a kitchen that adjoins the dining room in a way that makes them seem almost one space. The original kitchen had older white porcelain tile floors, but the rest of the house had original 2” plank red oak flooring. Coco removed the white tile floors and replaced them with matching 2” red oak wood and continued with a custom wood stain to lighten up the floors throughout the house. Now, the new kitchen blends seamlessly with the entire house—almost like it was part of the original design. “I transformed the space into a contemporary sanctuary fit for entertaining and hosting,” said Coco.
The new kitchen area features new two-tone cabinets; the upper ones are Benjamin Moore Super White just like the walls, while the lower cabinets are Benjamin Moore Silent Night. The pale grey/blue color of the lower cabinets grounds the space, while adding a subtle element of color. Around the windows, Coco used Benjamin Moore Blacktop, which frames the panes almost like art against the white walls.
The off-white countertops are Staturio Nuovo quartz by Caesarstone. Like marble, they contain a subtle veining of darker grey and really elevate the look of the cabinets. The white farmhouse apron-front sink and faucet are both from Kohler.
One of Coco’s favorite design elements is the counter-to-ceiling backsplash done in classic white subway tile. It adds a bit of gleam and texture to the mostly white space. She also loves the state-of-the-art Monogram column refrigerator and freezer that she chose to put side by side for ease of access. In fact, Coco feels that all the Monogram appliances—including the range, dishwasher and refrigerator—really elevated the entire design of the kitchen. By placing the professional style appliances into her design, she’s blended the home’s old-world, historical style with a refreshing modern twist.
We love how the COCOCOZY Design House came together and are proud to have our Monogram appliances featured in the kitchen. Thank you, Coco for a design job well done.
When interior designer Staci Munic bought her condo in the historic William Cody Tennis Club Homes, she learned the community would be added to the Modernism Week home tours—if she could get her home remodeled in time. Challenge accepted.
The home was built in 1966 by influential desert modern architect William Francis Cody. It had been through a remodel in the 1980s, so Munic wanted to bring it up to date while paying homage to its modernism roots. After many challenges, including putting in a large steel I beam so she could enlarge her kitchen without the ceiling crashing down, her space was on the tour and ready for guests to “ooh and ahh” over her smart, modern take on mid-century design for 2019.
The former galley kitchen is now a bright (thanks to a generous skylight), open space, ready for the former-chef-turned-designer to entertain her friends and family. “I need to breathe in my kitchen, and I need to be able to interact with my family and friends while I am preparing meals and cocktails,” said Munic of her new space. “When it’s just me at home, it makes me so happy to be able to view and take in my entire living space from behind my kitchen counter,” she added. Indeed, the kitchen design flows well into the living room—the entire condo is painted in Edward Dunn Whisper and the flooring throughout is 33” square porcelain tile that looks remarkably like terrazzo, which brings a consistency and seamlessness to the whole space.
Munic’s relaxed, casual chic style can be felt through all of her designs, including her own. She feels that great lighting is a key element to each of her designs, and she takes pride in her ability to provide a well-lit, extremely useable space. The large skylight in the center of her kitchen brings in the cheery Palm Springs sun and extends the warmth of her wood cabinetry, which includes her custom panel refrigerator. On top of her cabinets, Munic used Silestone White Zeus Extreme for durability and brightness. Her backsplash features tiles in a warm gray.
With her culinary school background, Munic loves to cook, so her full Monogram kitchen brings function along with its aesthetics. “I am infatuated with my induction cooktop and my Advantium oven,” said Munic. “I’m not sure which one I love more, but they are jealous of each other, for sure. And don’t get me started on my dishwasher,” she added. Munic also loves the smart kitchen technology provided by the WiFi connected appliances. “What I think I love most about my Monogram appliances is that they are all made in America… by people who generally care about making people’s lives better through engineering high quality, performance appliances,” she said.
Staci Munic’s 2019 nod to mid-century modern design shows that you can keep the feel of the 1960s while bringing your kitchen into the 21st century. Monogram is proud to be a part of her home and excited to work with Munic and other designers on the 2019 Monogram Designer Council.
Written by Kim Mays, Monogram content strategist
Each year in February, Palm Springs, California hosts Modernism Week—a festival to celebrate midcentury modern design, art, architecture, fashion, and culture. This year, Monogram, along with Cambria natural stone surfaces and Ivy interior design business management software, hosted an event at the Kirk Douglas Estate, one of the homes on the local mid-century modern architecture tours.
The event kicked off the home remodeling project, which includes a new kitchen featuring Monogram products. The remodel will be revealed on the tour in February of 2020. Conversation and cocktails were offered along with a discussion panel moderated by Michela Abram, former CEO of Dwell and current CEO for MOCA+. The panel featured the owner of the Douglas Estate plus several prominent designers in the modernism realm:
- Diane Bald—Owner of the Kirk Douglas Estate (along with husband Michael Budman) and driver behind the remodel.
- Joel Turkel—Architect, designer and entrepreneur and principal of Turkel Design, who owns another Modernism Week featured home, a living lab Axiom Dessert House.
- Trina Turk—Fashion designer whose 11 signature boutiques span from Palm Springs to New York.
- Barton Jahncke—Architectural designer who works as a historical restoration advisor to sensitively maintain architecture’s original intent while subtly integrating new technology.
- James (Jim) Tyler—Award-winning architect who worked with famous California modernist Craig Ellwood in the 1960s-1970s. Tyler currently works on restoring and conserving mid-century modernist designs by Ellwood and Pierre Koenig.
A video version of the discussion panel can be found on Facebook, thanks to Ivy Design, where you can take in the full conversation in its entirety. The owner, Diane Bald, discussed how the home restoration has been going and explained how the original designer, Donald Wexler’s son had seen the house and felt his father “would have been happy with what we’ve done here.”
Barton Jahncke discussed how GE Appliances have been a part of some of his restorations from the beginning and into today. For example, in another mid-century house in Malibu, the old cooktop had to be replaced. “The original kitchen was Hotpoint, which is [a] GE [brand]. It was stainless steel. Fortunately, Monogram decided to produce a cooktop that is stainless steel… so you’re able to almost transition into today and keep that same aesthetic. So, it’s new and functions better.”
Architect James Tyler explained how modern architecture came about with its focus on creating something new that hadn’t ever been done, but that could be done in a simpler way than a lot of the more ornate and detailed architectures of the past. He also detailed his inspiration for panels for the Monogram column refrigerator that will be incorporated into the Douglas Estate kitchen and revealed in 2020. His sketches were on display, but for a sneak peek at his inspiration, he added “The refrigerator was more ‘what can you do that is really part of the modern architecture?’ and to me, that has always been glass. Simple and unobtrusive.”
We loved being a part of this event and part of the upcoming kitchen renovation. We hope you’re as excited as we are to see the final design at next year’s Modernism Week 2020.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.