2021 Best Kitchens Over $225,000



Contrasting Colors


Phil Kean Design Group, Winter Park, FL







Photos: Uneek Image

The objective for the kitchen design team – which included designer Todd Atkins along with architect Phil Kean and interior designer Keri Ferguson – for the 2021 New American Home was to demonstrate how the space could be beautifully designed using a combination of multiple colors and textures. 

Cabinets from Plato Woodwork’ INOVAE Classic line are used in contrasting colors of walnut, creamy whites, dark carbon, sparkling champagne and reflective glass in gray. A traditional walnut finish is showcased on the 10′ illuminated walnut hutch, which includes glass-front doors that highlight the contents. Walnut is also used in a chevron pattern on the island cabinetry, interior cabinetry in the TV niche, and custom hood built using a Panasonic 36″ range hood. 

The kitchen also features a range of interior storage options, including peg boards, spice racks, utensil dividers and roll-outs. Specialty spaces including a coffee bar and TV niche can be closed off and hidden behind their retractable bi-fold doors.

Modo cabinet hardware from Schaub & Company adds a touch of gold, along with the Kohler Crue Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet. The faucet is paired with Kohler’s Prolific Undermount Sink.

The Signature Kitchen Suite appliances deliver luxury built-in cooking and refrigeration options. Included are: 48″ Dual-Fuel Range with Sous Vide and Induction, 30″ Double Wall Oven with Steam-Combi and Microwave Oven Drawer, all in stainless steel, as well as 30″ Integrated Panel-Ready Column Refrigerator and Freezer units, and Quadwash Panel-Ready Dishwasher.

To contrast the Engineered Natural Walnut flooring, the designers used a bright white Viatera Quartz from LG Hausys for both the countertops and the backsplash. Idril Sconces in brushed nickel, as well as the Loop Linear fixture in brushed aluminum above the island – all from Kichler – provide illumination.


Form & Aesthetic


Cooper Pacific Kitchens, West Hollywood, CA






The request for this project was to create a kitchen that felt architectural rather than noticeably “kitchen.” Steven Cooper, in collaboration with interior designer Thomas Schoos of Schoos Design, chose Form and Aesthetic as the key objectives needed to create a high-functioning kitchen that would allow for caterers and chefs to prepare for large parties and entertaining.

Since the client doesn’t cook but entertains quite a bit, concealed appliances were highly desired. The column refrigerator with freezer and Gaggenau dishwasher were integrated, and a drop-down flat screen television can be hidden from view when not in use. A custom hood that matches the Cooper Pacific Kitchens Custom 861 cabinets hovers over the island, which houses five independent burners from Pitt Cooking. A Gaggenau speed oven and two single ovens disappear behind pocket doors and feature a custom temperature gauge and safety shutoffs in case the doors are ever closed over the units while in operation. A bar area with Thermador Wine Undercounter Refrigerator also vanishes from view.

Balancing the mix of texture in the 351-sq.-ft. penthouse kitchen was the focus. Oak logs, sourced from German forests, give the space an organic, tactile quality, while cement and stone augment the more austere architecture. The Caesarstone Rugged Concrete quartz countertop and backsplash blend with the overall aesthetic, while the Waterworks Regulator faucets and custom bronze sink from Rocky Mountain Hardware enhance the industrial feel.


Contemporary Condo


Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath, Chevy Chase, MD




Photos: Anice Hoachlander, Anice Hoachlander Photography

The contemporary style of this full condo remodel needed to be reflected in the kitchen as well, where the desire for more open space and increased size were primary. Jennifer Gilmer and Meghan Browne, working alongside Greg Wiedemann of Wiedemann Architects, focused on these interests, along with having a more functional work triangle and providing seating for four in the 350-sq.-ft. room.

A focal-point back wall blends the Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer columns into the space, with a narrow pantry finishing the look. On that same wall are a Miele convection oven and Miele Speed Microwave. 

The Gaggenau cooktop was moved to the other side of the room so that the wall in the hallway could be reduced, a request of the clients. The Amore hood above was hidden by connecting it to a ceiling panel, with a cabinet of the same color reaching down to the countertop. This cabinet has bi-fold/retractable doors and houses the coffee machine and other amenities.
A peninsula was created to the left of the bi-fold cabinet, which offered a landing space at the end of the hallway.

Contemporary cabinets from Premier Custom Built are featured in white and pale wood tones, topped with Bianco Lassa marble with a waterfall edge. Along the wall, the countertop is met by handmade ceramic tile from Pratt + Larson. The island now houses The Galley sink, paired with a ROHL faucet, with a Miele dishwasher to the side. A Miele warming drawer and Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator are also featured in the space.


Kitchens Over $225,000

Kitchens $150,000–$225,000

Kitchens $75,000–$150,000

Kitchens Under $75,000

Specialty Kitchens


Master Bathrooms Over $100,000

Master Bathrooms $50,000–$100,000

Master Bathrooms Under $50,000

Powder Rooms

Specialty Projects

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Wellness Features Termed a ‘Necessity’ for Today’s Homes

INDIANAPOLIS — Well­ness fea­tures, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and an elevated awareness of indoor envi­ron­ments’ impact on phys­i­cal and men­tal health, are no longer a lux­u­ry, but rather a necessity in today’s homes, a leading wellness expert contends.

According to Dr. Jie Zhao, exec­. v.p. of Delos, a New York-based well­ness real estate and tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny, COVID-19 has literally reshaped the way homes – including kitchens and baths ­– will be designed, built, equipped and remodeled in years to come.

“Peo­ple are much more cog­nizant of the impor­tant role that homes play in our lives, and how these envi­ron­ments can have a pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive impact on the well­ness of their inhab­i­tants,” Jie said.

At the recent “Insights Sum­mit,” an annual event sponsored by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), Jie outlined four key wellness trends that he believes will have the greatest impact on home improve­ment in the post-pan­dem­ic world. Among them:

• Indoor Air Quality: Because virus­es spread through the air much eas­i­er than by sur­face con­tact, the pan­dem­ic shed light on the impor­tance of indoor air qual­i­ty, or IAQ, as a com­po­nent of a healthy home, Jie said.

“Air fil­tra­tion is vital to the reduc­tion of par­ti­cle trans­mis­sion,” he observed. “Not only can air-clean­ing tech­nolo­gies improve peace of mind when it comes to invis­i­ble health threats like COVID-19, they also tack­le vis­i­ble parti­cles in the air such as smoke and oth­er harm­ful particles.”

Jie said that ven­ti­la­tion and/​or ion­iza­tion tech­nol­o­gy will be at the fore­front of the fight against con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed air in home spaces. ​“For this rea­son, IAQ may be the biggest well­ness trend to have emerged from the pan­dem­ic,” he noted.

• Mental Wellness: Men­tal well­ness issues per­sist­ed long before the emer­gence of the coro­n­avirus, but the amount of atten­tion devot­ed to the top­ic increased sig­nif­i­cant­ly after­ward, Jie said, noting that men­tal health came to the fore­front of con­ver­sa­tion due to iso­la­tion dur­ing stay-at-home orders.

Jie observed that one result of this for the home-improvement industry is the gen­er­al migra­tion away from con­gest­ed cities in favor of larg­er res­i­dences, more nature and less com­mut­ing time. Jie also point­ed to the effect of men­tal well­ness on increased demand in cer­tain prod­uct cat­e­gories, including home enter­tain­ment, artists’ sup­plies, sports equip­ment and pets.

• Home Offices: Anoth­er major change emerg­ing from the pan­dem­ic is the increased impor­tance of the home office.

“Many employ­ees have made invest­ments in their home offices and have got­ten used to work­ing from home,” Jie said, pointing to surveys which found that 80% of work­ers want to be able to work from home three days per week, and 92% want at least one remote work­day per week.

“There has been a rise in office fur­ni­ture and acces­sories that sup­port health and well­ness, such as the stand­ing desk or ergonom­ic key­board,” Jie said, adding that 20-25% of com­pa­nies are cur­rent­ly reim­burs­ing their employ­ees for well­ness-relat­ed home office sup­plies and fur­ni­ture, “hint­ing at the prospect that work-from-home may be around well into the com­ing years.”

• Fitness: While the spread of COVID-19 led to the tem­po­rary clo­sure of most gyms and ath­let­ic insti­tu­tions, it gave rise to new home fit­ness technolo­gies, as peo­ple sought to stay fit with­in the con­fines of their own homes, Jie pointed out.

“Com­pa­nies like Pelo­ton and MIRROR are chang­ing the way we think about fit­ness (and) com­bin­ing the phys­i­cal and vir­tu­al,” he said. “Con­sumers not only pur­chase a piece of gym equip­ment for their home, but they buy into an entire online social and con­tent expe­ri­ence.”

“I expect to see more inte­gra­tion with online fit­ness plat­forms and home décor,” he said. “Peo­ple want con­vert­ible spaces, so the eas­i­er their equipment blends with their home and lifestyle, the bet­ter.”

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Home Sizes Rise With Virus-Fueled Demand for More Space

WASHINGTON, DC — Single-family home sizes are reported to be rising as an offshoot of the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing a recent trend toward downsizing as homeowners are seeking additional residential space for a wider range of purposes, particularly teleworking and school-related activities.

According to second-quarter 2021 U.S. government data and analysis from the National Association of Home Builders, the median size of a newly built single-family home increased to 2,297 sq. ft. The average size for new single-family homes increased to 2,540.

Since Great Recession lows, home size rose between 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction was constrained, according to the Washington, DC-based NAHB. In contrast, home sizes declined between 2016 and 2020, as more starter homes were developed, the NAHB said.

“Going forward we expect home size to increase again, given a shift in consumer preferences for more space due to the increased use and roles of homes in the post-COVID-19 environment,” observed Robert Dietz, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based NAHB.

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Pace of Market Growth Seen Cooling After Strong 2021 Gains

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — Ongoing supply-chain disruptions coupled with labor shortages, higher material costs and emerging uncertainties wrought by COVID-19 are cooling the pace of kitchen and bath market growth in the wake of an exceptionally strong year in 2021.

According to the latest Market Forecast Report issued in recent weeks by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the 2021 kitchen and bath industry posted healthy, double-digit gains over 2020, although growth projections were “pared back a bit” compared to the NKBA’s previous (July 2021) forecast, “as lingering issues caused by the pandemic seem to be catching up to consumer sentiment.”

The NKBA projected total 2021 revenues of $167 billion, a 19% increase over the $141 billion that was posted in 2020, but lower than earlier forecasts, which predicted that full-year revenue totals would reach $171 billion.

“2021 has been like none other for our industry, as strong growth across virtually every sector led to record revenues,” said Bill Darcy, CEO of the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA. However, some homeowners, faced with price increases related to supply chain disruptions, “are deferring projects until they’ve enough saved to get exactly what they want, or in the hope that costs will come down,” Darcy added.

The NKBA reported a nearly 10% year-over-year growth in the kitchen and bath remodeling sector in 2021, and a 26% growth in the new construction sector. Premium projects were up by more than 22%, while low-end projects grew about 11%, “suggesting a cooling of the DIY trend,” the NKBA said.

“These findings are very encouraging and indicate that…growth should be sustained into 2022,” Darcy said.

In related news, the latest NKBA/John Burns Real Estate Consulting “Kitchen & Bath Market Index,” issued in December, remained in “solidly expanding territory,” but cooled from the record number posted in the previous quarter. Expected future activity “also tailed off a bit,” having peaked in the first quarter of 2021, reported the NKBA and John Burns.

“In relative terms, the outlook remains quite positive,” with association members projecting about a 9% sales gain in 2022 – “impressive if it holds true, given 2021’s strong growth,” said the NKBA, adding that supply chain disruptions, cost of materials and availability of skilled labor are hampering the industry’s ability to take full advantage of strong demand…as NKBA members scramble to meet client needs, with most resorting to brands they’ve never previously used.”

Other findings of the NKBA/John Burns Report were as follows:

n The challenging business environment has forced the industry to become “supplier/vendor agnostic” – prioritizing product availability above other factors. The industry has also moved toward sourcing more domestic-based products in an attempt to circumvent global supply chain issues. Manufacturers are prioritizing high-value products to protect profit margins while stockpiling excess materials to help ease lead times and overall constraints.

n The kitchen and bath industry continues to feel the pains of ongoing supply chain challenges. Port congestion is further compounding strained supply chains that are still recovering from the effects of Winter Storm Uri and Hurricane Ida, while labor shortages are causing delays in the trucking industry. Meanwhile, lead times for domestic and foreign raw materials are well over 6+ weeks and has many within the sector struggling to keep up with demand in today’s economy. As a result, product backlogs extend well into 2022 as these difficulties prevent those in the industry from staffing full production schedules.

n Even in the face of ongoing challenges, the industry remains cautiously optimistic about the health of the sector. Despite projects being pushed into 2022, the industry is continuing to see demand for building and construction projects as 84% of firms report low postponement rates and 90% report low cancellation rates relative to their overall project volume.


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New California Law Requires Use of ‘Lead-Free’ Plumbing Fixtures

ONTARIO, CA — A new plumbing code signed into law in California will mandate strict new limits on the manufacturing and sale of plumbing fixtures that leach lead, a toxin that has been tied for decades to drinking water, state officials announced.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week signed into law AB 100, legislation that establishes new lead leaching standards for the state, according to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), an organization that coordinates the development and adaptation of plumbing, mechanical, swimming pool and solar energy codes in the U.S. and abroad.

The new law, effective Jan. 1, 2023, prohibits the manufacturing and sale in California of any plumbing fixture, fitting or faucet that does not meet NSF/ANSI/CAN 61-2020, the IAPMO said. The law also requires that product packaging and labeling of any device that’s intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption must indicate compliance with the “lead-free” standard.

“AB 100 will help reduce the risk of lead exposure in the built environment through certified, ‘lead-free’ endpoint devices,” said Robyn Fischer, director of government relations for the Ontario, CA-based IAPMO. “This new law will complement the larger-scale efforts underway to help protect California’s water infrastructure and underscores the state’s commitment to uphold public health and safety.”

“We’re grateful that California’s new law promotes the industry standard for lead reduction, so that drinking water fixtures and faucets are accurately labeled,” added Tom Palkon, IAPMO’s executive v.p.

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Formica Corp. Accepting Entries For 2022 Student Competition

CINCINNATI, OH — Formica Corp. has announced the opening of the com- pany’s “FORM Student Innovation Competition,” an annual competition that will be marking its fifth anniversary in 2022.

The annual competition invites architecture and interior design students in the U.S. and Canada to showcase their creativity through original furniture designs that feature Formica Brand products. To celebrate its fifth anniversary, students will be asked to create their designs using Formica Brand woodgrain products, as a nod to the traditional fifth anniversary gift of wood.

Entrants have the chance to win cash prizes, earn national recognition and have their work showcased at NeoCon 2022, according to the Cincinnati-based Formica Corp. The competition is open through March 4, 2022, with winners announced in May of 2022, the company added.

Additional information can be obtained by visiting www.formica.com/ studentcompetition.

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Appliance Firm Relocates Showroom To LuxeHome in Chicago

CHICAGO — Middleby Residential Showcase Gallery, an appliance retailer anchored by Viking Range and La Cornue, has relocated to a new, larger space at LuxeHome, the Chicago-based collection of boutiques for home building and renovation.

At more than 7,000 sq. ft., Middleby Residential will more than double the size of its existing showroom at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago.

“The significant expansion will allow for greater visibility for Middleby Residen- tial’s collection of ultra-premium, luxury consumer brands,” said the company, whose featured brands include Viking, La Cornue, AGA, Lynx, U-Line, Marvel, Evo and Brava.

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Liebherr Announces Appointments

Liebherr recently added three new members to its team.Jessie Escobar was recently brought on as Liebherr’s regional sales manager, Western Territory. In his current role, he leads sales development from Alberta, Canada to Southern California and offers support to retailers and distributors, while working to increase brand awareness and Liebherr’s footprint in the North American market.Christian Lopez has joined the Liebherr team as e-commerce specialist for Liebherr Appliances, North America. In his new role, Lopez will work to build strong relationships with consumer-facing dealers, creating an efficient path for dealers to purchase Liebherr accessories online. Sarah Gambrell is Liebherr’s regional sales manager for Scientific Appliances. With over 18 years of experience in sales — specifically with medical devices, capital equipment and pharmaceuticals — she is tasked with growing the Scientific Appliances division for Liebherr and becoming the conduit for dealers and distributors. 

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Narrow Bath Becomes Soothing Oasis


The homeowners, a couple with a toddler, wanted to transform the master bath in their 1950s San Jose home into a soothing spa-like retreat, but the existing space presented quite the challenge – at only 36.5 square feet, the master bath was disproportionately small and cramped.


Designer Ratna Mehetre of Hans Spaces LLC incorporated an adjacent hallway linen closet and a small master bedroom closet in order to expand the bathroom’s footprint. The goal of the gut renovation was to create a space that would not only be luxurious, but toddler-proof as well. A new freestanding soaking tub was incorporated into the space, sealed to the wall on one side for safety, along with a custom-built walk-in glass shower with angled custom doors. A vanity was selected that would provide the look of a floating vanity with the added stability of a free-standing vanity. The space is accessible via a pocket door, and there are floor drains outside the shower for easy cleaning. Reflective and cool finishes were selected for the wall and floors in order to create an illusion of additional spaciousness, while a large round rattan mirror provides a feeling of depth.

After Photos: Steven Matthew Solidarios

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What Story Are Your Financials Telling?

I have always had a burning desire to know how my business measured up to industry peers. Were we above average, middle of the pack or a bottom feeder?

Years ago, while moderating a workshop at KBIS, the workshop presenter invited me to join an industry-specific peer group that he was facilitating. Sensing this is where I could gain some perspective about my business, I accepted the invitation.

My first meeting had me sitting around a boardroom table with owners of eight other kitchen and bath businesses from different geographical areas. The format was simple: sharing information, issues and challenges, and poring over each other’s financial statements.

I arrived at this meeting confident, perhaps even a bit cocky; I knew my numbers. The feeling didn’t last. My peers were starting to ask rapid-fire questions about the financials. I found myself struggling to provide satisfactory answers. Embarrassment and insecurity quickly replaced confidence.

That experience taught me several things. Primarily, I need to spend more time with the financials to understand the relationship between the numbers and the information revealed, and that most kitchen and bath dealers/owners don’t fully understand the importance of their financial statements. The latter is because most have grown up on the design and selling side of the business.

As a business owner, it’s critical to comprehend and own the financial side of the business; otherwise, you may never realize the company’s full income and profit potential. While accountants and bookkeepers play an essential role, it’s the role of owners to learn the meaning of these financial statements and determine what should be done to improve company performance.

So, a little primary education in this arena will set the stage for understanding the crucial values derived from knowing what your financial statements are saying about the state of your business.

The Difference in Financial Statements

Financial statements are divided into three categories: Income Statement (also known as a Profit and Loss Statement), Balance Sheet and a Cash Flow Statement.

An Income Statement measures your company’s financial performance in the current year. It’s measured by how much revenue (sales) has been recorded versus how many expenses have been incurred to generate that revenue level; the difference – revenue minus expenses – is called Net Profit.

A Balance Sheet measures your company’s cumulative performance since the inception of the business. It’s measured by how many assets you have acquired over these years minus the liabilities incurred in the process; the difference (Assets – Liabilities) is called Net Worth. The net worth is derived from several components: initial capital, retained earnings and the current year’s net profit, which is the common link between the Income Statement and the Balance Sheet in any given year.

Cash Flow Statements provide a summary of how cash enters and leaves the company. It measures how well a business manages its cash. Cash is king. Cash is the lifeblood of any business, and how well it’s being managed needs to be documented.

Cash and Accrual Accounting

There is a significant difference between cash and accrual accounting, and not knowing the difference and its impact on a business can lead to severe consequences. The main difference between the two types of accounting is when revenue and expenses are recognized and recorded.

Cash Accounting records revenue when cash is received. A 50% down payment on a newly signed kitchen would show up as revenue on the income statement. With no expenses to record yet, the financials could reveal a sizable net profit. The pitfall for this kind of accounting is that it might overstate the health of the business. Under this scenario, the company could be cash-rich, lulling the owner into a false illusion that the business is profitable when in reality, the business may be losing money.

Accrual Accounting recognizes and records revenue when it is earned. Revenue recognized upon delivery of a product or service aligns with the associated expenses and services provided.

The accrual method provides a more accurate picture of the business’s overall health by including all revenue when earned and all expenses when incurred. This more accurate financial data places an owner in a better position to make sound business decisions and limits the risk of overpaying taxes.

Managing by Percentages

Managing a business by reviewing and looking at strictly numbers can be challenging. It can be easy to overlook a change in revenue or an increase in expenses when focused primarily on the numbers – or, worse, not knowing what the numbers mean. It also makes it difficult to compare one financial statement to another or understand the changes occurring over time.

A more straightforward method to manage is inserting a column into a financial statement where any line item amount is expressed as a percentage of the overall net revenue. Total revenue is listed as 100%, and cost of goods, gross profit and all other line items are expressed as a percent of the total revenue. This method makes it easier to analyze the performance of a business over time and compare it with peers or industry benchmarks.

Benefits of Knowing Your Financials

Your financials tell a story about your business, what is occurring at the moment, and a telling tale about your organization’s history. It’s important to be adept in reading, interpreting and using your financial statements as a guide to making wise business decisions.

There are many benefits to being financially savvy. First, you can protect yourself from possible embezzlement. Placing all your trust in a bookkeeper without having financial know-how creates exposure that is often hard to overcome.

Second, you can better measure your financial performance against others in a group, identifying weaknesses where your business can improve. Third, you can ask better questions of professionals so you can secure better advice. Fourth, you can set more intelligent and realistic goals. Fifth, you can furnish more confident leadership, attracting and retaining quality personnel. And sixth, knowing the financials like you know the designing of kitchens can make you a lot more profit!

Commit to gain a deeper financial understanding of your business. Invest in yourself to learn the financials, and the story conveyed. Financial knowledge comes with reward – realizing the full profit potential of the business and leveraging it appropriately.

Dan Luck owns Bella Domicile in Madison, WI. He has been an SEN Member since 2002 and has led the SEN Leadership Team since 2018. Visit sendesigngroup/education for more information. Dan welcomes

questions and comments at [email protected].

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