Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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IN JUNE, I had the pleasure of sitting down with some of the industry's top designers during the judging of KBDN's 3rd annual Kitchen & Bath Design Awards. Spending a few days with such stellar talents as Kimball Derrick, Stephanie Frees, Christopher Grubb, Mikal Otten, Peter Salerno and Jean Stoffer was inspiring on so many levels, and their insights into what gives a design "winning appeal" were fascinating. What was particularly intriguing to me was how each judge brought his or her own unique experiences, tastes, preferences, design background and perspectives to the table – yet despite this, there was a tremendous synchronic- ity when it came to the judges' favorite projects. Just as the elements of a great design always seem to come together in a manner that's intuitive, even when the design is complex, our judges fell in love with a variety of different design elements…yet ultimately, they seemed to intuitively come together when it came to which projects resonated the most for them (see related K&BDA coverage, Pages 42-79). From an industry standpoint, design competitions not only offer a terrific barometer of what's trending right now, they also say a lot about what consumers want and need in their lives. Sometimes that's about a feeling – of optimism, serenity, connectedness – or it may be about more practical needs, such as accessibility, time savings, technology or storage that addresses changing culinary preferences. Many of the trends seen in this year's winners focused on color, light and nature, with elements such as outdoor baths/showers and indoor "living" kitchen walls that brought the outside in. Layering of materials and textures was also a hot trend, as personalized spaces become increasingly in vogue. Kimball Derrick felt the winning designs offered a lot of drama – though he pointed out that, in some cases, the drama was quiet and soft rather than loud and showy, a way of expressing the personality of the clients. Jean Stoffer delighted in "the incredible use of ceil- ings as a 'fifth wall,'" while Stephanie Frees was taken by the move away from all-white kitchens and the use of col- or – from teal and gold to rich, natural wood tones. Mikal Otten loved the way the winning designers juxtaposed materials and textures in the spaces they created, from high-gloss materials to steel and even brass. But even as the entries were winnowed down and the winners ultimately chosen, the judges found inspiration in so many of the projects submitted, each offering its own unique vision that evolved from the collaboration between designer and client into a living space. At the end of the competition, the judges expressed what an honor it was to have the chance to view the work and vision of so many passionate industry professionals, and to share feedback with them about their designs. Of course in an industry like ours, with so many talented professionals, these contests tend to be highly competitive. So why do people enter design competitions, even when the competition is stiff ? For Christopher Grubb, the answer is easy: "If you win, it's an instant ad for your business. You're published, you're acknowledged and you have the prestige of saying you won. It's important in social media, it's important for your resume…I'm pursuing product design, and it's also important [for that] because it categorizes you as a stand out in the industry." But even for those who don't win, Grubb believes that competitions provide valuable feedback that help design- ers up their game. Peter Salerno agrees: "I think anybody who is really serious about this business needs to enter design contests. Because when you do, you're going to search for the best possible projects and [you're going to delve more deeply into] who you are as a designer. You're going to say, 'I know I'm good, but I can be better and how do I get better?' I think by putting your project up against the best designers in the country, you can definitely up your game." KBDN congratulates our 2018 winners, and all of the entrants who took the time to share their work with us. We hope that, in doing so, you delved a bit more deeply into who you are as a designer, and were inspired, just as your work inspired all of us. ▪ " Design competitions not only offer a terrific barometer of what's trending right now, they also say a lot about what consumers want and need in their lives." Design Winners Inspire Us August 2018 • KitchenBathDesign.com 9 EDITORIAL ® Like us: Facebook.com/ KitchenBathDesignNews Follow us on Twitter: @KBDN Join the discussion: LinkedIn.com/groups/7023676 Follow us on Instagram: @kbdn_sola PUBLISHER Paul DeGrandis PUBLISHER EMERITUS Eliot Sefrin EDITOR Janice Anne Costa MANAGING EDITOR Anita Shaw ASSOCIATE EDITOR Autumn McGarr GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Patrick O'Toole CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Berndtson Joe Dowd Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS Elizabeth Richards Denise Vermeulen COLUMNISTS Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS Denise Grothouse Leslie Hart Bruce Kelleran, CKD, CPA John Morgan Ken Peterson, CKD Leah Peterson Mary Jo Peterson, CMKBD, CAPS, CLIPP Sarah Reep, CMKBD, ASID, CMG, CAPS, IIDA Eric Schimelpfenig, AKBD CREATIVE & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Tracy Hegg SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Erika Nygaard AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Donna Heuberger READER SERVICE MANAGER Jeff Heine DIGITAL PROGRAMS MANAGER Tim Steingraber PROJECTS MANAGER Heidi Riedl Copyright © 2018 by SOLA Group Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be produced in any form, including electronically, without written permission from the publisher of Kitchen & Bath Design News . JANICE COSTA EDITOR

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