NKBA 2003 Design competition: The Winners’ Circle

by WOHe

NKBA 2003 Design competition:
The Winners’ Circle


Eclectic materials, geometric design elements, “zoned”
task-specific spaces, furniture pieces and Old-World looks
featuring beautifully distressed finishes were all among the most
notable trends evident in the 2003 National Kitchen & Bath
Association Design Competition’s award-winning designs.

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

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).


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