Cream of the Crop

In the past year, numerous kitchens and baths have been remodeled or built anew. But only a handful of them have been so outstanding, so unique, they have stood as inspirations, as monuments of design and as testaments to adept problem-solving on the part of those who designed them.

This select few have stepped forth to claim top prizes, special recognition and honorable mentions in several different design competitions this past year. They have showcased the best of the best in terms of innovation, style and product applications in the minds of industry peers, design experts and competition judges who were charged with discerning the extraordinary from the ordinary.

Here, and on the next seven pages, Kitchen & Bath Design News takes a look at the cream of this year's award-winning design crop, and features the winners of a few of the most recent design competitions.

A nature-inspired kitchen, a well-appointed spa bath and another kitchen that meshes with a home's original 1925 bungalow-style interior took top prizes at the 2005 Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards.

Sponsored by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) in Des Plaines, IL, the CotY Awards recognizes annually the best remodeling projects designed by NARI members in good standing.

These particular kitchens and bath projects were among the 25 national CotY winners and five national honorable mentions that were named at NARI's 2005 Evening of Excellence held last month in Chicago.

These projects captured the attention of an impartial panel of judges from a field of entries submitted by contractors from seven regions nationwide. Here, the award-winning kitchens and baths prove why they captured the national prize in their respective categories.

Residential Bath Over $60,000
Martha Kerr, CMKBD, CR and v.p. with Neil Kelly Co. in Lake Oswego, OR, worked with architect David Spitzer to bring this master bath, and the rest of the 1920s Storybook home, into the new millennium. The luxurious master suite includes a beautiful new bath and a sunroom with French doors leading to a roof deck.

"With some creative space usage, and the conversion of [the] deck...we were able to accommodate all of their needs, and provide a wonderfully appointed master bath. The new master bath is a private and relaxing space that provides a spa-like room with many amenities," explain Kerr and Spitzer.

Indeed, the tumbled limestone bath itself features mission-style cabinetry from Legendary Woodworking Design & Material, heated floors and towel bar, a two-person shower, two lavs, a Sunrise Specialties pedestal soaking tub, a separate TOTO water closet, a fireplace and plenty of storage, counter space, natural light and ventilation.

Residential Bath $30,000 to $60,000
The octagonal rain shower is the centerpiece of this bath design by Joseph Billingham, CR, CLC, CKBR, of Billingham Built in Erwinna, PA. "It incorporates the concept of a nautilus as the innermost private chamber, and an octagonal shape, both of which establish common themes in Asian design," notes Billingham.
Another geometric shape, the square, provides a rhythm of repetition with square 3-1/2"x3-1/2" Pietra shower floor tiles, Pittsburgh Corning glass block shower enclosure and 7"x7" tiles in the TOTO water closet and vanity areas.

The bath is "the end result of a thoughtful collaboration, with the homeowners, architect, builder and interior designer all providing ideas and expertise," concludes Billingham. He worked with Joseph Catelli, AIA of Exton, PA and interior designer Deborah Macchia on the project.

Residential Kitchen Over $100,000
"These clients were all about going natural," notes Jonas Carnemark, CR, CKD of contracting firm Carnemark systems+design, inc, in Bethesda, MD. So, he designed a kitchen inspired by the clients' love of nature and penchant for organic cooking, and made it more accessible to the living room and garden.

Carnemark ripped out the vanilla-wash stock cabinets and vinyl floor, and installed cork flooring, gray-green concrete counters, maple SieMatic cabinetry and celadon walls to echo the garden's earthy hues. The revamped kitchen also features stainless appliances from GE, Bosch, Sub-Zero and Wolf that brighten the room and reflect the carefully planned lighting scheme.

Residential Kitchen $30,000 to $60,000
Sid Levin of Authentic Construction in St. Paul, MN set out to modernize this kitchen without losing the flavor of the 1925 Sears & Roebuck Co. bungalow-style home. "We designed a hutch-like cabinet to sit between the dining room and kitchen under our newly opened wall to make the new kitchen better blend with the period home," explains Levin.

Next, Levin chose a simple, flat-panel, quarter-sawn oak cabinet style, and stained it to match the trim. He also refinished the original maple floor found under the old vinyl. The laminate countertop with a matching wood edge, among other design elements, allowed Levin to install the the professional-style range the client wanted.

Residential Kitchen $60,001 to $100,000
To open up the original 9'x13' kitchen and 10'6"x13' dining room, Charles A. Testa, CKD and president of Island Kitchens & Baths in Patchogue, NY, created an 11'x20' extension. In doing so, he combined the existing kitchen and dining room, and installed a new vaulted ceiling.

He applied an heirloom white with charcoal glaze finish to the Wood-Mode Brookhaven Edgemont perimeter cabinetry, and a dark cherry finish on the island cabinetry in the same style. "The contrast of the stone and tile to these white cabinets, along with the blending of the island's colors, fulfilled the home-owners' wish for a warm and inviting kitchen," notes Testa.

Additionally, a large mantel hood is the focal point on the kitchen's left side. The arch of one large window is also repeated in several areas.

Residential Kitchen Over $100,000 (Honorable Mention)
To accommodate the homeowners' wish to update the kitchen and reclaim the neglected outdoor rear deck of their 25-year-old home, Austin, TX-based CG&S Design-Build's Stewart Davis, AIA and design director, and Mark Lind, designer, re-organized the kitchen and opened up the deck. They removed selected interior walls to integrate the new kitchen with surrounding spaces and applied varied ceiling heights to maintain spatial identity.

They removed two masonry fireplaces and installed a wine center and outdoor grilling area that featured a mix of KitchenAid and Sub-Zero appliances. The duo chose frameless custom cabinetry in rift-cut maple with a clear finish from Amazonia Cabinetry, and installed three distinct types of polished granite slab countertops from Austin Stoneworks and filled travertine floor tile and unfilled travertine wall tile from Material Marketing, all to accommodate the client's love of natural materials.


Designs Centering on Cabinetry Take Top Prize
Since 2003, the Design with Decor' Contest has sought to recognize outstanding residential kitchen and showroom designs created by Decor' dealers.

This year, two exciting projects received top nods in the annual competition -which is sponsored by the Jasper, IN-based Decor' cabinetry division of MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. These include a kitchen that enhanced the traditional European look of a home with a formal, Old World feel, and a traditional-style showroom that reinforces a home-like atmosphere and features a fully functional kitchen

"Decor' dealers and designers all work hard to provide the very best design and product to their customers. The national winners of Design with Decor' are a testament to the exceptional talent represented by our dealers and designers," relates Jan Aufderhar, brand manager.

Entrants submit designs taken from conception through completion, and compete in two categories: Kitchen Design and Decor' Dealer Showroom Design. Regional winners automatically vie for the national award. National winners receive $5,000, while $1,000 is awarded to regional winners.

Special Recognition was awarded this year for an unusual application of kitchen design. This year's regional and national winners -eight in all -are featured on the next three pages.

Each of the kitchen and showroom designs highlighted here captured the attention of a judging panel of independent, nationally recognized experts, educators and opinion leaders within the design industry.

The judges included Penny Chin, CID, IIDA of Elements In Design, San Francisco, CA, as well as Kitchen & Bath Design News columnists Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD and Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID. Cheever heads her own firm in Wilmington, DE called Ellen Cheever and Associates, while Peterson runs her own firm in Brookfield, CT called MJP Design.

Best Kitchen Design: National and South Regional Winner
This 440-sq.-ft. kitchen "enhances the traditional European look of the home, with a formal, Old World feel," believes Mark Buelow CGR, and president of Distinctive Remodeling Solutions.

Buelow, with the help of Jill Weber, a design consultant with the Atlanta, GA-based firm, achieved this look by installing Decor''s Galleria Brandywine on cherry cabinetry. The duo installed a microwave base cabinet modified to house a microwave and warming drawer, and also applied matching cabinetry panels to the cabinetry. They further enhanced the cabinetry by installing such storage solutions as pot/pan storage, trash pull-outs, a wine rack and pantry drawer roll-outs.
Buelow and Weber also re-organized the work areas and installed such functional elements as a 48" Wolf cooking unit and a sink in the island.

Best Kitchen Design: East Regional Winner
Gustave Brunet of Creative Design Construction and Remodeling in Northvale, NJ installed a number of Decor' special-order items and accessories to create this 420-sq.-ft., free-flowing kitchen.

"In one area we stacked cabinets. We also used tulip feet, decorative legs, shelf supports, authentic panels, three-step crowns, wainscoting, clipped corners, fluted casings and decorative onlays," notes Brunet. He used Plaza Maple with an Antique Bronze finish in the L-shape area of the kitchen. The island features Plaza Cherry in a Suede finish.

Best Kitchen Design: Midwest Regional Winner
In order to give this 1960s cottage a truly functional kitchen, Steven "Chip" Weiss, CKD, of Mid-State Supply in Wautoma, WI decided to repurpose the 80-sq.-ft. existing kitchen and, instead, transform a 200-sq.-ft. existing bedroom into the new kitchen.

There, he applied a warm, earthy design that recalls the beauty of Tuscany by using Decor''s Braydon Manor base and tall cabinets in cherry with a Coriander stain and Coffee glaze along with Braydon Manor wall cabinets in maple with a Vintage Chateau finish. ZINTEGRATED panels conceal the dishwasher, bottom-mount freezer/refrigerator and the undercounter beverage refrigerator at the end of the island.

"An open display shelf, plate rack and appliance cubby reflect the features of a bygone era," adds Weiss, "while a ribbon of 18"-high, lighted cabinets with glass inserts provide more display space and ambiance."

Best Kitchen Design: West Regional Winner
Kathleen Tish, CKD and owner of Kitchen & Bath Solutions in Fountain Valley, CA, had to ensure that her redesign of this 248-sq.-ft. kitchen retained a traditional look in order to maintain the integrity of the home's Tudor style. "The client wanted the new kitchen to look as if it had always been there, so choice of materials was important," she recalls.

Thus, she chose Decor''s Covington maple in a Lemonade finish for the perimeter and Covington Bordeaux Patina for the island. She also applied spool legs and turnings throughout the kitchen, and used corbels and leaded glass on the hutch.

Best Kitchen Design: Special Recognition
Steve Farless of Design House Kitchens in Savage, MD created this unusual kitchen and bar design for a 125-year-old stone and timber barn near Ellicott City, MD using Decor''s Simsbury door style in cherry with a Coriander stain and Coffee glaze. Tall crown (ZMTCROWN) moulding enhances the top of the wall cabinets, while light rail (ZMLR) moulding serves as an accent under the wall cabinets. Authentic end panels finish exposed cabinet ends.

"The kitchen was part of a major barn renovation. The barn is not the principal residence of the client, but meant as a place for entertainment and parties, and, when needed, it serves as a guest house," notes Farless. "The cabinetry and overall design reflect the rustic nature of the barn's interior, while offering country elegance."

Stainless steel appliances and brushed chrome knobs round out the look.

Best Showroom Design: National and East Regional Winner
Carved from space previously used as an office, Creative Design Construction and Remodeling's new, 1,500-sq.-ft. showroom in Northvale, NJ showcases traditional styling and reinforces a home-like atmosphere.

A sitting island offers clients a roomy, relaxing station to enjoy refreshments while reviewing the firm's presentation materials. "And the working kitchen has proven to be a great tool for hosting cooking demonstrations and other events as part of our marketing plan," remarks owner Glen Lumia.

Stacked cabinets, a modified corner cabinet and microwave cabinet and a sink base with clipped corners are among the special-order Decor' items the showroom included in its design. Decor' details include turnings, refrigerator and dishwasher panels, roll-out trays and an English country valance.

Best Showroom Design: South Regional Winner
When Cornerstone Design, Inc. revamped its 2,500-sq.-ft. showroom, it decided to update its Decor' display. "The goal was to design a creative display that features the possibilities of a small kitchen," explains Bonnie Settle, ASID with the Atlanta, GA-based firm. "By using reduced cabinetry depths, I was able to illustrate some innovative storage ideas for our clients."

The display features a two-color palette that draws the eye through the space. Wall cabinets with beveled glass in Russet with Natural Coffee shelves pulled the base cabinet color onto the wall, notes Settle.

Best Showroom Design: Midwest Regional Winner
Inspired by a local home expo, Woodland House of Kitchens in Grand Rapids, MI remodeled its 15-year-old showroom, revamping its typical 8'x10' vignette displays and creating displays with more visual interest.

"Our primary goal for this particular kitchen display was to show an upscale kitchen using turning posts, elevation changes, mixed crown moulding sizes and light rail moulding," says Dave Offringa, CKD, CGR and owner. "The very same week we installed the display, we sold a customer the same style and finish of Decor' cabinetry."

The W1848 turned sideways without doors, but with a finished interior and English country valance, is among the special-order/accessory Decor' items the showroom included in its design.


Winning Kitchens Featuring Ventilation Clear the Air

One kitchen features a polished brass hood. Another kitchen features a professional-style hood in what appears to be a shallow island application. And still another features a stainless hood with a round capture fenced by an inverted rail detail. What do they have in common?

These three kitchens blew the competition away and took top prizes in The Best Kitchen Design Competition, sponsored by Hartford, WI-based Broan-NuTone LLC and the Hackettstown, NJ-based National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

Broan-NuTone and the NKBA recently named first-, second- and third-place professional and student winners of the 2005 Best Kitchen Design Competition in three categories: Wall-Mounted Ventilation, Island/Peninsula Ventilation and Custom Design Hood incorporating a Best by Broan kitchen ventilation product (i.e. Power Pack).

All first-place-winning professional kitchen designers and student kitchen designers "who incorporated proper kitchen ventilation into their designs utilizing the Best by Broan kitchen ventilation product line" will be present this month at K/BIS (see related story, Page 160), where the grand-prize professional and student winners will be announced, and their winning designs unveiled, reports David Pringle, president and CEO of Broan-NuTone.

The grand-prize-winning professional wins airfare and hotel accommodations for two to Rome, Italy. The grand-prize-winning student wins a $10,000 scholarship from Broan-NuTone and the NKBA's Center for Kitchen & Bath Education and Research.

According to Pringle, Best distributors and dealers played an integral role in the competition, from encouraging their customers to enter the competition to promoting it within their showrooms. Also key to the success of the competition, adds Pringle, were the NKBA's student instructors who encouraged their student chapter members to enter the competition.

A panel of industry professionals judged the competition. In all, concludes Pringle, a total of $40,000 in cash, scholarships and travel will be awarded to the winners. Here, and on the next two pages, the winning professional designs are highlighted.
--Barbara Capella Loehr

Wall-Mounted Ventilation (Professional): First Place
Sharon Sherman of Thyme and Place Design in Wyckoff, NJ chose each of the appliances to ensure proper function and maintain the integrity of the historic register Victorian home. "We needed something aesthetically pleasing and powerful enough to vent the six-burner, 90,000-BTU cooktop, yet still be aesthetically pleasing in a 42" width," notes Sherman. "We also needed a rear-duct entry." So she chose the Best by Broan K260 hood with 1,200-CFM blower.

Sherman worked with distributor Carl Schaedel & Co. in Fairfield, NJ on the project.

Wall-Mounted Ventilation (Professional) Second Place
Ane Kirstine Brusendorff of Woodinville, WA-based J. Stephen Peterson & Associates, P.S. designed this kitchen to accommodate the cooking needs of her clients, which meant installing a combination of commercial and restaurant-style appliances. Since the husband is also in commercial aviation and management, she needed the style, the appliances and even the hood to mesh with his particular aesthetic sensibilities.

To that end, she says, "we specified the stainless steel Broan KER222 because it provided the look this client required, plus the needed 1,100-CFM capability for their cooking equipment and style."

Brusendorff worked with Kent, WA-based distributor Bradlee Distributors.

Wall-Mounted Ventilation (Professional) Third Place
"The warm interplay of color, shape and materials that harmonize with the owner's Asian art collection was a driving factor in this design," recalls Oliver Aden, who designed this kitchen.

However, since the owner enjoys the preparation of exotic, spicy foods, a higher ventilation rate and the capture containment of a chimney hood was in order, notes Aden, who's with Sacramento, CA-based Poggenpohl Kitchens. So, in working with Purcell-Murray, Co., Inc., a distributor in Brisbane, CA, he chose the Best K4136PB wall hood, selecting polished brass for the finish. To further underscore the hood, Aden hid the rest of the major appliances behind matching cabinetry panels. He also used the hood's dual halogen lamp system to highlight the hand-stained, laser-cut black granite backsplash art, which is based on a traditional wood block print of Mount Fuji by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858).

Island/Peninsula Ventilation (Professional): First Place
To accommodate the hectic lifestyle of her clients -two adults, two teenage boys and one dog -Erica Westeroth of XTC Design Inc. in Toronto, Ontario, Canada opened this kitchen to the family room, consolidated two windows of varying heights into a new cantilevered box bay, and relocated the guest closet and hallway and dining room door.

She installed maple flooring and cabinetry and set it off with the deep red, exotic veneer of the box bay cabinetry, the rich red end-wall paint and the stunning metallic backsplash mosaic tiles.

All was going smoothly, until it came time for hood selection, recalls Westeroth. "A light and airy-looking hood fan was required for aesthetics and to eliminate visual impairment. But, the issue was that most sleek hoods are not powerful enough to be used over a commercial-style range top; 1,000-CFM was the minimum recommended by the manufacturer." A Best IS170 hood solved this problem, says Westeroth, who worked with Maroline Distributing, Inc. in St. Laurent, Quebec, Canada on this project.

Island/Peninsula Ventilation (Professional): Third Place
Jennifer Gilmer of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath in Chevy Chase, MD determined that the Best IS102 hood was the model that fit the ventilation requirements in this kitchen. In addition, Gilmer believed the stainless hood's lines and "round capture fenced by an inverted rail detail" meshed well with her kitchen design. It also allowed her to install a counter-to-ceiling backsplash. She worked with Fretz Corp., a Philadelphia, PA-based distributor, on the project.

Island/Peninsula Ventilation (Professional): Second Place
Designing this two-cook kitchen inside an 11'x15' space presented several challenges for Cheryl Hamilton-Gray of Hamilton-Gray Design in Encinitas, CA.
First, the narrow space needed to be opened up, but was neither wide enough for an island, nor narrow enough for that extra step to more prep space. Hamilton-Gray's solution was to close an unused back door, install wall-to-wall windows and place cabinets deeper into the room to reduce floor space.

That left the matter of the clients' cooking needs. "Each cook required individual sinks and dishwashers, but both agreed to share the refrigerator and range," she says. She installed a professional-style range that has the two ovens and cooktop they both wanted.

She then had to tackle the ventilation. "It was neither a typical island nor a wall application. We needed a professional-style hood that offered a shallow island application," says Hamilton-Gray. In the end, she ultimately chose the 27-1/2"-deep Best IS42 to solve the problem, and worked with Brisbane, CA-based distributor Purcell-Murray Co., Inc.

Custom Design Hood Incorporating Best By Broan Kitchen Ventilation: First Place
This contemporary-style kitchen was designed by Robin Rigby-Fisher of Pegasus Design, Inc. in Portland, OR to meet the needs of a gourmet cook with a large family. "Since the kitchen is visible from the front door, we designed a hood that would be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. To spotlight local craftsmanship, we fabricated the hood with a local metal worker whose specialty is recycled aluminum. Inside, we installed a Best PIK 33 insert with a P8 800-CFM blower, which works great with the 16,000-BTU power of the 36" Wolf rangetop," explains Rigby-Fisher.

Rigby-Fisher worked with Bradlee Distributors in Kent, WA on the kitchen project, which also features a Sub-Zero 650 refrigerator, a Wolf wall oven and convection/microwave, and Fisher & Paykel's dishdrawers. Quarter-sawn, cherry-slab cabinetry, a custom marble and mosaic backsplash and a 33" Kohler trough sink round out
the design.

Custom Design Hood Incorporating Best By Broan Kitchen Ventilation: Third Place
"My client requested a highly detailed decorative kitchen that featured professional-style appliances," relates Holly Nelson Rickert of Ridgewood, NJ-based Ulrich Inc.

To that end, she included a 48", six-burner/griddle, dual-fuel Viking range in the design. Powerful ranges, however, need serious ventilation, so in order to properly ventilate the range, she selected a Best PIK45 ventilation solution and combined it with a roof-mounted EB15 blower and a remote switch.
She worked with Fairfield, NJ-based distributor Carl Schaedel & Co. on the project.

Custom Design Hood Incorporating Best By Broan Kitchen Ventilation: Second Place
T. Daniel Johnson of Wilmington, DE-based Giorgi Kitchens & Designs, Inc. knew that this home needed a kitchen with a more open arrangement than it had originally been designed with. He also knew that the wife loved to cook, so ventilation was key to ensuring that the design would work for even the most serious cooking. However, she did not want the ventilation solution to be apparent, remembers Johnson.

"She didn't want the look of a professional-style stainless steel hood, but the five-burner cooktop and her love of cooking demanded more ventilation," explains Johnson.

Johnson carefully considered the design before opting for the Best Built-In Power Pack ventilator to reconcile this design dilemma. In doing so, he also enlisted the help of Philadelphia, PA-based distributor Fretz Corp. for this project.