Industry Awards Cite North American Designers

by WOHe

Industry Awards Cite North American

By John Filippelli

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND With a unique blend of style, function and
practicality, the internationally acclaimed designs honored at the
10th annual Bathrooms + Kitchens Industry Awards, held here, once
again proved that creative design is pronounced the same way in any

Organized by Bathrooms & Kitchens magazine a leading
U.K.-based kitchen and bath publication and strategic partner of
Kitchen & Bath Design News the Industry Awards are designed to
honor world-class designs and their creators. This year, the
winners were cited before hundreds of their peers at the gala
awards dinner, held at NEC Hilton Metropole in Birmingham, England
in January.

Among those honored this year were industry dealers who were
recognized for their marketing, showroom and retailing efforts. In
fact, with some 13 categories featured, the awards program reflects
“the increasing importance of design as well as retailing
excellence,” according to Bathrooms + Kitchens’ editor and chairman
of the judges, Phillippa Turrell.
Said Turrell, “The standard of entries for the 2004 awards was
extremely high, and the winners have made a huge achievement. The
Bathrooms + Kitchens magazine Industry Awards presentation was an
enormous success, both in honoring our industry’s finest and in
providing a successful social event for the sector’s hard-working

Judging criteria
For the North American
sector of the Anglo-American Design Awards, this year’s judging
panel featured a team of U.S. judges, including Kitchen & Bath
Design News editor Janice Costa and designer Alan Asarnow, CKD,
CBD, CR of Ridgewood, NJ-based Ulrich, Inc.

The American and Canadian winners for the bathroom and kitchen
categories were then flown to the gala ceremony in Birmingham,
where their projects were judged in the international finals
against the winners for each of the other countries

Judging for the U.K. and Irish winners took place at the end of
last year in England, with the overall winner of the Anglo-American
design awards named at the Birmingham awards ceremony.

Projects were judged based on a variety of criteria, including
safety of use and efficiency of the working area, overall
presentation of the project (including floor plans, elevations and
photos) and the contribution added by the
designer’s skill.

Kitchen classic
Faced with the challenge of a
solid concrete ceiling in a condominium with strict building
regulations, David Courtney, CKD and company director for
Pickering, Ontario, Canada-based Kitchen Court, knew that he would
not be allowed to move the doorways or walls; but, he could move

As a result, Courtney earned finalist honors in the
International Kitchen Designer of the Year.

As Courtney notes, the kitchen had poor lighting and a floor
that needed replacement. To meet these challenges, he decided to
relocate the appliances and install a lighter wood floor and a
sleek lighting system to create a suitable space for the clients
both of whom are avid cooks.

He explains, “Due to the concrete ceiling, the overhead lighting
was very limited. The existing floor was old, water-damaged wood
badly in need of replacing. Additionally, the clients were adamant
that we remove the table from the kitchen and replace it with a
small place for the husband to enjoy a glass of wine while meals
are being prepared.”
As Courtney describes, it was this request that opened up the
entire design.

“Removing the table gave me new-found space to relocate the
appliances and make the design flow better,” he offers.
In terms of lighting, Courtney states, “Having no windows in the
kitchen made the lighting very important. A sleek European track
light plus mirrored backs inside the glass door cabinets complete
with low-voltage halogen lights help reflect the light out into the

He continues, “This kitchen is very unique in a lot of ways, as
evidenced by the custom-made crack and sandblasted glass
backsplash, pre-drilled to accept the European stainless steel
utensils and accessories. This is accented by the 1-1/2″-thick aqua
glass eating bar and custom 1/2″ glass open shelves.”

In terms of safety, Courtney connected a new fan to the
ductwork, as well as installed ground fault circuit interrupters,
which brought the kitchen up to electrical code. As he notes, the
existing exhaust fan was not connected to the duct system, which
allowed grease into the cabinet above and created a fire

“The installation of a bracket to hold a small fire extinguisher
in the sink cabinet, as well as the smoke detector installed on the
ceiling, gives my client peace of mind,” he points out.

Courtney concludes, “With plenty of counter space on both sides
of the sink and cooktop, this design exceeds NKBA standards. The
work triangle, upper cabinet storage and base cabinets with drawers
all comply with NKBA regulations.”

Oh so suite
For Robin Siegerman, owner of
Sieguzi Interior Designs, Inc. based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
becoming a finalist for International Bathroom Designer of the Year
was just a matter of space management.

Faced with a small ensuite that was adjacent to an overly large
bedroom, Siegerman created a new ensuite bathroom that allowed more
room for the clients.

Siegerman notes that the closet and ensuite had three competing
door swings and all three small rooms were poorly lit and missing
natural daylight, creating a gloomy appearance.

“The solution was to reconfigure all of the spaces,” she offers,
noting that she merged the existing walk-in closet, toilet and
shower room and sink area into one ensuite while also adding a

“I used 4.5 feet of the length of the bedroom across the entire
width for a well-organized walk-in closet. Also, on the bedroom
side of the closet wall, I designed classically styled, 18″-deep
built-in cabinetry for additional storage to hold folded clothing
and decorative items on the open shelves,” she continues. In fact,
she notes that by doing this, some 13 linear feet of bedroom
storage space was created.

“The cabinetry is all hand-painted, lending credence to the
suggestion of furniture rather than built-ins. Travertine with
black accents on the ensuite floor and limestone for the countertop
provides a calm elegance and sophistication,” she explains.

But, the design also contained unforeseeable challenges,
Siegerman points out.

“One of the biggest challenges was the gable roof in the
bedroom, which continued into the ensuite area with a slope
starting at 71″ above the finished floor. This produced a dilemma
when designing the double vanity and mirrors. Since the overriding
style desired by the clients in the house was classical, it was
difficult to reconcile with the resulting unfortunate angle of a
sloping ceiling,” she says.

Therefore, Siegerman settled on a classical pediment over the
vanity mirrors, which incorporates the ceiling slope.
“Since the top left-hand corner of the left vanity mirror was cut
off to accommodate the roof angle, the pediment helps the eye move
upward and not dwell on the awkward corner,” she describes.

Safety was also a main concern of the space, Siegerman

For instance, she installed a pocket door between the ensuite
and bedroom a technique that would ensure that the swing door to
the water closet would not interfere with the door to the bedroom,
or injure any of the small children in the home. “I wanted to
minimize the possibility of little fingers getting caught between
competing doors,” she says.

The glass stem shower door swings in and out of the stall, as
well, which also enhanced the safety of the design. “If someone
should take ill in the shower and fall, a rescuer would still be
able to open the door to administer aid,” she explains.

Subtle elements, such as the tub wall panels and sculpted
valance with matching crown, add a strong complement to the
classical aesthetic of the vanity cabinets. For added convenience,
a matching built-in bench with a hinged seat beside the tub
conceals a laundry chute through the new mudroom to the main floor
and into the laundry room.

Just beachy
As finalists in the International
Bathroom Designer of the Year category, Cyndi Stever and Shelley
Anderson of Seattle, WA-based Voute Design Group, Inc. wanted to
help their clients “get away.”

The designers were asked to create a beach retreat with an
adequately sized bathroom, one that was also suitable in a more
formal residence, with enough space for entertaining guests.

“We wanted to make the view the focal point, so we located the
window toward the [Puget Sound]. We designed an oversized frameless
shower and mirrored above the vanity, which brought the view into
the entire bathroom,” Stever notes.

“In this room, the view truly becomes an extension of the master
bath. Therefore, we did not choose to add any window treatment to
disrupt the feel,” she offers.

Stever continues, “We kept the design very simple and tailored.
Our design goal was to create a space that could accommodate any
direction the client wished to go. Also, the client travels a lot,
and did not want to spend time cleaning the house for guests or
weekend stays. As a result, we selected natural materials that
would withstand a lot of abuse.”
Cabinetry was also essential, Stever notes, as it needed to allot
enough storage for a possible permanent residence. Therefore, the
pair selected rip sawn white oak because “it offered a very
straight grain and is [easily manipulated] to stain the stain

Complementing the design is the flooring, which features a
combination of maple, concrete, slate and commercial broadloom all
with sub-floor heating.

The shower floor itself is covered with sliced stones, as is the
accent wall border, adding warmth to the space. The pair also
installed honed olive limestone countertops that mimic natural

Stever concludes, “We like the idea of using natural materials
in the bathroom. We think that especially in smaller bathrooms
there’s something very intimate about co-existing and bathing in an
environment surrounded by nature.”

On the road
The competition also awards
two “travelling scholarships.” Called the “Young Kitchen and
Bathroom Designers Awards,” these scholarships are presented to two
designers under the age of 30, who receive an all-expense-paid trip
to the U.S, where they have the opportunity to work with a renowned
American kitchen and bath designer to further their skills and
broaden their design perspectives.

Jonathon Woodcock, winner of the Young Designers Award for
Kitchens, and Gary Clegg, winner of the Young Designers Award for
Baths, were this year’s recipients.

The judging panel for the travelling scholarships included
representatives from the Conran Design Group, the Chartered
Institute of Marketing, Independent Bathrooms Specialists’
Association, Richard Rogers Partnership, Conran & Partners and
Studio Levien.


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