2010 NKBA Bathroom Design Competition

| July 1, 2010

Best Overall Bathroom. Photo by Everett & Soulé.

Trends: What homeowners want in their bath and powder rooms

The number one feature that modern homeowners are requesting when buying or remodeling a home is concealed kitchens, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Home­owners want their kitchen appliances to be hidden from view or custom-designed to blend in with the décor of the house.

In a comparison study of entries into the 2010 NKBA Design Competition, 10 trends came to the forefront. Those trends are highlighted at the end of this article so that you can see how your kitchen and baths measure up.

Bathroom designs by the top winners in the NKBA Design Competition reflect many of those trends. For some great decorating ideas, take a look at the 2010 winners in the bathroom and powder room categories.

2010 NKBA “Best Of” Bathrooms Award Winners



1st Place – Master Bathrooms
Ada Pagano
A. Pagona Design, Inc.,
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Best Overall Bathroom. Photo by Everett & Soulé.

Soothing Spa
Entering this master bathroom space feels like stepping into a five-star luxury spa. The glowing monochromatic color palette warms the space as it provides a seamless transition from each task area into the next. The romantic environment the clients desired was assisted by subtle touches like a tub area filled by a stream of water from the ceiling, a tub decking area for candles and incense and a small fireplace located within the glass container of the wing wall room divider. Smooth textured spa stones, floating cabinetry and a sand-etched glass closet door offer interesting and unique visual components while providing the amenities of a world-class spa.



Elina Katsioula-Beall, CKD
DeWitt Designer Kitchens,
Studio City, Calif.

Best Powder Room. Photo by Suki Medencevic.

Samurai Spirit
The client, a collector of antique Samurai swords and an instructor of iaido (Japanese swordsmanship), wanted the new powder room to reflect Japanese culture. Soft silver wallpaper from Japan contrasts with the polished black pebbles that create a shimmering backsplash. Kimono-shaped mirrors and a dramatic faucet, which imitates the outline of a samurai sword, support the Japanese theme. Backlit shoji panels, an antique Japanese merchant’s ledger chest vanity and ranma (wooden transoms), turned vertically as swinging doors, all add to the cultural effect.



Sandra L. Steiner-Houck, CKD
Steiner & Houck, Inc., Columbia, Pa.

Best Large Bathroom. Photo by Peter Leach Photographer.

Substantial Elegance
This redesigned bath became smaller but more efficiently customized for the busy empty-nest clients. By moving a dividing wall, the designer created additional square footage that the homeowners wanted in their master bedroom, while still allowing for a spacious and luxurious bathroom. A large two-person shower replaced an existing dry sauna, steam shower and whirlpool tub to better suit the couple’s fast-paced lifestyle. A striking piece of furniture was designed into the room for linen storage, and a generous vanity space for two easily accommodates both husband and wife.



Tess Giuliani, CKD,
Tess Giuliani Designs, Inc.,
Ridgewood, N.J.

Best Small Bathroom. Photo by Peter Rymwid Architectural Photography.

Art in Nature
Hand-painted koi fish and lotus leaves seem to sway and bend in gentle waters underfoot, while graduated hues of blue can be seen throughout the glass subway tile walls and upward on the walls and ceiling. A wall-mounted toilet and floating cherry cabinets with teak tops and under-lighting allow an unobstructed flow to the sealed limestone flooring, giving the appearance of walking into a cool pond. Water falls from a wall-mounted faucet into a honey onyx vessel sink, under a backlit mirror that creates depth and a soft glow on the walls.



Michael Bright
Co-Designers: Sonya Faulhaber and John Sarkesian
Bright Wood Works, Inc.,
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Best Sustainable Bathroom. Photo by baptiephoto.com.

Nature’s Sustainable Spa
Interesting textures such as Kirei board, sorghum cabinetry with cypress trim, a removable wooden skirt wrapping the wall hung countertop and varying flooring surfaces add an underlying tactile quality to this home spa. A recyclable stainless steel bathtub contributes an avant-garde utilitarian contrast to the otherwise organic essence of the room. A green approach is at the foundation of the design and the home, with components such as low consumption plumbing fixtures, gray water recovery, domestic hot water heating, a rainwater recovery retention cistern, solar photovoltaic panels and post-consumer waste recycled wall tiles.



John Sylvestre, CKD
Sylvestre Construction, Inc.,
Minneapolis, Minn.

Consumers’ Choice Award: Bathroom. Photo by Karen Melvin Photography.

Luxury Spa Bath
Warm colored marble, natural granite tones, a maple vanity, and an open, airy shower and drying area are at the heart of the welcoming space of this in-home luxury spa. Towels and shampoo are close at hand, and a bench outside the shower provides a convenient spot to towel off. A cabinet, shelf space and a vanity containing drawers combine to provide stylish storage, while a frameless glass shower with light hued marble tile and flooring gives an expansive appearance to the room.



1. Concealed Kitchens. The incorporation of the kitchen into the home’s primary living and entertaining rooms provides homeowners with more flexibility in their lifestyles. The incorporation of integrated and concealed appliances allows the kitchen to enhance rather than intrude into other spaces.

2. Beverage Stations. The beverage station is usually comprised of an under-the-counter refrigerator and wine refrigeration, as well as a coffeemaker—ranging from simple single-pot coffeemakers to larger units capable of espresso, latte and cappuccino. This area within the kitchen typically houses stemware, coffee cups, silverware, cream, sugar, tea and maybe even a bar.

3. Scaling of Elements. The overall composition of kitchens and baths is being defined by a sense of scale, which is both functional and visually appealing. An irregularly textured pebbled wall, marbled surface in glass tile, reflective metallic material, or symmetrically hung pendant lighting directs the eye around the room and contributes to a balanced space.

4. Color with Energy. Colors exuding emotion, acting not merely as a passive backdrop for the room, but bringing life through lighting, wall colors and wood tones, are profoundly impacting the most innovative designs. Colors from nature combined with others more synthetically blended, induce a feeling of movement and motion throughout the room.

5. Soft Geometry. Rounded shapes can be seen in the edge of a counter or island top, an arch over an entryway or cooking hearth, a light fixture and space-defining soffits. Softer geometry is showing up in contemporary and traditional designs alike. The introduction of rounded islands and countertops carves a smooth-flowing traffic pattern throughout the room.

6. Space Subtleties. Fixtures once confined by location are now incorporated into kitchen and bath designs in almost limitless ways. Floating vanities and wall-mounted toilets allow an unobstructed and spacious feel to a bathroom, while appliances that are stacked and positioned within islands are contributing to functionality in the kitchen.

7. Design Framing. A seemingly simple detail, such as the use of a soffit along the ceiling or a width of wall space surrounding inset cabinetry, can pull out the item being framed as a focal point while also providing visual balance to the room. Balance in design is achieved not only by the use of simply symmetry. An isolated portion of a room can be treated as a piece of art, with a frame indicating its presence.

8. Varying Heights. Pairing lower desk and prep areas with a higher breakfast bar provides convenient task-specific spaces. In the bathroom, this design concept not only provides function, but balances the space. Varying heights seen in the edge of a wood bar top or granite countertop serve as a beautiful counterbalance.

9. Japanese Influences. Japanese influence is showing up in designs across North America, relying often on one strong anchor piece of Japanese origin. Artwork, Japanese antiques and the traditional qualities of Japanese culture are at the core of some compelling kitchen and bath designs. The cultural effects can serve as additions or decorations to the design or as a primary ingredient.

10. Art Integration. The introduction of a favored piece of art as the basis for a design creates challenges, but also offers guidelines and solutions to color and material choices, as well as selections of theme. Artwork reflects the owner’s personality and allows the designer to fold all other aspects of the room around the treasured piece.

This photo displays trend No. 3, scaling of elements. Design by Kirsti Wolfe, Kirsti Wolfe Designs, Bend, Ore.

Category: Home Improvement, More Features

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