The most impressive hosts all share an elusive trait: preparedness.
A shrug of the shoulders and voila, a sprawling charcuterie plate with homemade chutney is whipped together on an impromptu visit. “Sauvignon blanc or rosé?” they ask, motioning to the wine cooler.
One can get a little closer to the Boy Scout motto—be prepared—with the right amount of help. Enter the Monogram collection of appliances. Ovens, fridges, and cooktops are meant to sync with the way we live, not the other way around. “We really try to keep our designs informed with the world,” Monogram head designer Marc Hottenroth says, posted up at the brand’s recent pop-up studio in Gastown. “So we look at trends, globally and in other industries, and see how we can apply that to our design thinking and design process.”
In appliances, this attention translates to pieces that communicate with changing lifestyles. In many modern homes and apartments, whether by design or necessity, rooms are integrated into the same space, flowing from dining to kitchen. “Open space is a wide trend that we see in the market,” Hottenroth says. “So when we have a space like that, we think about how we are going to change our approach to the product. Before, the appliance would be sequestered in the kitchen—but now it’s out in the open, so that means the appliance needs to be more respectful of the other areas.” The consideration is evident in products like the 36-inch induction stovetop. It is completely flush with the countertop, making for a seamless transition. “We’re also thinking about sound,” Hottenroth adds. “We spend a lot of time thinking about the soundscape of a place. So the dishwasher we changed the ring to a piano theme.” Hottenroth opens the sturdy, heavy dishwasher door and a soft ring—not unlike a received text message tone—chimes in.
Technology, of course, is at the forefront of design. The induction stovetop has a sleek black interface and, receded in white Carrara marble, it resembles a smart phone more than a cooking surface. A glide touch allows someone to turn on the stove in a similar manner to unlocking a cell phone—a feature that is “super responsive and super precise,” Hottenroth ensures. In addition, a thermometer connects via Bluetooth to the stove, keeping the two in sync at the chosen temperature for the perfect, stress-free sous vide.
“Related to the one living space, we think about interaction not just in the kitchen, but also in the living room,” Hottenroth says, walking over to the wall oven. “There’s a light bar that grows as it is heating, so you can glance just across the room and see if the oven is ready.” This is true for the temperature as well as the cooking time—no need to get up and check the clock.
Versatility in the kitchen is key. Hottenroth pulls out a drawer that hides a small fridge. “In a larger kitchen, you could have several of these: a drawer just for vegetables and a prep sink, one just for grilling, or one just for beverages,” he says. Alternatively, in a smaller kitchen, a couple of these could be the main source of chill: surprise your guests as you grab their beverages out of a drawer, stocked and ready to go.
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