When a widower sought help creating a dream kitchen his late wife always dreamed of, Chicago-based interior designer Cynthia C. Smith of CCS Interior Design Group was honored to take the job: “He wanted to create a kitchen that was bright, inviting, modern, functional, and full of life to celebrate his wife.” With the help of Monogram Appliances, the client’s kitchen is now the ideal spot for cooking up his own daily meals and entertaining family and friends.
Tag: kitchen remodel
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.
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.
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!
Balancing Elegance with Functionality in a Family Kitchen
A practical family kitchen must fulfill many roles while remaining functional as a cooking and food storage area. For one Syosset, New York family, it was important to balance an elegant look with its functional design. Ellen Lopez with El Design Studio learned about the family and their needs before she created this bright and practical, yet polished kitchen renovation.
As a first time parent, the new mother needed a transitional kitchen renovation that met everyone’s needs—including the family dog. She also wanted a luxurious, beautiful space that worked with the rest of her home.
“She comes from a creative background, so she had a lot of colorful artwork around the home. She wanted something simple but elegant that didn’t compete with her other colorful décor,” said Lopez.
With that in mind, Lopez developed her plan. She created a good rhythm with the cabinetry and an efficient workflow to harmonize with her striking design elements. The result is a work of art—balance and interest blended with functional elements.
Having light when and where you need it is extremely important in a family kitchen space. Though a lot of light enters the kitchen from the windows, white cabinets keep the kitchen bright and airy. The addition of pendant lights over the step-up island along with under-cabinet task lighting, glass door cabinet lights, and lights over the sink mean that this space remains cheerful and well-lit no matter the time of day.
Lopez said her favorite element of this kitchen is how its crisp whiteness works so well. It is bright and refined, but not uptight. It has its own personality, but doesn’t upstage the art in the rest of the home. Even the paneled Monogram refrigerator blends right into the space with its custom white exterior.
On top of the white cabinets sits the gorgeous granite countertops with deep veins of grey, dark charcoal, white and black. To accent the granite, Lopez created a glass mosaic tile detail that sets off the white subway tile backsplash and then frames the pot filler above the Monogram cooktop and oven. The tile flooring remains subtle with its mottled grey coloring that reflects the grey tones in the granite. Tile flooring is easy to clean and stands up well to foot traffic from both pets and people, so it was an obvious choice for this family kitchen.
Both Lopez and the home owner love every luxurious detail of this inviting kitchen. Its style, functionality, and Monogram appliances are sure to serve this growing family for many years to come.
Designer Profile: Natalie Officer
We recently came across a beautiful kitchen designed by Natalie O Design on Instagram. We were so entranced, we asked if Natalie Officer, the creative force behind the company, would tell us a little more about herself … and share some additional photos. Take a look!
SRFD: How did you become interested in design?
Natalie: It started so long ago, the memory of exactly when is foggy. What I have always loved is the ability to make an impact and positive outcome in such a short amount of time. To truly affect a space, a design, a person in only a couple of days is motivating. It inspires.
SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?
Natalie: I am always excited by new collaborations or iterations, and love the fresh impact of colors. As far as trends, I try to stay clear of them.
SRFD: A trend you’re over?
Natalie: Excess. In any form (natural light excluded)
SRFD: Tell us about this kitchen.
Natalie: This kitchen belongs to a local Louisville-area family. It was a renovation from awhile back, but their matriarch, Nicole, is a busy yet wonderful mom and realtor who prefers tackling a little at a time! We’ve been fortunate to help her select vibrant wallpapers and fabrics to work throughout other rooms in her home, and to this day we’re still in touch! We’re currently adding some custom touches to her entry way. This kitchen renovation was a true mix of traditional style and modern functionality. Cabinetry and hardware selections were key here, using paneling on appliances such as the refrigerator. Nicole didn’t shy from mixing metals, using brass, stainless and even rose gold touches on her serving ware. The result is a warm, calming and inviting space for family and guests to gather.
Learn more about the Natalie O Design team here and explore this home and story exemplifying their true nature as a design company.
Kitchen Appliance Selection with Kris
Our Monogram team in New York City has the pleasure of working with Kris from Driven by Decor. After months of dreaming and planning, Kris finally kicked off her kitchen renovation last month. As she says, “It’s definitely an it’s-going-to-get-worse-before-it-gets-better situation since we’re demoing our kitchen down to the subfloor and studs.” On her blog Kris shared some plans for her kitchen remodel, including the appliances she selected. We might be biased but we think appliance selection is one of the more enjoyable components of a kitchen remodel!
A Kitchen Transformation
We came across this kitchen remodel and just had to share … take a look at this post from Kitchen Design Partners.
As the team said, “Kitchen Design Partners recently had the opportunity to work with M.W. Carlson, Ltd. on a kitchen remodel in a lovely, vintage home in Glencoe, right across from Lake Michigan. Like many older houses, the original kitchen was cut off from the rest of the home. The original kitchen was charming, but dated and worn. The countertops were made of tile with grout lines. The wall between the kitchen and breakfast room made the room feel closed and cramped. There was an extremely tight work zone where the sink, dishwasher, pantry and refrigerator competed for space with the center island. When the dishwasher door was opened, it blocked off access to the pantry, fridge and island. We were tasked with opening up the kitchen, spreading out the work zones, and updating the style. This was challenging because the kitchen has two windows, a range that couldn’t be moved, a skylight, and support beams. The team was up to the challenge. Just look at the difference!”
The Boulevard Show House Appliance Expert
As we shared back in September, Monogram is the proud sponsor of the Boulevard Show House in Houston, Texas, in collaboration with Laura Umansky. You can learn more about the announcement here and read our interview with Laura here.
Earlier this week the Laura U team talked with Alexandra Skobel, Monogram Designer Engagement Leader – Central Region, about Monogram appliances and the new appliances soon to be featured in the Boulevard Show House kitchen. Read the interview here.
As you may know all too well, remodeling projects take some serious time and then shift into super-speed. There are lots of exciting updates happening at the Boulevard Show House now! Check out The Boulevard Show House website and Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the progress updates and exciting announcements.
Exciting Partnership Announcement
We are so excited to announce that Monogram is partnering with interior designer Laura Umansky and her husband Michael, who are renovating a home in the Boulevard Oaks neighborhood in Houston, Texas. In collaboration with the Laura U design team, Luxe Interiors + Design, Preservation Houston and others, the Boulevard Show House will be quite the story to follow! Learn more and follow along on Laura’s blog.
A tale of two Monogram kitchen remodels
Hear from California homeowner Chris Cory about her first Monogram kitchen remodel, and why she is anxiously awaiting completion of her second Monogram kitchen remodel in another home.
“We are eagerly waiting for our new kitchen to “appear” in about 10 weeks.
About six years ago we remodeled our kitchen in Oakland, California, with three Monogram appliances (48″ range, refrigerator, and microwave). We sold our home in Oakland and the beautiful Monogram kitchen was the main selling point.
We moved to Pacific Grove, California, and purchased a great GE Cafe double oven range thinking we would use it in our “soon to be remodeled” kitchen. Nothing against GE Cafe, but it wasn’t a Monogram! I wanted my Monogram range back!
I decided to do my “homework” on appliances again. I visited design centers, read reviews, read appliance specifications and checked pricing. I looked at Wolf, Viking and any range that had a griddle, grill and two ovens (one small and one large). I “needed” the small oven (for just my husband and myself for daily meals) and a griddle for LOTS of things (pancakes, bacon, quesadillas, tacos, vegetables, grilled cheese sandwiches and more). Once again, the Monogram 48″ range was the best choice.
While visiting New York City, we decided to visit the Monogram Design Center and partake in a lunch prepared by the in-house chef. We saw and experienced the “wonders” of the Advantium oven and decided to buy one. This purchase eliminated the need for a warming oven and microwave, thus leaving more room for cabinets. We ended up taking advantage of the “2 for 1” sale and bought the following Monogram appliances … 48″ range (grill & griddle), 48″ counter depth refrigerator with built-in water dispenser, dishwasher, wine reserve and the Advantium. Where applicable, all of the appliances will have custom panels, similar to the Oakland kitchen.
My current kitchen has no appliances or cabinets. We’ve converted the dining room into a temporary kitchen. Demolition of the kitchen starts this coming Monday. Hopefully in 10 weeks I can share photos of our new Monogram kitchen.
I’m looking forward to cooking again.”