2018-2019 Designer of the Year: Kitchens $50,000 & Below

Winner: Ginger Curtis, Urbanology Designs, Texas

This kitchen in the historic Fairmont district of Fort Worth was a chance to do something special. A small kitchen called for color and bold design moves, starting with hunter green cabinets. The design concept evolved to capture this 1925 charm of the home, including bentwood dining chairs, a perfectly petite french range, brass cabinetry latches and an antique rug. 

Historic homes deserve design that can honor their history and designing this kitchen concept was a lesson that small spaces are a special chance to design something bold.

The clients wanted to honor the historical charm of their home, but live a kitchen designed for more modern needs. The designer used color to bring a fresh perspective and the other finishes and fixtures to establish the vintage charm they sought. Brass bin pulls and cabinet latches are the jewelry that ties it all together, reminding everyone that walks into the space of the historic bones in this stunningly updated kitchen.


1st Runner Up: Nicole Yee, Nicole Yee Interiors, California

This client had been living in a city apartment with his wife for over 30 years when he inherited the house that he grew up in. While they were thrilled to become homeowners, the design of the house hadn’t changed since the new owner lived there as a boy.

Their goal was to update the space in time for their retirement so that they could enjoy it in their golden years. 

The footprint of this now open space was once the combination of a narrow, dated and impractical kitchen and a tiny eating space. The wall that created this division was blocking all of the natural light from coming into the space, and dark wood walls only compounded the problem. That wall came down to accommodate the homeowners’ every wish: a bright and airy space, an island with both ample cooking and eating surface, efficient and accessible storage, new cabinets, appliances and a mix of elements for a fresh, happy feel that’s retirement ready.


Blind corner cabinets don’t work well for aging in place. They are are hard to access and often become unorganized unless you are willing to get on all fours to view what you need to get. Performing that bend-reach-lift motion also isn’t good for aging backs. That’s why the corner cabinets installed are the perfect solution. They effectively eliminate the need for rummaging and reaching. In addition, the designer incorporated a pullout drawer next to the stove that has a stainless steel container for conveniently storing cooking utensils.


2nd Runner Up: Jeremy Bauer and Jason Clifton, Bauer/Clifton Interiors, Alaska

While these new homeowners were excited to downsize to a one bedroom condo for their retirement year, they were less than impressed with their new home's dark and outdated kitchen. 

Per the designer's proposal, a new design included a revised layout to achieve an island to improve workflow and functionality. A light and bright kitchen design was accomplished by straight grain oak cabinetry, off-white quartz countertops, open shelving, and light blue backsplash tile to bring this kitchen up-to-date!


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