True Works of Art

It has been said that "a thing of beauty is a joy forever," and this year – perhaps more than at any other time – that sentiment reflects the designs showcased in the 43rd annual National Kitchen & Bath Association Design Competition.

Dubbed the "2007 NKBA Design Competition: Art of the Industry," this year's competition highlights 44 finalists whose designs share a sense of art in their approach to aesthetics, function and innovation.

Indeed, each design features its own unique style. Among those highlighted are an Asian-style bungalow, a kitchen reminiscent of a client's childhood home in South Africa, and a powder room that captures the elegance of a jewelry box while maintaining a sense of practicality.

Function was a top priority in these designs, as state-of-the-art products – combined with a judicious use of space – resulted in efficient layouts suitable for entertaining purposes, yet durable enough for everyday use.

It is these qualities, along with traffic-friendly floorplans, striking materials, effective lighting, subtle finishing touches and a timeless appreciation for craftsmanship, that make these rooms stand out from the rest.


This year, a panel of 14 industry experts served as judges for the 2007 NKBA Design Competition, each of whom is a practicing kitchen and bath design professional who has achieved the Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) and Certified Bath Designer (CBD) designation and/or Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer (CMKBD) designation.

According to NKBA officials, the judging criteria is stringent, with designs chosen based on visual appeal, creative elements, principles of design, overall presentation (including quality of floorplan, perspective and photos) and basic safety and ergonomics of the design.

All first-place winners will also be eligible for the Pinnacle Award, which recognizes the best overall design, as well as the "Best Kitchen" Award for winners in the kitchen categories and the "Best Before-and-After Award."


This year's competition was separated into 11 distinct categories, each designed to represent the latest trends in kitchen, bath and other-room design. The categories were created to reflect how designers stretch their imaginations and put their creativity to work for their clients in a variety of settings.

Design categories for this year's competition included: Category One: Small Kitchens (defined as having less than 35 sq. ft. of countertops); Category Two: Medium Kitchens (defined as having more than 35 sq. ft. but less than 50 sq. ft. of countertops); Category Three: Large Kitchens (defined as having more than 50 sq. ft. of countertops); Category Four: Open Plan Kitchens (including Great Rooms, breakfast nooks and dining rooms); Category Five: Powder Rooms; Category Six: Small Bathrooms (defined as having less than 55 sq. ft. total); Category Seven: Large Bathrooms (defined as having more than 55 sq. ft. total); Category Eight: Master Suite/Bathrooms (which includes closets, dressing rooms, etc.); Category Nine: Showrooms; Category 10: Other Rooms (home offices, dining areas, living rooms, etc.), and Category 11: Non-Residential Spaces (reception areas, restaurants and cooking schools).

To view all of the winners of the 2007 Annual National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Design Competition, visit the Project Spotlight section.

Once again, Kitchen & Bath Design News' Web site,, will be there every step of the way, providing information on the latest show news, products and trends, live from the show floor.

Kitchen & Bath Design News is covering Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS 2007). The Live Events section will have all of the latest headlines from the show, while the Kitchen & Bath Confidential blog will feature sights and sounds of the show, with podcasts offering daily highlights. The Product Gallery will bring to life the myriad products on display, while At-K/BIS and Post-K/BIS eNewsletters will feature wrap-ups of the show. And visit Kitchen & Bath Design News at Booth C8322 to pick up a 4/07 Pre-K/BIS issue containing the KBDN Pre-K/BIS Guide and pick up a 5/07 At-K/BIS issue.