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Best Kitchen 2022 Winner

The winning designer for the Best Kitchen category for 2022 set out to reconfigure a cramped and dated kitchen into a modern family space.

by Colin Shea Denniston

Jun 2022

Best Kitchen winner of 417 Home Design Awards 2022
Photos by Alaina Tompson; Brandon AlmsStauffer's selection of warm wood cabinets and textured granite countertops brings a cozy, lived in quality to the kitchen. “I definitely felt inspired by antique,” says Stauffer. “I wanted it to feel very layered. Purchase Photo

Winning Designer: Jamie Stauffer of Stauffer Design Co.

Project Goal Summary

To reconfigure a cramped and dated kitchen into a modern family space full of unique details, natural materials and warm antique touches.

For many people, the kitchen is the undisputed heart of the home. It’s where we whip up family meals, gather during cocktail parties and set up impromptu after-school homework stations. In redesigning this oh-so-90s family kitchen, Jamie Stauffer skipped the familiar white on white approach and instead chose warm wood cabinets and textural countertops to create a lived in, country inspired kitchen, striking the perfect balance between understated elegance and antique charm.

As owner and designer of Stauffer Design Co., Stauffer knew from the onset of the project that major changes were required to achieve the desired effect. “Everything in the home was in a cherry stain, so the floors were stained cherry and the cabinetry was stained cherry,” says Stauffer. The cherry-stained kitchen was accompanied by a sea of beige—from the countertops to the backsplash to the paint on the walls. "I had to start completely over and build something new,” Stauffer says.

To open up the space, Stauffer removed the wall separating the kitchen and the living room and added the island to make up for lost storage. The walls got a refreshing update with a soft neutral color and for a twist on the traditional, Stauffer skipped the shaker cabinets, opting instead for paneled doors with a heavy white oak grain. “I feel like my biggest risk was doing the cabinetry that I did,” says Stauffer. “I don’t really love painted cabinetry, so I try and steer away from that.”

For the kitchen island, Stauffer selected a granite countertop with a leather feel, creating an added layer of richness and texture. “It’s really cool because you can run your hand across it and your fingers move up and down as you go across,” says Stauffer. She used the same leathered granite on the fireplace, which sits directly across from the kitchen island in the home’s living room.

For the perimeter countertops, Stauffer worked with Ozark based Favrstone to install an unpolished, honed black granite. “We were looking at doing the backsplash out of the same material as the countertops but going all the way up to the bottom of the hood,” says Stauffer. At the last minute, she had the idea to add a shelf rather than taking the backsplash all the way up. When her installation team told her they had never worked on such a design, she knew she had to do it. “That was like music to my ears,” says Stauffer. “If [they'd] never done it, I’m going to be the first one to do it.’”

Island in kitchen of Best Kitchen Design Awards 2022 winner.
Photos by Alaina Tompson; Brandon AlmsFor the kitchen island, Stauffer selected a granite countertop with a leather feel, creating an added layer of richness and texture.

Interior Design/Decorating Project Lead(s)
Jamie Stauffer

Architect/Home Designer(s)
Stauffer Design Co.
3774 E. Moongate, Springfield417-293-3938

Sam Carter Construction

Photographer of Project
Brandon Alms

Stauffer Design Co.

Hardware (knobs, cabinet pulls, etc.)
Stauffer Design Co.

Plumbing Fixtures (faucets, spa, etc.)
Stauffer Design Co.

Light Fixtures
Stauffer Design Co.

Kitchen Cabinets
Elton Botard

Kitchen Countertops-Perimeter
5311 N. 23rd St., Ozark417-374-7416

Island Countertop
Phenix Marble Company
9410 N. Farm Rd. 45, Ash Grove

Wood Floors
Terry Wilson
Wilson and Sons Flooring

Paint (brand)
Benjamin Moore
Seminole Paint
1815 E. Seminole St., Springfield417-881-5559

Decorative Paint Contractor
J & M Custom Painting

Metro Appliances and More
3252 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield417-833-1113

Beams/Restored Wood Products
Terry Wilson
Wilson and Sons Flooring

Other Suppliers
Chris Warwick
Warwick Electric
4766 S. 131st Rd., Bolivar417-327-3674