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 we’re featuring Paige Fuller, designer with Bay Cabinetry & Design.
SRFD: How did you become interested in design?
Paige: I have been an interested in design since I was a little girl. I remember my mother use to give me her old Home and Garden magazines and let me cut out curtains, artwork, photos of rugs, etc., and let me decorate my doll houses by taping them up throughout the spaces! As I grew older, I became specifically interested in kitchen design because of all the great experiences I had in the kitchen with my mom, cooking and socializing while preparing meals for our family and friends. The kitchen is truly the heart of the home! In high school, I participated in an internship with a local interior designer and knew immediately this is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life! Yes, designing in my job, but it is also my passion. I am constantly looking through design magazines, browsing Houzz, etc., as not only part of my job, but also because it is my hobby.
SRFD: Tell us about a recent project you enjoyed?
Paige: A recent project that I have really enjoyed is actually a kitchen that features all GE Monogram appliances. This project is a new construction home and we are calling it “Rural Modern,” as it features a contrast of old and new. What I enjoyed most about this project is working in collaboration with the homeowners (who were also the general contractors). Together we were able to pull together every single element to make it flow perfectly! When you start mixing classic/rustic materials such as rustic alder and honed marble, with modern pieces such as sleek black cabinets and white quartz, there is always a fine line that cannot be crossed otherwise it looks like things just got thrown together randomly! I think we balanced things well throughout the entire home! These clients really tested my design abilities and pushed my creativity, which has paid off tremendously. This house was recently featured on the Home and Cottage Tour in Traverse City, Michigan, and received wonderful feedback! I also worked very closely with these clients after attending the GE Monogram training in Chicago last year in regards to appliance selections. They were torn between a lower price point appliance brand and Monogram, and I was able to take what I learned at the training to inform them on the benefits of the Monogram line. We both are so pleased with the function of the appliances and also the clean, sleek, built-in look.
Kitchen photos source: MyNorth.com.
SRFD: A trend you’re over?
Paige: Traditional design. I have always gravitated towards a more contemporary style personally and now as a designer, I find that a majority of my clients are also doing the same. I feel the modern day family would function best in a more contemporary style as the door styles remain simple and easy to clean and maintain versus a highly decorative door style or a ton of intricate moldings, which are a nightmare to keep clean. I am also not a fan of the current obsession with polished brass fixtures and hardware, it seems to be making a comeback and I am not sure why. Once again, anything polished will be hard to keep clean.
SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?
Paige: One design trend that I have been really excited about lately is the use of barn wood! I’ve been using it as accent walls, panels on the back of kitchen islands and floating shelves. I really love the look of mixing old barn wood with some crisp clean bright cabinets.
SRFD: Tell us what you learned at the designer training in Chicago?
Paige: The designer training in Chicago taught me so many things, it would be hard to list them all! Overall a great informative and fun overview of the Monogram line. I think the best part was actually getting to use and cook on the appliances. Getting the hands on training has helped me better explain to my clients how awesome they really are, as I was able to actually prepare meals using them. The showroom staff at the GE Monogram design center in Chicago has also been wonderful with giving a helping hand with projects I have designed since the training- I have had to reach out to them with questions multiple times and they have always helped in any way possible to make sure my designs are carried out the way I am imagined them and also that my clients are happy with their selections.
Paige and a co-worker at the Chicago Monogram Design Center training.