2013 Watermark Awards Inspire Kitchen & Building Trends

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2013 Watermark Awards Inspire Kitchen & Building Trends

Summer is the season of awards ceremonies for the architecture, design, and construction community!

Last month, we featured some winners from the 2013 RADA awards and now its time to explore some of the winners for the 2013 Watermark Awards from Builder and Custom Home Magazine.

See some of the winners to uncover some new and timeless trends.  From elaborate ceiling decor, colorful kitchens, dark wood flooring, gray kitchen cabinets and vintage decor…you might find a great idea for your kitchen project!

Piper House, Darien, Connecticut

There always seems to be a market for production homes no matter what the economic conditions but the types of construction products used in those homes can vary significantly.  Enter the Piper House in Darien, Connecticut coined as the home that “sets the standard that all model homes should look to”.


















This exquisite kitchen features dark wood flooring, gray cabinets (not the first project to do so as you will see), stainless steel appliances, and Carrera marble   Other on trend components include the open shelving, and lighting detail.  The white and black contrasting windows are ap erfect fit too.

All these elements come together to create a harmonious palette of white, gray and black.

See More Project Details.

Woolworth Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska

This contemporary kitchen design is anything but ordinary with many unique features!

The space is a mixture of cherry wood floors and maple wood floors on the accent walls and countertops, sleek wood cabinets with minimal detailing, and stainless steel appliances.  The intricate tile pattern is a perfect fir for the space, and the the infusion of ocean on the back walls add just the right amount of color.  This project, like the Piper House proves that stainless steel appliances are here to stay.

The most interesting piece is the intricate ceiling design inspired by boiling water.  Now you don’t see anything like that every day!








See more of the Woolworth Kitchen and view project details.

Bragg Renovation, Auburn, Alabama

When I think of Southern Architecture, like you would see in Alabama I think of Georgian colonials with wide heart pine flooring, but imagine my surprise when I saw the Bragg Renovation in Auburn, Alabama.  It looked as though it was plucked from a featured home in Dwell Magazine right from the heart of New York.









This contemporary home was created in a 1920’s warehouse…probably where it gets its vintage New York style…and it brings to life some of the trends we’ve already seen in other homes.  Dark wood flooring, gray kitchen cabinets, stainless steel appliances.

You will also see exposed brick and vintage signs from the buildings previous use (namely a restaurant from the 1960’s), and a ceiling with an intricatae pattern (the snuck the Georgian Colonial style in there after all).

See more project details.

The Red Cottage, Biwabik, Minnesota

A few weeks ago we brought you a special feature on Quirky Design Ideas for your Kitchen.  With the bright red details in the cabinetry of The Red Cottage – aptly named – the interesting lighting, blue accents on the windows and doors and other contrasting features…this project would surely fall into the category of “quirky”, but with excellent taste.









Like other homes we’ve seen, stainless steel remains a popular appliance style for kitchens, as do enlarged island and breakfast bars.  And people are trying to include gray into their design scheme, whether its in the gray cabinetry, or in the case of The Red Cottage, gray finished paneling on the back of the kitchen.

See more project details.

Crystal Springs Barn, St. Helena, California

Take an old barn, strip it down to the original stone walls, add in a natural wood ceiling and build a kitchen and you have the Crystal Springs Barn Kitchen in St. Helena, California.  This project, located in the Napa Valley is an intimate retreat with vintage appeal.  It includes pine flooring on the ceiling and walls-which appear to open as barn doors.









The exposed stone walls make you feel as though you are sitting in an old Italian country home.  Recessed lighting is a perfect fit for a space where beams and ceilings were built to create a 2nd floor, but also created naturally low ceilings.

Stainless steel appliances, lighting fixtures, cabinetry hardware and chares combine with a vintage red refrigerator and white cabinets to create a contrasting color palette.

See more project details.

Crosby Kitchen, Hillsborough, California

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Crosby kitchen in Hillsborough, California.  You can see many similarities to the other projects we’ve already looked at.  This includes an inclination toward gray color tones in the furniture, appliances, cabinetry hardware, and window panes.  You will also find exposed brick walls – painted white like the Piper House, instead of its natural red/brown color.










The kitchen also includes stainless steel appliances, which are a very nice contrast to the beautiful dark wood cabinets.  The dark wood floor takes on a slight gray tone as well, which has been very popular in recent years.   Notice the wider boards, which are always the most fashionable.

See more Project Details.


The Watermark Awards is not only a time to celebrate great design, but as we saw, give insight into design and construction trends.   Stainless steel appliances remain the most consistent among all projects, as do the gray tones.  A mixture of wall coverings is also turning up from exposed stone and brick to painted brick and freshly plastered wals.  But you can see the conflict that might exist for some choosing between natural wood or white cabinetry; Dark wood flooring  or tile.

According to Amy Albert, from Custom Home and Builder Magazine, this awards season was unique.  They had more entries than ever in the awards’ eight year history.   And this gives insight into the state of the industry right now.

“The increase points to the essential role that kitchens and baths play in attracting buyers to a home. What’s more, there’s brisk activity in the remodeling sector, and business in many markets is improving slowly but steadily.”

Read more about the Watermark Awards.

What project do you like best?  What is your favorite design detail – brick walls, stainless steel appliances or dark wood flooring?  Do you think the “gray” is here to stay for interior design trends?

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