Good design is made up of a combination of elements, including beautiful aesthetics, optimum function and quality products, to name a few. Personalized spaces that are stunning, balanced and work on a multitude of levels are what most designers seek to achieve.
Great design, however, takes these elements and elevates them, delivering a feeling that provides a sense of the exceptional. That ‘wow’ factor is what is sought, and often delivered, by award-winning kitchen and bath designs.
Impeccable design is what is being celebrated in the 30 spaces that were named winners of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ 2020 Kitchen & Bath Design Awards. Over 200 projects were judged in 10 categories: Best Kitchen Over $225,000; Best Kitchen $150,000-$225,000; Best Kitchen $75,000-$150,000; Best Kitchen Under $75,000; Best Master Bath Over $100,000; Best Master Bath $50,000-$100,000; Best Master Bath Under $50,000; Best Powder Room; Best Showroom, and Best Specialty Project.
The prestigious judging panel for the awards included:
- Steven Cooper, Cooper Pacific Kitchens, West Hollywood, CA
- Amy Hart, Dovetail Design & Cabinetry, Charlottesville, VA
- Kerrie Kelly, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, Sacramento, CA
- Christopher Peacock, Christopher Peacock Home, Greenwich, CT
- Matthew Quinn, Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio, Atlanta, GA
- Lauren Tolles, Maison Birmingham, Birmingham, MI
The projects were evaluated on multiple points, including: aesthetic appeal, functionality of the space, attention to detail, handling of unusual situations, originality, selection of colors and finishes and overall impression. The judges also took the time to provide valuable design feedback to all of the entrants.
Many design staples and long-standing trends were reflected in this year’s crop of entries, including gray cabinets, large kitchen islands and glass-enclosed tiled showers. A wall of cabinets for storage, multiple windows for natural light and ceilings with architectural interest were also in play in many designs.
Some newer trends included cabinets in updated shades of blue, black and white contrasts, bright color pops, brass and metal accents and statement lighting.
THE HEAD OF THE PACK
The winning designs all had their own distinctive take on style. The top picks included traditionals with a twist, rustic and modern mixes, dedicated retro and transitionals with bold elements. Metals added just enough bling, lighting illuminated and dazzled, and surfaces went from understated to focal points. Some of the leading designs delivered drama via statement pieces and overall look while exhibiting restraint by not trying to do too much. Other award winners provided a sense of warmth and comfort, conveying an invitation to come and stay a while.
One of the latter spaces was the first-place winner in the Master Bath $50,000-$100,000 category. Noted Hart: “I thought about how this space would be enjoyed by the homeowner. This honestly is such an oasis and what a master bath should be.”
Tolles had a similar reaction to the Silver winner in Master Baths Over $100,00. “I thought this was sophisticated and elegant. I liked the crisp, clean lines, and it just looked really warm and inviting,” she noted.
In the Kitchens $75,000-$150,000 category, Cooper was very positive about the design of the Silver award winner. “I love this kitchen. I thought the palette was nice. I like the stone hood, and the way the windows are balanced. The use of the black is very effective.”
Effective use of color was also a major consideration for the judges. In the Kitchens $150,000-$225,000 category, Quinn stated: “This is a great use of color throughout the space without it being overwhelming. It’s an impressive design considering the very low ceiling. It also offers a smart use of decorative light fixtures. There is just enough brass detailing, and it delivers an elegant mix of textures, finishes, metals and woods.”
Bold choices also demanded attention, with great design being displayed in some interesting styles. In Kitchens Over $225,000, Kelly noted that, while the Silver winner was heavily traditional, “the functionality is very thoughtful. I love how the bar stools tuck under and just kind of go away, I love the double dishwashers and the double sinks. I like to have people cook in the kitchen with me, and there is just a place for everyone. It’s crazy good.”
And in Kitchens Under $75,000, Peacock offered his take on the mid-century modern space that took the Silver award. “What they’ve done is really well done. A lot of work has gone into this, and there are a lot of conscious decisions here. I admire people who have the conviction to do something and follow it through.”
While the judges gravitated toward different styles and elements, they concurred that the top projects delivered architectural balance, functionality and a sense of what the client desired. The spaces are personal and inviting, fit within the style of the home and deliver on the customer’s wish list.
The panel was especially enamored with the bright wallcoverings and color risks that some of the competitors chose for their spaces, and rewarded them in kind. Hart noted that the mix of materials was beautiful, and she appreciated the lighting as well. “When you invest that much in materials, you want it to be well lit and creatively lit. Those are the things that rose to the top for me. And the designers that practiced restraint and allowed what they did to shine, that for me was very spectacular,” she stated.
See the links below for KBDN‘s expanded coverage of all the winning projects: