Students Receive Recognition for Kitchen & Bath Designs


A kitchen inspired by Cuban heritage and a bath inspired by the creamy palette of a Chai latte mark this year’s set of winning student designs in the NKBA’s 2005/2006 Student Design Competition.

The Hackettstown, NJ-based association gave students the imaginary client profile of fictional Brad and Penelope Ivy, and told them that the couple wanted to redo their kitchen and bath in their 1947 Cape Cod-style home.

The existing floorplan was provided for the students, and a host of obstacles were presented. In the kitchen, obstacles included reconciling Brad’s desire for a commercial-style kitchen with stainless steel, counter space and a prep area with raised counter with Penelope’s desire for a traditional kitchen that complemented the existing color scheme of sage green, ivory and deep butter. Penelope also had impaired vision, and this needed to be addressed.

In the bath, obstacles included blending Penelope’s vision of a getaway oasis, replete with a whirlpool tub and rich colors that melded with the cottage blue and white master bedroom, with Brad’s vision of a spa bath that has a shower and a urinal.

The contest was sponsored by American Woodmark Corp. and Sub-Zero/Wolf, and judged by a panel of industry professionals.Here, Kitchen & Bath Design News spotlights the top designs.


In the kitchen category, first place went to Manda Glover from Washington State University in Pullman, WA for her Cuban-inspired kitchen design, derived from the Cuban heritage of her clients. She incorporated a painting by Cuban-American artist Dioniso Perkins titled “Cara” in each aspect of her design.
The sharp lines of the cabinetry surrounding the ellipse island provide contrast and include an under-cabinet space for the dog, Ringo, along with the beverage center that Penelope desires.

By using two counter surfaces with opposing values, Penelope’s vision difficulties are addressed. The addition of a removable countertop with a marble baking slab at 32" high, along with the toe-kick steps below the cooktop, main sink and select counter surfaces, allows Penelope to work comfortably when cooking.

Spice-colored cherry wood cabinetry and cork flooring introduce warm orange tones into the kitchen. Cool green wall paint, counter surfaces and iridescent mosaic tile backsplashes add variety and harmony in the kitchen.

Second-place winner Elizabeth Schupanitz from Century College in Plymouth, MN concentrated on the common denominator between the opposing styles of Brad and Penelope: simplicity and clean lines. She chose simple Shaker-style cabinetry painted with a clean, creamy color. An uninterrupted work triangle is made possible by using a center island to direct traffic away from the primary cook.

She incorporated a restaurant-style range, refrigerator and sink, all in stainless steel for Brad, and traditional-feel, arched-glass cabinet doors and a curved, raised countertop for Penelope. Black slate countertops provide the necessary contrast of style to accommodate Penelope’s vision problem and Brad’s desire for a low-maintenance, ultra-clean kitchen.

Kyrsten Robbins from Weber State University in West Haven, UT placed third with her design that revolved around creating custom focal points in the room.

Her unusual design concept integrates a table to seat four at the island area, enhanced with under-cabinet task lighting. She also created a custom retreat for Silky Terrier Ringo under the window seating. Lastly, to address Penelope’s vision impairment, “way-finding” edges have been created on the edge of the countertop.


Frances Hughston from Lakeland College in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada took first place in the bath category. Her design was inspired by the colors of a Chai latte.

Creamy marble floors and rich, velvety colors mimic the frothy cream of a latte, while the exotic mosaic tile invokes thoughts of the spicy flavor. The combination large soaking tub and gas fireplace created the bath’s focal point. The glass shower keeps the space feeling open and clean, while the modern shower column maintains the contemporary feel.

Lastly, the custom-built vanity gives the couple not only a large amount of storage space, but also a place for Penelope to sit and prepare for her day.
Second place went to Erin Flynn from the University of Nebraska, Kearney for the relaxing and refreshing aura of her bath design.

To solve the problem of the sloping ceiling height, Brad’s fixtures – the shower, urinal, toilet and vanity – were placed on the side of the room with the taller ceiling height to allow for easy access in comparison to his 6' frame. Penelope’s fixtures were placed on the shorter wall. Her plan also included countertops at differing heights and a comfort-height toilet.

Jenny Stahla from the University of Nebraska, Kearney was awarded third place for her choice of materials and use of curves that echo a serene beach scene on Cape Cod.

The fixtures used mainly by Penelope, such as the whirlpool, were placed on the side of the room with the lower ceiling.

The urinal and shower were placed on the wall with the highest point to accommodate Brad’s height. The shower was designed with a seat, water tiles and a massaging showerhead.