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Beauty and Function Meet in Winning Kitchen Designs

Large Kitchen, First Place (Photo – Jeffrey Davis)

Annual NKBA Competition Honors Outstanding Professional Designers

More than 20 individuals were honored across six main kitchen and bath categories and six specialty categories in the 2017 NKBA Design Competitions. Entries were judged based on the core areas of safety and ergonomics, elements and principles of design, design planning, creativity and presentation.

“The NKBA Design Competition offers our members the opportunity to demonstrate their design abilities and stand out in the industry,” said NKBA CEO Bill Darcy.

A panel of six industry experts evaluated hundreds of entries from across the United States and Canada. This year’s competition was generously supported by (Diamond) Jenn-Air, (Gold) The Home Depot, and (Silver) 2020, Rev-A-Shelf, Delta Faucet and Monogram.

The NKBA Bath Design winners will be featured in our August issue.


Best Kitchen And Large Kitchen: First Place

Elma Yvette Gardner, CMKBD, CID, By Design, Davis, California. Co-designer: Josh Anderson –Element Design Build

This newly constructed home emerges from a sharp ridge and captures sweeping views of the Las Vegas “sea of lights.” The minimalist exterior called for simple interior design solutions, exquisite attention to detail and the use of texture to soften the hard surfaces used throughout the home. A simple rectangular kitchen flows from the dramatic entry stairwell, connecting the dining space with a great room that then opens to a wrap-around deck by way of expansive floor to ceiling glass doors.

The client wish list included a clean-lined contemporary kitchen, abundant natural light, a warm and vibrant color palette, porcelain tile floors and comfortable island seating.

The design offers two prep areas with full-size sinks and dishwashers, double ovens, two refrigerator columns and one freezer column. A hidden door leads to the butler’s pantry featuring open shelving made with reclaimed wood, steam oven, microwave, warming drawers, wine storage and cleanup center with a dishwasher.

The kitchen was designed to capture the views, and most materials and products were sourced within 100 miles of the project. Low VOC paint and other sustainable materials were used throughout the home.

Large Kitchen, Second Place (Photo - Sherie Cervantes)

Large Kitchen, Second Place (Photo – Sherie Cervantes)

Large Kitchen: Second Place And Builder/Remodeler

Gina Bon, CMKBD; Airoom, LLC Lincolnwood, Illinois

The client for this kitchen wanted a more open feel and lots of light, with more cohesive space between the kitchen and family room that would make the rooms flow naturally into one another. The reorientation of the sink on one large island allowed for prep work and clean up to be done while facing the amazing view of the homeowner’s private beach backyard and allowed guests and the cook to converse. A corner sink was added along with a hidden niche for small appliances. A carved limestone backspace now provides a subtle focal point behind the range and the butler’s pantry wall. To add more light, the team used square and rectangle LED lit recessed coves on the ceiling, which also broke up the room’s length. Floating wall cabinets and open shelving were used in the old butler’s pantry/new dry bar to keep the narrower space feeling more open and bright, while an LED-lit shelf topped a hidden drink station that houses fridge drawers and an icemaker.

Medium Kitchen, First Place and Before & After Kitchen (Photo - Dave Bryce)

Medium Kitchen, First Place and Before & After Kitchen (Photo – Dave Bryce)

Medium Kitchen: First Place And Before & After Kitchen

Lauren Levant, Lauren Levant Interior Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This breezy, California-clean space goes beyond improving form and function and adds interest to the home through exciting details. The designer relocated the garage entry door, allowing for a continuous wall of cooking equipment and storage. Ample refrigeration flanks a large range, balanced by the deceptively shallow pantry that conceals ductwork/mechanicals. A three-fourths height second wall of storage creates a feeling of openness and transitions to a massive center island. Dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows transformed the remaining wall, moving the eye outside and doubling the apparent space. A local artisan created the project’s rolled steel hood with natural mill-scaled blue-grey patina. The cabinetry’s textured laminate and high-gloss finishes are contrasted by the steel and glass backsplash, which is edge-lit by imbedded LED lights and can be written on with a wax pencil, adding a element of energy and fun.

Medium Kitchen, Second Place

Medium Kitchen, Second Place

Medium Kitchen: Second Place

Dedra Hinano Nahinu, CKD, Inspiration Interiors Honolulu, Hawaii; Co-designer: J.R. Ludlow – Inspiration Interiors

The owner of this kitchen that cantilevers a hill with vines and lush greenery wanted to renovate the minimalistic, triangular space into a modern and functional space with European-style design and integrated spaces for cooking, prepping, and the use of multiple Miele appliances. The appliances were paneled with a custom glass finish and lacquer cabinet door finishes. A custom, integrated table in wood veneer was added to the island with its extendable table feature from breakfast-style seating to a larger number seating for guests and entertaining.

Optimizing space and providing for more storage was accomplished in part by removal of one diagonal wall in the corner, allowing for a larger L-shaped kitchen with a L-shaped island. The team creatively combined colors in the cabinetry, dark wood veneer open shelves, white quartz countertops, glass bar top and porcelain wood grain patterned floor tile.

Medium Kitchen, Third Place (Photo - David Papzian)

Medium Kitchen, Third Place (Photo – David Papzian)

Medium Kitchen: Third Place

Rhonda R. Knoche, CMKBD, Rhonda Knoche Design Portland, Oregon

The clients wanted a new kitchen to reflect their flair for entertaining, gourmet cooking and wine and distilled spirits. The kitchen was reoriented to enhance views of the exterior waterfall/fountain and landscaping and to improve social interaction towards the nook and patio area. ➝

One sink was moved from a small window corner area into new large island, widening the view from the prep area (now five windows instead of one) and the relationship to sitting areas. To improve prep zones, a large island was created with 4-inch, interchangeable trough-style sink with ability to cover and disappear when serving buffet style. The sink, dishwasher and refrigerator are now in the same zone; careful input was given to appliance and cabinet clearances to accommodate difference in the couple’s height. Baking, cooking, eating, bar and food storage areas were also improved.

Small Kitchen, First Place (Photo - Bob Narod)

Small Kitchen, First Place (Photo – Bob Narod)

Small Kitchen: First Place Photo

Davida Rodriguez, Davida’s Kitchen & Tiles Gaithersburg, Maryland

The client, a commercial architect, wanted to have his mid-century modern Charles Goodman 1950’s home remodeled. For the kitchen, which had been remodeled in the 1980s, the design challenges were optimizing storage, creating space for the new pantry by using the space gained by removing a bathtub that was backed up to kitchen.

The designers opened up the space visually and made the kitchen the center of the home with an open kitchen concept. Removing a wall now makes it easily accessible to and from other interior rooms and the backyard.

Beautiful waterfall countertops and drywall soffits create a kitchen more reminiscent of art rather than function. Double-sided frosted glass cabinets hung from rods allow maximum light throughout the house.

Small Kitchen, Second Place (Photo - Caleb Vandermeer)

Small Kitchen, Second Place (Photo – Caleb Vandermeer)

Small Kitchen: Second Place

Hannah Hacker, AKBD, Adapt Design, LLC Beaverton, Oregon

This kitchen went from being a dark, disconnected space with limited storage to a light-filled, cooking and entertaining space with ample storage and counter space. Walls were removed on two sides to open the space to the adjacent dining room and living room. The L-shaped raised counter makes it inviting for guests to interact with the cook without getting in the way of the action. A combination of walnut cabinets, white cabinet and white quartz counters met the client’s desires for a modern look that hinted at the mid-century origins of the home. The colorful backpainted glass backsplash gives the kitchen a unique signature while keeping it low maintenance and easy to clean.

Small Kitchen, Third Place (Photo - Scott Hasson)

Small Kitchen, Third Place (Photo – Scott Hasson)

Small Kitchen: Third Place

John Buchanan, John Buchanan Design Associates-Architecture, Denver, Colorado; Co-Designers: Colleen Johnson, ASID, CAPS –In-Site Design Group, Inc.; Bob Cilli – Williams Ohs

With high ceilings, spectacular city views and a 2,000-square-foot patio, all this 1,700-square-foot condo lacked was a kitchen with the same “Wow!” factor. Like many high-rise units, the original kitchen was identical to 500 others in the building. The client, who loves entertaining, wanted a stunning space for 5-100 guests that still addressed the daily needs of a busy couple with a toddler. All of this needed to happen within the original 110-square-foot footprint.

Using a simple palette of glass, quartz solid surface, horizontal-grained fir and stainless accents, the team created an expanded waterfall-feature island to match the scale of the great room. Behind the induction cooktop and in-soffit concealed exhaust hood, a back-painted glass backsplash slides open to reveal LED-lit, walnut-lined cabinets that enable a 50 percent increase in storage. The design is tied together with subtle LED lighting under the edge of the grand island.

Budget Friendly Kitchen (Photo - Greg Riegler)

Budget Friendly Kitchen (Photo – Greg Riegler)

Budget-Friendly Kitchen

Cheryl Kees Clendenon, In Detail Interiors, Pensacola, Florida

A young mother of two sought help remodeling her family’s outdated, non-functional kitchen. There was no room for new construction, so Clendenon and her design team had to come up with ways to rework the layout using the current footprint. A custom hutch was designed to meet the family’s growing storage needs that previously had been unmet. A versatile mixture of fabric patterns and textures in the backsplash added a fun but appropriate wow-factor that was just right for this active family of four. A metal chalkboard was added to the side of the fridge to give the kids safe a place to doodle. The chalkboard also doubled as a display board for their school artwork. Lights were added to strategic locations across the room to brighten up the dark spaces, giving the kitchen an overall open and welcoming feel.

Beauty and Function Meet in Winning Kitchen Designs

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