Monogram Modern Home Tour Takes On the West Coast

After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
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Trade professionals attended panels and courses for Continuing Education Units on Friday while Saturday's open house and product demonstrations brought a lively mix of design enthusiasts.

Our kickoff events in Seattle (May 20-21) and San Francisco (June 10-11) did not disappoint: the 600-square-foot prefab welcomed thousands of visitors, transforming daily for trade and consumer events. At each destination, the home metamorphosed to embody the city’s design characteristics, and panel topics shifted to address the local zeitgeist.

Seattle, where the offices of our builder Method Homes is located, was a fitting start to the cross country road trip. Out on the town, we noticed bold reds and animal prints forming a design motif; this was echoed in the the stylings of William and Wayne, which furnished the home with red throw pillows and a giraffe print rug. Here, design enthusiasts had the unique opportunity to interface with high-end luxury appliances, sleek finishings, and transformative furniture that demonstrated how small space living and luxury weren’t mutually exclusive.

The Pacific Northwest has been a pioneer of the locavore movement, so our panelists shaped the conversation around consumers’ changing relationships with food. Joining us were Paula Kennedy of Timeless Kitchen Design, tour chef Jon Liddell of Liddell Productions, Matthew Parker of Huxley Wallace Collective, and Ryan Reiter of Piranha Blonde. They discussed how the farm-to-table trend has boosted public awareness about food freshness, a concern reflected in Monogram refrigerators that provide humidity controlled vegetable bins. 

Method Homes co-founder Brian Abramson described the evolution of the building’s design: "We wanted to add different dimensionalities to the house, so we gave it a peaked roof with a gable for a slightly different profile, taking into account view orientation and window placement. We’re really pleased with how it turned out."

The transforming wall bed system and accompanying glass coffee table by Resource Furniture modeled a space-saving solution for compact quarters. As the home travels from stop to stop, its furnishings evolve to conversate with the aesthetic of the host city. For San Francisco, Courtney Lake of Monogram Decor used a palette of blue, orange, and gold to evoke a youthful energy and recall the Golden Gate Bridge spanning bay waters.

Our next stop was the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur, just outside of downtown San Francisco. As a nod to the city’s tech-driven economy, Dwell CEO Michaela O’Connor Abrams moderated a discussion on the smart home. Weighing in on the wealth of gadgets and smart appliances available on the market, the panelists stressed the importance of a central nervous system that would allow these components to speak to each other. John Nichols, marketing director of Monogram, noted that this was just the "tip of the iceberg" for kitchen appliances: "There’s a big push to have them be connected through wifi. We want to keep the system open so that it can link through Echo or IFTT and integrate into people’s lives."

Our panelists John Nichols of Monogram, Zem Joaquin of Ecofabulous, Dave Morin of Path, and Amanda Dameron of Dwell joined Michaela O’Connor Abrams for a conversation about the successes, potential dangers, and future developments of smart homes. "We’re in a Cambrian moment of computing," said Morin, "but the computers we’re carrying don’t work in concert."

At the open house, Liddell conducted live product demonstrations. With artichoke ravioli sizzling in the pan, he touched the induction cooktop with a fingertip to show how the area around the cookware didn’t heat up--a smart feature that brought to mind the previous day’s panel.

Live product demonstrations led by Liddell provided a way for visitors to learn about Monogram’s offerings in a relaxed, organic environment.

Locally sourced ingredients  incorporated San Francisco's regional flavors and spoke to the adaptability of the modern kitchen.

With two cities under our belts, we are setting sights on Los Angeles to round out the West Coast portion of the Monogram Modern Home Tour. The home will be showcased in the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 24-26 as part of Dwell on Design LA; be sure to visit us on the Dwell Outdoor show floor before we're off to our next stops in Houston, Atlanta, and Miami.

The open house returned for an encore showing on Sunday, June 12th at the Marin Country Mart. 

The San Francisco Bay and Marin County’s verdant hills were a scenic backdrop for the traveling home.

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