Designs Spotlight Beauty, Originality

by Autumn McGarr

Harrisburg, SD — Originality, beauty and function were the hallmarks of Showplace Cabinetry’s first national Design Contest winners.

The design competition, which drew over 110 kitchen and bath project entries from all over North America, was open to all sales and design professionals employed by Showplace kitchen and bath dealerships, with entries judged based on the projects’ visual appeal, creativity, workflow and design elements.

Entries were judged by a panel of design professionals in kitchen and bath categories ranging from traditional and contemporary to transitional styles, along with an award for best small kitchen and new dealer of Showplace Cabinetry.

“The originality of design and the quality of these projects were exceptional,” stated Paul Sova, president and CEO of Showplace Cabinetry. “It’s important to remember that all the design entries were from actual projects, placed in homes across the nation. The pride of the designers in creating functional and beautiful rooms for their clients shows through in each entry.”

Following is a look at some of this year’s winning projects. ▪

Kitchen Design – Contemporary
Judges’ Choice – Outstanding Overall Design

Julie Leverett – ONE eleven ltd.

While everyone wants a gorgeous and functional kitchen, in this project, designer Julie Leverett needed to reconfigure the kitchen/living space to enhance the quality of life for a couple with limited mobility. One of the clients uses a wheelchair, while the other has challenges reaching overhead.

But while accessibility was a key consideration, the clients also wanted a space that would direct the focus away from their physical limitations, offering a light, airy and spacious feel that would allow for greater freedom of movement.

Leverett and her design team began by replacing the secondary sink with an accessible sink/food prep station. Cabinetry was then designed with all lower drawer boxes and a full-height roll-out pantry for easy access.

The island was designed with 42″ clearances to make navigating the space by wheelchair easier, while the microwave was placed at counter level to allow for easy access.

One challenging aspect of the project involved relocating the sink and appliances to the opposite side of the room, which lacked plumbing, gas and the proper electrical requirements. Leverett addressed this by cutting and removing the concrete, eliminating the existing downdraft cooktop vent and relocating the underground plumbing and gas, adding sufficient electrical, including USB port outlets for convenience.

While the design addressed the clients’ functional needs, the judges also were impressed by the minimalist design, which they said managed to be “light and airy without being cold,” as well as the elegant use of materials, unexpected cabinet color, clever corner shelf and convenient work flow.

As one judge concluded, “The materials are a perfect blend of warm, sleek and natural. I really like the natural cabinets, the extensive use of the Carrara marble, the blend of seating, open shelving and the lighter wood-look floor.”

New Dealer of Showplace Cabinetry

April Haggard – Haggard Home Group

When you’re cooking for five, you tend to have plenty of pots and pans. But the homeowners of this space didn’t want any wall cabinets at all, creating a challenge for designer April Haggard.

Additionally, the clients’ desire for all-black cabinets and tile created the risk of making the small space seem dark and cave-like.

Going with a clean and contemporary Scandinavian design, Haggard simplified the space and made every inch of storage count. Clean lines, clean spaces and architectural elements all come together to create a dramatic yet unfussy space that’s modern and efficient, yet also comfortable for entertaining.

Thoughtful appliance placement and attention to detail also contribute to the success of this design, which was cited by the judges for the “beautiful black and blond accents, excellent appliance placement and waterfall edges.”

Kitchen Design – Traditional

Angie Joy – The Washington Kitchen Gallery

For this traditional kitchen, designer Angie Joy focused on creating an open-concept space that would accommodate the family’s needs while also offering an updated look and feel.

She began by removing a wall separating the kitchen and eating area, making space for a larger, paneled refrigerator. An island with extra seating accommodates the family, while moving the oven to a back wall allowed for an easier traffic flow.

Joy kept the existing floor, but added a range hood and brought the cabinets up to the ceiling, incorporating a modern farmhouse style.

The warm wood tones add a feeling of comfort, while the larger pantry provides plenty of storage for a family with three small children and lots of visiting cousins.

Judges were taken by the use of posts on the island, the details of the interior doors and the more efficient layout, ideal for a busy and active family.

Kitchen Design – Transitional

Amy Britton, CKD – Artisan Kitchens Inc.

When choosing a home, it’s often said that the top three priorities should be “location, location, location.” In this case, the homeowner chose a great neighborhood, but the house suffered from a poor layout, poor lighting and a jumbled mess of rooms with no access to the backyard.

In focusing on the kitchen, Amy Britton began by creating a more efficient layout that would open up the kitchen and family room, while incorporating access to the backyard since the family planned to add a pool. She added a host of appliances, including two dishwashers, and included abundant seating for the kids and their friends.

The brick fireplace could not be moved, so Britton designed pantry units on either side for additional storage.

The judges loved the mix of materials and colors, and the treatment of the doors of the wall cabinets, as well as the way the designer incorporated a large number of appliances to improve work flow while making “beautiful use of an awkward space.”

Kitchen Design – Best Small Kitchen Design

Chenelle Johnson – DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen

Improved work flow, increased storage, functional counter space and updated, easy-to-maintain materials were on the clients’ wish list for this small (110-sq.-ft.) kitchen. The footprint of the space could not be expanded, and designer Chenelle Johnson also faced challenges from old baseboard heating and the soffit over the window that intersected with the roof line and could not be moved.

Johnson reworked the layout to maximize every square inch of space, replacing a cooktop and double ovens with a slide-in range and microwave, relocated and recessed into the wall to allow clearance for the dishwasher door. Wall cabinets on each side of the microwave were stepped up artfully to include the soffit, maximizing wall storage space.

The baseboard heat was removed and capped, with a new electric toekick heater installed to provide heat, while allowing space for the sink and dishwasher to be placed beneath the window.

The opposite wall became a large, unbroken workspace, opening up the flow of the space.

A striking mix of finishes coordinate with the finishes in the living and dining rooms, adding visual interest.

The design won the judges over with its “creative way of designing cabinetry with the soffit,” and the way the window offers a “killer view.”

Bath Design – Contemporary

Leslie Shankman-Cohn — Eclectic Interiors

When Leslie Shankman-Cohn was asked to build a new master suite addition, she had to meet the needs of two very different people. At 4’6” tall, her client needed custom cabinets and other amenities to accommodate her shorter stature, while her client’s 98-year-old uncle who would soon be moving in had his own set of accessibility needs.

By building an extension off the side of the mid-century modern home, Shankman-Cohn was able to create  private, atrium0like area large enough to accommodate the primary occupant and a caretaker if needed.

The bathroom cabinetry is designed at a lower height, and the expansive ube deck was designed to offer plenty of room for transferring into the tub. At the same time, the tub deck visually extends the shower area, creating a bench seat in the curbless shower.

The vanity also has an open area to make it wheelchair accessible. Custom drawers hidden in the statue area beyond he skirt of the tub offer easy storage, while the apron front is clean and contemporary, with windows bringing in plenty of light and contributing to the airy, open feel.

The judges found many winning features in this design, including the clean and sophisticated design, the way the accessible features are “hidden” in the overall design and the continuity of the tub with the shower.

As one judge noted, “I think this is a great example of simple and thoughtful design. All the details are beautiful on their own, and together.”


Bath Design – Traditional

Rosie Mozelle — Central City Lumber

A large, tiled shower, a freestanding tub and a freestanding vanity with double sinks were all on her clients’ master bath wish list, but designer Rosie Mozelle had only a very small space to work with. Rather than sacrifice the homeowners’ desires, she and her team decided to combine the bathroom with a small hallway that connected the bathroom and walk-in closet. This allowed space for all of the wish list items, plus a bookcase located between the two sink base cabinets to make space for rolled towels.

The original lakeside home resembled a hunting lodge, and the homeowners wanted to update the look while incorporating their own design sensibilities. The furniture-style vanity with double sinks and mix of warm materials came together to give the clients the spa-like bath they desired.

The design of the vanity was cited by several judges for being both “functional and unique.”

As one judge concluded, “I like that it feels like a rustic space, but doesn’t go over the top with it. [There’s a] good balance of materials and textures.


Bath Design – Transitional

Briana Langel and Marie Hofmeyer — Holland House Interiors

Powder rooms are meant to impress, so when Briana Langel and Marie Hofmeyer were tasked with created a powder room with wow power, they were excited to get started.

Gold and emerald green are trending, according to the design team, and the clients were fully on board with this striking color scheme.

A rustic hickory cognac floating vaniy and soft gold finishes complement the emerald green walls, making a powerful design statement that’s vibrant and memorable.

The judges were wowed by the details and drama. As one noted, “All [the details] work super well together. They took a finish for the cabinets that often seems tired and dated and made it WOW! I love all the finishing touches!”

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