Although varied in size, scope and approach, the winners of this year’s Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards share one quality: Each offers a vast improvement to an existing structure.
Indeed, this year’s crop of national CotY award winners – honored by the Des Plaines, IL-based National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) – faced a wide range of design challenges, such as a now breath-taking kitchen that needed to function seamlessly for its physically challenged owner, or the master bath that needed to be made smaller so that the clients could comfortably manage the space.
Much like in years’ past, it is the contractor’s ability to tap into the most-detailed needs of the client that enabled this year’s class of 25 winners to stand out.
Chaden Halfhill, CR, CGR, and president of Des Moines, IA-based Silent Rivers Design Build, explains: “What set our [project] apart from the norm was how intimately we worked with the client throughout the design and construction process.”
Halfhill, whose recent kitchen remodel earned his firm top honors in the “Residential Kitchen Over $100,000” category adds: “[Therefore, we knew that] maintaining the fabric of the house was an important [part of the project.]”
Michael Anschel, whose firm – Otogawa-Anschel Design Build, LLC in Minneapolis, MN – earned a CotY award for the “Residential Bath $30,000 to $60,000” category, adds that this approach also helps design professionals gain insight into current kitchen and bath design trends.
“The big trend in bathroom design is the demand for a larger walk-in shower that also has a steam generator,” he offers.
Other categories represented at this year’s CotY Awards were “Residential Bath Over $60,000,” “Residential Kitchen Over $100,000” and “Home Theater and Media Rooms,” among others, the association noted.
To be considered for this year’s CotY Awards, entrants needed to be a NARI member in good standing, and were judged on various criteria, including problem solving, functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovations, degree of difficulty and entry presentation, the association further added.
On this and the following five pages, Kitchen & Bath Design News showcases some of the national winners of this year’s Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards competition.
Residential Bath Under $30,000
Designer Captures French Victorian Look and Earns National Honors
These are the sentiments of Vance Dato, president and designer for D&D Remodel Design in Irving, TX, who was recently asked to recapture the high-end, 1920s French Victorian look of a client’s master bath. It was this precise approach that earned Dato national honors in the “Bath Under $30,000” category of this year’s CotY Awards.
“When the client gives me free reign, I’m able to do all of the architecture and designing to the period of the home,” he says.
Dato used Kohler’s Memoir Suite as the basis for the design, and combined the products with basket weave, 1/4"x1/4" marble flooring, he notes.
“The client also picked out a couple of mosaic bands that we installed in the shower,” he says, adding that the look was accented by glass blocks.
But, the process was not cut-and-dry.
“Somebody had tried to remodel this bathroom back in the 1960s, but the results were [terrible],” he points out.
He adds: “They had the tub supply line and the commode right beside each other. You actually had to lean over the commode to do anything!”
He continues: “After we took that apart, you could tell that there was a shower in there. Rearranging everything made things so much more functional.”
To add light, Dato used recessed can lighting on the wall and integrated the sconces with medicine wall cabinets.
Storage also played a big role in the design, he suggests. “[The previous bath had] minimal storage, until we developed the (2'x3') closet with eight adjustable shelves. The client can now store his personal hygiene items,” he explains.