Florida designer and Monogram Designer Council member Caroline Torchin creates modern, luxury spaces for her clients, which include both vacation homes and permanent residences. She believes “the kitchen is the heart of the home,” and for good reason—it tends to be the place where meals are shared, entertaining happens, and family congregates.
The Monogram Designer Council was created to serve as the consultative voice for our brand decisions and showcase Monogram’s commitment to the design community. Comprised of 18 designers from over 10 cities, we brought the Monogram Designer Council together to cultivate a vision on everything from the design of our products to the experience of ownership. Each designer’s expertise will help Monogram realize timeless design trends and available opportunities.
- Allison Jaffe
- Barton Jahncke
- Caroline Torchin
- Claire Staszak
- Dawn Wilkinson
- Drew McGukin
- Hannah Tindall
- Jennifer Bertrand
- Kim Costner
- Laura Muller Schwartz
- Lori Gilder
- Lukas Machnik
- Michael Del Piero
- Nicholas Moriarty
- Niki Papadopoulos
- Richard Anuskiewicz
- Sarah Kahn Turner
- Staci Munic
NeoCon 2019 brought in thousands of commercial and residential designers and consumers from across the country to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The Monogram Design Center had an amazing time hosting multiple events throughout the week, including the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) national meeting and luncheon.
Chef Jon, the renowned Executive Chef, created various culinary delights and explained to everyone how to achieve the delicious bites using our Monogram appliances and food stylings. He also introduced the new Forge Clear Ice System countertop appliance that creates a perfectly formed “bourbon ice sphere” with the Monogram logo in a signature Kentucky-based specialty bourbon cocktail.
Additionally, throughout NeoCon week, Monogram and Chef Jon used the Hearth Oven (one of the Luxe Home-Merch Mart featured products) to create woodfire-quality from-scratch pizzas, seafood and vegetable dishes, much to the delight of everyone.
Stay tuned for more exciting experiences and events taking place at the Monogram Design Center in the months to come!
Use code “MONOGRAM” to receive special launch pricing. Pre-order now.
“If you’ve read my books, you know I wouldn’t ordinarily recommend putting ice in your whiskey. But there’s a reason why Forge is the first product I’ve endorsed.” —Fred Minnick, Spirits Author, Historian, and Editor-in-Chief of Bourbon+, who signed on to help launch the Forge Clear Ice System
The Forge Clear Ice System brings the experience of the world’s best bars into your home—and it’s available for pre-order starting June 19.
The Forge Clear Ice System is an addition to your home bar that elevates the way you experience fine spirits, whether you’re entertaining friends or winding down from a hard day’s work. It includes:
- A countertop ice maker that makes large blocks of clear, gem-shaped ice
- A one-of-a-kind heated ice press
- Specially engineered ice tongs
The clear ice maker creates large gem-shaped blocks of clear ice in just hours and holds them at the ideal temperature. The heated press then shapes the gems into crystal-like spheres in about a minute with virtually no preheat or recovery time needed.
To propel Forge into the production phase, pre-orders must reach a minimum quantity within the launch period. When you place your order, you’ll be joining the more than 12,000 other people who have pre-ordered products from FirstBuild – from the Opal Nugget Ice Maker to the Paragon Ultimate Smart Cooking System.
Enter code “MONOGRAM” upon checkout to receive special launch pricing when you reserve your Forge Clear Ice System. Pre-order today.
Watch our video to see the Forge in action.
Design blogger Colette “Coco” Shelton’s work on the 1930s Spanish colonial COCOCOZY Design House shows off her design talents, especially in the kitchen. Coco believes kitchens should be livable—a place to cook, dine, live and entertain. For this home, that meant paying homage to the charm of the house while bringing it up to date with today’s modern kitchen aesthetic.
Said Coco, “The design offers a blend of old-world Hollywood meets modern classic with clean lines, luxe textures and countertops, and contrasting black trim.” Though she doesn’t subscribe to a specific design style or trend, she uses a mix of styles that speak to her to create a mélange of elements that flow from room to room.
What was once three cramped rooms became a kitchen that adjoins the dining room in a way that makes them seem almost one space. The original kitchen had older white porcelain tile floors, but the rest of the house had original 2” plank red oak flooring. Coco removed the white tile floors and replaced them with matching 2” red oak wood and continued with a custom wood stain to lighten up the floors throughout the house. Now, the new kitchen blends seamlessly with the entire house—almost like it was part of the original design. “I transformed the space into a contemporary sanctuary fit for entertaining and hosting,” said Coco.
The new kitchen area features new two-tone cabinets; the upper ones are Benjamin Moore Super White just like the walls, while the lower cabinets are Benjamin Moore Silent Night. The pale grey/blue color of the lower cabinets grounds the space, while adding a subtle element of color. Around the windows, Coco used Benjamin Moore Blacktop, which frames the panes almost like art against the white walls.
The off-white countertops are Staturio Nuovo quartz by Caesarstone. Like marble, they contain a subtle veining of darker grey and really elevate the look of the cabinets. The white farmhouse apron-front sink and faucet are both from Kohler.
One of Coco’s favorite design elements is the counter-to-ceiling backsplash done in classic white subway tile. It adds a bit of gleam and texture to the mostly white space. She also loves the state-of-the-art Monogram column refrigerator and freezer that she chose to put side by side for ease of access. In fact, Coco feels that all the Monogram appliances—including the range, dishwasher and refrigerator—really elevated the entire design of the kitchen. By placing the professional style appliances into her design, she’s blended the home’s old-world, historical style with a refreshing modern twist.
We love how the COCOCOZY Design House came together and are proud to have our Monogram appliances featured in the kitchen. Thank you, Coco for a design job well done.
In Boca Raton, Florida, designer Caroline Torchin creates modern, luxury spaces for her clients, which include both vacation homes and permanent residences. Torchin believes “the kitchen is the heart of the home,” and for good reason—it tends to be the place where meals are shared, entertaining happens, and family congregates. She also is a big fan of Monogram appliances and recently was named a member of our Monogram Designer Council, where she and more than a dozen other designers from around the country will meet and help influence upcoming Monogram designs and features.
Torchin recommends Monogram appliances to many of her clients because she sees how it ties her goals together. “My main goal is to give function as well as aesthetics, and I think Monogram nails it,” Torchin said. “I think the efficiency, the speed, the technology, is on point.”
Her latest kitchen design featured Monogram appliances for a condominium client who enjoys cooking, and who sought a modern, timeless design for their kitchen. Though her designs tend to lean toward rustic chic, she loves how this kitchen features a bit more glam and shine. The cabinet finish is in dual tones of acrylic gloss white and gloss oak. The wood grain brings warmth to the kitchen along with the Pompeii quartz countertops in White Macaubas, which feature veins of a natural, warm gray.
The seamless countertops were quite a challenge to install in this 7th floor condominium. The elevator was only 8-feet tall, and the long countertop was 11-feet in length. After the client specifically requested keeping the countertop seamless, the only option was to hire a crane company to hoist the 11’x4’ quartz countertop up to the client’s balcony on a rather windy day. Thankfully, the installation went off without a hitch and the kitchen looks just as sleek as the countertops.
The walls were painted using Benjamin Moore Decorators White, and the flooring features 24” x 48” porcelain tiles, which hold up well to traffic. Each piece of the design flows seamlessly into the next, which is exactly what Torchin loves about the space. “The flush installation of the appliances complements the sleekness of my design,” Torchin said. The highlight of this is the Monogram integrated panel refrigerator clad in matching gloss oak to blend with the cabinetry. It’s unobtrusive and elevates the design to a whole new level.
We are thrilled with the look of this modern kitchen and are excited to be a big influence on Caroline Torchin’s designs. We look forward to working with Caroline and the others on the Monogram Designer Council this year.
One of the nation’s leading design events of the year, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, is in its 47th year of production. Each year, a home in New York City is chosen to be redesigned and decorated for tens of thousands of people to tour. The proceeds of the tour go to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which provides important after school enrichment programs for NYC children. This year, the home is a stunning double-width Georgian townhouse with 12,425 square feet of space. Monogram luxury appliances partnered with AJ Madison to sponsor the kitchen, and worked with Peacock Cabinetry’s Christopher Peacock on its design. The result is an inviting, functional kitchen that’s any cook’s dream.
Peacock’s inspiration for the kitchen was to create, “A simple, clean and open kitchen, that is easy to use with practical materials.” He was certainly on the mark with this design. His design is upscale, made with sensible materials, and gives serious attention to details. Peacock says he sees this as “… a great place to kill a bottle of wine,” and we couldn’t agree more. It’s comfortable and begs for you to sit at the island for conversation over a bottle of Cabernet.
It started with Peacock Cabinetry’s Montauk cabinet collection, which is a modern kitchen cabinet that features classical elements. They were painted a deep, dark green with a hint of blue and feature brushed brass and walnut hardware. The countertops are pure white by Cambria. Peacock kept the walls in simple white, which lets the handsome cabinetry take center stage.
When asked about his favorite element of the kitchen, Peacock chose the open shelving in front of the windows. They’re suspended by brass hardware and feature riveted brass accents—an elegant way to display favorite pottery and glassware.
The true focal point of the kitchen, however, is the unique mosaic backsplash made from sliced English flint veneer. The flint is an irregular stone known for its amazing hardness, so it is an incredibly durable, yet unexpected choice for a backsplash. It really sets off the stainless of the Monogram range and looks gorgeous next to the cabinetry.
The kitchen island features the same color as the cabinets but has a pure black Cambria top with a butcherblock inset. Carved walnut drawers feature the phrase “It is what it is” beneath the brass hardware. Though the ceilings in this room are low, the flower shaped light fixture overtop of the island brings a glow to the entire room and provides much needed light for prep work.
Peacock loved the seamless fit and classic looks of the Monogram luxury appliances in this kitchen. We think they really make this stunning room fit for a chef or any serious cook. “I have to say I am really thrilled with the finished room. Designing a show house kitchen is always challenging given the time constraints, but I feel we achieved our goal. The room is sophisticated visually, well appointed, and beautifully executed. The reaction from the audience is just what I hoped for and the selection of state-of-the-art appliances makes it a dream kitchen to work in,” said Peacock. The Monogram luxury appliances installed in this kitchen include a custom-panel refrigerator, 48” pro range, Advantium oven, and single wall oven. If you’re in the New York City area, take a tour and see this elegant house in person.
When interior designer Staci Munic bought her condo in the historic William Cody Tennis Club Homes, she learned the community would be added to the Modernism Week home tours—if she could get her home remodeled in time. Challenge accepted.
The home was built in 1966 by influential desert modern architect William Francis Cody. It had been through a remodel in the 1980s, so Munic wanted to bring it up to date while paying homage to its modernism roots. After many challenges, including putting in a large steel I beam so she could enlarge her kitchen without the ceiling crashing down, her space was on the tour and ready for guests to “ooh and ahh” over her smart, modern take on mid-century design for 2019.
The former galley kitchen is now a bright (thanks to a generous skylight), open space, ready for the former-chef-turned-designer to entertain her friends and family. “I need to breathe in my kitchen, and I need to be able to interact with my family and friends while I am preparing meals and cocktails,” said Munic of her new space. “When it’s just me at home, it makes me so happy to be able to view and take in my entire living space from behind my kitchen counter,” she added. Indeed, the kitchen design flows well into the living room—the entire condo is painted in Edward Dunn Whisper and the flooring throughout is 33” square porcelain tile that looks remarkably like terrazzo, which brings a consistency and seamlessness to the whole space.
Munic’s relaxed, casual chic style can be felt through all of her designs, including her own. She feels that great lighting is a key element to each of her designs, and she takes pride in her ability to provide a well-lit, extremely useable space. The large skylight in the center of her kitchen brings in the cheery Palm Springs sun and extends the warmth of her wood cabinetry, which includes her custom panel refrigerator. On top of her cabinets, Munic used Silestone White Zeus Extreme for durability and brightness. Her backsplash features tiles in a warm gray.
With her culinary school background, Munic loves to cook, so her full Monogram kitchen brings function along with its aesthetics. “I am infatuated with my induction cooktop and my Advantium oven,” said Munic. “I’m not sure which one I love more, but they are jealous of each other, for sure. And don’t get me started on my dishwasher,” she added. Munic also loves the smart kitchen technology provided by the WiFi connected appliances. “What I think I love most about my Monogram appliances is that they are all made in America… by people who generally care about making people’s lives better through engineering high quality, performance appliances,” she said.
Staci Munic’s 2019 nod to mid-century modern design shows that you can keep the feel of the 1960s while bringing your kitchen into the 21st century. Monogram is proud to be a part of her home and excited to work with Munic and other designers on the 2019 Monogram Designer Council.
Written by Kim Mays, Monogram content strategist
Each year in February, Palm Springs, California hosts Modernism Week—a festival to celebrate midcentury modern design, art, architecture, fashion, and culture. This year, Monogram, along with Cambria natural stone surfaces and Ivy interior design business management software, hosted an event at the Kirk Douglas Estate, one of the homes on the local mid-century modern architecture tours.
The event kicked off the home remodeling project, which includes a new kitchen featuring Monogram products. The remodel will be revealed on the tour in February of 2020. Conversation and cocktails were offered along with a discussion panel moderated by Michela Abram, former CEO of Dwell and current CEO for MOCA+. The panel featured the owner of the Douglas Estate plus several prominent designers in the modernism realm:
- Diane Bald—Owner of the Kirk Douglas Estate (along with husband Michael Budman) and driver behind the remodel.
- Joel Turkel—Architect, designer and entrepreneur and principal of Turkel Design, who owns another Modernism Week featured home, a living lab Axiom Dessert House.
- Trina Turk—Fashion designer whose 11 signature boutiques span from Palm Springs to New York.
- Barton Jahncke—Architectural designer who works as a historical restoration advisor to sensitively maintain architecture’s original intent while subtly integrating new technology.
- James (Jim) Tyler—Award-winning architect who worked with famous California modernist Craig Ellwood in the 1960s-1970s. Tyler currently works on restoring and conserving mid-century modernist designs by Ellwood and Pierre Koenig.
A video version of the discussion panel can be found on Facebook, thanks to Ivy Design, where you can take in the full conversation in its entirety. The owner, Diane Bald, discussed how the home restoration has been going and explained how the original designer, Donald Wexler’s son had seen the house and felt his father “would have been happy with what we’ve done here.”
Barton Jahncke discussed how GE Appliances have been a part of some of his restorations from the beginning and into today. For example, in another mid-century house in Malibu, the old cooktop had to be replaced. “The original kitchen was Hotpoint, which is [a] GE [brand]. It was stainless steel. Fortunately, Monogram decided to produce a cooktop that is stainless steel… so you’re able to almost transition into today and keep that same aesthetic. So, it’s new and functions better.”
Architect James Tyler explained how modern architecture came about with its focus on creating something new that hadn’t ever been done, but that could be done in a simpler way than a lot of the more ornate and detailed architectures of the past. He also detailed his inspiration for panels for the Monogram column refrigerator that will be incorporated into the Douglas Estate kitchen and revealed in 2020. His sketches were on display, but for a sneak peek at his inspiration, he added “The refrigerator was more ‘what can you do that is really part of the modern architecture?’ and to me, that has always been glass. Simple and unobtrusive.”
We loved being a part of this event and part of the upcoming kitchen renovation. We hope you’re as excited as we are to see the final design at next year’s Modernism Week 2020.