A Designer’s Perspective on Timeless Design with Statement Lighting

Our conversation with interior designer Michelle Mcintyre about her style, signature design tricks, and why she loves working with Monark.

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After 12 years in public accounting, Michelle started her design business as a side job. With her extensive knowledge of the building process she works great with contractors on all phases of the project. She also does home staging for the real estate market and consults with Seller’s and Agents to provide paint colors, quick-fix changes, and staging to help their home sell at the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.

Michelle loves her job and feels privileged and blessed to have really great clients!

How do you describe the style that you bring the most to your work?

Timeless…….I always try to make the finishes and fixtures as timeless as possible to avoid that “trendy” design look that most homeowners hate 5 years later.  It’s easy to change lighting and paint when you tire of it, but cabinetry, floors and tile should be neutral, quality looking, budget appropriate selections that stand the test of time. The jewelry on any design for me is in the lighting!  I love to add lighting that is fun, unique and makes a statement.

I try to avoid that “trendy” design look that most homeowners hate 5 years later

What role does the kitchen play in your design plans? 

Nothing sells a home better than a great kitchen and master bath.  Those are the 2 rooms I focus on when trying to determine my client’s style. What they lean toward design-wise in the kitchen usually dictates the overall feel of their home.

What role does the kitchen play in your design plans?

The kitchen is the heart of every project. It is where I have the greatest opportunity to propose creative ideas, and to innovate at every level. The kitchen is central to our clients’ lifestyle, and is a showcase for their personality and taste. If we nail the kitchen, we’ve already nailed 50% of the project; the rest of the residence falls into place easily with a successful kitchen design at its center.

Nothing sells a home better than a great kitchen and master bath.

Let’s talk about this particular project! What appliances did you use and why? 

The kitchen in Newport Beach needed to apply to all buyers because it was for an investor client who planned to sell immediately after the home was constructed.  I kept the finishes neutral in regards to cabinetry and backsplash, but added an industrial look with black faucets and chandeliers.  I also designed a custom range hood in stainless with chrome strapping to keep with the industrial feel.  We went with the Viking appliances as their handle options were more industrial looking with their knurled design. The kitchen has a 48” Viking refrigerator with custom cabinet door panels.  30” Viking wine fridge with glass door and wood shelves.  A butlers pantry with concrete counters that houses the Viking microwave drawer and hammered nickel sink.  The main island is 5’x7’ and has one large slab of marble quartz with farm sink and round prep sink, 2 disposals and a Viking dishwasher.  The Viking range is 48” with 6 burners and pancake griddle.  The custom designed Vent-a-Hood is the focal point of this kitchen.  Cabinets have inset doors, glass on top row and custom oak shelves finished to match the oak hardwood throughout.

What do you like about working with Monark?

I loved working with Monark.  This was my first project with them.  They are my go-to appliance supplier now for all clients regardless of budget.  Ben Elkin went above and beyond to find products for this home as well as other clients doing small jobs.  Even if you don’t see it in their showroom, they can get it for you.  Their customer service makes my job so much easier on every project.  They do the leg-work and save me time.  We used Viking, Vent-a-Hood and Samsung washer and dryer in the Newport house.

FYI their Costa Mesa showroom is the bomb!

I love working with Monark! Even if you don’t see it in their showroom, they can get it for you.

Explore more of Michelle’s beautiful work on her website, Instagram, and Facebook! To work with a Monark salesperson yourself, stop by a Monark showroom near you!

photo credit: Jola Photography

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