Kitchen and bath upgrades are among the most popular home improvement projects. While current design trends offer some inspiration, it can be easier to visualize those concepts in your own home when you see them applied in show-stopping, award-worthy designs.
For example, these 2021 National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) National Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award Winners were selected by a panel of industry experts based on functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation and degree of difficulty. (Find the complete list of winners at nari.org/cotywinners.)
Residential Kitchen Under $30,000
Limited countertop space, minimal storage and a disruptive traffic flow called for a radical change. Moving the sink to the island, removing peninsula cabinetry and wing wall and rearranging appliances improved the floor plan. Gray shaker cabinetry added storage and increased countertop space. Meanwhile, whimsical lighting brought trendy style to the space; about 75 percent of homeowners have two or more pendant lights over their kitchen islands, according to NARI research.
Residential Bath Under $25,000
A connecting secondary bath doesn’t work for every family, but taking over a couple closets helped reconfigure and expand this space. A midcentury modern theme was maintained with the cabinetry, rounded wood mirrors and hex tile floors. Bright colors were incorporated through the wallpaper and matching custom tile in the shower niche, creating an on-trend expression of personality through bold color choices.
Residential Kitchen $30,000-$60,000
Walls came down and doorways enlarged to transform a traditional floor plan into an airy dream kitchen. Features include white cabinetry, custom reclaimed wood shelving and two midcentury modern pendants. Flush LED downlights and accent lights below the shelves brighten the area, and a professional grade gas range and stainless-steel, counter-depth refrigerator complete the space.
Residential Bath $25,000-$50,000
The original bath in a converted attic space contained undesirable elements, including sharply sloped ceilings, low walls and access to the HVAC unit. A full gut produced a more practical space. The feature wall extending from within the shower and across the room is savvy interpretation of a trend that celebrates interesting textures, finishes and patterns. A concealed attic hatch within the wainscoting was incorporated for practical HVAC servicing.
Residential Kitchen $100,001-$150,000
This 1902 home had a small, inefficient and disconnected kitchen. Removing a wall and eliminating basement access helped create a space more suitable for entertaining while reflecting an on-trend, open design. The new beam was concealed to mimic an existing arch and the original light fixture was repurposed for familiar character.
Residential Bath $50,001-$75,000
Remodeling a master bath in an otherwise beloved home led to an updated, aesthetically pleasing design with an industrial spa motif. The new bath has significantly increased storage space with full height custom shelving, modern plumbing and electrical fixtures, an expanded shower door, radiant floor heat, soothing color tones and enhanced lighting.
Residential Kitchen Over $150,000
Thoughtful architecture (including an addition) made this living and kitchen space feel more inviting for entertaining. The substantial use of cherry cabinetry is a nod to an up-and-coming trend toward more wood textures in the kitchen while details like the crafted barrel ceiling and natural stone communicate old world elegance inspired by Tuscan design.
Residential Bath Over $100,000
This glow-up honored the 1890 home with a bath that’s fresh, contemporary and suitable for aging in place. Vintage and industrial styles merge with features including a walk-in shower, extra storage and more. The crisp black and white blend seamlessly with the home’s period style, and visual highlights include the tiled floor border design and the vanity and mirror configuration.