October 31, 2019
With submissions for the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards 2020 now open, we are asking past award winners about their experiences. Louise Berry from Norfolk-based Naked Kitchens won the 2019 award for Kitchen Designer of the Year: project cost up to £30,000
Q: Why was it important for you to submit an entry to the awards?
A: When I designed the Highgate kitchen, I knew there was something special about it right from the start. It stood out from previous projects I had created and I had a real passion about every element of the kitchen design. When Naked Kitchens heard about the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to share the Highgate design and increase awareness of the Naked Kitchens brand.
Q: Why specifically the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards?
A: Naked Kitchens has always been a big fan of kbbreview magazine and we have always been aware of the awards and followed the results. We decided to enter this specific year as we realised it was the 25-year anniversary of the awards, and knew the Highgate kitchen was the special design we had been waiting to enter.
Q: Can you tell us about your experience of the judging panel?
A: The prospect of presenting my design in front of a panel of judges was daunting and nerve-racking to begin with. However, as soon as I started speaking, the nerves slipped away and I felt immensely proud of what I had achieved. The judges asked questions throughout the presentation that helped guide what I was saying, and the whole 15 minutes felt like a conversation rather than a one-sided presentation. I knew every detail used within the design like the back of my hand, as I had worked closely with the client from the very start of the project, which meant the presentation flowed nicely and I never felt like I was being put on the spot with the judges’ questions.
Q: Have there been any positive outcomes since your win?
A: There have been many positive outcomes from the awards and we have definitely seen an increased awareness of the Naked Kitchens brand since the final. We have had clients approaching us, who heard about the Highgate kitchen through the awards, wanting to recreate a similar design or something equally as bespoke. We have also noticed that more customers than ever are enquiring about using walnut within their kitchen. We are also now being recognised as a bespoke joiner and not just a manufacturer of kitchen cabinets, as clients have recognised that we can make beautiful, bespoke, freestanding pieces, like the island in our winning design.
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about entering a Kitchen Designer of the Year category?
A: My advice would definitely be to go for it! It’s a wonderful experience and a great opportunity for networking with like-minded individuals who will appreciate the hard work and passion that has gone into your design. The judging process is not as daunting as you initially think and the awards ceremony at the end is great fun! The whole experience has made me feel immensely proud of the unique and bespoke elements that go into my kitchen designs and I remind myself of this each time I embark on a new design project.
The kbbreview Retail & Design Awards 2020 event will be held on Monday, March 2, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole alongside the kbb Birmingham exhibition.
- To find out all about entering the awards, the categories, judging process and how to book your seats and tables at the event, go to www.kbbreview.com/awards
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