Tag: Monogram Advantium

Designer Profile: Wendy Franz

Through our activities in the Chicago area, we came across Wendy Franz, owner and lead designer with Studio 912. We were so impressed we had to learn a bit more about her.

Kitchen space in Studio 912 Chicago studio

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Wendy: I have had a remodeling business with my husband since 1995. We operated our business out of our home, which was the perfect setup for me as it allowed me to be home and flexible for our kids as they were growing up. About 15 years ago, we remodeled our own kitchen and it was fun being able to plan every single spot in the kitchen for maximum use and efficiency according to how we use each area of the kitchen. It sparked my creativity and gave me a desire to be more than the person in the background handling operations and office matters. I wanted to be more involved with the customers and in the design process of our projects. In 2010, I investigated whether any of the local colleges had a specific degree or program specifically for kitchen and bath design and was so excited to find that Harper College in Palatine did. It was a certificate portion of their Interior Design Degree. I went in two different shifts, taking a 2 1/2 year break from school and being in business for myself due to the recession, but when I was able to return to the industry, I picked right back up where I left off school wise. So thankful that I did. It is truly a passion of mine, creating beautiful spaces for my clients that they love to wake up and come home to – a space that gives them a place of peace, comfort and refuse from the world around them.

Now that I have my own design studio/cabinet and countertop dealership (two of them actually, one near our home in Crystal Lake and one that I partner in with a fellow Harper student) and having the suburban location be in front of my husband’s woodworking workshop has given us a business that we can employ both of our daughters in. It’s nice to be working side by side with my hubby again and it’s such a huge plus to be able to offer woodworking piece in my designs to our clients, such as barn doors, tables, countertops and now, we’re starting to offer custom hoods too. Down the road, I hope to have time to create custom vanities too.

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project

Wendy: We just wrapped up project for a repeat customer who we had done woodworking for in the past. This time, she came to us to design her kitchen, using two of our three cabinet lines. We did the perimeter in a white transitional door style and the island/hood/cooktop cabinetry along with the butler’s pantry and a bar wall in a dark stained rustic cherry. We used three different Cambria countertop patterns along with a reclaimed wood table extension off of the island and reclaimed shelves. She put in eight different zones of lighting and very interesting backsplash tile. Can’t wait to get in for the photo shoot.

SRFD: A trend you are excited about?

Wendy: The combination of wood grain cabinets with painted. Or the use of different colors throughout a space. We’re about to have a kitchen installed that we designed in a sleek white Acrylux door style on the uppers and a lined dark Acrylux door style on the lowers with a couple of aluminum/glass door cabinets mixed in. Should be very elegant and classy.

Kitchen designed by Studio 912. As Wendy said, “I of course LOVE any design I can incorporate my husband’s handiwork in like this beautiful, reclaimed island top.”

SRFD: A trend you are over?

Wendy: There have been so many white shaker kitchens, but we like to do them with touches of uniqueness that make them anything but the typical cookie cutter kitchen (as can be seen in the kitchen above).

SRFD: Tell us about your relationship with Monogram.

Wendy: We have a Monogram Advantium Speed Cooker/Microwave along with refrigerator drawers at our Chicago studio and LOVE using them and showing them off. We are recommending Monogram to all of our clients and will be meeting with the Monogram folks to talk about how we can have a more involved relationship with them. Can’t wait!

Monogram Kitchen Remodel with Siobhan and Jody Young

Christina Dragota, lead product specialist in the Monogram Design Center in Chicago, talked with homeowners Siobhan and Jody Young about their recent kitchen remodel, why they chose Monogram appliances, and what they learned during the process.

Siobhan's Kitchen

Why did you decide to remodel your kitchen? 

We were very unhappy with the overall layout of our old kitchen. It was dated and very dysfunctional. We had large areas that were tremendous wastes of space. We also greatly disliked all of our white, outdated appliances.

Tell us about your design process for the kitchen.

Initially we went to a cabinet company to do our layout. Because of the strange shape of our kitchen it presented many challenges. Finally, my husband who is s structural engineer, decided to lay it out himself. We knew we wanted to maximize the space and wanted a design that was functional with our three kids. We needed storage, display area, and wanted to increase the value of our home with a gourmet kitchen. I knew I really wanted white somewhat traditional cabinets that would last the test of time. We knew that we wanted stainless steel appliances with an industrial look. Mostly we wanted a beautiful kitchen that would be the focal point of our very lived in home.

Why Monogram appliances?

We were attracted to Monogram appliances when we visited Chicago at Easter time. We went to the GE showroom and met with Christina who showed us the functional features and industrial gourmet look we wanted. I was most impressed with the induction cooktop especially with the speed and evenness of cooking. The Advantium oven was also another huge seller. I needed the bonus of additional oven and the functionality of a microwave and toaster all in one.  My husband was sold on the 48” refrigerator, it was enormous and absolutely amazing looking. It became the focal point of our pantry wall very quickly!

Siobhan's Kitchen3

Which appliance are you most excited about?

The Advantium!

Siobhan's Kitchen2

What would you have done differently with the remodel?

In the remodel, the only thing I would have done differently would be to add a wine cooler to the pantry wall. We are avid wine drinkers but struggle with getting the perfect temperature in both reds and whites. Currently, we are undertaking a remodel in our laundry room (our final downstairs project) and are exploring adding a wine cooler in there. A Monogram cooler is on our wish list.

Designer Profile: Debra Gelety

The Chicago Monogram Design Center (MDC) brings designers to Chicago, Illinois, for two-day experiences to learn about Monogram, the design process, our appliances – and even cook with them! We interviewed each designer to learn a little more about their background and design experiences.

Today’s profile highlights Debra Gelety with Lori Carroll & Associates in Tucson, Arizona.

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Debra: Since the time I could hold a pencil, I have been drawing. My first degree was a BFA in Illustration and I worked as an Illustrator/Graphic Designer for many years. In 2004, I had some major life changes and found myself with the opportunity to try something new. I went back to school and got a BA in Interior Design. I joined the Lori Carroll & Associates team in early 2011, where I am an AutoCad drafting diva, associate designer, and presentation assistant.

SRFD: A trend you’re over?

Debra: Although stainless steel finishes certainly have their place, I find they are overused. Also, I am not fond of the resurgence of gold tones in plumbing fixtures.

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Debra: I tend to think of trends as the design fashions that will be “dated” looking in a few years so I don’t look to follow trends. I am pleased with the increased attention to Universal Design, and love that there are increasing numbers of suppliers of cleverly designed storage fittings. As people are becoming more interested in smaller homes, especially in urban areas, storage becomes challenging. I also find I am specifying quartz as a countertop finish more and more. There are so many new and interesting patterns.

SRFD: Tell us about the Best Kitchen award that your firm recently won at KBIS 2016.

Debra: The project was a new build contemporary home on a spectacular view lot in Arizona. The kitchen was located at the center of the home, open on one side to the breakfast area and the view, and partially closed to the formal entertaining areas. Pass-thru openings allow for the cooking member of the family to stay in contact with her guests. I think this kitchen is a great example of the implementation of NKBA design standards. We try to keep those standards in mind when space planning. The kitchen has great storage. The hidden pass-thru to the pantry where small frequently used appliances are stored out of sight, yet are instantly accessible, is my favorite feature. I also love that the design is very contemporary, yet warm. Kudos should go to the whole team, within LCA, as well as Jeff Willmeng Homes, Eglin + Bresler Architects, Rings of Wood Cabinetry, Tucson Stoneworks, and a great and enthusiastic client.

NKBA Winner 2016 Best Kitchen - Lori Carroll & Associates

NKBA Winner 2016 Best Kitchen – Lori Carroll & Associates

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NKBA Winner 2016 Best Kitchen – Lori Carroll & Associates

 

SRFD: What did you learn at the Chicago Monogram Appliances Designer Training Session?

Debra: Overall, it was a valuable experience. In design school we only receive basic information on appliances. Because I do a fair amount of space planning and often write the specifications documents our firm produces, I am aware of the technical specifications of the appliances we use, but I have never before actually used these models myself. I have a better feel for how one uses each appliance and why one might choose one type of cooking appliance over another. I now understand my mother’s love affair with her Advantium oven.

Designer Debra Gelety with Chef Jon at the Chicago Monogram Design Center

Designer Debra Gelety with Chef Jon at the Chicago Monogram Design Center

You can learn more about Debra and the team from Lori Carroll & Associates on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.