A Tauranga kitchen designer has received top recognition in a prestigious nationwide competition.
Chelsey Mathieson of Vekart received six awards, including a supreme recognition, in the annual 2020 National Kitchen and Bathroom Association Excellence in Design Awards.
Mathieson won the Excellence in Design Supreme Kitchen Design Award for the kitchen she designed for a Tauranga family who love to entertain.
She was also awarded the Excellence in Design Kitchen Distinction Award $60,000 to $80,000 Award, the Excellence in Design Lighting Design Award and the Excellence in Design Bay of Plenty Chapter Kitchen Recognition Award.
Mathieson also snapped up the BOP Chapter Bathroom Recognition Award.
The Excellence in Design Supreme Kitchen Manufacturer Award went to Vekart for the company’s extraordinary work on the kitchen fabrication.
The 33-year-old said she has won runner-up in a local category before but never anything “this big” and thanked owners Kevin and Tracy Murphy for their support.
“This is the first time the Bay of Plenty has ever had a supreme award so it is pretty massive.
“It’s so unexpected and quite overwhelming. It is just massive to be recognised among your peers more than anything. It is really humbling.
“You just think you’re plodding away in little old Tauranga and not realising you’re doing some pretty epic stuff that is now nationally recognised.”
The annual awards celebrate the work of the creme de la creme of kitchen and bathroom designers and manufacturers in New Zealand.
More than 100 designs were entered this year, and 18 designers were recognised for their work located around the country.
Mathieson’s Supreme kitchen design was described as having a calm, luxurious and relaxed vibe with natural materials and texture.
“The kitchen is for a small family that have a love of entertaining, a strong passion for interior design and a vision for the overall outcome,” she said.
“The coastal inspiration was pulled from the Tauranga environment of warmth and texture, looking out across the beach with a view of Toi Toi, grasses, wood and water.
“The clients have lived in Sydney and so a strong influence came from interiors and themes often seen in Australian homes.”
The founder of Niche Design Co in Tauranga said she also wanted to acknowledge her clients.
“It was a huge input from them. It wouldn’t have been what it is without her. It was a real joint effort… Client satisfaction is why I do what I do.”
Mathieson said she had been designing kitchens and bathrooms for 16 years after leaving school and began working in the family business alongside her father and brother who are both cabinet makers.
“I just started drawing kitchens and found a passion for it and became a certified kitchen designer in 2011. I’ve just always loved design and everything that goes along with it.”
To come out with an award post-Covid-19 lockdown with a prestigious award was “incredible”, she said.
Mathieson said she was lucky to be able to continue working through lockdown and since then more people were spending money on their homes either building or renovating.
“Now with this award, it is just onwards and upwards.”
The kitchen, located in an architectural new home with a prime beachfront location, was praised by the judging panel for its restricted pallet, coastal vernacular, and structured elegance.
The judges described the kitchen as a “clever, aesthetically beautiful and complex kitchen” that has been completed to the absolute highest of standards.
“The marble shelf and marble detailing running through the cabinetry is both subtle and thoughtful and lovely addition.
“The project is refined simplicity at its best. The space is open and welcoming, the lighting responds beautifully to its environment.”
NKBA president, Nick Thompson of Fisher & Paykel, said all the winners should be extremely proud of their work.
“Well-designed kitchens and bathrooms are absolutely central to a functional and balanced home.
“Both are high use areas and require more than just a simple one-dimensional approach.
“A good designer creates spaces that are considered and well thought out to ensure optimal use and function.”
· Chelsey Mathieson of Vekart (Bay of Plenty)
· Morgan Cronin of Cronin Kitchens (Auckland)
· Angelique Armstrong of Armstrong Interiors (Canterbury)
· Hannah Withy of HM Design (Southern)
· Nicola Manning of Nicola Manning Design (Auckland)
· Melanie John of Cube Dentro (Auckland)
· Natalie Du Bois of Du Bois Designer Kitchens and Interiors (Auckland)
· Michael Murray of Kitchen Inspirations (Auckland)
· Damian Hannah of German Kitchens (Wellington)
· Milvia Hannah of German Kitchens (Wellington)
· Robert Xia of Aurora Australis Interior (Auckland)
· Mal Corboy of Mal Corboy Design (Auckland)
· Trudi Rabbitte of Rabbitte Joinery (Hawke’s Bay)
· Ingrid Geldof of Ingrid Geldof Design (Canterbury)
· Annika Rowson of Rowson Kitchens (Taranaki)
· Brooke Cholmondeley-Smith of TAWA Architecture (Waikato)
· Gillian Flynn of Kitchen Inspirations (Auckland)
· Craig Hooper of Cooper Webley (Top of the South)