Our conversation with interior designer Melody Gangi about her style, signature design tricks, and why she loves working with Monark.
Melody Gangi wasn’t always an interior designer, but her passion and love for home decor and design led her to pursue it as a career – and now she couldn’t be happier. She loves to create beautiful spaces that are as comfortable as they are functional.
With a Sub-Zero fridge, Wolf stovetop, hood, oven, steamer, and two Asko dishwashers, all purchased from our Monark showroom in Las Vegas, her own kitchen is a gorgeous testament to her stylistic sensibilities. “My personal taste is a clean, transitional feel,” she says – but she will do anything, stylewise, depending on what her clients request.
I tend to be a little bit more classic, but with a twist. I try to create designs that will last as long as possible for my clients.
The kitchen always plays a crucial role in her design plans. “For most people, the kitchen is one of the most important spaces. It really is always the center of a home,” Melody says. People tend to gather around the kitchen and, with the popularity of open concept homes, kitchens are often directly connected to family rooms or great rooms.
In Melody’s view, this means that not only do people want their kitchens to be functional, but they also want them to be absolutely beautiful – in other words, timeless: “At the end of the day, like my mother-in-law, who is a real estate agent, says, ‘Kitchens sell homes.’”
One of her favorite design tricks for kitchens is to add oversized pendants over islands. “Lighting is super important and can really just vamp up a space,” Melody explains. Another trick is to update the cabinetry hardware instead of replacing the cabinets themselves. Adding beautiful hardware “can really make a huge difference,” she states.
Other than the cabinetry, the other hugely important component of all kitchens is, of course, the appliances. When working with clients, the first thing Melody discusses with them, before they even start the design of the kitchen and cabinetry, is the appliances.
The kitchen is always designed around appliances. Everybody has different needs.
Some people have big families with lots of mouths to feed, so they’ll discuss how many ovens are needed. Other families love entertaining, which calls for other considerations. Some people go out a lot, but still want a functional kitchen, so they won’t need a double range.
“Lifestyle is always a big topic,” Melody points out. “That’s always one of the first conversations that comes up and it’s always incredibly important because that’s going to give me the direction I’m going to go with the kitchen.”
Her favorite appliance these days is a steamer; she has one from Wolf in her own kitchen. “Instead of somebody typically going for a microwave, I try my best to bring my clients into Monark and have a salesperson do a demo on a steamer,” she tells us. “It’s a little bit more of an investment, but from a nutritional standpoint, it’s a wonderful appliance. It can be used as a second oven, too. I’ve put quite a few steamers in homes after being very satisfied with mine.”
Melody loves going into the Monark showrooms because she appreciates the amount of appliances available at once. “As a designer, you have a lot of pieces to tie together, especially working on a kitchen,” she explains. She enjoys working with Lisa and Laura, our salespeople at the Las Vegas showroom. “They’re the experts and know all the bells and whistles of the appliances,” she adds.
“I can bring in a client and have my vision of what they should buy for their kitchen, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be their final decision,” Melody explains. Laura and Lisa make it easier for her to incorporate the vision she has for the kitchen by making the clients feel comfortable while educating them on the appliances.
The showroom is beautiful, too. When people walk in, they can actually visualize those appliances in their kitchen. It’s great.