National Kitchen & Bath Association Design Awards

Kitchens and baths are some of the most utilized and important spaces in a home. Each year, the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Puget Sound chapter members submit their best work in a design competition. The entries are judged by certified designers in another state, and we showcase the winners in the magazine! Learn how local designers made homeowners’ dreams come true by creating beautiful and functional kitchens and bathrooms. Read how the designers found solutions when faced with structural constraints, storage shortages, and more. Check out all their award-winning ideas on the following pages, and see more inspiration and get connected with local professionals online.

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President’s Award

Joy Dolling, CKD & CBD, of Abodian • Builder: David Knirk of Prestige Residential Construction

Magnificently Modern
After living many years with a dark, cramped kitchen in the center of the house, the homeowner and her architect decided to relocate the kitchen to a little-used living room filled with light. They enlisted the help of designer Joy Dolling, CKD, CBD, to lay out the open floor plan for preparing large meals and entertaining. The space boasts seating for many guests, appliances, and finishing touches to give the room a “wow” factor.

The bar area has a display for wine bottles and glasses, while the tip-on drawers behind the bar are tall enough to hold liquor-height bottles. A post had to remain in place near the bar, so it was cleverly disguised with cabinetry. Seating was placed behind the bar, at the island, and on the pantry wall, where a sloped back creates a comfortable book nook and cozy gathering place.

A stainless-steel appliance garage keeps the kitchen looking neat, and bi-fold lift doors keep baking and cooking items right next to the range. Dolling chose the upper cabinets in a gloss white to reflect the light in the new space. The solid glass backsplash is easy to clean, as is the quartz countertop.

The President’s Award is the “Best of the Best” award, selected from all entries. Judging was by NKBA-certified designers from Portland.

  • Drawers for spices and a knife block are located near the gas range for easy access. A stainless-steel appliance garage sits on the counter.
  • Without looking closely, you might not notice this cabinet at all. The flush hardware keeps it hidden, while the space inside provides ample room for bottles. Cheers!
  • Fir was chosen for its warmth and to blend in with the rest of the windows and doors. Seating for several guests was important to the homeowner throughout the space.  

Category sponsored by BradLee Distributors

First – Open Plan Kitchen

Scott Gjesdahl and co-designer Sandra Gjesdahl of Bristol Design & Construction

Villa Sul Lago
Designer Scott Gjesdahl said this house on Lake Washington — which enjoys spectacular views of Mount Rainier — embodies the sophisticated character of a classic European masterpiece. He transformed this ’60s-style space into a new kitchen that far exceeded expectations. Everything is now functional and enjoyable, whether it’s taking in outdoor views, sitting in front of the fireplace, or gathering over morning coffee.

The goal was to create a classically designed kitchen with traditional influence and contemporary functionality. The island needed to perform for food prep and cleanup, so an existing exterior wall built at an angle was incorporated into the shape of the island for better flow. A television was designed into a cabinet on an uplift and swivel mechanism so it can be viewed from the kitchen and the family room.

To keep some cabinetry a bit lighter in feel, they used metal mesh instead of panels. The custom armoire that houses small appliances and dishes was analine dyed with hand carvings at the top and bottom, making it even more unique. The range also became a focal point, crowned with a custom cold-rolled steel hood.

  • Nothing’s boring about this space, including the custom steel and bronze hood above the 54-inch Lacanche range.
  • The island functions as the food prep and cleanup area. Notice the larger one-basin sink next to the smaller sink and faucet for prep.
  • The vaulted wood ceiling created a lighting challenge that was met with stylish, large fixtures. The custom armoire to the left houses small appliances and dishes.  

Second – Open Plan Kitchen

Gail Monica Dent of Provanti Designs, Inc. • Builder: April Bettinger of Nip Tuck Remodeling, LLC

Third – Open Plan Kitchen

Richard Landon, CMKBD of Richard Landon Design

Category sponsored by Luwa

First – Large Kitchen

Sandra Gjesdahl and co-designer Scott Gjesdahl of Bristol Design & Construction

Form Follows Function

Sandra Gjesdahl gave this professional chef’s mid-century modern home kitchen an amazing makeover by incorporating an adjacent, little-used family room. Functionality was of utmost importance, but aesthetics followed close behind, made evident by extra stainless steel and the double waterfall soapstone counter with mitered edges.

The client entertains frequently yet prefers to keep guests out of the workspace. The goal was to keep the connections to the backyard, living and dining areas convenient without creating an open kitchen plan. A beverage peninsula serves as a buffer between the kitchen and dining room so guests can mill around there instead of venturing into the work zone in the kitchen.

Storage was built into the end of the fireplace. The floating shelf and column detail that anchors one end of the scullery become a focal point, while the custom cold-rolled steel and glass hood provides asymmetrical elegance and warmth. The ovens feel fully integrated, and the 9-foot scullery sink — which extends into an appliance barn — becomes a block of stainless steel to incorporate two full-size dishwashers.  

  • The dual waterfall ends on the island, and peninsula countertops create quite a statement.
  • Pendant lighting was used in addition to monorails to be sure spaces were well-lighted.

Second – Large Kitchen

Roshele Allison, CMKBD, of NW Home Designers

Third – Large Kitchen

Judith Wright Sentz, AKBD, of Judith Wright Design

Category sponsored by Miele

First – Small/Medium Kitchen

Shiela Off, CMKBD, of Signature Design & Cabinetry

Transitional Luxury Kitchen

Shiela Off, CMKBD, transformed a rustic kitchen into a transitional style and current color palette. The client wanted plenty of storage and room to bake, cook, and feed the grandkids.

Challenges came while working in the existing kitchen space because structural beams had to remain. A raised eating bar was removed from the peninsula to allow for a large countertop with room to prepare meals and serve guests. The French range with brass trim was placed on the back wall to free up the counters for a seating area.

A simple door style and taupe cabinet color create a softer look, while glass doors on the upper cabinets with antique mirrored backs add a touch of luxury. Features include a hand-blown glass light fixture over the peninsula, a metallic tile backsplash, bronze hardware, and “Neolith” ultra-compact surface countertops.

  • A unique hand-blown glass fixture hangs above the peninsula.
  • The La Cornue French range with brass trim is a statement piece.
  • This metallic tile backsplash is from Walker Zanger.
  • The bronze sink, faucet, and cabinet hardware from Rocky Mountain Hardware tie in with the range.  

Second – Medium Kitchen

Gail Monica Dent of Provanti Designs, Inc. • Builder: April Bettinger of Nip Tuck Remodeling, LLC

Third – Small/Medium Kitchen

Judith Wright Sentz, AKBD, of Judith Wright Design. Builder: Paul Stoner of Paul Stoner Construction, LLC

Category sponsored by FloForm Countertops

First – Large Bathroom

Sandra Gjesdahl and co-designer Scott Gjesdahl of Bristol Design & Construction

Jewelry Box Bath

With this master bathroom and closet, designer Sandra Gjesdahl created a space perfect for couples by cleverly splitting the accessibility of a floating vanity island. Partners approach from separate sides, with sinks, faucets, and mirrors appropriately configured. The project redesigned a dated ’60s bathroom and two small bedrooms into a true master suite with natural light, and extra storage.

Incorporating the closets into the space plan allowed for maximum yet beautiful storage, and each client now has a generous and detailed built-in wardrobe. The mirrors were kept slim — so as not to create a barrier between the couple — and were designed to swivel in order to serve the closet areas.

The wood columns of the vanity provide a focal point from the bedroom while also creating some separation and extra storage for smaller items. A floor-to-ceiling glass wall defines the end of the bathroom, allowing natural light to spill into the space. A custom barn door separates the bedroom from the rest of the suite. “We feel the results are reminiscent of a modern Asian jewelry box,” Gjesdahl said.

  • Storage was a priority over having a soaking bathtub, so each resident could have generous and detailed built-in wardrobes.
  • The closet doors incorporate shoji material to create a lighter feel, and slight Asian influence.
  • These Graff faucets were the perfect choice in this composition. The wall-mounted design twists the water flow, so mounting them to a sidewall works perfectly.  

Second – Large Bathroom

Jennifer Kowalski, AKBD, of Six Walls Builder: Kelly Brooks of Homeworks by Kelly

Third – Large Bathroom

Scott Gjesdahl and co-designer: Sandra Gjesdahl of Bristol Design & Construction

Category sponsored by Abbrio

First – Small/Medium Bathroom

Vawn Greany, CMKBD, of Collaborative Interiors • Co-designer: Trisha Gaffney, AKBD, of Trisha Gaffney Interiors

When Old Meets Blue

This bathroom was imaginatively designed by Vawn Greany, CMKBD, for two young girls for years to come. Borrowing about 3 square feet from an adjacent bedroom and closing off a second door allowed Greany to add a 60-inch tub/shower and two sinks. Dual vanity cabinets give each equal storage, while recessed mirrored cabinets on both sides provide a place for smaller items. A wavy, blue panel caps the half wall, creating a semi-private area when entering. The white tiles on the floor and walls provide a cheery, bright feel. Soft blue tile was placed along the back tub wall and horizontally along the full mirror to offer balanced focal points.

  • The translucent blue panel provides interest and privacy.
  • Crisp white tiles contrast the pretty blue subway tile around the tub and mirror.
  • A monochromatic hint of blue on the cabinetry, walls, tile, and the privacy panel ties the space together.

Second – Small/Medium Bathroom

Gail Monica Dent of Provanti Designs, Inc. • Builder: April Bettinger of Nip Tuck Remodeling, LLC

Third – Small/Medium Bathroom

Candace Nordquist, CKD, of Candace Nordquist Interiors • Builder: Tod Sakai of Sockeye Homes

Category sponsored by Ferguson Bath Kitchen and Lighting

First – Powder Room

Beverly Bradshaw of Beverly Bradshaw Interiors

Restrained Beauty

The owners of this newly constructed home wanted a brighter, more interesting space. Designer Beverly Bradshaw used a floating cabinet on the wall facing the door. She also installed a wall-hung toilet, which freed up floor space, and appears less heavy in the room. Adding the white-painted custom cabinet, vessel sink, hanging glass pendants, and circle hardware that ties in with the  patterned wallpaper gives the room sophistication. The oval, scalloped mirror adds a touch of whimsy.  

  • The white, floating cabinet with dramatic pulls makes a sophisticated statement.
  • The wallpaper, mirror, and pendant lights add interest and sparkle to the small space.

Second – Powder Room

Roshele Allison, CMKBD, of NW Home Designers ï uilder: Kelly Brooks of Homeworks by Kelly

Third – Powder Room

Vawn Greany, CMKBD, of Collaborative Interiors Co-designer: Trisha Gaffney, AKBD, of Trisha Gaffney Interiors

Category sponsored by Keller Supply

First – Other Room

Candace Nordquist, CKD, of Candace Nordquist Interiors • Builder: Tod and Kristin Sakai, Sockeye Homes.

Modern Pop of Color 

Candace Nordquist, CKD, was happy to help this family create a contemporary space that was both multifunctional and playful, while avoiding expensive features to stay within a tight budget. Desired characteristics were a light and bright feel, durable and modern countertops, storage for seasonal items, access to the deck and front areas of the home, and a design that ties this addition to the rest of the house.

A pocket door separates the kitchen from this family room for a sound barrier as needed. The room is multifunctional and includes space for watching TV, a play area, and an office. The floating cabinetry features LED under-cabinet lighting to add interest and provide soft lighting while watching TV. The concrete countertops were custom made by this talented homeowner.

  •  The Zebrano built-in cabinetry/desk space and concrete countertops give off a contemporary interior vibe.
  • The mantle and cabinets give the room dimension, and add a touch of nature.

Second – Other Room

Candace Nordquist, CKD, of Candace Nordquist Interiors

Third – Other Room

Shiela Off, CMKBD, of Signature Design & Cabinetry

Category sponsored by Contract Furnishings Mart

Photos courtesy Josh Garretson of Josh Garretson Photography; Cory Holland, Holland Photography; Cory Holland, Holland Photography; Jeff Hobson, Jeff Hobson Photography; Cory Holland, Holland Photography; Dale Lang, NW Architectural Photography; Dale Lang, NW Architectural Photography; David Cohen, David Cohen Photography; post-production Edits by Raphi Wilson.

is a staff writer at South Sound magazine.
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