Let others spend their savings on fancy cars. If you're like us, kitchen appliances are the finely tuned investment pieces that you care about and obsess over. What we’re eternally searching for are kitchen workhorses that look (unobtrusively) good and work (exceptionally) well. Oh, and they have to be energy efficient (while barely making a sound). And to fit space-challenged setups. And if it's not too much to ask, we'd like them to be manufactured in the US. You too? Consider a visit to the GE Monogram Design Centers in New York and Chicago.
Above: GE Monogram Design Centers are located in New York's Architects & Designers Building, on East 58th Street, and in Chicago's Merchandise Mart, shown above. Both are open to the public and host regularly scheduled cooking demonstrations. They're staffed by product specialists who can answer specific appliances questions, as well as help you select the right models for your home.
Above: GE Monogram is GE's luxury series. Its ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers are made for serious home cooks and are highly rated in terms of reliability and energy efficiency. But what really sets them apart in our book is the custom built-in design option. In other words, they're team players not scene stealers.
Above: GE Monogram offers appliances in three different styles: European, Pro, and Custom—and are scaled for domestic settings of all sizes. As seen here, built-in refrigerators with custom panels compliment adjacent cabinetry. They also have dishwashers and under-counter refrigerators that can accept custom panels.
Above: Space-saving undercounter refrigerators are made for chilling beverages but are also ideal for general use in small kitchens. GE Monogram beverage centers and wine chillers are available with a privacy glass feature—the press of a button turns the glass from opaque to clear using liquid-crystal technology.
Above: Another undercounter wine chiller and beverage center installed side by side for a complete bar solution.
Above: A GE Monogram 30-inch full integrated refrigerator with custom panels (supplied by the homeowner) and a glass window, estimated retail $6,249. These Monogram refrigerators are the first HFC-free refrigerators in the US, meaning they replace the standard hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant with isobutene, an alternative that creates significantly fewer greenhouses gases.
Above: The 30" fully integrated refrigerators have two lower drawers; the top drawer includes an ice maker and freezer storage, the lower drawer is completely convertible and can be used as a refrigerator, freezer, or wine chiller (and can be converted at any time).
Above: The hearth of the house—the 48-inch stainless steel GE Monogram Professional Range, available in all gas or dual fuel (estimated retail $11,399). It features dual-flame stacked burners that go from a low simmer of 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 18,000 BTUs, and can be ordered with a grill and/or griddle. The larger of the two ovens is scaled to hold three 18-by-26-inch caterer's sheet pans while the smaller oven can accommodate 9-by-13-inch casserole dishes. Its thoughtful detailing extends to the control knobs, which are lit by concealed LED lights. Fun fact learned during a showroom visit: the full extension oven racks use a lubricant developed in conjunction with GE Aviation, which allows the racks to stay in the oven during the self-clean cycle.
Above: The six-burner 36-inch Pro Rangetop. Its removable grates can be cleaned in the dishwasher or in the range itself on self-clean mode.
Above: A 36-inch glass canopy hood, powerful without being obtrusive.
Above: It's no longer necessary to look to foreign manufacturers for good-looking, sleek appliances. Shown here, the GE Monogram 30-inch built-in Double Wall Oven in the European style.
Above: The 30-inch induction cooktop, paired with a 30 inch chimney hood and convection wall oven; a perfect configuration for tight spaces.
Above: We like a dishwasher that disappears. Shown here, GE Monogram's fully integrated dishwasher with an illuminated stainless steel interior and three racks (one for cutlery).
Above: An 18-inch dishwasher (and nicely detailed towel-bar handle) is designed to be flush with the surrounding cabinetry; it's ideal for a small kitchen or bar area.