» Interior Details » Beauty Abounds in Winning Kitchen Designs

Beauty Abounds in Winning Kitchen Designs

| July 1, 2016

photo-Greg Riegler

photo-Greg Riegler

Annual NKBA competition brings out the best

The winning kitchens of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) design competition certainly prove that homeowners are moving these spaces from the utilitarian to become the hub of the home-front. The emphasis on aesthetics, views to the outdoors and other special design features take our modern kitchens beyond functionality. Now they accommodate art and craft collections, allow multiple people to work in different zones, incorporate green aspects and let family pets eat in peace, among other unique facets.

More than 30 individuals earned top honors across six main and eight specialty kitchen and bath categories at the award ceremony held in January. A panel of six industry experts evaluated nearly 400 entries for projects from across the U.S. and Canada. This year’s competition was supported by (Diamond) Jenn-Air; (Platinum) Monogram; (Gold) Delta Faucet and The Home Depot; and (Silver) 2020, Rev-A-Shelf and DuPont.

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



Cheryl Kees Clendenon

In Detail Interiors

Pensacola, Florida

The Coastline Calls – This colorful and fun kitchen is the flipside of a coastal duplex. The galley style kitchen keeps each task in its own zone so that multiple cooks/helpers could prepare meals for a large family and guests. Each area was treated as a zone with a prep area and good work space separate from the cleanup area. The refrigeration is at one end. A second window was added to eliminate some overhead cabinetry and take advantage of the views. The designer also negotiated good savings by making both units the same quartz, stainless and wood tops on the island. In order to enable the units to flow and harmonize, but not emulate the exact same feel, a color scheme for each side was adopted first. Overall, this fabulous kitchen perfectly caters to entertain multiple people while maximizing on a budget-friendly plan.



Lori Carroll, Lori Carroll & Associates

Tucson, Arizona

Co-designer: Debra Gelety, Lori Carroll and Associates

photo-William Lesch

photo-William Lesch

The Utilitarian Approach – This custom home has a modified open layout with plenty of room for food prep, cooking, clean-up and loads of storage. A pass through separates the dining area and kitchen without closing them in. Clean, crisp lines and a mixture of materials and finishes with luminosity and sparkle punctuate the clients’ sense of style. Starting with the cabinetry, Afromosia wood sets the tone for the rest of the kitchen. The custom-built island adds efficiency to the kitchen while materials provide a subtle punch of color and texture. Stainless and specialty glass accents shine and bring a radiant energy.



Judith Wright Sentz, AKBD

Judith Wright Design

Seattle, Washington

photo-Dale Lang

photo-Dale Lang

The Chef’s Hat – This chef-friendly kitchen now complements the home’s grand architecture and has energy efficient lighting and maximized storage and counter space. The designer raised the ceiling to incorporate barrel vaulted ceiling and chandeliers, and built soffit/bulkhead for recessed fixtures. LED recessed fixtures were installed in the new soffit and under the valance at the sink.

Ice White Granite slab backsplashes and countertops brighten the color palette of pale creams and whites, adding drama and textural interest. White opal marble tile backsplash, porcelain non-slip tile floors, and custom frameless hybrid cabinet construction add to this gourmet kitchen.



Diane Foreman, CKD, CBD

Neil Kelly Company

Seattle, Washington

photo-Roger Turk

photo-Roger Turk

The Tile Movement – The clients desired an open space as a setting for the collection of paintings, photography and whimsical sculpture. The kitchen drew inspiration from their view of tile as a means of artistic expression. The designer placed a microconvection oven under counter, freeing valuable counter space between two critical work areas. The cabinet space was filled with high efficiency point-of-use storage: blind corner pullout baskets, filler pull-outs to store spices, pull-out pantry and wine glass storage. High gloss finishes alongside natural teak veneers harmonize with the strand bamboo flooring. A gas insert with natural stones was encased in contrasting porcelain tiles hand cut in an ascending circle design. Circle motif stainless steel tile and recycled glass mosaic were placed in a geometric design repeated in sculptural metal corbels and cabinet pulls.



Emily Miller, CKD

Kitchen & Bath Concepts of Pittsburgh

West View, Pennsylvania

Co-designer: Thomas S. Trzcinski

photo-Craig Thompson

photo-Craig Thompson

Heart of the Downtown – For this downtown condominium remodel, the clients wanted their kitchen to be the hub and focus of the great room. The monolithic high-gloss metallic painted taller wall creates a neutral and reflective backdrop while integrating a refrigerator/freezer, warming drawer and wet bar, which is concealed behind retractable doors. The high-gloss exotic veneer bowed floating hood has a steel support structure and houses a custom stainless steel hood liner and LED puck lights for task lighting. Book-matched slabs of exotic granite were used to create a waterfall top on the main island. Positioned between the kitchen and dining area is a fully custom high-gloss figured walnut furniture piece with handmade tubular chrome legs providing ample space for setting up a buffet for entertaining as well as storage on either side. This spacious, airy kitchen truly serves as the heart of the home.



Tom E. Lutz, AKBD

Just 4 You, LLC

Louisville, Kentucky



Sleek Modernism – This kitchen was built specifically for a young professional who requested an open floor plan with a soft contemporary kitchen and entertainment area to feature his studio art glass collection. He wanted a highly functional kitchen with a minimalist, uncluttered look. The designer had the custom cabinetry for the island and wall units made deeper than industry standards to maximize storage capacity and increased countertop depth area. Multiple lighting sources include can lights, pendants, hood lighting, and LED under-cabinet lights. Soft radium corners were incorporated at the cooktop bump-out, on the ends of the islands, and as a gentle transition between the wall cabinets and the deep tall cabinets of the oven and fridge. The entertainment wall features removable boxes for the special glass pieces.



Mark T. White, CKD, CBD

Kitchen Encounters

Annapolis, Maryland

photo-Mike Kaskel

photo-Mike Kaskel

Functional Aesthetics – The original kitchen in the home, though nicely done, did not fulfill the homeowners’ desire for a contemporary kitchen with a more functional design. As the walk-in pantry was next to a small bar/butler’s pantry which was rather small, the designer reorganized the space to place the pantry entry right by the prep area allowing the expansion of the bar. Matching cabinetry was used to create a fireplace hutch offering more storage and a sleek gas fireplace. The new countertops and tile work are a great complement to the cabinets and wood floors. One of the highlights of the new kitchen is built-in accent lighting beside and above the cabinets that are also built in. The project gave the family everything they wanted in the new kitchen, impressively combining aesthetics and functionality.



Robin R. Fisher, CMKBD, CAPS

Robin Rigby Fisher Design

Portland, Oregon

photo-Dale Lang

photo-Dale Lang

A Pet Project – This 1990s kitchen was remodeled to a contemporary sleek space perfect for entertaining large or small groups, comfortable for the clients as well as their three Italian Greyhounds. Horizontal grain Sapele Mahogany cabinets are topped with white quartz for ease of maintenance. Glass tile in shades of cream, grey and blue continue the horizontal aesthetic. To create a more modern look, the designer created wood-clad soffits.

Since the client loves to entertain, but likes to work away from other cooks and guests, the designer created several zones for cooking, clean-up, prep, baking, beverage and hanging-out. The island is large enough for multiple cooks and large projects. The 36-inch range is the kitchen’s focal point, close to the main stainless steel sink and the 42-inch built-in refrigerator. A raised glass eating bar creates a space for guests to interact without being in the way of the cooks. Three separate feeding stations serve the different eating styles of the clients’ pets.



Cassandra Nordell-MacLean

William Standen Co.

Sarnia, Ontario

photo-William Standen Co.

photo-William Standen Co.

A Natural Inspiration – The designer created functionality, longevity and style, all based on tenets of social and ethical responsibility. Cabinet door construction featured MDF, a recycled wood product. The flooring is FSC and CARB compliant engineered hardwood. The flooring is FSC and CARB compliant engineered hardwood. The appliances are energy efficient, surpassing minimum federal standards by 20 percent. The faucet conserves water by using 1.2 gallons of water per minute.

A cooking zone allows the chef to prep while interacting with guests. The secondary prep area allows others to mix a drink and entertain without entering the cooking zone.



Peter Ross Salerno, CMKBD

Peter Salerno Inc.

Wyckoff, New Jersey

Co-designer: Julie Ferrara;

Kimberly C. Hill, CKD CBD

photo-Peter Rymwid

photo-Peter Rymwid

A Timeless Transition – This original, dated kitchen was successfully turned into a transitional design. The perimeter of the kitchen ceiling was dropped 11 feet and a magnificent tin ceiling was created in the center. An additional second island satisfies the client’s need for more storage, working space and seating. The custom stainless hood was made with polished stainless and non-directional stainless for visual contrast. The stove wall is water jet marble with a mosaic marble inlay creating an interesting focal point. The butler’s pantry features walnut cabinets with a custom pewter top and a beveled mirror tile backsplash.


The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the nonprofit trade association that owns the KBIS®. With nearly 14,000 member companies representing more than 60,000 individuals, the NKBA has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry since its founding in 1963. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. For more information, visit NKBA.org or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).

Beauty Abounds in Winning Kitchen Designs

Category: Interior Details

Comments are closed.