Vestabul Design was a finalist in the 2021 Western Canada Design Excellence Awards in 4 categories.

We took home a win in the Living in Place Category!

With over 120 entries in the competition we were also thrilled to be selected as a finalist in:

  • Contemporary Kitchen Large
  • Traditional Kitchen Large
  • Contemporary Bathroom Large

In this blog post I will take your through the design of Vestabul Design’s Contemporary Kitchen Large and Traditional Kitchen Large entries.

Both these Kitchens have been featured in the VESTA Blog in the past in Adding the Wow Factor to a Spec Home Kitchen and Case Study: Functional Modern Tuscan.

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So, let’s look at what caught the judges eyes!

Contemporary Kitchen Large

This large kitchen was part of a “mini-multi” new build project that included two coach houses, three town homes and a single level suite.

The design brief for this unit was to position the kitchen in the unit to provide ample space for entertaining.

Floorplan for large contemporary kitchen entry
Contemporary Kitchen Large Floorplan


  • Find the best location for the Kitchen within the large space
  • Include a WOW factor to justify the high list price point
  • Ensure functionality for larger family and entertaining

Design Challenge

  • A support beam in the center of the space

Design Solutions

  • Kitchen located in the back corner to take advantage of the corner windows
  • Used the island to anchor the support post
  • Specified a beverage bar between ovens and refrigerator for entertaining
  • Bar area doubles as a baking center
  • Two prep zones: On the island and in the corner under the windows
  • A large walk-in pantry perfect for the 4 bedroom home
  • Pantry provides staging area for large gatherings
  • On-trend finishes including neutral wood tones and paint colors accented with black
  • White quartz counters and white geometric backsplash are classic ensuring the kitchen will not date
  • Very functional space with multiple drawers and cabinet interior accessories throughout
  • Design will accommodate multiple cooks in light filled space

Special Features

  • Painted the post black to feature it and hung black metal shelving from it
  • Added additional black metal shelving on the back wall
  • Included a standout stone slab for back of island

Traditional Kitchen Large

The design brief for this kitchen was to redesign the original blueprint layout to better reflect the lifestyle and design aesthetic of the homeowners.

This is their “forever home” and they wanted it to reflect them, not the flavor-of-the-month.

Floorplan for large traditional kitchen entry
Traditional Kitchen Large Floorplan


  • To design a space that honors the client’s love of Traditional Tuscan décor
  • To design a functional kitchen to meet the needs of multiple cooks but also a single cook
  • Incorporate solutions for aging in place

Design Challenge

  • Tall ceilings: 19’ in main kitchen area and 11’ in dining area

Design Solutions

  • Included the 5 essential food flow zones to meet the single cooks needs and added a bake center, a quick snack center, an entertaining center and an additional prep zone to meet the needs of the multiple cooks
  • Specified multiple cabinet storage accessories and doubled some up to increase functionality
    • ie: Tray dividers in both the Cooking Zone and the Bake Center
    • utensil dividers in multiple locations
  • Designed wood beamed ceiling treatments to add texture and warmth to ceiling area and visually lower them
    • Planned the crown moulding height in the dining area to ensure cabinet doors did not interfere with the beams
  • Used the dining room ceiling height of 11’ as the top of most of the wall cabinetry to work proportionately within the room
    • Stacked the upper cabinets and positioned center styles on upper doors to de-emphasize the vertical
    • Bumped up the area above the tall units to provide a display space for client’s oversized decorative platers
  • Chose light toned matte finishes for countertop, floor and walls to avoid glare for the client
  • Developed balance and rhythm in the design with the repetition of an 18” wide wall cabinet door throughout the design.

Special Features

  • Included lighting inside closed door cabinets to light contents for client
  • Placed outlets under the dining bar so guests could charge their phones
  • Sourced a solid slab of wood for the dining bar and had it stained to match client’s existing dining room table
  • Custom designed dining bar wrought iron support to echo other iron elements in the home
  • Custom designed hood with angled corners to avoid sharp edges that tall cooks could bump
  • Specified a specific height for the plate rack to house client’s pasta plate collection
  • Incorporated 6 different handle sizes to proportionately work with the size of the different cabinets and appliance panel sizes (and add interest in the custom design)
  • Included Tuscan inspired pilasters, corbels, posts and crown insert which were highlighted with a subtle modern silver/gray chalk to echo the cool metals used in the room
  • Paneled most of the appliances to avoid a commercial look in the space

Vestabul was thrilled to have been selected as a finalist in these two categories.

Working with both sets of clients was fantastic and the final spaces prove that the match was perfect!

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.

2 Comments on “2021 Western Canada Design Excellence Awards Finalist

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