There's nothing better than appliances equally celebrated for their quality and design - that's why I'm proud to be Monogram Canada's design ambassador. Their sophisticated styling and exceptional craftsmanship sets Monogram appliances apart. Experience the colliding worlds of style and technology in my signature kitchen at the Monogram design centre in Toronto; in the meantime, get comfortable and read on for my top 10 kitchen details and customizations.
All the comforts of home
When imagining my Monogram kitchen I wanted to present a concept that would inspire homeowners to think about how they can create their own dream kitchen. So often we see professional style appliances presented to homeowners in a commercial style and my goal was to make everyone feel “at home” in my Monogram kitchen - and inspired to unleash their inner chef!
Since my own kitchens are always abuzz with activity and energy, I’ve designed this kitchen to embrace the functions of cooking, entertaining, and family life. This is my vision of a casual and comfortable kitchen for creating, collaborating and celebrating a passion for all things delicious! I envision it as the ultimate backdrop for dinners with friends, quiet nights at home, and as the everyday hub of the home where everyone wants to hang out. With a place to sit and chat at the counter, a spot to work or research new recipes at the desk, a dedicated bar area for entertaining, and plenty of counter space for prepping gourmet feasts, the layout of my Monogram kitchen celebrates the modern family lifestyle as it changes and evolves throughout each hour and day of the week. Today’s kitchen is a workhorse of multifunctionality and needs to embrace style and smarts in equal measure to meets the demands of today’s homeowner. The ever popular shaker cabinet door has a slight bevel giving it a polished profile amidst the sleek lines of the streamlined Monogram appliances I’ve chosen. The recessed panel speaks to a more traditional home like so many of the houses in our Canadian towns and cities, whereas the crisp waterfall edge and bright white Caesarstone counters harness our collective appetite to live in contemporary style.
Photo by Stacey Brandford
Add a dash of drama
Kitchens are often light and bright, but so often the time we spend prepping, relaxing, or working in our kitchen happens during the evening hours, and this is what drew me to the concept of a rich and dramatic palette. I like to to think of the kitchen cabinetry as an inky blue night sky backdrop that’s been punctuated and accented with artful highlights in the form of lighting and soulful, functional accessories. The lighting showcases my desire to always blend classic influences with modern innovation. The eyebrow wall sconces provide a nautical nod to what could be considered a coastal palette. The brass island pendants are a clever blend of a classic material expressed in a modern form, which always appeals to my personal style and my desire to celebrate fresh ideas and creative concepts.
Condo kitchens often suffer from a lack of natural light so I’ve embraced a signature trick and installed decorative antique mirror panels to harness the light and reflect it back into the work area, and of course the cloudy veining in the mirror reinforces my night sky inspiration.
To accessorize is to stylize
No kitchen is complete without original, elements crafted with soul by artisans. To that end, I’ve curated a collection of blue hued images from world travel photographer Tony Koukos to celebrate the influences of global design in our everyday world and to highlight the architectural and textural elements that constantly fuel my creative passion. I believe kitchens should be lived in, and I always prioritize creating an oasis of comfort and calm to nourish the spirit and feed the soul. The lowered counter area serves multiple functions, both as a desk and as a serving or buffet area for entertaining. Offering a variety of work and prep and seating options in any kitchen creates a welcoming environment. The table base is custom crafted out of solid brass and further reinforces the rich navy and warm brass palette showcased throughout the kitchen.
Don't forget the accents!
The final touch in my Monogram kitchen is the accent of natural walnut. The live edge solid walnut shelves add a subtly soft tactile element that is echoed in the hexagonal counter stools I designed (which reflect the backsplash and pendant profiles) as well as the wood accents throughout the space. A backsplash is a necessity for durability, but it’s so much more than simply a functional element - it’s often regarded as the jewellery in any kitchen and this one is no exception, but I’ve gone one step further in celebrating its decorative impact by installing a smaller scale mosaic on the inset panel of the custom vent hood. For all the homeowners who’ve found a dramatic backsplash that they want to celebrate - here’s your chance to let it shine!
When it comes to creating your ultimate kitchen statement, just remember… it’s the little details that make all the difference!
My top 10 kitchen details & customizations:
- Custom brasserie inspired legs on desk and under counter create a polished look
- Live edge solid walnut shelves - you don’t have to just go with the same thing everywhere
- Hollywood bevel edge - new edge profile with a super deep sharp bevel
- Tile inset on vent hood - backsplash is jewellery so why not add some excitement to the vent hood (we used a smaller hex)
- Perforated brass panel inserts in the cabinets gives a welcomed contrast
- Antiqued mirror above the shelf - looks like a cloudy night sky with deep blues and purples
- Big statement lighting - the articulated octagonal pendants add wow and the wall sconces cast the light on the counters right where it’s needed
- Brass faucet with white accents reinforces the colour palette of the kitchen
- Every kitchen is better with some original art - we installed a gallery wall of 9 square images all in our blue mood
- A floating desk - provides a place for kids (or a partner) to do work while you’re cooking, then can be cleared off when entertaining and used as a serving counter (multi level kitchen surfaces take it to the next level!)
(1) brasserie inspired legs
(2) live edge shelves
(3) bevel edge
(4) vent hood with tile inset
(5) perforated panel inserts
(6) antiqued mirror
(7) statement lighting
(8) brass faucet
(9) original art
(10) floating desk
Monogram Appliances: 30" Wall-Mounted Vent Hood, 30" Single European Wall Oven, Built-In Advantium Speedcooking Oven - 240V with Euro Handle and Accessory Drawer, 24" Integrated Column Freezer with custom panel, 30" Integrated Column Refrigerator with custom panel, 30" Induction Cooktop, Fully Integrated Dishwasher with European Handle, 24" Custom Panel Beverage Center
Furniture and accessories: Saltillo: backsplash and range hood tile | Adanac Glass: antique mirror panels | Metal Supermarkets: mesh metal cabinetry inserts | Rubinet: faucets | Blanco: sinks | Colin Hunter 919 RENO: custom island shelves | Caesarstone: island | Tuscany Natural Stone & Quartz: desk marble top | Gallery Metal Works: desk frame | Dinuovo Granite & Marble Inc.: counter fabrication and install | Ginger's: wall sconces | Arteriors: pendants | Sarah Richardson Design: lexi stools, chair, tea towels | Tony Koukos Photography: artwork | CB2: cabinetry hardware, waste bin, geo tea light candle holders, rimmed plate, flatware, lantern, marble planters, utensil holder | EQ3: oil & vinegar set | West Elm: book ends | Elte: napkins, gold bowls on shelf, star burst object | Kelly Wearstler: desk lamp | Tonic Living: chair fabric - ellen degeneres, 'tulane indigo' | Anthropologie: cutting boards | Royal Doulton: spotted mini bowls