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NKBA Design Awards Set A High Standard in Home Design

NKBA Design Awards Set A High Standard in Home Design Excellence

A showcase of the best work from some of the most talented designers in the country was celebrated at the 28th National Kitchen and Bathroom Association Awards.

The awards evening, held in Wellington on Saturday 9 July, is a highlight of the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association’s (NKBA) annual conference. The competition, run by the NKBA in association with Trends Publishing International, is the longest-running kitchen and bathroom industry awards programme in the country. This year, it attracted more than 50 entries from all around New Zealand, which were judged by a panel of industry experts. The competition included the online People’s Choice Award, which drew votes from almost 2000 people.

NKBA president Tony DeLorenzo says the awards are an excellent opportunity to showcase the enormous scope of talent within New Zealand’s design industry, and to give the public confidence in the standard of design and ability of designers in this country.

Kitchen and bathroom designers see the NKBA Supreme Award as the premier award to win, and past winners have used it as a stepping stone to international success.

“We see the competition as a way of raising standards in the design industry and of celebrating our best designers,” says DeLorenzo.

In the competition, the Supreme Award, for Best Kitchen Design, sponsored by Fisher & Paykel, went to Melanie Craig, CKDNZ, of Melanie Craig Design, who also won the Southern regional award. The judges particularly noted the total originality of the design, the impressive combination of materials and seamless flow between the kitchen and the adjacent indoor and outdoor living areas.

Judge Paul Taylor, editorial director at Trends, says that it is often difficult for a traditional kitchen to win major awards.

“A contemporary kitchen has more opportunity to show innovation and originality, whereas traditional kitchens are designed around an existing look and, to some extent, layout as well,” Taylor says. “So a traditional kitchen has to be particularly well designed to stand out in awards like these.”

That proved to be the case this year, with traditional kitchens by Leonie von Sturmer of Von Sturmer Design, and Linda Christensen of Kitchens By Design both being strong contenders for the Best Kitchen Design award.

The Best Bathroom Award was presented to Celia Visser of Celia Visser Design. The judges commented that her design made good use of mirrors to provide the illusion of space in a narrow bathroom. Three different but complementary tile styles have contributed to creating a very inviting bathroom, they said.

Spatial design, heights, ergonomics and plan quality are among the judging criteria for the Certified Designers Society Best Kitchen or Bathroom, which this year was won by Linda Christensen of Kitchens By Design. Linda also won the Auckland regional award. Judges commented that the kitchen sits well within the larger living area and that the design was timeless, light, bright and fresh.

An online competition, as part of the awards programme, was hosted on and drew more than 1800 votes from members of the public. The two awards, People’s Choice - Kitchen Award and People’s Choice – Bathroom Award, were sponsored by Smeg and SpazioCasa. Lynn Plom of Elite Kitchens and Cabinets won the Kitchen Award in this category and Celia Visser of Celia Visser Design won the Bathroom Award.

Judges for the competition were Paul Taylor, editorial director of Trends Publishing International; Lloyd Richardson, of Lloyds Joinery, Invercargill, and the 2010 Supreme Winner; Robyn Labb of Robyn Labb Kitchens, Auckland; Greg Crimp of Robinson Crimp Architecture, Wellington; Lynsie Walsh-McDonnell representing the Certified Designers Society; and Angela Fell, from Resene.


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