Tag: Houzz

NeoCon 2016

Written by Georgie Vetter, Product Specialist at the Chicago Monogram Design Center

Last month, the Merchandise Mart in Chicago held its annual designer exposition, NeoCon. NeoCon is one of the most recognized and attended trade shows in the industry. This year, more than 50,000 designers walked the halls of the Merchandise Mart viewing the latest and most innovative solutions in commercial design. NeoCon has remained focused on being at the forefront of changing commercial design and business trends.


The Monogram Design Center was buzzing throughout the three-day exposition, with many designers walking through showing a lot of interest in induction cooking. During NeoCon, the Monogram Design Center showcased Sous Vide cooking, a method of cooking in which food is sealed in air-tight plastic bags then placed in a temperature controlled water bath which brings meats, fish, and poultry to the perfect internal temperature each time. We also introduced designers to the new pizza oven, which will be making its debut in the Chicago Design Center later this fall. The Amazon Echo made an appearance during NeoCon. Designers were shown how Monogram appliances are able to be integrated within a smart home. The designers that came through were very intrigued by the pizza oven and expressed a lot of enthusiasm toward the new product. We know they are looking forward to seeing it in person!

On the Tuesday of NeoCon week, Sheri Gold, National Showroom Manager, presented a CEU to a group of designers on how to grow their business through social media. The Social Media CEU offers in-depth explanations of four social media platforms (Twitter, Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest) and how best to use them within the design world. The CEU also provides a brief overview of Hootsuite, Periscope and Snapchat. During the CEU, we had a panel that included Julie McCrary, Social Media Manager for White Good; Monogram Lead Product Specialist Christina Dragota; and Monogram Product Specialist Georgie Vetter to provide their input during the presentation.

Overall, NeoCon was a great week for the Monogram Design Center. We were able to make many new designer contacts and enjoyed being able to give more information on Monogram appliances and what we are doing next.


Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest Judge Profile: Paula Kennedy

Very soon we will be announcing the winners of the Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest. We received so many great entries from around the country! Our judges definitely had their work cut out for them. And speaking of judges, an illustrious collection of esteemed designers from across the U.S. agreed to take the time to review the contest submissions and select the winners. This year’s judges are:

Over the next few weeks, we will profile each Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge. Our fourth profile features Paula Kennedy with Timeless Kitchen Design in Seattle, Washington.

Paula Kennedy, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

Paula Kennedy, Monogram Dream Kitchen Design Contest judge

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Paula: I grew up decorating Barbie’s house (how cliche is that) and drawing life-size floorplans in the dirt outside when we would go camping in the NW. I loved to build the house not just decorate it. At my grandmother’s house there was a section of the space we could play and I always moved furniture around. Mom always kept my bedroom door open, “the pretty” room, and closed my sister’s, or asked me to help my sister do her room. After burn out at Microsoft, I was able to go to The Art Institute for Interior Design and launched into kitchen and bath design 18 years ago!

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed.

Paula: My most recent favorite was a whole house remodel/addition for a family I knew well. It was supposed to just be a kitchen remodel but turned into a second story addition/whole house remodel. The husband always teases me about it being my fault. It was a modest budget which pushed us to be more creative to meet the budget without anyone knowing any of the materials were budget-friendly. They trusted me completely and the team I brought in. It got to where we could finish each others sentences, the wife trusted that I “got” her and knew exactly what she wanted. I could go on and on. This project was highlighted on Houzz and in the K+BB Collective.  (Wasn’t GE products though, unfortunately, that was before I saw the light!).

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Paula: Honestly, I’m tired of wonderful good design becoming a TREND, therefore being over-used, over-done, sold everywhere to everyone, and then soon everyone says they don’t want subway tile (for example) because its a FAD, when in fact it is one of the longest lasting timeless design elements that fits in the right home with the right clients. But now that it’s been so overused, it is being looked down on instead of the beautiful option that it was and should still be.

  • I am very nearly over Brushed Nickel.
  • I am over glazed cabinets.
  • Becoming over certain styles of glass mosaic tile, or any 1×1 mosaic.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?


  • Polished Nickel, Polished Chrome
  • Reclaimed wood paneling on walls or other surfaces (not your mother’s wood paneling)
  • Industrial Chic Design!
  • BLUE! From dark, light to VIBRANT!
  • Sleek Sexy Transitional Design

SRFD: What are you looking forward to about judging the design contest entries?


  • How other creatives solve solutions.  We all think so differently and we can all always learn from each other.  Also, LOVE seeing what is trending across the country.
  • We find inspiration all around us and getting a birds-eye view of these projects is exciting as well as working with the other judges to see how we use our analytical brains to take in not only the aesthetic side of the project but the solution as well.

Follow along with Paula on LinkedIn, Houzz, Facebook and Ignite Creativity.

Trend: Mismatched Dining Chairs


Written by Kennedy Williams, Monogram Experience Center intern

Homearama1Since 1968, the Building Industry Association of Greater Louisville has given local residents the opportunity to tour more than 800 homes. Known as the annual Homereama showcase, these homes reflect the unique talents of area builders and interior designers. Throughout this year’s Homerama homes, many interior designers used mismatched dining chairs to provide a unique look.

This shake-up of traditional design became increasingly popular in 2015 throughout the design community. Mismatched dining chairs are featured on interior design websites including Houzz and Elle Décor, and even their own Pinterest board. As you can see in the photos below, designers have also included benches as an added decorative piece to the dining table.

Homearama2 Homearama3The mismatched dining chair trend gives you the opportunity to recycle those chairs used with your last dining table. Fall in with the trend and free up space in your storage unit!

If the recycling option is not for you, manufacturers now offer different colored accent chair and bench choices sold with dining tables.