NKBA 2003 Design competition: The Winners' Circle

NKBA 2003 Design competition:
The Winners' Circle


Celebrating its 39th year honoring design excellence and innovation, the 2003 Design Competition once again recognizes the year's best creations from leading kitchen and bath designers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

With a focus on kitchen and bath projects but also acknowledging other projects that reflect the scope of work accomplished by members of the NKBA the annual competition recognizes stylistically and functionally superior designs that feature well planned and efficient layouts and unique products applications all while solving problems to create beautifully designed living spaces.

A total of 384 entries from 33 states, as well as 33 entries from Canada and one from New Zealand, were received, giving this year's competition a strong and geographically diverse foundation. After careful winnowing by the judges, a total of 29 winners were selected from 11 different categories, representing 13 states and Canada.

Award-winning designs were selected based on visual appeal, creativity, elements and principles of design, presentation (including quality of floor plan, perspective and photos) as well as basic safety and ergonomics, NKBA noted.

Top honors in this year's competition went to Dan McFadden and Debbie Larson of the Geneva, IL-based Past Basket Cabinetry. The two were awarded the 2003 James H. Foster, Jr., CKD, Memorial Award for Best Overall Design for their one-of-a-kind kitchen, which combined stunning contemporary styling with carefully thought out function. The Best Overall Design Winner ran circles around the competition quite literally with a circular skylight set off by a custom chrome circular lighting fixture that gives off a halo effect, set above a circular island topped by dramatic black honed granite.

There's no question that the design was dazzling from a visual standpoint, but it also scored high marks for function, successfully addressing such challenges as facilitating the client's kosher lifestyle and working around a raised dishwasher necessary because of the client's back problems which interrupted the flow of the counter space (see related stories, Pages 102 and 108).
Winners of the Design Competition will be honored at the NKBA Board of Directors Gala, to be held during the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show in Orlando this month.

Contest sponsors for the 2003 NKBA Design Competition included Fieldstone Cabinetry, KraftMaid Cabinetry, StarMark Cabinetry, Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. and Whirlpool Corp.

While there may not be one simple formula for creating an award-winning design, winners of the NKBA's 2003 Design Competition clearly studied both geometry and chemistry.

A host of geometric elements including angles, circles, semi-circles and triangles were used for maximum appeal in this year's winning designs, with those shapes being mirrored throughout the designs to add visual interest and define work zones.

Aesthetically, good chemistry ruled the day, with designers mixing and matching not only such popular materials as stainless steel, granite, tile, solid surface, glass and wood, but also more esoteric materials such as exotic woods and wood veneers, soapstone, Chinese slate, limestone, concrete, bamboo and even leather to create combustible design combinations.

From a functional standpoint, zoned rooms with task-specific areas abounded in this year's winning designs. Kitchens sported carefully defined areas for cooking, clean up, cold storage, dry storage, built-in eating zones and baking areas. In the bathroom this trend translated into separate sinks and dressing areas, partitioned-off toilet compartments, closet and storage areas, and, of course, separate tub and shower areas.

Other trends seen in this year's award-winning designs include:

  • Creative ideas for concealing appliances behind panels, pocket doors or cabinetry to create a furniture or armoire appearance.

  • Conversely, oversized mantle hoods, or sleek stainless steel hoods with the look of art to provide pizazz.

  • Distressed finishes, Old World looks and designs that project a patina of age.

  • Earthy colors and textures and rustic sensibilities.

  • Antique-style tables.

Once again, a panel of one dozen kitchen and bath industry experts were called upon to serve as judges for the 2003 Design Competition. To make sure that submissions were held to the highest quality standards possible, each member of the panel is an award-winning, practicing design professional who has achieved the Certified Kitchen Designer and/or Certified Bath Designer designation.

According to NKBA officials, the judging criteria includes "visual appeal, creativity, elements and principles of design, presentation [quality of floor plan, perspective, photos] and basic safety and ergonomics."

Once winners were selected for each category, first-place winners in each category were then eligible to be considered for the James H. Foster, Jr., CKD, Memorial Award, which recognizes the Best Overall Design of the competition.

Design Competition judges for 2003 included: Carrie Adams, CKD, Cyndy Cantley, CKD, Michael Cavallaro, CKD, Sharon Flatley, CKD, ASID, Pamela Goldstein Sanchez, CKD, CBD, ASID, Tony Hunt, CKD, Delores Hyden, CKD, CBD, Rhonda Knoche, CKD, Rita Phillips, CKD, Georgie Skover, CKD, Jim Wallen, CKD, and Stephanie Witt, CKD, CBD.

The competition is broken into 11 categories, which represent not only kitchens and bathrooms, but also a host of related areas where kitchen and bath designers utilize their talents.

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