What makes a kitchen stand out? What makes a kitchen livable and functional? What makes a kitchen design timeless?
by Mary Bailey
These were the questions our judges wrestled with as they looked at over 40 spaces to choose the top kitchens in our second annual Tomato Kitchen Design Awards.
Darrell Halliwell is an architect and managing principal for DIALOG’s Edmonton Studio. He is a member of the firm’s leadership team, responsible for strategic direction and management of the firm across Canada. dialogdesign.ca
George Ilagan, a partner at Hasting Ilagan Design, is an architect by inclination and training (Beaux-Arts Method, University of SantoTomas, BS. Arch Class of 1976.) George has designed a myriad of kitchens, ranging from the simple to the sublime. hastingsilagan.ca
Michele Roach, principal and co-owner of Wolski Design Group– one of Edmonton’s top interior design firms–is a minimalist-design pioneer, animal print enthusiast and self-proclaimed “creative problem solver with a soft spot for logistical nightmares”. wolskidesign.com
First Place: Revington Renovations
This kitchen possessed undesirable impediments often found in older kitchens—the closed-in feeling due to poor lighting and a non-functional layout with plenty of wasted space.The goal was to revive the kitchen’s primary purpose by creating a lively welcoming space for family and friends. This was achieved through an artistically-designed layout, lots of additional light and a mixture of beautiful white and dark cabinetry.
— Revington Renovations
This kitchen was a unanimous first choice due to the workability and function of the design. “This stands out, lots of light, great sink, love the materiality.”
Project lead: Ken Wurtak, Revington Renovations. Brenda Brix, AMR Design; Brett Waygood, Waygood’s Kitchens
Second Place: Aquarian Renovations
This 1990’s built, two-storey Westmount infill was in need of substantial updating, especially the kitchen. Having a warm, comfortable and engaging kitchen was extremely important to this social family. Aquarian Renovations removed the wall separating the kitchen and dining room to create one large functional kitchen built to accommodate the family along with numerous guests.The centre of the kitchen has a large 13- foot island with seating for eight.The large east facing windows provide plenty of morning light and energy efficient LED pot lights brighten the kitchen during winter.
— Aquarian Renovations
“A great family gathering space with lots of light.”
Project lead: Aquarian Renovations Lina Baz, Kitchen Craft
Residential New Build
First Place: Habitat Studio
The focus of this custom home design was to create a functional and beautiful living space fit for a busy family.The kitchen has a direct view to the great room area and the beautiful fireplace feature wall.The clients emphasized their preference for a neutral palette with natural finishes that still reflected their family’s unique character. Caesarstone countertops and high gloss white cabinets create a crisp contrast with the lively book-matched walnut cabinets.These unique textures paired with natural colours is further showcased by the oversized windows which allow ample daylight into the kitchen ensuring it feels fresh and inviting for all.
— Habitat Studio
The judges loved the contrast of the high-gloss white and walnut cabinetry, the continuity of materials and the island with its compact and inviting seating area.
Project lead: Trevor Hoover. J. Hoshizaki Designs, Florkowskys’ Woodworking & Cabinets Ltd.
Second Place: Integri Kitchens
The clients desired a space that was ideal for everyday living and a great entertaining space—a look that was both crisp and clean and warm and inviting.The transitional look achieves this.The windows framing the stainless range and hood provide beautiful light yet were a design challenge as their placement was critical to the overall plan in terms of balance.The range and hood are centered between the windows framed by stacked cabinets from the counter to the ceiling. The kitchen is chock-full of pot drawers, pull-outs and a recycling/waste centre.The centre island has a thicker countertop providing wow factor along with plenty of seating.
— Integri Kitchens
The judges loved all the built-ins and storage options in this kitchen.
Project lead: Karen Smith, Integri Kitchens.
First Place: Bossio Stone
Our Edmonton client wanted to have an outdoor kitchen/cooking space in which they could entertain large groups.They also loved the idea of an authentic Italian woodburning oven. We’ve done several oven installations over the years but this one remains one of our favourite projects as it’s a great gathering space for family and friends. The tiled countertop is easily maintained as is
the engineered stone face.The oven is lined with refractory brick, which allows the temperature inside the dome to reach 400oC or 750oF with a small amount of wood.
— ABTile & Stone
Project lead: Tony Bossio, Carol Donald, ABTile & Stone.
Commercial Kitchen Design
First Place: ONPA Architects
To reflect a corporate culture that promotes a collaborative environment, a large atrium kitchen was designed to be the central hub for the entire office.The client required a kitchen intimate enough for a small lunch group yet capable of hosting a sizeable event.
Reclaimed wood was incorporated as a natural element to add warmth to the kitchen and contrast the white walls and high gloss millwork. Sliding glass doors to the kitchen are marked with bright colours that allow light to filter both in and out of the space.The result is a bright and open kitchen that staff and clients are immediately drawn into.
This design was a unanimous choice of the judges.They loved the contrast of materials and found the entire space to be well-composed. “It’s a happy place.”
Project lead: Erin Murray-Green, Jason Said, Erin West and Adrienne Sitko.