2020 National Kitchen & Bath Association Design Awards

Meet the winners from NKBA’s Minnesota Chapter, along with our editor’s choice awards

Large Kitchen

1st Place

Balanced & Bright

Megan Dent, AKBD, Studio M Kitchen & Bath

Photo by Scott Amundson

A young couple with two kids struggled to find extended family time in a cramped kitchen, even smaller dining room, and formal living room. The solution, while staying within existing structural elements, was twofold: Remove the wall between the dining and kitchen spaces, and relocate the dining room to the old living room. Space for a desk and bar apart from the work triangle, as well as two islands—one for prepping and one for cooking—became a reality. White cabinetry and Cambria countertops freshen the kitchen, while red-oak accents add warmth. An arched niche for the desk and reading chair for the bay window add balance in the new space.

2nd Place

Lakehouse Glam

Jolynn Johnson, CMKBD, Crystal Kitchen + Bath

With the front door opening smack dab into the kitchen, coats and shoes created a major mess, resulting in a space neither inviting or functional. Adding a wall between the kitchen and door, with hooks for coats and a laundry chute, cleaned things up beautifully. Meanwhile, white cabinets with metal hardware, Cambria countertops, and open shelves add appropriate glam. A new powder room left space for a pantry (with a toe-kick shelf for dog bowls) and freezer that’s tucked out of view. The vaulted ceiling and full-height cabinets with upper lights add an airy aesthetic that complements the light hickory floors.

3rd Place

Megan Dent, AKBD, Studio M Kitchen & Bath


Medium Kitchen

1st Place

Spanish Twist

Krista Weisz, Stier Construction, Inc.

Arched glass-paned doors open gracefully into this historic home’s remodeled kitchen. Modern materials, an antique mirror, and vintage hardware give Spanish-style a gentle twist, while armoire-like integrated appliances, a large new window over the sink area, and a warm wood and cream color palette set the mood. Opening up the butler’s pantry to the kitchen allowed for a new island with seating for six, a hutch recessed into the wall hides a radiator, and inside the hood alcove is a cooking nook complete with arched doors for the spice cabinet.

2nd Place

Freshened Up

Claire Teunissen, Studio M Kitchen & Bath

A dramatic redo transformed this dark, dated, and cluttered kitchen into an open gathering space with room for everything. Reconfiguring the space was a must to maximize efficiency, functionality, and storage. A pipe chase had to go, as did the peninsula and a small window. White and dark wood cabinets, white marble-like quartz countertops, and a mix of stainless steel, brushed brass, and chrome fixtures are illuminated by new windows. A banquette at the table opens for easy access to craft items, the coffee station is more accessible, and a three-basin sink lets everyone join in during prep and cleanup.

3rd Place

Christina Sample, AKBD, and Garrick Rudolf, Cherry Creek, Inc.


Small Kitchen

1st Place

Vintage Flair

Paul Knutson, Knutson Residential Design, LLC

These homeowners were smitten with everything inside their recently purchased 1960s- era midcentury modern home—except the kitchen. Committing to a remodel, the homeowners asked for a light and bright kitchen with counter space for two avid cooks. An unused closet became a “satellite” kitchen/ bar space with storage, while full-height storage areas were converted into low cabinets with white countertops. A new peninsula connects living and dining spaces while providing a pass-through and two-sided storage. Patterned fir cabinets, dark blue accents, light blue tile, and lowkey yet distinctive light sources enliven the kitchen with vintage air.

2nd Place

Simply Sophisticated

Kate Roos and Evangeline Fitzpatrick, AKBD, Kate Roos Design, LLC

Banishing black countertops in favor of white and introducing cabinetry (a fresh, white aesthetic above with period-perfect dark wood below) renewed this 1918 home’s original kitchen. Mismatched cabinet heights are now even, a stairwell entry was eliminated to increase wall space, and functionality was added with updated appliances, including a white-paneled refrigerator and freezer. Continuous countertops for the couple, who like to cook and clean together, are topped with small task lights and open shelving for an airy feel. A new mirrored hutch creates a serving area in the nearby dining room.

3rd Place

Jolynn Johnson, CMKBD, Crystal Kitchen + Bath


Budget Kitchen

2nd Place

Brighten Up

Jolynn Johnson, CMKBD, Crystal Kitchen + Bath

Wall removal in this once closed-off kitchen opened it to the nearby living and dining spaces for a more spacious feel. Crisp white cabinets with glass fronts feature ample space for delicate dishware and colorful décor, including the client’s artwork. Corian quartz countertops and a white Mother of Pearl tile backsplash add to the cheer, while gold fixtures and hardware provide a dash of glam. A new dishwasher complements the space’s modern functionality, along with under-cabinet lights and luxury vinyl floor planks.


Large Bathroom

1st Place

Sleek Sophistication

Kelly McDermott, CKBD, Ruby + Suede

With the kids out of the nest, this couple decided to upgrade their master bath to reflect their contemporary sensibility. Stealing space from a walk-in closet allowed for both a freestanding soaking tub and a two-person shower lined with large white tiles. A new water heater ensures plentiful hot water, new vanities bracket a large window, and a high-contrast color palette, clean lines, and brass accents add to the room’s upscale sophistication.

2nd Place – Tie

Everlasting Elegance

Tami Holsten, AKBD, Bear Trap Design

Renovating a master bath in the turret of an 1890s home is no easy feat—especially when
Carrara marble needs to be hauled up two steep flights of stairs. (That’s not to mention the need for rerouted plumbing, new electrical, and reinforced floors.) The heart of the project was a Tiffany stained-glass window, inset between the two sinks, backlit, and flanked by Venetian mirrors and wall sconces. A custom walnut vanity and a freestanding tin-enamel tub anchor the beautiful space, now with walnut panels and a wood ceiling that flaunts a Ralph Lauren chandelier.

2nd Place – Tie

Washed in Light

Christina Jorgensen, AKBD, Stier Construction, Inc.

Eliminating an outdated and never-used corner tub freed up significant space for a sleek new shower, featuring a marble inset as a focal point. A frameless glass enclosure wrapped around the shower bench allows light from the window to wash over the vanity. Marble-like porcelain tile was used to convey the client’s love of marble while staying low-maintenance. Built-in storage, including a double hamper, keeps the space well-organized, while mirrored mullion doors and traditional detailing add to the elegance.

3rd Place

Evangeline Fitzpatrick, AKBD, and Kate Roos, Kate Roos Design, LLC


Medium Bath

1st Place

Serene Retreat

Mary Maney, CKD, ASID, CLIPP, Crystal Kitchen + Bath

A larger shower, more open floor space, and natural light were requirements for remodeling this outdated master bath into a serene retreat. While staying within the existing footprint, the designer replaced the window with glass block—allowing for natural light and privacy in the new shower that’s now elevated by a selection of four different gray-white tiles. The shower placement (which resulted in more floor space in front of the vanity), pocket door, floating shelves, and well-placed cabinetry pull together this fresh, clean, and timeless retreat.

2nd Place

Bold Luxury

Jessica Curry, CKD, Interiors by J. Curry, LLC

Reconfiguring this second-floor bath with lots of unused space was a must. Removing a closet and door created space for a two-sink vanity with ample storage and bold décor more suited to a master suite. A new half wall separates the toilet room from the shower while still allowing for plentiful daylight. A plumbing wall behind the new shower adds height within the angled roofline. A bold black-and-white patterned floor and matte-black fixtures add drama, while gold mirrors and vanity lights add glamorous pop. Meanwhile, the sea salt-toned walls impart a spa-like feel.

3rd Place

Kailee Klevan, AKBD, Beyond Kitchens


Small Bathroom

1st Place

Pretty in Pink

Kailee Klevan, AKBD, Beyond Kitchens

A dull bath in a 1939 cottage needed a classic update with a touch of whimsy. After bringing the room up to electrical code, the designer focused on finishes and fixtures while staying within the original narrow footprint of the space. A merlot-colored wall creates a fun focal point over a chrome console vanity and faucet that nod to the home’s classicism. Glossy, bright white shower tile, a floor of matte penny-round tile, and brushed-brass finishes add warmth to a well-balanced bath.

2nd Place

Paper Chase

Jessica Curry, CKD, Interiors by J. Curry, LLC

Adding a guest bath to this small cottage, rumored to be a former horse barn, meant tapping into an under-stair area, closing off an entrance to the dining room, and altering a replace’s framework and tile. That done, a bathroom door was added, and the fun began. A folk art-style wall covering with images of barns and horses enlivens the sloping walls, while rich color adds depth. A wall recess provided opportunities for built-in shelves, but it’s the petite farmhouse-style vanity with a custom quartz top that completes a tiny guest bath that’s big on charm.

3rd Place

Paul Knutson, Knutson Residential Design, LLC


Powder Bath

2nd Place

Design Invention

Krista Weisz, Stier Construction, Inc.

Powder rooms offer possibilities for design ingenuity, and this is no exception. A terracotta floor reflects Spanish elements elsewhere in the historic home, while a custom cabinet with rope legs matches the wood trim. The navy walls (featuring a gorgeous shade by Benjamin Moore) provide a dramatic backdrop for an AKDO Tile mosaic ceiling with a vintage gold finish, Kohler faucet, and reconstructed mini chandelier (a homeowner find). To reflect the room’s drama, a mirror was integrated into one of the wall panels above the sink.


Other Rooms

1st Place

Modern Brew Room

Tracy Hains and Calie Pierce, Che Bella Interiors

Behind the décor shelf in this mod lower-level party space is a hidden, speakeasy-style brew room. Taps in the graphic-tile bar backsplash bring the fun in from behind the wall, and seating on both sides of the peninsula provides room for both tastings and conversation. Walnut and white-painted cabinets are not only functional but contribute to the modern aesthetic. Throughout the space, color pops from the walls, art, and accessories—only adding to this lively hangout spot.

2nd Place

Private Pub

Tracy Hains and Calie Pierce, Che Bella Interiors

Dark wood custom cabinetry with panel details, glass shelving, a tin ceiling, soapstone backsplash, and brass rail transformed an unremarkable lower level into a gathering place with an Irish pub feel. Bar seating and sofas are positioned to ensure the large television is easily viewed from any vantage point—a must for these sports fans. An angled nook now has a built-in banquette for storing games often played on the custom-made table. Spot-lit sports memorabilia and abundant daylight that shines through large windows also entice family and friends to grab a pint and sit a while.

3rd Place

Tami Holsten, AKBD, and Tammy Johnson, CKD, Bear Trap Design and Arrow Cabinet Gallery


Editor’s Choice Awards

Most Dramatic Transformation: Kitchen

Claire Teunissen, Studio M Kitchen & Bath

Most Dramatic Transformation: Bathroom

Tami Holsten, AKBD, Bear Trap Design

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