Kitchens are the heart and soul of the home. With the interesting year we have had, we have all used our kitchens more than ever before. We were thrilled to be able to finish several designer kitchens last year (even during COVID!) and have started back on a high rise kitchen remodel that was put on hold during the shutdown. I was particularly excited to find that the client already had Monogram appliances in much of his kitchen. I love working with our friends at Monogram. They do a great job educating interior designers about their products. I had spent several days at an in-depth training in Chicago in the fall of 2019 so I felt very up to speed but to be sure, we booked an appointment at Baths of America so we could visit the Monogram kitchen in that showroom. I called our rep Sarah Prazak who met us there, showed us the ropes, and even cooked a few steaks to show the many cooking functions available and some important aspects to consider when choosing appliances for a kitchen remodel.
We are getting ready to start on that kitchen now so I thought it was the perfect time to call Sarah and ask for her input on selecting appliances. There are so many bells and whistles these days, I was interested in her point of view regarding what people like to splurge on and what functions they really use. It’s also useful to know mistakes people make while designing their kitchen and how you can avoid those. Technology has come full force into appliances so you may find shopping for them to be quite different from the last time you selected a range or a cooktop.
Here’s what Sarah had to say:
Key Considerations for a new Pro Range/Oven
Entertainment– Professional ranges add a bold appearance to a kitchen’s design, but it’s also important to factor in lifestyle and entertainment of the homeowner. Monogram’s new Statement collection professional range is a showpiece with its brass accents and attention to seamless craftmanship that your guests won’t help but notice. By using the Smart HQ app, accent lights on the knobs may also be adjusted to a wide spectrum of colors to match mood, occasion or design. If you love to host friends, the oven accommodates large caterer’s trays making entertaining seem effortless. (Not all luxury brands offer this capacity capability).
Cooking Technologies– Monogram ranges are expertly engineered to perform beyond expectations. How much do you cook and which features are important to you? Professional ranges offer many new cooking modes and functionalities that spark culinary innovation yet make it easy with the intuitive design.
Splurge Factors Worth Paying For?
Dual Fuel model vs. All Gas– Dual fuel models are considered an upgraded feature, utilizing both gas and electric fuel types- electric in the oven, gas on the cooktop. The combination of the two creates the best results for superior performance. Gas on the cooktop provides significant power and a quick response to users’ adjustments. By harnessing electric power for the oven, precise temperatures are more easily achieved yielding better cooking results.
7” LCD touch screen- Monogram’s newest pro ranges have two distinct control panels: the dynamic screen and the 7” LCD touch screen (available on 48” and 36” dual-fuel model). The 7” LCD models also include a TrueTemp 21,000 BTU burner, the industry’s first-ever gas burner that can set and maintain a specific pan temperature. It’s compatible with Hestan Cue Cookware and Gourmet-guided cooking recipes. These models will include a Hestan Cue pan and ship with black burner caps to provide the option of cooking while maintaining the brass appearance of the caps for when you entertain.
The 7” LCD models also allow the user to navigate precise cooking modes easily by the touch of a finger. Haven’t tried to cook a beef tenderloin or lamb chop before? No problem. Monogram engineers have you covered by taking out all the guess work. Simply follow the instructions on the screen, insert the probe, and get perfect results every time. With algorithms built-in for specific recipes (through rigorous testing), the probe continuously monitors core temperature, automatically adjusting airflow and temperature until it notifies the user when the food is done to their specifications of doneness.
What mistakes do homeowners make when it comes to the oven?
Underestimating the power of Wi-Fi capable appliances– Many homeowners know that appliances are now Wi-Fi capable but the functionalities and conveniences that they offer are underestimated and under-utilized. Did you know you can pre-heat your oven while running errands? Did you know you could sign up for detergent replenishment services to automatically deliver when your dishwasher pods are running low? Here’s some of the Wi-Fi features Monogram offers specifically on Pro Ranges:
- Monitor cooktop activity– Burners must be turned on/off at the actual unit for safety, but the app gives you ability to monitor.
- Monitor & control oven modes– Preheat, select precision cooking modes, turn on/off, set timer, monitor oven probe temperature. These modes are also compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home for voice control.
- Accent Lighting– Customize your knob accent lighting to any color of your preference.
- By connecting to Wi-Fi through the Smart HQ app, the user will get automatic software upgrades to his/her range. Monogram ranges will truly appreciate over time as recipes and cooking features have the ability to be added all through Wi-Fi capabilities!
Wow! Thanks, Sarah! That was really good information.
Beyond cooking, I find that sinks are a very personal preference. I suggest you start by selecting the material you prefer—porcelain, stainless steel or a composite material. From there, think about the size. Bigger is generally better if you have the space. Then consider if you like a single bowl or prefer dividers? Some sinks come with really great accessories these days like draining boards and built-in colanders. Just keep in mind you may not use all of these accessories and you may have to store them. So think about what you really will use and whether you have room to stow the other accessories.
I think Kohler was one of the first manufacturers to create sinks like this. We selected one with our client who was building a new home in the Heights. I have to admit, I had sink envy!
Additionally, I find a lot of brand loyalty in dishwashers. If you have one you’ve loved, then you often stick with that brand even if you choose something else for cooking and refrigeration. I like to keep to one brand as much as possible in the kitchen for ease of maintenance and repairs and also to keep a consistent design style. However, when it comes dishwashers, buying the best one you can afford can really make clean up a breeze! Also, think about noise. Many dishwashers are much quieter now days. You will really appreciate that every time you turn it on.
Just thinking about kitchens inspires me. Until next time, find your inspiration or call us and we’ll help you cook some up!
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