Caesarstone Announces Kitchens Designers of the Year

Caesarstone announced the two Kitchen Designers of the year earlier today during the official awards ceremony held at The Test Kitchen inCape Town.

Kim Hansen and Beth Gillitt took the title of Caesarstone Kitchen Designers of 2014, also winning R50,000 each for their innovative kitchen designs in the Comfort and Luxury categories respectively. Beth Gillitt won the title in 2012, while Kim Hansen was a 2012 finalist. Both designers hail from Kitchen Classics, Durban, with Beth recently moving to Abu Dhabi after being headhunted for a kitchen design position there.

Every year Caesarstone invites South African kitchen designers to submit their year’s kitchen designs featuring Caesarstone for a chance to win amazing media exposure as well as enticing prize money. The judging process is blind and completely independent, preventing bias towards any design company or designer. This year entrants had to submit their kitchen designs into one of two categories depending on their overall value – Comfort (under R100,000 in value) and Luxury (over R100,000 in value).

Having flown all the way from Dubai for the awards ceremony, Beth was thrilled to take the title once again, “I can’t believe it – winning this competition has been really unexpected, but such a blessing as it’s opened up significant opportunities for me.” Beth’s Luxury category winning kitchen features Beth’s signature Caesarstone Shitake and timber accents in an innovative island.

Competition judge and editor of House & Garden magazine, Liz Morris, had this to say about Beth’s winning design, “The winning entry was a really cleverly designed kitchen, apart from a great use of Caesarstone – in fact, it was the most inventive and design-forward use of the product.” Liz continues, “The winning Luxury kitchen has an amazing layout, it is very user friendly and cook friendly. The other thing we thought was great was the combination of finishes and materials, which were on trend.”

Judge Bradley van den Berg, producer of Top Billing and the Expresso Morning Show, says, “This kitchen had many ticks in my boxes: I enjoyed the use of materials; I liked that it was warm; I liked the contrast of materials and I also liked the fact that it brought a lot of light into the kitchen with the use of the windows."

On winning her category in the competition, Kim Hansen says, “It’s fantastic to get recognition for something that’s a real passion for me. I find working with clients to design beautiful kitchens is a very rewarding process for me. Now I just need to decide what to do with the prize money!”

Nico van der Meulen of Nico van der Meulen Architects was the third judge for this year’s competition and commented on Kim’s winning Comfort category kitchen, “It doesn't look like an economical kitchen – it gives an impression of a much bigger, expensive kitchen. The design was very well executed, so it was a worthy winner for this category.” Bradley van den Berg comments, “It’s a kitchen you would typically see in small apartment. What I like about it is it’s not a typical island – they made a feature of it. The kitchen is striking and has almost become a furniture piece as opposed to a kitchen. One of the things when you have such a small space is to be able to have a kitchen that forms part of the living room and seamlessly flows from the one to the other is always a good feature to have in a home.”

The ceremony was an intimate one held at South Africa’s number 1 restaurant –The Test Kitchen. The sixty guests were served a 5-course food and wine pairing during the afternoon, with all of the major décor and design magazines in attendance, as well as luxury foodie and design brand representatives.

Caesarstone encourages all kitchen designers, architects and interior designers to submit their kitchen designs featuring Caesarstone. Communications manager for Caesarstone South Africa, Lisa Aspeling, says, “This competition is an excellent platform for getting your work exposed to the world and could be a springboard for your career as a kitchen designer”, she says.

Marketing director for Caesarstone South Africa, Trevor King, says, “South Africa is rich with design talent and we’re hoping to tap into that and promote excellence in kitchen design in this country through this competition. I would encourage all professionals designing kitchens to submit their work next year – you never know what might happen.”