HACKETTSTOWN, NJ –It’s not every day that people reach the pinnacle of their given field. It’s not only an honor, it also serves as an inspiration to all those aspiring to greatness. All of which is why the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) Design Competition pays tribute to top designs ceach year with its annual Design Competition.
The 42nd annual NKBA Design Competition once again honored the year’s most vibrant, innovative and inspired designs from top kitchen and bath designers, representing a cross section of the U.S and two provinces in Canada. After careful consideration by the judges, a total of 44 winners were selected from 11 categories.
This year, Lori Carroll and co-designer Mary Roles of Tucson, AZ-based Lori Carroll & Associates not only took home first place in the “Open Plan Kitchens” category, but also earned the “Pinnacle Design” award as the contest’s best design.
Carroll’s and Roles’ design not only combined stone, tile and light-colored woods for a more layered and textured feel, but also masterfully integrated a large center island for more efficient utilization and access between the kitchen proper and the living room (see related story, below).
Indeed, many of the designs this year featured nature-inspired materials and colors intermixed with high technology, incorporating everything from high-end appliances to plasma televisions.
But that is not to say that function wasn’t equally well represented in this year’s winning designs, which often featured clever and efficient use of space and innovative storage options – both in high demand among today’s consumers.
There were more than 470 entries submitted for the competition – a new record, according to NKBA officials. Judging was conducted by a panel of noted kitchen and bath designers, industry professionals, editors and publishers, with award-winning designs selected on the basis of visual appeal, creativity, elements and principles of design, presentation, basic safety and ergonomics.
Winning entries earned recognition at the NKBA Board of Directors’ Gala at the recent K/BIS in Chicago, as well as awards and prizes.
Sponsors included Sub-Zero Freezer Co.; Dornbracht USA, Inc.; 20-20 Technologies, Inc. and Meredith Corp.
Best Overall Design
Design Team Showcases ‘Natural Beauty’ and Earns Top Overall Honors
Ask Lori Carroll, and she will tell you that there is indeed such a thing as natural beauty.
In fact, that was precisely the case when Carroll – along with co-designer Mary Roles of Tucson, AZ-based Lori Carroll & Associates – incorporated stone, tile and light-colored woods to add depth and dimension to this spacious kitchen.
Indeed, it was this combination of natural materials and classic style that earned Carroll and Roles first-place honors in the “Open Plan Kitchens” category, as well as “Pinnacle Design” honors as the best overall design in the 2006 NKBA Design Competition.
“The unique thing about this kitchen was the island,’ says Roles. “The idea was to make it functional and usable at the same time.”
According to Carroll, the kitchen is enhanced by glossy granite countertops, which curve stylishly while still retaining an air of practicality.
For a vibrant effect, select walls were enveloped in shimmering bronze glass squares.
She offers: “Exclusive faux finishes were applied to blend flawlessly with the natural elements featured.” Carroll also adds that engaging vignettes border the food prep area, maximizing the entertainment potential of the space.
Complementing this design are a microwave, cooktop, oven and ventilation from Dacor, as well as a Sub-Zero and a Bosch dishwasher. French Vanilla limestone flooring finished off the look, Carroll adds.
Category 1 – Small Kitchens – 1st Place
Eye-Catching Kitchen Design Proves That Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Tom Trzcinski, CMKBD, of Pittsburgh, PA-based Kitchen & Bath Concepts of Pittsburgh knows that good things come in small packages.