A week home from Elkay and back to Chicago…
But this time, we left the guys at home, and I headed there with my good friend Katie from JKath Design + Build. Katie and her husband Jesse are also a husband and wife home design and remodeling team. They’re our favorite people in the industry, and you can read more about them HERE where we did a fun little feature on them awhile back.
A huge THANK YOU to Monogram for flying us out for a few days to get the whole Monogram experience. Three days in the design mart and we went flying home on information and inspiration overload. It was my first time spending quality time in their design mart and I’m glad because this was totally the way to do it!
Who’s Monogram? They are a luxury appliance line that is owned by GE. Sophisticated styling and exceptional craftsmanship set Monogram apart from all other premium appliance brands, and you see the beauty of Monogram appliances in every fine, hand-finished detail. They also have award-winning technology (we’ll chat more about that), which I could hardly believe! It makes it possible to cook faster, clean easier, and enjoy more time for the finer things, like relaxing with friends. And that’s our jam.
Day One, Monogram gave us a list of cool places to check out in town and the night was ours. Katie and I checked out Raised, which was a super cool rooftop bar in the loop right by the river. As you can tell, the design aesthetics were pretty awesome! And the patio was even better. A super cool place I highly recommend if you are in Chicago.
Monogram put us up at the Aloft Hotel, where they also hosted dinner for us. The bar and restaurant at the hotel were pretty awesome! This hotel was walking distance from the Design Center, so it made our few days there pretty convenient. After dinner and drinks and chatting one another’s ear off, we called it a night because we knew day two and three were jammed packed according to our itinerary.
Day two, we met for breakfast with the group at Beatrix in Aloft. The group consisted of 10 other interior designers from across the U.S., And they were all fantastic. Nothing is better than meeting new creatives within the industry that are nice and know how to have a good time! Haha! After breakfast, we headed to the Monogram Design Center in the mart for a full day of training.
We started the morning off learning about inclusive design. Inclusive design means that it is accepted by everyone, even the blind and handicapped, and ensures that all aspects of design including appliances and overall design aesthetics are designed to meet guidelines.
From the appliances to countertops to paint colors, there are certain ways the layout should transform, as well as even certain products that repel more germs. I learned that Sherwin Williams carries a paint line that actually pushes germs out of the paint. Which is good for clients with strong asthma, get colds easily, etc.. We learned a ton about lighting, storage solutions, and flooring as well. Storage solutions are something we’re learning right now as our clients are leaving the cabinetry design up to us more and more. Would you rather have a drawer or an upper cabinet for your dishes? Incorporating pullouts for accessibility, pull vs. knobs or push latches, etc..
And then it was cooking time! We got to work with Chef Jon and prepared our own meals learning all about the Monogram appliances and actually using them all. It was incredible! I am not a good cook, and we were all chef’s after a few days with these guys. And I blame it all on the appliances…and Chef Jon’s recipes of course. Ha!
The Monogram design space was incredible! I want to replicate all the kitchens they had in their space.
After a full day of training and learning, not only about the Monogram appliances but a lot of design. Chef Jon and his assistant cooked us a 5-course candlelight dinner in the showroom. And yet again, it was incredible! I’m not sure how many times I told him or Katie…how lucky his wife is. And yes, he said he cooks at home for her every night. What a man! Haha!
Day three, we gathered back at the showroom with omelet stations ready for us!
Ok you guys all of their appliances were pretty spectacular, but there were two that I’m officially obsessed with, and if you hire us, I’m going to be pushing them on you because nowadays #noonesgottime.
Say hello to their induction cooktop…
What I learned was gas is out, and induction is in. Say whaaat?! I know, I’m with you guys on this! I love gas! Not sure if it’s because of the way it looks or how fast it boils my water. I love it all. Well, get this…this induction cooktop boiled water from cold to boiling in 20 seconds. I couldn’t even believe it. Chef Jon says it’s all he cooks on. He is not a fan of gas, and all the designers there said that gas is out. He said it cooks food the same way but quicker. And he showed us a million other cool recipes to use. The only cool thing about this was you could literally put your hand right on it and it won’t burn. The cooktop senses the metal pans and only heats the pan. I don’t even get it. It was blowing my mind. All I could think about were my kids and how incredibly cool that was that I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing.
Their induction stoves were just as cool! If I had one of these, I wouldn’t need a microwave or a stove. It was all that in one. Chef Jon cooked a full chicken to complete in 15 minutes. Mind blown! And it was delicious!! These ovens cost $3,500 as well. That’s not bad at all if you think that you don’t need a microwave or stove and you got a top of the line appliance. It is for sure going into our kitchen when we remodel this upcoming fall. The only reason they mentioned why you would possibly want a regular stove is for size. But I couldn’t even think of one thing I couldn’t fit in here…
During our days at the mart, we went in depth about every appliance. The ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, pizza ovens, ranges, hoods, ventilation, and more. I have a full book worth of notes. A cool thing about their stoves is that you can leave the grates in and do a self-clean and it cleans those as well.
The range cook tops you can flip the grates over, and a wok fits perfectly into the bottom side. You can also take the grates off of your range and put them into the stove to self-clean as well.
Their refrigerators came in all shapes, sizes, and new designs as well. Panel ready, stainless steel ranging from $4,700- $5,600 in price.
And after a few days full of kitchen training, I was excited to fly home and go right into a kitchen bid. And guess what, they signed! New kitchen remodel starting this fall, and with all the new content I was able to digest, I can’t wait to get designing.
If you guys have any questions about Monogram or kitchen design shoot us an email and we’d love to help you out.