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HGTV designer Sarah Richardson on colours, details and the next trend for luxury kitchens

According to Richardson, savvy homeowners are increasingly demanding fine, detail-focused designs.

Even among the many luxurious finishings of the Monogram Design Centre, the inky blue cabinetry and ivory white countertops of the Monogram Signature Kitchen stand out.

A chic, fully functional cooking studio as well as a culinary showroom, the Monogram Signature Kitchen was created by Canadian designer and HGTV personality Sarah Richardson.

Located in the Castlefield Design District in northwest Toronto, the kitchen is also the latest in a line of Monogram kitchens that have allowed Richardson to explore the limits of her creativity as Monogram Canada's design ambassador.

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“You can do anything with the flexibility that’s offered now. I’ve done six different kitchens with Monogram and each one of them tells a totally different story,” Richardson says.

“I’ve done a resort-inspired pink-and-grey, a red-and-green pizza kitchen, navy blue – which is very important for me as a designer. I don’t ever want to do the same thing twice.”



For the Monogram Signature Kitchen, she was drawn to a rich and dramatic palette, alluding to the night sky using deep blues and brilliant whites.

For her next kitchen however, the colour Richardson is most excited about is a shimmering, metallic-tinged champagne.

“If we’re talking luxury kitchens, who wouldn’t love the idea of champagne?” she says.

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She points to Monogram’s Champagne Induction Cooktop, seamlessly flush-mounted on the countertop of the Monogram Kitchen. “For so many years, cooktops were always black, which can look too dark against white or light surfaces,” Richardson says.

“But champagne flows seamlessly with white. And with a neutral surface – your buffs or beiges – it basically disappears save for a hint of a glow. It’s subtle, yet special.”

Richardson doesn’t stop at champagne as a way to infuse warmth into a space. She points to the popularity of warm-tone metals, especially as a contrast to cool-metal finishes.

“White metals were popular for so long. For so many years, everything was brushed nickel or stainless steel. Then we had a whole brass moment. These days, what I love is the fusion.”

Fusion can be tricky to master, but Richardson says the results from mixing things up can be both rewarding and fun.

“The thing about mixing materials is that I like to see repetition. You need repetition to make it seem intentional,” she explains.

She points to Monogram’s new gas cooktops as an example of how to do it right. “It has stainless as the base and just a little flourish with solid brass burner caps. I love that nod to detailed styling.”


More than just personal preference, Richardson says that design-savvy homeowners, much like professionals, increasingly crave more refined details like these.

The details are even more important in kitchens, “because the kitchen is very tactile. It incorporates so many elements that you come in contact with every day, multiple times per day,” she says.

Exceptional features in the kitchen can even elevate the otherwise-routine task of preparing a meal.

Richardson doesn’t stop at champagne as a way to infuse warmth into a space. She points to the popularity of warm-tone metals, especially as a contrast to cool-metal finishes.

“White metals were popular for so long. For so many years, everything was brushed nickel or stainless steel. Then we had a whole brass moment. These days, what I love is the fusion.”

Fusion can be tricky to master, but Richardson says the results from mixing things up can be both rewarding and fun.

“The thing about mixing materials is that I like to see repetition. You need repetition to make it seem intentional,” she explains.

She points to Monogram’s new gas cooktops as an example of how to do it right. “It has stainless as the base and just a little flourish with solid brass burner caps. I love that nod to detailed styling.”

More than just personal preference, Richardson says that design-savvy homeowners, much like professionals, increasingly crave more refined details like these.

The details are even more important in kitchens, “because the kitchen is very tactile. It incorporates so many elements that you come in contact with every day, multiple times per day,” she says.

Exceptional features in the kitchen can even elevate the otherwise-routine task of preparing a meal.

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As an example, Richardson highlights the sapphire glass insets of the stainless steel knobs on the Monogram cooktop.

“It’s the same glass used in luxury Swiss watches,” she says. That sapphire glass, second only to the diamond in terms of hardness, adds a crystalline sparkle, yet is scratch-proof and impermeable to heat.

Superior details also add value in less visible places. “I want everything to be cohesive,” Richardson says.

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“I want the same level of craftsmanship on a fridge interior as on a cooktop.” She lauds the Monogram Column refrigerator in particular because its door bins are crafted from a machined metal that is also used in luxury aircraft.

“What’s cool about that is that the metal gets stronger as the fridge gets colder,” she adds. “That level of detail is what Monogram really does best.

It’s also why in order to work on a Monogram production line, employees have to go through an 18-month apprenticeship.”

Such a high degree of finesse is key because the current trend is for kitchens to not only be utilitarian spaces, but also major hubs for entertaining.

In Richardson’s own home in Toronto, the kitchen is a gathering space. “These days, I’m less about having some polite conversation in my living room and more about having people over, cooking with them and enjoying their company – all in my kitchen.”

To balance the functional and luxurious style, Richardson recommends integrating Monogram Column refrigerator behind custom sleek-modern panelling.

“We don’t necessarily want the workhorse to be on display,” she laughs. At the same time, integrated appliances give Richardson the opportunity to tailor the look to her own personal preferences.

“As a designer, the details are everything,” she says. “They are what really make the space.”

This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's Globe Content Studio.
The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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