Layers for Living Well
Layers of thoughtful detail carefully tailored to clients’ lives set the winners of this year’s Kitchen & Bath Design Awards apart.
by Autumn McGarr
When asked to point to what might set a winning project apart from the crowd, the judges of the 2022 Kitchen & Bath Design Awards were unanimous in their answers: scrupulous attention to detail.
“Detail” meant different things to different judges, it ought to be noted. For some, it meant thoughtful little lifestyle additions such as coffee bars or charging centers; for others, the most remarkable details were small yet surprising flourishes that really set a design apart aesthetically. Yet others indicated thoughtful lighting design as the real standout.
Those tailored, sometimes unexpected details are celebrated in the 33 spaces that have been named winners of the 2022 Kitchen & Bath Design Awards. Over 200 projects were judged in 11 categories: Best Kitchen Over $225,000; Best Kitchen $150,000-$225,000; Best Kitchen $75,000-$150,000; Best Kitchen Under $75,000; Best Specialty Kitchen; 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:
- Jeremy Parcels, Parcels Design Studio, Lakewood, CO
- Lori Miya, Miya Interiors, Clearfield, UT
- Michele Alfano, Michele Alfano Design, Suffern, NY
- Ginger Rabe, Ginger Rabe Designs, Carlsbad, CA
- Angela Poirrier, Acadian House Design and Renovation, Baton Rouge, LA
- Steven Kampfer, Küster Design, Indianapolis, IN
Each of the projects was 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 provided design feedback to all entrants.
The judging panel found plenty to celebrate among the kitchen entries, including several features that they themselves are excited to incorporate into their own future projects. “One of the things that I would definitely bring into my designs are these hidden coffee bars with amazing storage solutions,” says Alfano.
According to Parcels, “One of the things that I’m seeing that I would probably incorporate or that I even see being used more in the future is definitely texture on cabinets, whether it’s the ribbed texture or the wire-brushed finishes or horizontal grains.”
Rabe chimes in, “One of the elements that I remember most about the kitchen design winners was the layers of lighting – that I would definitely incorporate into my own designs.”
The bathroom categories were no slouches, either. “We also saw some really cool bathrooms – some unexpected details that we saw were hanging mirrors or faucets attached to the ceiling, giving a waterfall effect to the sink area in the powder room,” Alfano adds.
SPACES FOR LIVING
Perhaps due in part to the COVID-necessitated reevaluation of how people exist in their homes, many of the most remarkable projects selected as winners boasted features that were designed for gathering, working and socializing.
“Something I really appreciated was the incorporation of thoughtful design – having places for people to gather, cozy spots where people can just enjoy each other’s company and have conversation,” says Miya. “We saw a lot of really great pub rooms and wine rooms, just somewhere people can connect and relax and enjoy being with each other.”
Personal, private luxury spaces were also standouts. “For me, the wet room is still a huge trend that’s continuing,” says Parcels. “There were some beautiful wet rooms that were done with free-standing tubs, whether round or oval, with natural materials and attached showers. It really contains that water and makes cleaning easy.”
Ease of maintenance, even in heavy use rooms, was also one of Kampfer’s notables. “A big thing with bathrooms, too, was the use of floating vanities, floating toilets, curbless showers – anything that makes it easier to clean.”
LAYERS OF INTEREST
In particular, Kampfer emphasizes the importance of layering in designs that are a feast for the eye. “I think a big takeaway from the winners this year would be the use of textures and layering – mixing stained finishes and painted, along with mixed metals – things that have been trending now for a while, but really play a role in things not being so flat,” he says.
Poirrier notes the role of textural layers in defining a space. “A big takeaway from the kitchen aspect of the entries was the antique glass on some of the appliances – I found it a really interesting way to incorporate a different element into the space while also being reflective and making the space feel larger,” she says.
Rabe adds, “Within the bathroom designs of the winners for this year, some of the textures that were used in these spaces were so innovative, like…the mirrors that would go from floor to ceiling, as well as tying in different textures running up the walls, like wood and mixed uses of metals.”
On pages 42–72, KBDN shares expanded coverage of the winning projects in the seventh annual competition. For more photos of this year’s winners as well as insights from the panel of judges, visit www.KitchenBathDesign.com. ▪