While putting the finishing touches on my FREE Appliance workshop, which you can register for at the end of this blog, I came across the pics I took at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) earlier this year.
It got me thinking about the influence on overall Kitchen design that appliance manufactures have.
Having attended several design tradeshows over the years , KBIS 2022 stands out for me as a show that appliance manufactures really shined.
The approach to Kitchen design in one of the appliance manufactures booths really broke the boundaries of “contemporary” Kitchen design.
Let’s have a look!
The most popular booth at KBIS 2022 was the Monogram appliance booth by GE Appliances.
GE Appliances is a house of brands with Monogram representing their ultra-premium brand.
In their marketing they “promise to elevate everything in the kitchen from cooking to refrigeration.” And describe Monogram as the “definition of luxury, appealing to designers and discerning owners who appreciate fine detailing and personalized spaces.”
For KBIS 2022 this manufacture pulled out all the stops and presented an over the top booth consisting of multiple Kitchens that pushed the boundaries of design.
Upon entering the booth (which always had a lineup) the first 3 displays were named to evoke unique lifestyles.
Villa Monogram Farm
The Villa Monogram Farm display celebrated the relaxed farm-to-table lifestyle and vineyard vibes.
The oversized harvest table was the centerpiece of the room acting as both a prep island and a dining space.
The space had an “unfitted” feel to it, looking as if it had evolved over time.
An interesting trick the designer used in this display was to recess the appliances into the wall.
Typically appliances and cabinets sit proud of the walls so recessing them was a fresh approach.
It was also refreshing to see the large arch on the back wall, since the line of Kitchen design had become so hard and angular in the past several years.
The color scheme was very subdued and neutral but full of texture.
The designer worked with shiplap, wicker and plaster accented with burnished gold, to produce the backdrop to the stainless steel appliances in the space.
An interesting material used was plexy glass for the X wine cabinets, which allowed the lighting inside these units to bounce around.
Storage was not a focus of this display, but a sliding ladder was included to provide access to the high, deep cabinets above the appliances.
Villa Monogram Mountain
The Villa Monogram Mountain display evoked an alpine aesthetic and the warming comfort of an après-ski lodge.
It was a large space with three distinct built in areas.
At one end of the room was the beverage bar complete with a coffee maker, a wine refrigerator and a beverage refrigerator.
Again, the designer recessed the cabinetry into the wall, this time having the base cabinets protrude about 9″.
This produced a shallow serving ledge with a deeper “prep” area above as a recess, balancing the coffee maker.
Above this area was another wide and deep recess that was lit with up lights, for display.
A very interesting design in this space was the fireplace wall where a rotisserie oven and open shelves were stacked above a lineal fireplace in a stone clad bump out.
The lineal fireplace was placed low on the wall leaving enough room to insert a rotisserie oven above it.
A shallow open shelf niche placed directly beside the oven balanced it in the space and provided a place to store some condiments.
I think this works because the cook does not need to attend to the meat inside this oven constantly.
It also provides a form of “entertainment” for guests to watch the meat turn on the spit.
This reminds me of a restaurant I dined at in the gothic district of Barcelona, Spain, where a large rotisserie oven was featured facing the street enticing people to come in and dine.
Perpendicular to the fireplace, a pro range and built in refrigeration was displayed.
A variety of materials and textures were used in this vignette including raw wood, smooth wood, marble, plaster, and mixed metals.
Once again recessing the cabinetry and the appliances was employed with the space above used as display niches.
Refrigerator columns bookend this end wall and featured a very unique panel treatment of end cut logs.
This is probably not a very practical finish from a cleaning approach, but it does show creativity.(I’m sure the gaps between the logs could be filled with acrylic and then sealed to provide a smooth surface that could be cleaned in an actual working Kitchen)
The range cooking zone was full of unique ideas and design details.
The mirror in the backsplash was a great touch.
It is high enough to avoid being splattered from cooking on the range and is at the perfect height for the cook to be able to see what is going on behind them.
The ledge under the mirror would be the perfect place to store flavored oils within arms reach.
I also loved the pot filler tucked into a niche in the hearth.
It would be available when the cook needed it, but not a focal point in the room.
The cabinet finish on the drawers flanking the range was interesting, featuring silver and gold toned metal.
This provided additional visual interest, but again probably not the most functional materials placed within the cooking zone.
Villa Monogram Beach
The Villa Monogram Beach was described in Monogram’s marketing content with this statement:
“Like a breath of fresh seaside air from within a personal cabana, this destination emphasizes the indoor-outdoor living of warm, tropical settings”
It really did produce that vibe.
The color scheme was a combination of driftwood tones, soft whites and muted greys accented with black.
The designer successfully used vertical and horizontal lines within the design.
The warm wood cabinetry on the back walls featured horizontal slats reminiscent of shutters with a section of white vertical boards echoing board & baton producing a focal point.
Additional texture was introduced on the island with rattan cabinet door fronts.
And if you look closely, you will see that the bottom half of the island is made from mirrors.
An interesting trick to give the island a lighter furniture feel, but still provide the ability for storage and the ability to place standard height paneled dishwashers in the island.
Another great feature of this island was the sink.
A large single bowl sink was installed down the middle of the island with faucets placed so that it could be accessed from either side.
A big bonus for these prep and clean-up zones is a dishwasher for each side of the island as well!
The refrigeration panels in this display was intriguing.
The door portion received a custom panel with glass inserts and the bottom drawer panels were much thicker providing a revel ledge across the bottom.
This definitely took some planning!
The last detail I wanted to highlight in this display was the pass through counter.
A chunky quartz counter was cantilevered between the indoor and outdoor spaces with an induction cooktop installed on the Kitchen side of the counter.
The thickness of the counter concealed the thickness of the cooktop and a set of brass supports were installed on the ends to help support the weight of this installation.
The bifold doors were the perfect addition to this pass through counter.
These three displays were full of great ideas that showed me how appliance manufactures are influencing Kitchen design.
Here is a list of some ideas from these appliance displays you may want to incorporate in your Kitchen designs.
- Recess appliances and cabinets into the wall
- Using an oversized table as an island
- Adding a sink in an island that is accessible from both sides
- Introducing soft lines in the form of an arch
- Providing a sliding ladder to access high storage
- Playing with texture on walls and millwork
- Experimenting with different materials for appliance panels
- Placing specialty appliances in unique locations
- Using mirrors to your design advantage
- Including a pot filler in a niche
- Incorporating niches above standard cabinet height for display areas
- Mixing materials for a one-of-a-kind look
- Providing smooth indoor/outdoor transitions
I’m sure after this exploration of these three displays you saw some other design ideas.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment below.
Also, I’m putting the finishing touches on a FREE Appliance Workshop, so please register to be notified of dates.
Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.
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