NKBA Design Competition – NKBA
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NKBA Design Competition

First round judging is currently underway for NKBA’s Design Awards. Once complete, we will notify those who have moved to Round 2 by August 18. If you are notified, you will have until August 27 to complete your Round 2 submissions. If you have any questions, please reach out to jmartinez@nkba.org.
Member Pricing:

First Project: $175
Second Project: $150
Three or More Projects: $100/per project

Non-Member Pricing:

First Project: $225
Second Project: $200
Three or More Projects: $175/per project

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Best Overall Category Awards:

Best Overall Kitchen – $20,000

Best Overall Bath – $20,000

Category Awards

1st place:  $5,000

2nd place:  $3,000

3rd place:  $2,000

2024 Categories

Kitchen Categories:

  • Kitchen – Small – under 300 sq. ft. 
  • Kitchen – Large – over 300 sq. ft.
  • Specialty Kitchen – i.e. dirty kitchen, caterer’s or scullery kitchens, Kosher kitchen, guest house kitchen, outdoor kitchen

Prizes | First: $5,000  Second: $3,000  Third: $2,000

Bath Categories:

  • Powder Room (No shower or tub)
  • Secondary Bath 
  • Primary Bath 

Prizes | First: $5,000  Second: $3,000  Third: $2,000

Best Overall Category Awards

Best Overall Kitchen** – $20,000

Best Overall Bath ** – $20,000

See Entry Packet for details.

**Overall winners will be chosen from first-place winners of each category.

The Judging

The competition entries will be scored based on the following core areas, click here for complete criteria and requirements.

  • Creativity
  • Presentation
  • Design planning
  • Elements and Principles of Design
  • Safety and ergonomics
  • NKBA Planning Guidelines (4th Edition)

Two rounds of judging will occur: 

Round 1  – will be scored by editors from various trade and consumer publications.  Judges will review the projects on creativity, innovation as well as Wow factor.

Round 2  – The judging panel will be comprised of NKBA-certified designers. Those who move onto Round 2 will be notified in late July and will have until August 18, 2023, to upload their remaining required documents.

Competition Guidelines + Requirements
  • NKBA Members: First project entry is $175; Second project is $150 an each subsequent entry is $130 per project.
  • Non-Members: First project entry is $225, while the second project submission is $200 and each subsequent entry is $175 per project.
  • The individual entrant must be the Designer of Record on each project. There is a maximum of two co-designers for each project.
  • If the entrant is not the owner of the business that billed the project, owner approval is required for eligibility.
  • The project(s) submitted must have been installed between January 1, 2022 and July 11, 2023.
  • Enter the project into the one category for which it is best suited, based on size and style. You may enter as many projects as you would like that fit into the various categories.
  • A new entry form is required for each project submitted and is to be completed in full. Each entry requires a separate fee.
  • Entries must be received in their entirety by July 23, 2023, at 11:59 PM ET with the entry fee paid in full.
  • All identifying design/firm information must be removed or blacked out from photographs, floor plans, elevations and design statements.
  • All required materials must be received digitally and labeled according to NKBA directions.
Required Materials Checklist
  1. Review the 2024 Design Competition Entry Packet and Kitchen & Bath Guidelines
  2. Register for an account on the awards platform.
  3. Complete Online Entry Form.
    • Select “Start entry” on the bottom of the page.
    • When filling out the entry information, you will create a Project ID. You may name your project as you see fit, however, please include the category-specific abbreviation. For example, an entry in the Specialty Kitchen category would include SPK – Name of Entry.
    • Enter all the required information clicking “Save + Next” as you complete each tab. Please be sure to include any co-designers.
  4. Upload photos (up to 10 total).
    • The NKBA requests up to 10 high-resolution (300 dpi) color photos, approximately
      8” x 10”. Professional photography is highly recommended! Avoid using photos that identify the project location or individuals such as client, children or site workers.
  5. Design Statement
    • Must be typed and match standard formatting including a 200-to-400 word narrative and bulleted list of features and highlights.
    • Do not include any identifying designer and firm information.
  6. Drawings (construction, floorplans, elevations).
    • Scale MUST be 1⁄4”, 1⁄2” or 1:20 metric scale and cleanly labeled including dimensions.
    • Identifying designer and firm information must be removed/omitted.
  7. Client property release form (not seen by judges)
  8. Photography release form (not seen by judges)
  9. Business owner form (not seen by judges)
  10. Headshot & Bio (not seen by judges)
Design Statement Requirements

Please use this as a guide when preparing your design statement.

  • All design statements must be typed.
  • Do not include any identifying member information such as:
    • Client name
    • Client address
    • Business name
    • Business address
  • Statements should be 200-400 word statements that outline the client needs, objectives, design philosophy, challenges, solutions and special circumstances (think of the design statement you’d pitch to a magazine).
  • Objectives: Outlines criteria to be met by your design solution
    • Create casual dining for large family.
    • Update to contemporary tastes of clients.
    • Provide healing options for a sick family.
    •  Create multigenerational kitchen.
  • Design Challenges: Describe fixed elements or special circumstances
    • Design space around support posts, air ducts, plumbing, etc.
    • Include client’s sports souvenirs collection.
  • Design Solutions: Describe how you creatively solved the challenges, for example:
    • Used negative space between air ducts and created storage space.
  • Special Features: Highlight design elements that are unique or notable, for example:
    • Technology and voice activation.
    • Repurposed wood from the dance studio where client danced as a child.
  • To present your entry in the best way, please use the above guidelines to assist in creating a concise, effective design statement. This will help to ensure that the judges have a good understanding of your project. It can be written as a narrative, a  comprehensive bulleted list or a combination of both.
  • Any materials are omitted or if the required criteria is not met, the entry will be disqualified.  No notification will be given.  NKBA reserves the right to disqualify a project, pre, during and after the contest judging.  Entry fees will not be refunded.
  • You state you are an NKBA member and we find this to be false.
  • Your submission is not received by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 23, 2023.  Incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
  • You do not adhere to all competition guidelines, requirements and deadlines.
  • You do not submit all documentation in one digital submission.
Need Help?
An Insider’s Guide to Entering NKBA’s Professional Design Awards
NKBA Digital Product Manager, Ryan Lance, gives you a step-by-step guide on how to enter this year’s competition.
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Look for NKBA Design Awards Finalists to be Announced in September.