Category: Trends

The 2020 BUILDER Chowa Concept Home: Collaborating to Create Calm

Home is where you go to recharge. It’s a place to find calm in an often chaotic world. A place to find balance.

Balance is the inspiration of the 2020 BUILDER Chowa Concept Home in Summerlin, Nevada, a collaboration of Japan-based Sekisui House, its subsidiary Woodside Homes, and Ryan Young Interiors. Chowa is the Japanese principle of balance, and this one-of-kind home brings that to life from its efficient construction methodology to its innovative, health-conscious technology to its soothing, streamlined décor.

Harmony, inside and out

The marriage of elegant form and efficient function start with the exterior of the 5,400-square-foot home, which is pre-fabricated within millimeters accuracy in Sekisuki House’s factory. Parts are shipped, with precise instructions, and constructed on site in less time than traditional methods. That new approach to home-building creates less waste and an easier construction process – what the collaborators are hoping will be the future of American homebuilding. The floor-to-ceiling windows, seen throughout the home, bring in ample natural light and blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living, a key to chowa living. The zero-edge pool stretches across the backyard, offering a serene sanctuary for relaxing alone or gathering with a group.

Inside, balance is reflected in the four bedroom, five-and-a-half bath home’s layout with clear sight lines and an open floorplan. A centralized living area anchors the first floor with a full guest suite on end and a sleek, state-of-the-art kitchen on the other. Elements of nature set the tone, from the floating wood stairs to the white oak ceilings to the kitchen’s monochromatic palette. Here, top-line appliances were chosen to accommodate a gourmet chef while managing not to overpower the overall kitchen design. This isn’t the place for bulky knobs or abrasive finishes, but rather the clean lines and smooth, earthy tones of the Monogram Minimalist collection. The appliances bring impeccable quality with an understated beauty that melds seamlessly into the design.

Simplifying with smart features, health-conscious technology

Balance is further introduced with thoughtful technology that promotes ease and aids healthy, sustainable living. The Monogram Minimalist appliances have interactive LCD screens, push-to-open oven doors and smart features that simplify the cooking process. The post-and-beam architecture and panel walls inside the home create a more airtight, energy-efficient structure. Air quality in the home is regulated by a state-of-the-art system that reduces allergens and pollutants. And a high-tech electrical panel connects with smart-home systems and analyzes energy usage for homeowners.

Bringing balance to your home

The collaborators earned praise for this artfully-efficient home. Ryan Young Interiors has earned a reputation as one of the top design firms in the world because of its ability to integrate function with beauty in family-friendly spaces. Woodside Homes is one of the largest home builders in the United States while Sekisui House is the largest home builder in the world. But chowa is a concept within reach for anyone. Homeowners can integrate chowa into their own lives through careful design choices that focus on sustainability, function and and fuss-free artistry. To learn more about how the Monogram Minimalist Collection can help you achieve your balanced design, please visit: https://www.monogram.com/minimalist-collection/

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

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.

Hotel Room of the Future Winners Announced

Earlier this year two rule-breaking Louisville-based companies and Monogram partners, 21c Museum Hotels and FirstBuild, joined forces to transform the hotel guest experience through The Hotel Room of the Future Challenge. They asked designers, makers, engineers, artists and more to submit their inventive, functional designs to create the ultimate hotel stay. After receiving dozens of submissions and spending countless hours evaluating each and every idea, the judges (with the help of community voting) have come to a conclusion.

Curious about the winners? Visit the FirstBuild blog to learn about the winners and their exciting concepts.

 

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Welcome to the Future

From touch screens that deliver step-by-step recipes to countertop herb gardens grown by LED lights, we take a look at how hi-tech kitchen design can create a healthier lifestyle. Tell us your thoughts!

Lou’s views: observations from a retiring Design Director

Written by Lou Lenzi, retired GE Appliances Director of Design

This will be my last “Save Room” blog entry. After 36 years in the Design profession, it’s time to down-shift and pursue my hobbies and interests on a full-time basis. Like most designers, this will involve trying to create something of beauty, only on my time this time. I’m delighted that my successor, Marc Hottenroth, a 24 year veteran of the GE Appliances Design team, will assume the role of Design Director by the time you read this.

Before signing off, I’d humbly like to share some observations on the state-of-our-art, along with some predictions.

Technology: a Healthy Dialog

While connected appliances are in full bloom in the kitchen and laundry room, connectivity itself is still in its infancy. Yes, we’re providing new levels of convenience and performance through our WiFi enabled products, but the next meaningful wave has yet to hit the shore. That will come when we fully integrate kitchen design, rich information services, and connected appliances. What’s the “killer app”, to use an old phrase? I believe it will come in the form of quick and convenient healthy meal planning and preparation. Let’s face it, reducing the cost of health care in the US begins with our diet, and as key influencers in the kitchen, it’s time we all step-up and play a role here.

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The interactive multimedia induction cooktop makes healthy meal prep easy

 

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The interactive multimedia induction cooktop makes healthy meal prep easy

 

We will also begin talking to our appliances. And unlike adolescent children, they will dutifully listen and respond. The cost of voice recognition technology is coming down and accuracy is improving, helping to ease access to those amazing technologies and features we’ve been incorporating into our products. Why press a bunch of buttons or dive into a multi-layered menu system when you can simply say “heat the upper oven to 350 degrees” or tell the water heater you’ll need more hot water for the guests coming to visit this weekend. For those nay-sayers convinced we’ll never talk to machines, it wasn’t too long ago that people said we’d never read our favorite authors on a piece of glass because it wasn’t as cozy or inviting as the printed page.

The disappearing kitchen

Just as the kitchen became the focal point of our home, so too will it look less like a kitchen. Certain appliances will begin to “disappear” – first through finishes and user interfaces that blend into the surrounding cabinetry, followed by appliances that become the cabinetry. Small form-factor housing and alternative living patterns – think multi-generational households – will also contribute to us rethinking the industrial design of our products, transitioning from a machine-art to a furniture aesthetic.

Where's the kitchen?

Where’s the kitchen?

The mobile home, built by a robot?

Today’s mobile workforce, coupled with our desire to sample a variety of living environments means we’ll delay owning a home and being tethered to a mortgage. That’s not to say we won’t seek out well thought-out, intellectually stimulating and comfortable communities, we’ll just rent a home in that community, then simply move on to the next experience whenever we’re ready for a change.

Home construction building methods and techniques will dramatically change. The skilled-trade workforce that home builders have historically relied upon has dramatically shrunk since the great recession and they are not likely to return to the levels necessary to support traditional stick-built style home construction. Modular and automated factory-based manufacturing processes will finally take root after many false starts, followed by the emergence of large, on-site 3D printing techniques. After 200 years, the stick-built home, along with its associated material waste and inefficiencies, may be a thing of the past.

I hope these thoughts will stimulate further discussion among the Monogram design community. It’s been an absolute joy to chat with you.

 

 

Semantic Lighting – An Illuminating New Concept

I recently attended the 10th annual LEDucation seminar in New York City to learn about new trends in lighting technology. I expected to hear a lot about connected homes and lighting controls, but there was one big new concept that caught my imagination.

Since the invention of the light bulb, the ability to light our surroundings has revolutionized how we live. Now, those on the leading edge of lighting innovation believe that illumination will take on a more personal role in our lives, predicting and connecting human needs with lighting systems. This new concept is called “semantic lighting.”

These new lighting systems, through the use of sensors, identify what is being lit and with the help of algorithms, why it is being lit. This “system intelligence” means that lighting needs can be predicted and adjusted automatically, making them more human-centric. And in this day of growing human-machine interactions, who wouldn’t appreciate an application made primarily for our individual comfort?

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At LEDucation, customization of lighting levels, color, hue and effect were presented.

 

Universal Design – A New Approach to Kitchen Design

Have you heard of Universal Design? If not, you will! It’s quickly gaining ground as a major design initiative. Universal Design refers to designing products and spaces that are simple and accessible for everyone regardless of their age, abilities or limitations. In the words of Steve Jobs – one of the early adopters of the discipline – “Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works.” And kitchen designers today should look at a number of human factors when specifying everything from countertops, flooring and paint color to storage, lighting and plumbing.

Appliance manufacturers are also supporting the goals of Universal Design by developing products like ovens that have built-in temperature probes with large visual displays and audible alerts to insure safer food preparation; dishwashers with customizable height adjustments and full extension racks to eliminate the need to bend down; and microwave drawer ovens for ease in food loading and unloading. Additionally, details such as large handles, easy-to-turn knobs, and bright interior lighting are being designed into products.

The new Monogram French door wall oven combines design and functionality, and features one-hand opening and closing of both doors at the same time for ease of use. New induction cooktops use magnetic energy to transfer heat making them safer to use and easier to clean. Surfaces cool rapidly and surrounding areas do not get hot. And although these features are particularly helpful to those with limited abilities, they are “universal” in their appeal and usefulness.

InductionCooktop

Induction technology allows instantaneous heat adjustment, assuring exceptional cooking results. In seconds, you can bring a delicate sauce to a boil and then quickly reduce heat to ensure a smooth and rich consistency.

FrenchDoorWallOven

Inspired by the finest restaurant kitchens, Monogram’s French-door wall oven offers professional styling and distinctive touches inside and out. Each oven is built with premium-grade stainless steel and meticulously crafted by hand to make a delicious statement in any kitchen.

What was trending at KBIS 2016

Every year in January, KBIS (the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show always features the latest trends in appliances, materials and technology, and this year was full of exciting new offerings. Everything from black faucets with hot pink handles, to barnwood cabinets, to crystal filled knobs could be found.

Building on the growing trend of creating the “Smart Home,” manufacturers from lock makers to appliance companies were promoting devices to control home automation and monitoring. Smartphone apps are used to connect consumers with various tasks within the home, saving them time, money, and sometimes, peace of mind.

Aesthetics-wise there seemed to be an emergence of “rustic modern,” using natural earthy materials in new and exciting ways. Textured wallcoverings and tiles in amorphous shapes and angles created a contemporary look that bowed to mid-century modern roots.

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Cooktops featured heavy-duty metal grates in interesting patterns, and the introduction of brass burners created a great play between materials and finishes. Satin Nickel, Polished Nickel and Aged Bronze were a few of the highlighted materials. Also big this year were appliances that give users feedback – knobs that light up when in use and glow at various rates and intensities to show temperature ranges.

Overall, it showed that kitchen and bath technology is catching up with the latest in digital advances and designing them into beautiful environments.