Richer colors and wood tones, asymmetrical design elements, a mixing of metals and textures, unique ceiling treatments, new applications for tile and a move away from the all-white kitchen were among the hottest trends showcased by the winners of KBDN’s 2018 Kitchen & Bath Design Awards. — By Janice Costa
The Kitchen & Bath Design Awards were created to recognize the industry’s most beautiful, innovative and thoughtfully designed kitchen, bath and other-room projects from designers all across the U.S. and Canada.
This year’s entries were judged by a panel of top design professionals based on aesthetic appeal, functionality of the space, attention to detail, handling of unusual situations, originality, selection of colors and finishes and overall impression. In addition to selecting the top winners, the judges also provided design feedback to all of the competition entrants.
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Color and detail were highly evident in the winning designs, with the top designs showcasing plenty of ‘wow power.’ As Frees notes, “It was interesting to see that there was more color coming back in, and a lot more of the wood elements as opposed to white only, or white and grey. We saw a lot more pops of color, a lot of teal, which is also one of the up and coming colors in the design industry, even in cabinetry, not just accents. It was nice to see some natural woods coming back, full designs in woods, and then some dark, moody [elements].”
Stoffer also found the move away from white kitchens intriguing, stating, “We are finally backing off from the all-white kitchen. We’re also seeing a mixing of materials, mixing metals, mixing textures. [The winning designs showcased] asymmetry, and we saw an incredible use of ceilings as a ‘fifth wall.’”
According to Derrick, “We definitely saw more drama in the winning designs. It’s interesting how drama plays a part in good design. And it doesn’t have to be loud drama; it can be quiet and soft drama. It’s a personality [that shines through].”
Kevin Mullen, Mark Cayen, Stephanie Gaffney, Kari Mizen and Kristen Hodge
Empire Kitchen & Bath, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
This winning kitchen design is all about functional beauty, with a clean, modern look that incorporates top-of-the-line appliances seamlessly for the optimal kitchen experience. The 308-sq.-ft. space – created by Kevin Mullen along with associate designers Mark Cayen, Stephanie Gaffney, Kari Mizen and Kristen Hodge of Empire Kitchen & Bath for the company’s showroom – is designed to be beautiful and inspiring for all who see it, and to showcase a more modern, current take on the standard styles of traditional, transitional and contemporary.
A major challenge for the design of the space was how to incorporate 10 appliances yet still maintain a luxurious and contemporary aesthetic and provide an immersive and interactive experience. Integration was key here, and the appliances are concealed or accentuated with Era custom cabinetry in white from Downsview Kitchens along the perimeter walls, creating a polished appearance. Lydia pulls from Top Knobs and Pellegrino marble countertops enhance the streamlined look.
The cooking wall includes a Wolf 36" Transitional induction cooktop and custom metal hood. A Calacatta Quartzite Leather backsplash adds a sophisticated touch and works well with the black and white elements, including the Grafite flooring from Artistic Tile.
Along the back wall, white cabinets are surrounded by glass-enclosed display cabinets with black trim, providing a dramatic backdrop for the built-in coffee system, 24" E Series Transitional Convection Steam Oven and two 24" E Series Transitional Built-in Single Ovens, all from Wolf.
Continuing around the room, discreetly hidden behind white panels are a 24" Integrated Column Refrigerator and 24" Integrated Column Freezer with Icemaker from Sub-Zero. These sit side-by-side with two Sub-Zero 30" Integrated Wine Storage Refrigerators.
A glossy wood-toned island complements the cabinetry surrounding the refrigerator area, and includes a paneled Asko dishwasher, Franke Professional Series sink and Dornbracht Lot faucet. Above, Hailey Medium Pendant lighting from Visual Comfort provides the finishing touch.
Kevin Mullen, Mark Cayen, Stephanie Gaffney, Kari Mizen and Kristen Hodge
Empire Kitchen & Bath, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Polished elegance was the desired look for this kitchen, designed by Kevin Mullen along with associate designers Mark Cayen, Stephanie Gaffney, Kari Mizen and Kristen Hodge of Empire Kitchen & Bath. The goal was to impart a more transitional feel to the kitchen using finishes that are traditionally thought of as contemporary, as well as to use stone – especially marble – as a design element rather than just for countertops and flooring.
To ensure that the use of stone didn’t overwhelm the 291-sq.-ft. showroom kitchen, similar tones were used in the marbles, solid color cabinets and backsplash to create a cohesive look. Unica 1 Cabinetry from Downsview Kitchens in a medium gray got an extra boost with a high-gloss finish, as well as glass-front uppers with interior lighting for display. The clean, squared-off lines of the Trinity hardware from Emtek add a bit of bling as well as a touch of modern appeal. Marble trim around the cabinets sets off the gray tones of the cabinetry and makes a rich, elegant statement.
The center cabinet wall surrounds the four M Series Contemporary Wall Ovens from Wolf. Built-in shelving above provides a storage spot for serving pieces. A Sub-Zero 30" Integrated Column Refrigerator with Internal Dispenser and 30" Integrated Column Freezer with Ice Maker are tucked into this wall as well, paneled in the Unica 1 cabinetry.
Along the far wall, the oversized Waterworks’ Kerr sink is paired with the Regulator bridge faucet, also from Waterworks. A paneled Asko XXL dishwasher is included here, discreetly hidden from view. The Studio Line Lancaster tile backsplash from New Ravenna highlights the space and is repeated on the opposite wall. Calcutta Caldia Marble countertops grace each space.
Islands sit back to back in the center of the space, each providing a different function. Topped with Black Cloud Onyx with a waterfall edge, the higher island provides seating for four. The lower island showcases Calcutta Caldia Marble countertops with a waterfall edge, and includes a Contemporary Gas Cooktop and Downdraft exhaust hood from Wolf.
Finishing off the room, Bianco Bellow flooring from Walker Zanger continues the marble-look/stone theme.
Weiss & Associates, Wayne, PA
This exceptional kitchen plus gathering spot for family and friends was a challenge on several fronts, one being its overwhelming size at 1,300 square feet. “We wanted to create a home that felt spacious, not cavernous,” stressed Mark Weiss of Weiss & Associates, who worked in conjunction with Winslow Interiors and McIntyre Capron & Associates.
Weiss incorporated sleek and smooth materials such as glass, stainless steel, stone and wood to keep the design interesting, noting that the natural colors of wood, chocolate brown, black and cream work together to create sophistication reminiscent of 5th Avenue. The space includes an extra-large, highly functional chef’s kitchen; a bar for entertaining positioned between the kitchen, foyer, open staircase and piano lounge; a dining area, and a walk-in pantry.
In the main kitchen area, the mix of cabinets from UltraCraft Cabinetry includes Lakewood Maple in Lunar Grey and glass-front stainless steel along the perimeter. Open shelving provides room for display items. A Wolf range is located directly across from the sink area in the island, and backed with a Dekton by Cosentino Lumina backsplash.
The 10' island offers counter seating, serving space and additional prep space, with Dekton Entzo surfacing sitting on top of UltraCraft’s Piper cabinetry finished in Kona. Kohler’s Prolific sink is paired with the Kallista Jeton faucet here, positioned next to the dishwasher. Emtek Freestone satin nickel hardware is featured throughout.
The entertaining bar, part of the dining area, features UltraCraft Cabinetry’s Piper door style finished in Kona to match the island. It is completely stocked with a Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator and ice maker, and includes Kohler’s Kallos Spun Glass sink and Purist wet bar faucet.
Along the far wall, a Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer with glass door sits among other appliances, including a Wolf warming drawer and microwave. A generous walk-in pantry with shelving on both sides combines with a butler’s pantry and breakfast bar here.
Architectural LAM beams on the high ceilings and LV Cable Lighting from Techlighting tie the space together.
Eolo A+I Design, Miami, FL
This two-story penthouse project in Miami, Florida was all about presenting a “wow” factor, and designer Sandra Diaz-Velasco of Eolo A+I Design did not disappoint. Velasco, who teamed with Sanandres Construction to reconfigure the entire space, set out to design a kitchen, living room and dining room area that would work seamlessly for entertaining.
The open layout of the 810-sq.-ft. social space showcases a clean, modern design that acts as the ideal backdrop to the double-height view of Biscayne Bay. Diaz-Velasco faced a range of challenges, including low ceilings due to an outdated air conditioning system, and architecture that posed odd shapes and angles to the interior spaces. Working with the expanse of windows, which provided an abundance of natural light, and large dining area were also a challenge, as their large scale was out of balance with the low ceilings and shape of the main kitchen.
To begin, the designer chose surface-mounted LED lighting for the kitchen to provide non-invasive, energy-saving lighting. The back wall of the kitchen features Satyrium wood veneer cabinets by Ornare Miami, contrasting with the shine of white-paneled refrigeration units, including a Sub-Zero 24" refrigerator column and 18" freezer, as well as a Thermador wine cooler. Integrated into the wood cabinets are a 400 Series single oven, a Speed Microwave and a 400 Series warming drawer, all from Gaggenau.
On the opposite wall, Satyrium base cabinets are topped with Compac’s Absolute Blanc quartz countertops with green stone veneer backsplash from Marble of the World. The area also includes a Franke sink and faucet, undercounter ice maker from True Refrigeration and ADA 24" dishwasher from Bosch.
The peninsula, which provides an open view to the dining space, features a Thermador 36" Masterpiece Silver Mirrored Cooktop, paired with the Gloss range hood from Best, illuminated by Edge Lighting’s tape light.
Custom contemporary furniture and pieces were created to work with the odd angles of the original architecture, taking advantage of the square footage to create an open, navigable space.
Heidi Piron Design & Cabinetry, Chatham, NJ
The Modern Farmhouse style was kicked up to a whole new level with this kitchen design by Heidi Piron of Heidi Piron Design & Cabinetry. While the home was a new build, the concept presented by Doug Wright of Douglas C. Wright Architects was renovated barn. Piron was brought in to design a highly functional kitchen for an avid baker and her husband, who wanted the 233-sq.-ft. space to be the heart and soul of the home.
The designer created a focal point by placing a Wolf 48" Dual Fuel Range and Amore Monarch custom hood in brushed stainless in front of the window. Across from the island, a Sub-Zero 30" Integrated Column Refrigerator and 30" Integrated Column Freezer flank the doorway.
Opposite the range, a second work zone acts as the beverage area, but also includes the third oven the homeowner requested. Appliances featured here include a Wolf Convection Steam Oven and Transitional Microwave Drawer, Miele Whole Bean Coffee System and paneled Marvel 24" undercounter refrigerator. Also included is a Blanco secondary sink with Waterstone Fulton prep faucet.
Bridging the two zones is an island that includes a Rohl stainless steel apron sink and professional grade Modern Kitchen Pull Out/Pull Down faucet, as well as a Waterstone Parche Hot Only Filtration Faucet. A Miele integrated dishwasher and seating for four provides greater efficiency.
The boldest choice was the cabinetry – Premier Custom Built’s Vintage Door and Drawer. The design featured uniform, 4"-wide planks, which meant each cabinet had to be designed in multiples of 4".
To meld the concepts of modern and farmhouse, the designer combined rustic finishes with modern metals, such as the plank cabinetry with Integrated Lisbon Pulls in polished nickel, and hot rolled steel on glass cabinetry in the beverage zone. SantaMargherita Leathered Grey countertops provide a warm contrast against the rustic-look Mosaic House Elise white backsplash tiles.
JEI Design, Austin, TX
Designed for family gatherings as well as entertaining on a large scale, this white kitchen, designed by Julie Evans of JEI Design, is anything but ordinary. Evans transformed this expansive, 655-sq.-ft. kitchen space into a modern social hub that reflects beauty and efficiency in its design.
The unmistakable focal point of this space is the Bardiglio marble. Once it was selected for the countertops, it was decided it would also be used behind the cooktop on the rear wall – book-matching it for maximum effect. It acts as a striking backdrop for the Gaggenau cooktop and Broan exhaust hood.
To give the room a clean, modern appearance and let the marble take center stage, Evans chose custom contemporary Honea cabinetry in a white gloss finish. Cabinets abound in the space, providing ample storage for daily-use items and entertaining pieces. Stainless steel ovens and a microwave from Gaggenau enhance the modern vibe, and a paneled Gaggenau refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher blend seamlessly with the cabinetry.
The island, also topped with Bardiglio marble, features cabinetry finished in a complementary rich gray tone and a Blanco sink paired with a Dornbracht faucet. Stunning Waldorf chandeliers from Arteriors that mimic starbursts illuminate the island.
The kitchen space also features a walk-in pantry and a bar area. The bar features dark wood cabinets, black countertops and a marble linear backsplash tile. A prep sink and faucet, dishwasher and KitchenAid undercounter refrigerator are also incorporated into the space.
Cindy McCarley Designs, Santa Rose Beach, FL
While most of today’s kitchens are designed to be multifunctional, the term took on a whole new meaning for Cindy McCarley of Cindy McCarley Designs when she took on the task of designing her own personal kitchen. A limited budget and a modest size of 247 square feet posed challenges for McCarley, who needed to create a room that would act as a sample kitchen for clients, function for her personal aging-in-place needs and work in an open floor plan.
McCarley situated the kitchen in an open layout, centered between the front porch/living room and the dining room/back porch. This would allow her to have crowds on both sides as well as seated at the island while entertaining.
Since the designer uses the room as her “test” kitchen, she wanted to incorporate elements that would enable her to better help her clients. For example, she installed honed Carrera marble countertops, since she finds that many of her clients want them but are afraid of them. This allows them to see how they look over time.
Since this is also her “aging-in-place” home, McCarley incorporated items that would work with this concept. A walk-in pantry provides easy accessibility, and it includes a Samsung microwave installed at an ideal height for easy access.
One wall of cabinets – custom inset Shaker and slab from Grimes Custom Cabinets in white with Anthropologie Russo hardware – stores other necessary items. The wall also houses a 36" paneled French Door and Freezer, as well as a 30" Double Wall Oven and induction cooktop, all from Jenn-Air. The backsplash tile is Meridian Veil Blend Mosaic from Oceanside Tile.
Above the cooktop is McCarley’s showpiece – a custom range hood she designed, complete with Zephyr insert. Pecky cypress on top and regular cypress at the bottom are treated with a pickled finish.
Across from the cabinet wall is a large asymmetrical island in gray with a small bookcase at one end for cookbooks. A Kohler 36" Whitehaven Apron Front Sink is paired with Delta Faucet’s Trinsic Pull Down Touch Faucet in Champagne Bronze with coordinating touch soap dispenser. A 24" Trifecta Dishwasher is also featured here, next to an undercounter wine refrigerator, both from Jenn-Air.
Maison Birmingham, Birmingham, MI
As if updating the kitchen in this authentic Mid-Century Modern home while maintaining its original character wasn’t challenging enough, Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham also needed to make an open-floor plan work within the space.
Balancing new materials and tones with an abundance of existing wood elements also tested her design and architectural skills.
Removing walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room to create an open area to house the 360-sq.-ft. kitchen presented an immediate challenge, when it was noted that some areas of the original tongue and groove ceiling had aged much differently than the rest of the ceiling. Rather than stain the areas and cause them to age differently, Tolles opted to apply oil to darken the wood so that it will all continue to age at the same pace.
To brighten the space, custom cabinetry in White Matte Lacquer from Artcraft Kitchens was used beneath a bank of windows as well as on the island. Caesarstone Pure White quartz tops both the cabinets and the island. The Miele dishwasher, Kallista Soltiere sink and Newport Brass East Linear faucet in Satin Brass sit below the window wall, which provides a spectacular view of the outdoor greenery.
Across in the island, an oiled walnut butcherblock from Grothouse provides an area for chopping and prepping food. Next to it, a Wolf gas range with downdraft offers ample cooking space.
Tolles notes that keeping the island and perimeter base cabinet finishes the same made the space feel more open, and presented the opportunity to create a dark focal wall for the refrigerator and pantry.
Indeed, a perpendicular wall, finished in custom Anthracite Matte Lacquer cabinets from Artcraft Kitchens, provides a striking yet subtle contrast with the white and wood. The wall incorporates pantry storage with microwave, as well as a Sub-Zero refrigerator. Colonial Bronze Edge Pulls are featured on all the cabinetry.
Paragon Kitchens, Guelph, Ontario
Old world charm quickly turned to old world challenges with this kitchen remodel, according to Aileen Brown of Paragon Kitchens. The 1850s home had been through several renovations through the years, and the overall effect was a hodgepodge of DIY elements, she explains.
Items associated with century-old homes, such as drafts, old plumbing, questionable wiring, uneven heating and poor lighting were all evident here. The approximately 300-sq.-ft. space was tight and inefficient for the clients, who wanted a warm and friendly kitchen to entertain in that would be modern yet still fit into the style of the home.
Since the footprint was remaining the same, planning accessible storage was a challenge. A pantry area, finished in Miralis Fenix NTM in White Lace, was recessed into the side wall to provide storage, alongside a recessed wall oven from Gaggenau.
Along the back wall and throughout the rest of the space, Miralis European Laminate cabinetry in Silverwood adds a clean yet slightly aged wood aesthetic, with plenty of drawers for storage. Hettich Brema handles and Cambria quartz countertops in bright Torquay continue the streamlined look.
The back wall also features a hood above the Gaggenau induction cooktop centered in the wall, with Gaggenau refrigerator on the far left. To provide symmetry with a plumbing stack to the left of the hood that had to be incorporated into the design, Brown added floating shelves to the right.
Floating shelves were also repeated above the peninsula, which needed to be anchored to the wall due to the placement of an existing HVAC duct. Shallow base cabinets here provide storage for seasonal items and enough room for seating. Wine storage and extra storage drawers are located below the shelves.
On the reverse side of the peninsula, full-height base cabinets hold glassware and provide an anchor for the Blanco Quatrus R15 stainless steel apron-front sink and Luxart industrial-style pull-down faucet. A Gaggenau dishwasher adds efficiency to the space.
Kevin Mullen, Mark Cayen, Stephanie Gaffney, Kari Mizen and Kristen Hodge
Empire Kitchen & Bath, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The design team of Empire Kitchen & Bath conceived the company’s new showroom as an elegant, innovative and interactive space to inspire designers and give their clients insight into the design process. The expanded 18,000-sq.-ft. space enabled the company to increase its offerings of cabinetry, appliances, tile, plumbing, lighting and hardware.
With a timeframe of only seven months, the design and construction process for the new showroom had to be impeccably planned for minimal disruption to the company’s day-to-day operations. Company founder and president Kevin Mullen, in conjunction with Empire designers Mark Cayen, Stephanie Gaffney, Kari Mizen and Kristen Hodge, created a ground-up design with all new displays in order to allow the company to continue working in its old location during construction.
In order to flatter both Empire’s own products and those of its partner brands, the design team created a layout inspired by luxury department stores, with distinct spaces for each product type denoted by 12'-high display walls. The showroom boasts a broad array of the latest products, materials and finishes from Empire and its partners, displayed in thoughtful gallery settings.
Functional, fully staged displays incorporating products from the showroom provide hands-on inspiration for visitors, including six kitchen displays, two kitchen vignettes, two bathroom displays and two closet displays. Designers and clients are encouraged to mix and match their product sample selections at the large working tables in order to develop their creative visions.
In addition to nourishing imaginations, Empire’s showroom was designed with careful attention to visitors’ and employees’ physical health. Environmentally friendly build practices and non-toxic materials were employed in the construction of the space, including VOC-free paints and adhesives, concrete flooring to maintain air quality and formaldehyde-mitigating drywall products.
Claire Thompson, Joanie Wyll and Alan Odom
The Stone Collection, Dallas, TX
Working with Claire Thompson of architecture firm Gensler, the design team at The Stone Collection set out to create a space that would function both as an eye-catching gallery-style showroom and a safe and functional warehouse. A combination of Gensler’s architectural prowess and The Stone Collection’s internal natural and engineered stone expertise produced a striking 110,000-sq.-ft. venue to showcase the company’s wide range of surfacing materials.
Visitors to the showroom are greeted by a grand 20' welcome desk, topped with black petrified wood from The Stone Collection’s Semi-Precious line and highlighted by a credenza with four slabs of yellow petrified wood. A 10' waterfall of krystallus quartzite and bookmatched amazonite quartzite create a bold statement, while faux trees bring an organic feel to the space.
Much of the facility’s flooring is Neolith’s 6mm Basalt Grey, with accents of Marmocer tile in two of the luxury galleries. The walls boast a wide variety of surfaces as well, including eight slabs from the Semi-Precious collection, backlit with LED panels to create an illuminated display designed to capture the imagination of all who visit the showroom.
Maison Birmingham, Birmingham, MI
Designer Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham envisioned her new showroom as not only a venue to display Maison Birmingham’s wide selection of available products, but also as a meeting place. Recalling her days as an itinerant designer dashing around with armfuls of samples, Tolles set out to create a comfortable and inspiring space where designers and architects could meet with their clients in a home-like setting.
Tolles explains, “We wanted to create a natural flow through rooms or spaces, much like moving through a home, moving away from the idea of ‘vignettes.’” The challenge was to curate a selection of products and finishes that would convey the breadth of Maison Birmingham’s offerings while maintaining a uniquely homey atmosphere.
The open-plan showroom features thoughtfully designed spaces in a variety of styles, from transitional to Danish modern. At the heart of the showroom is the Design Atelier, a workspace for designers, architects and clients to view samples and develop ideas.
The Beck Companies, North Smithfield, RI
This unique vehicle is the mobile Closettec showroom of The Beck Companies. Created to showcase the company’s closet storage products and cabinet and drawer selection on the go, this tiny, full-service showroom is equipped with a generator and mobile hot spot.
The compact space is outfitted with Armstrong Vinyl laminate flooring, Cas America crown moulding and a variety of cabinetry and drawer options. LED lighting and mirrors give the illusion of spaciousness. When open, the back door of the van features a functional and attractive double-sided desk with a striking red Caesarstone countertop.
Of course, the mobile showroom is still an operational vehicle, so precautions are necessary for the safety of the driver and the products. The drawers and cabinets feature magnets and child locks in order to prevent them from opening while the showroom is in motion, and all glass has been replaced with Plexiglas for added safety.
Dramatic Master Bath
Eolo A+I Design, Miami, FL
A whole-house renovation/addition included a redesign of the master bath and closet in this traditional home in an exclusive area of South Florida. The owners came to Sandra Diaz-Velasco of Eolo A+I Design and Sanandres Construction to complete the home renovation, with a request for a unified, natural-flowing residence.
The clients desired a dramatic master bath that would act as a luxury retreat – a tall order as the existing master bath and closet were poorly defined by wasted area in the corridors, poor illumination and low ceilings, according to Diaz-Velasco. Access to the space was also a challenge, as it needed to balance privacy and proximity to the living space while remaining separate from the bedroom sleeping area due to the owners’ working hours in different time zones. Furthermore, the closet space had a narrow, rectangular shape with tall ceilings and an equally tall window – the only source of natural light in the whole space.
An extended arched entry in wood veneer provides a dramatic opening, with the freestanding, sculptural Juliet 2 tub from MTI Baths acting as an artistic centerpiece, teamed with a satin brass Sigma tub faucet and Hudson Valley Lighting Dunkirk chandelier overhead. Custom complementary vanities flank the tub in the open space and include A˘form sinks from Alape with Graff lav faucets in satin brass.
To the left of the tub behind an onyx porcelain slab is a large shower that features a Hansgrohe Rainforest showerhead and handshower, as well as an Aco linear drain for accessibility. A floor-to-ceiling window was installed here to bathe the space in natural light. Tucked away near the shower is a Blue Moon Jacuzzi-style tub from Duravit. A private water-closet includes a Kohler Veil toilet.
The master bath and closet were integrated in the new space, with the closet area continuing past an open wall of the main bath. Included here are a makeup area with vanity and Compac Absolute Blanc countertop, a dressing area and a vast amount of storage. A vault ceiling that mimics the shape of the arched window allows for upper storage, accessed by a custom library stair.
Michael Hetherman, CKD
Willis, Palm Desert, CA
The merging of indoor and outdoor bathing spaces, as well as a bedroom and office area, resulted in a master suite that serves many functions. Michael Hetherman, CKD, of Willis was able to design this master bathroom as part of the overall living space, due to the privacy of the toilet rooms, and the 5' entrance with pocket doors. Hetherman notes that having the flexibility to close off the space provided creative opportunities here.
The indoor and outdoor shower areas, as well as the tub area which was exposed to direct sunlight, dictated some of the material choices for the room. Selecting the appropriate design materials for an outdoor shower was challening due to the arid climate, and UV stability was a key consideration. Hetherman wanted to avoid tile as well due to issues with tiles, grout and mold.
Corian solid surface in Glacier White was chosen for the indoor shower area. The fabricator created vertical and horizontal coved corners melded with a Corian solid surface floor including a linear drain, walls and niches for a one-piece waterproof shower. The walk-through shower leads to an outdoor courtyard and shower area that allows the homeowners to shower in the sunrise or under the stars. The outdoor shower area is wrapped in Corian Quartz Calacatta, to coordinate with the tub area inside.
The Quartz Calacatta Natura was book-matched on the wall surrounding the tub, with Glacier White solid surface on the feature window area, providing a serene and opulent oasis for gazing onto the courtyard. A sculptural freestanding tub sits in the space, paired with a freestanding bath filler in chrome.
The Arpa USA island vanity is made of Fenix NTM cabinets with waterfall Corian Solid Surface gables and sinks. The suspended mirror, flanked by pendant lighting, divides the room in half, allowing the homeowners to have separate spaces yet still be together.
Leslie Dohr, ASID, Natalie Erickson, ASID and Nicholas Mather, AIA
Deep River Partners, Milwaukee, WI
This condominium remodel overlooking the Milwaukee River included a challenging relocation of the master suite, which was moved from one side of the condo to the other. The condo itself had been previously blended from two smaller units, which resulted in underutilized space and compromised views of the river. With the remodel, the master suite now has spectacular views of the river, and a dedicated master bath.
Leslie Dohr, ASID, Natalie Erickson, ASID and Nicholas Mather, AIA of Deep River Partners tackled the 297-sq.-ft. space with the objective of making the master bath the star of the master suite.
Relocating the master bath meant changing the plumbing in a condominium on a concrete slab, so the floor was raised and finished in Ann Sacks Reve Bleu. A hall, closet and portion of the previous space were eliminated to add square footage for a water closet with Kohler Devonshire toilet, two private sink areas with custom painted poplar vanities and Kohler Devonshire white sinks and an Oceania Legende Super AeroMassage tub.
A larger shower with a mosaic tile accent wall from Artistic Tile works with the Back Bay flooring in blue/stone glass mosaic and Infinity Drain linear shower drain. The doorless shower is easily accessible, and boasts multiple Kohler Watertile Round body sprays, Waterworks Easton handshower and showerheads.
Lauren Levant Interior, Pittsburgh, PA
It was up to Paul Bentham of Lauren Levant Interior to update this 1970s-era master bath design and deliver a clean, sophisticated look with ample storage and the relaxed, Zen-like atmosphere the clients desired.
Bentham chose to emphasize the room’s strengths, which included an existing vaulted ceiling clad in warm wood. To modernize the look, he selected a porcelain tile in a neutral hue – Porcelanosa’s 18"x47" Pietra Blue Stone Lineal Ceramic Tile.
The existing shower room was removed to allow for the placement of a long floating vanity along the largest vaulted wall. The Quality Custom Cabinetry vanity features flat grain cherry veneer with full-overlay construction.
Hardware from Top Knobs in a Flat Black finish works in conjunction with the Omicron Absolute Black Granite countertop in a leathered finish and black matte Sento faucet from Graff. To tie in the cement-look tiles, Bentham added NativeStone Nipomo bath sinks from Native Trails. Robern’s M Series medicine cabinets with charging outlets provide added storage above each sink, and long pendant lights from Hubbardton Forge emphasize the height of the ceiling.
Daniel Contelmo Architects, Poughkeepsie, NY
This bright and airy bath by Daniel Contelmo of Daniel Contelmo Architects takes advantage of views of the outside meadow and pond. Since the master suite is located at the back of the house and projects out farther than the other living spaces, privacy was maintained despite the use of large windows, which bathe the room in natural light.
Sophisticated traditional style, charming cottage touches and rustic elements are blended harmoniously in the space, and these also blend with the environment outside. To allow different styles to work together, the color palette was kept simple.
White washed rustic wood covers the walls and ceiling, providing the ideal serene backdrop to the pieces throughout the room. Interest was added through texture and material, rather than color.
A custom floating vanity in a neutral gray makes a statement without being overwhelming, allowing the statuary marble countertop to be the star. A rectangular undermount sink from Kohler provides an elegant pairing with the Perrin & Rowe faucet with country spout and cross handles from Rohl. A ZBistro round mirror from Restoration Hardware and Kohler Jacquard round ring pulls add a bit of glamour.
On the far wall, a Kohler Tresham toilet sits next to the Kohler Sunstruck Tub with Fluted Shroud, nestled beneath the large corner windows. The Ammara Dual Supply Tub Filler adds a touch of bling.
Statuary marble shower tiles make a bold statement in the shower and are easily viewed through the custom glass enclosure. A Rohl 24" Ceiling Mount Showerhead in Polished Nickel provides a luxurious element. Artistic Tile’s Motor City Circles Ice White Gloss Glass Mosaic floor tiles add texture and shine to the space.
Dreamstyle Kitchens & Baths, Mahopac, NY
When the owner considered putting this upstate New York home on the market, it became apparent that the outdated master bath was a problem. That’s when Marie Frenkel of Dreamstyle Kitchens & Baths in Mahopac, NY stepped in.
The original vanity/makeup counter was not very functional, so Frenkel chose a large Silva custom vanity with built-in trash pullout, Shaker-style doors and Amerock hardware to take its place. Two large mirrors now flank a frosted glass cabinet, with LED bath sconces over each mirror that add a touch of glamour. Corian Zodiaq quartz in Stratus White tops the gray cabinet and blends with the Bardiglio/Thassos marble mosaic backsplash. White rectangular porcelain undermount sinks pair with Brizo’s Providence Classic Belle faucets to complete the vanity area.
Removing an oversized whirlpool tub and replacing it with the rectangular Jacuzzi Fiore Pure Air Bath added square footage and allowed the designer to include a separate makeup vanity.
Frenkel updated the shower with a corner seat and two corner shelves, as well as a mosaic insert to match the sink backsplash. Ontario white 10"x13" tiles and Kohler Hydro Rail S with Artifacts shower system are displayed through the starphire surround.
As it turns out, the client loves her new master bath so much that she decided not to sell her home – for now.
Double Duty Bath
Lori Carroll, Alexander Burch and Debra Gelety
Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, AZ
Originally a powder room, this space needed to fill a new dual role as both a guest bath and pool bath. Lori Carroll, Alexander Burch and Debra Gelety of Lori Carroll & Associates were tasked with creating this space, all while utilizing the home’s existing travertine floors.
Modern lines and a calming color palette dictated the room’s direction. Deliberate choices regarding materials, finishes and lighting were made to command a greater sense of space.
Because this space would be a wet location – at least part of the time – sealed, easily maintained travertine for both the floors and walls was a logical choice.
A Stone River Studios custom wood single vanity makes a statement in the small space, with beautiful wood elements surrounded by a travertine waterfall countertop. The vanity includes a Kohler Ladena sink teamed with a Mirabelle Vilamonte widespread faucet, with a Lewis Framing Custom Sliding Framed Mirror above that moves along sliding hardware to conceal or reveal the window behind it.
In the shower, Dune Jaipur mosaic tiles add a little bit of sparkle. The shower is encased in a Hartman Glass Custom Enclosure. A Kohler Santa Rosa toilet completes the room.
Sleek and Sculptural
Eolo A+I Design, Inc., Miami, FL
One of the primary objectives for the remodel of this Miami, FL penthouse powder room was to bring a sense of warmth and openness to the narrow space. Designer Sandra Diaz-Velasco of Eolo A+I Design employed space-saving features such as a wooden vanity custom designed to frame the space and maximize usable surface area, as well a wall-mounted Duravit toilet. Surface-mounted lighting and a dramatic ceiling-height mirror lend an impression of spaciousness that draws attention away from the narrow dimensions of the room.
The “eclectic/contemporary” aesthetic of the space is achieved through an emphasis on texture and clean, sculptural elements. Crocodile-patterned Elitis wallpaper and the rich dark wood of the vanity bring drama and depth to the space, complemented by the striking, ultra-contemporary combination of a ceiling-mounted Gessi Goccia faucet and deep Zucchetti sink basin.
In addition to beauty and functionality, the renovation emphasized eco-friendly design. The 1.28 GPF toilet and valve-regulated faucet ensure efficient water use, and LED lights conserve electricity. Low-VOC glue and water-based paint were used, as well as non-vinyl wallpaper in order to prevent VOC gas-off.
Lori Carroll and Alexander M. Burch
Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, AZ
Striking texture is the main focus of this Marana, AZ guest powder room by Lori Carroll and Alexander M. Burch of Lori Carroll & Associates. The clients requested an exciting design that would still be easy to maintain and welcoming to visiting family and friends.
The custom vanity, locally crafted by Stone River Studios, features chisel-textured cabinetry and edges, complemented by a porcelain tile backsplash with a weathered copper effect. An artisan pottery-inspired sink basin from Kohler’s Derring collection provides additional visual interest. A warm neutral wall tone and lighter wood surfaces create harmony between the many textures and give the space a tranquil, inviting atmosphere.
Unique architectural details lend a sense of decadence to the room. An elegantly curved soffit was constructed over the vanity in order to house lighting elements and provide a unique, dramatic focal point, mirrored by the shape of the countertop. Open shelving under the counter provides both storage and a visual balance for the otherwise heavy vanity.
Unique and Architectural
Michelle’s Interiors, Grayslake, IL
One of this powder room’s most fascinating architectural elements also presented some of its greatest design challenges for designer Michelle Roher-Lauer of Michelle’s Interiors. The room is nestled beneath the curved main staircase, creating a uniquely long space with a ceiling formed by the underside of the stairs.
While the exposed staircase – finished above and below with antique French farmhouse planks – is certainly striking, it does lower the ceiling height. A seven-foot floating vanity gives the room an open feel, and the vanity’s vertically striated metal band creates a visual contrast with the space’s length. Under-vanity lighting provides additional illumination for evening.
The homeowners enjoy materials with an historic, luxurious feel, but also wanted a modern, clean look to suit their casual lifestyle. Textured ceramic backsplash tile from Ann Sacks’ Kelly Wearstler Tableau collection creates a bold focal point to complement the dramatic ceiling, while a Hydrology solid bronze vessel sink provides a sleek modern element.
Katherine Kawaguchi, CAPS, ASID
Guchi Interior Design, Roseville, CA
Designer Katherine Kawaguchi, CAPS, ASID, of Guchi Interior Design was tasked with transforming a closed-off and inconvenient master bath into a highly functional, safe and beautiful universal space. The client, who is paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal injury and uses a wheelchair, requested a design that would not only serve her needs, but also those of her family.
By removing the existing water closet walls, Kawaguchi’s team was able to create an open space with plenty of clearance for wheelchair access. The client initially requested a bathtub, but after research, it was decided that a lounger and curbless shower would provide optimum luxury and utility. Waterproof walls and flooring and outdoor-grade Danver cabinetry create a wet-room environment. The lounger, custom-designed and fabricated by Guchi Interior Design, boasts drop-down support bars by Moen that can be stowed away when not in use. Stonepeak White Plane thin body porcelain tile, fixed Delta Faucet support bars, a Phylrich wall-mounted bidet faucet and a waterproof Schluter radiant heat system offer plenty of comfort.
The remodeled master bath features many additional thoughtful Universal Design elements, including a touchless motion-sensor Delta faucet, strategically placed electrical outlets, a comfort-height Kohler low-flow toilet and a custom lower vanity cover by Stonepeak to protect the client from pipes.
Of course, creating an accessible space was only half the challenge – the bathroom also had to be beautiful and timeless. Rich Caesarstone quartz countertops in Vanilla Noir and a decorative border of Maniscalco Botany Bay Pebbles combine with the metallic bronze matte finish cabinetry to create a sleek and modern flavor.
Elegance and Ease
Flatbrook & Co., Lebanon, NY
The goal for this Burden Lake, NY master bath renovation was to create a light and elegant space that could comfortably accommodate a person with limited mobility. According to designer Madeleine Dymling of Flatbrook & Co., the clients were an elderly couple, one of whom had Parkinson’s disease.
In order to enable easy mobility, the bathroom features two wheelchair- and walker-accessible doorways from the master bedroom. A curbless double shower with Delta Faucet handles and a teak bench, a dressing area and a wall-mounted TOTO toilet provide additional ease of access.
Dymling also created her design with easy maintenance in mind. The clients requested “absolutely no tiles” in order to eliminate difficult-to-clean grout lines, so custom cast cement flooring and shower surfaces by Marveled Designs were selected. The open Restoration Hardware sink with Gramercy glass legs also provides convenient cleaning access.
The white shiplap paneled walls, transparent vanity legs and open undercounter sightlines create a refreshing and bright feel. A freestanding Washington soaking tub by The Tub Connection adds a touch of luxury to the space. Wall-mounted California Closets high-gloss white cabinetry provides ample storage, while transparent acrylic hardware coordinates with the glass vanity legs.
Lifetime of Comfort
CARNEMARK design+build, Bethesda, MD
When one of designer Jonas Carnemark’s longtime clients was diagnosed with a progressive condition that would eventually necessitate a wheelchair, Carnemark, of CARNEMARK design+build, was tasked with creating a master suite on the ground floor that would not only be fully accessible and accommodate aging in place, but would be beautiful and luxurious, as well.
Turning a narrow hall bathroom into a powder room enabled Carnemark’s team to expand the master bath and closet and widen doorways to accommodate a wheelchair. By incorporating a Schluter linear drain and subtly ramped porcelain tiles, Carnemak was able to create a luxurious wet room, complete with rainhead shower, hand-held shower faucet and a large soaking tub. A quartz bench provides seating for showering, as well as a safe way for the clients to enter and exit the bathtub.
In order to prevent the space from looking clinical, Universal Design elements were selected for both accessibility and aesthetics. The large-format porcelain tiles, in addition to being slip-resistant, create a dramatic, modern look in the wet room. An extended Kohler Ladena sink basin enables wheelchair access, while polished chrome grab bars provide both stability and a touch of elegance. Shallow Oregon pine cabinetry offers plenty of easily reached storage.
Elegant Great Room
Maison Birmingham, Birmingham, MA
As part of a new-construction home, this modern and elegant great room needed to provide a light and airy feel while visually connecting the space with the kitchen and informal dining area.
To do this, designer Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham selected a neutral color palette for the 300-sq.-ft. great room and then repeating finishes in different forms to unify the space.
The homeowners also wanted a TV in the space, but instead of going with the expected placement over the fireplace, Tolles designed the room symmetrically to focus on the fireplace and artwork above. The sidewall with Maison Birmingham custom cabinetry and wainscoting houses the TV behind sliding walnut panels, allowing the TV to be concealed when not in use. The wainscot features a very slim frame profile, according to the designer, which complements the slab walnut doors.
Custom cabinetry blends elements of both modern and transitional styling, with inset arched glass black cabinets featuring solid door bottoms to hide children’s toys. The upper portion provides well-lit display space for the clients’ photos and collectibles.
The Visual Comfort Melange elongated sconces in Antique-Burnished Brass add an elegant note, and a soft, textured rug enhances the sense of warmth and coziness within the open space.
Two light-colored sofas provide visual anchors for the living area, while two darker Donghia tub chairs define the border of the space. Coffee tables in varying heights and materials mirror those used in the kitchen cabinetry and countertops, further tying the spaces together for a more cohesive feel.
A Study in Tranquility
Laurysen Kitchens Ltd, Stittsville, Ontario
This library provides a true sanctuary of literature, from the passageway trimmed with walnut to match the entry doors, to the extra-thick maple shelves designed to support weighty tomes, to the dramatic three-tiered coffered ceiling made from walnut and maple, finished in a clear lacquer with a bit of glazing.
The ceiling pattern is dark walnut framed with maple, while the floors are walnut trimmed with light tile to mimic the natural maple look. Custom walnut corbels at the ceiling appear to be supporting the top section of the maple cross beams.
Storage is achieved through 16 file drawers along both sides of the wall as well as plain cabinetry under the window and by the door. Lower base cabinets, topped with Cambria Oxford quartz, keep the visual weight at the bottom, while shallow custom drawers flank the doors on both sides, providing space for fine art and papers.
The height of the open shelving units presented a challenge for designer Caroline Castrucci of Laurysen Kitchens Ltd., who divided the huge open cabinets into upper and lower, adding in a 3" walnut divider that runs around the room to support the brass ladder rail that is hooked to a custom-made walnut ladder. Finishing touches include antique brass wheels and fittings on the ladder and decorative hardware that calls to mind the days of Dickens and Chaucer – perfect for creating a true sanctuary for book lovers.
Safari Task Lounge
Nar Fine Carpentry, Sacramento, CA
A bold safari theme adds drama and pizzazz to this multipurpose office/storage/lounge area, which includes everything from display space for the client’s eclectic art collection to coat storage, office space and more. Designed by Nar Bustamante of Nar Fine Carpentry, the space features contrasting colors, finishes and textures and abundant storage.
The original space was a bedroom-turned-office that was closed off from the main living area. A key challenge was finding a way to remove the unused brick fireplace to better use the space and create more connectivity with the living room. To do this, the home’s original wood flooring had to be salvaged from other areas and patched in a harmonious way.
Tall storage areas were created in the alcoves and a tall aluminum tambour was built into the bedroom’s previous closet area, which now houses office equipment. As an added bonus, it can be easily shut away for a clean look when not in use.
File drawers in Black Gloss Laminate flank a section of offset stacked drawers on the back wall, while Dekton Spectra countertops offer visual and functional appeal. The Berenson brass cabinet pulls add a textural element, coordinating with the interiors of the hanging Tom Dixon brass pendants.
A dramatic focal point was created with 1" wood strips applied on the back wall and along the ceiling, where they conceal the recessed LED strip lighting.