Vestabul Design was the winner in the category Living in Place Kitchen Category for the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Western Canada Design Excellence Awards on December 02, 2021.

Vestabul Design was also a finalist in 3 other categories:

  • Large Traditional Kitchen
  • Large Contemporary Kitchen
  • Large Bathroom

In this post I will walk you through the design of this Winning Kitchen!

But before we jump in, if you would like to keep updated on VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN’S up coming events please subscribe to my list. I have a FREE Workshop in the works I’d love to invite you to!

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Winning kitchen in the Living in Place Kitchen category of the British Columbia Design Excellence Awards
Living in Place Kitchen

This Living in Place Kitchen was part of a space planning contract in a heritage designated building.

The developer has a daughter that lives with a disability and we decided to offer a unit in the project that would meet the needs of a homeowner that may have mobility issues.

This is often a hard sell with a developer, but he was willing to take a “risk” and develop a unit that would meet the needs of 25% of the adult population.

Living in Place Kitchen Floorplan

The goal was to design the Kitchen to accommodate anyone, but not specifically call attention to a person using a mobility device.

The floorplan for the Kitchen was developed in one end of an open space as an L-shaped layout with a peninsula countertop.

Living in Place Kitchen Elevations

Elevations show how multiple drawers were incorporated for accessible storage and how the design proportionately worked in the 11′ 6″ ceiling height.

The design developed included the following Universal Design features:

  • Raised toe kick height to accommodate the wheels on a walker and the footrest on a wheelchair
  • Majority of the base cabinetry as drawers including drawers under the sink
  • A wide double door wall cabinet brought down to the countertop for accessible wall cabinet storage
  • A 30” high peninsula that functions as a lower work surface, a roll under work top and a dining space
  • Side swing wall oven and microwave with drop off counter directly beside the latch side
  • Single lever faucet with pull down spray
  • Induction flat top cooktop for cooking safety and to allow the cook to drag items rather than having to lift them onto a tall burner
  • Task lighting over counters and peninsula to evenly light work areas with no glare
  • Wide hardware pulls to allow easy gripping of the handles
  • Interior accessories throughout for added functionality

The décor styling of the unit was to incorporate the same high-end finishes used throughout the project.

The color scheme chosen was based on market research for prospective buyers in the area.

The warm wood tones and neutral grey accent give just enough contrast against the white countertop and backsplash.

The geometric shape chosen for the backsplash provides an on-trend motif that is still classic.

The black appliances, faucet, cabinet hardware and pendant lights added just enough contemporary pop!

Additional contemporary design elements such as floating shelves, paneled refrigerator, paneled dishwasher and oversized wood hood were included to make this a desirable unit for any homeowner.

Secretly my goal was to make Universal Design “sexy”, and I believe that was achieved!

Jan Rutgers B.Sc. H.Ec.

Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.

9 Comments on “2021 Western Canada Design Excellence Award Winner!

    • Thanks Peter, As you can see, appliances are an important aspect of designing Living in Place Kitchens.

  1. This is a very good kitchen for handicapped people. I also have a daughter in a wheelchair and I can imagine how wonderful this kitchen owner and family can make their dinner there. Well done, Jan!

    • Thank you Hiie, I feel it is so important to design spaces that are usable for everyone. This was a very special win for me.

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