TKDA: The Tomato Kitchen Design Awards 2018

The 2018 Kitchen Design Awards are here. The results stun with soft woodgrains, brooding metals and thoughtful details the chef will appreciate. 

by Mary Bailey

Four kitchens made the finals of the Tomato Kitchen Design Awards: an intelligent and well-crafted DIY kitchen, one beautiful new build and two renovations. The judges were unanimous in choosing the renovated kitchens, but could not select a definite first or second, so, we are calling them both winners in that category. Feast your eyes!

[doptoggle title=”Judges” icon=5 activeicon=6]

Halliwell-DarrellRebecca Gagne
Rebecca Gagne, co-owner of Cucina Bella, a kitchen design shop in Edmonton’s west end, has been designing kitchens since 1996. She is a cabinet nerd at heart and lover of all things kitchen. As well, she is a CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer, National Kitchen and Bath Association) and instructs the Metro Continuing Education Kitchen Planning Course,
Halliwell-DarrellDarrel Halliwell
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,
george1George Ilagen
George Ilagan, a partner at Hastings Ilagan Design, is an architect by training and passionate about design. George has designed a myriad of kitchens, ranging from the simple to the sublime,
WolskiMicheleMichele Roach
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,


All kitchen photos supplied by entrants.

Click images to zoom

Best DIY:
Howard Pruden, Homeowner

Tomato Kitchen Design Awards DIY winner 1 Tomato Kitchen Design Awards DIY winner 2
Tomato Kitchen Design Awards DIY winner 3 Tomato Kitchen Design Awards DIY winner 4

“The 20-year-old kitchen was in need of a renovation, one that would provide more light and an efficient layout. We were tired of the white cabinets and wanted a warm and inviting visual for arriving guests, as the kitchen is located at the front of the house; we chose the quarter sawn black walnut. We did all the work ourselves, from stripping out everything to the studs, to building the cabinets, tiling, installing new windows and doors, etc. We hired someone to install the quartz countertop. The kitchen is 120 square feet. The total cost, including appliances, was approximately $35K.”

What the judges said:
“They did a nice job for a DIY! I like the use of the solid textured backsplash tile and the simple counter tops with the woodgrain in the cabinetry and the flooring. The use of the handles on the base cabinets and nothing on the upper cabinets is a nice look and the cabinetry looks great with the flooring section.”

“The layout is not ideal, but I applaud the owners for making good use of the difficult space. I like the black walnut cabinets and the decision to make the cabinets go right up to the ceiling.”

Best New Build:
Kate Frandsen, Towne and Countree Kitchens

Kate Frandsen, Towne and Countree Kitchens 1 Kate Frandsen, Towne and Countree Kitchens 2
Kate Frandsen, Towne and Countree Kitchens 3 Kate Frandsen, Towne and Countree Kitchens 4

“The inspiration for this original design began with a mix of geometric shapes, sleek European styles and the warmth of wood contrasted with the modern coolness of metal. A busy family needs an efficient and functional space, so a key design element was to create an easy-to-use kitchen with ample storage, plentiful seating and a private area for homework, as well as preserving the household command centre. The space is warm and inviting. With its clean lines, integrated handles and a hidden hood, this kitchen is bringing sexy back!”

What the judges said:
“I find the layout of this kitchen really functional; there is a good separation of the preparation and dining/activity spaces. The wood accent on the graphite-coloured cabinetry is quite handsome and the use of the white stone countertops makes the look of this kitchen sleekly modern.”

“I like the dark grey and woodgrain mix, but I would have loved to see a touch more of the woodgrain. I like the interesting island detail, but I’m not a fan of the continuous aluminum pulls. The appliances are great!”

Best Renovation:
Jamie Davis, Quadrant Construction Ltd.

Jamie Davis, Quadrant Construction Ltd 1 Jamie Davis, Quadrant Construction Ltd 2 Jamie Davis, Quadrant Construction Ltd 3

“Our client was looking to modernize their mid-century home while honouring the era in which it was made. Modernization included energy efficient decisions such as windows, LED lighting and new insulation. With the envelope sealed, the interior fun began with floor to ceiling teak cupboards, Caesarstone countertops and backsplash and a stone tile floor. A dream cabinet wall includes a suite of Miele appliances; a built-in coffee machine and fridge with drawers, convection and steam ovens, a dishwasher and cooktop. Other features of the renovation include a bar with a gorgeous yellow tile backsplash, a magnetic message wall (for the busy family) and a beautiful dinette and seating area with a fireplace. This space has been transformed to the 21st century, yet feels as though you are still living in a simpler era.”

What the judges said:
“The extra functional areas, like the bar, the drop zone coming into the kitchen and the great narrow little bookshelf, are all very thoughtful and there is a nice use of visual textures. The appliances are dreamy!”

“This is a masterful and functional layout for a limited space. The teak cabinets to the ceiling provide a very luxurious modern feel.”

Best Renovation:
Brenda Brix, AMR Interior Design

Brenda Brix, AMR Interior Design 1 Brenda Brix, AMR Interior Design 2 Brenda Brix, AMR Interior Design 3

“An oak and brass kitchen with a sunshine ceiling was stripped down to the essentials to make every detail count. The now bright and playful open kitchen is the family gathering place with a wall of energy efficient black steel appliances (including a speed oven to replace a microwave and second wall oven), recycle center and an expanse of windows overlooking the large backyard. LED recessed and pendant lighting brings light to the expansive work surface and enhances the well-used pottery collection on the open shelving. Custom painted cabinets create a seamless feel with quartz waterfall edge counters and a low backsplash. A hickory surround frames the marble mosaic backsplash and showcases a knife collection. The adjacent sunken living room was levelled out to create a large dining room with a continuous wide plank hardwood running throughout. The hickory surround was repeated on a new fireplace to create the entertainer’s dream space complete with a hidden bar.”

What the judges said:
“The soft colouration of the cabinetry is really charming and is a great material selection for such a small space. The blonde wood accents are very attractive.”

“I love the soft use of colour, the light woodgrain accents and the hardware looks like it matches the graphite finish of the fridge. The tile is beautiful; I appreciate the geometric pattern and its use around the cooktop only. The thoughtfulness around the ceiling beam and lining up the shelving with the outside edge works well.”