NYC&G's Innovation in Design Award Winners!

The first-ever Innovation in Design Awards ceremony honored the best projects in the following categories: architecture, interior design, garden design, kitchen design, bath design, and product design.

On September 18, NYC&G held its first-ever Innovation in Design Awards ceremony at the Harvard Club in Manhattan. The IDAs honor the best design projects in the New York region, focusing on architecture, interior design, garden design, kitchen design, bath design, and product design. Winners were selected by a panel of six distinguished judges—designers Carl D’Aquino, Amanda Nisbet, Thomas O’Brien, Katie Ridder, and Matthew Patrick Smyth, and Waterworks co-founder and senior vice president of design Barbara Sallick. NYC&G was also pleased to honor industry leader Holly Hunt with its 2013 Innovator Award. As the projects on the following pages show, New York will always be fertile ground for some of the best ideas and most original trends in the world of stylish living.



It seemed like a test for a graduate architecture exam: How to convert a basement unit of a former industrial building into a light-filled loft with ready access to a garden? De-spec aced the test with an A plus. The achievement is “an excellent response to a difficult site and program,” says judge Carl D’Aquino. “This is a clean, thoughtful conversion that is textural, warm, and filled with detail.” The process involved changing the very approach to the residence, so that one now enters from the garden and then through the foundation wall, a solution the architects describe as both “intimate and cavernous.” An expanse of glass was set along the street as a way to flood an intrinsically dark space with light and air. The result is “great and intelligent,” adds judge Thomas O’Brien.

click here to view the runner-up and finalists in architecture



The second time around can be the best. After two decades in a New Jersey suburb, a pair of empty nesters returned to Manhattan for the next chapter of their lives. They chose a spacious West End Avenue apartment, bringing along little from their previous residence—with the idea of creating, as designer Glenn Gissler says, “a new, stimulating environment that reflects their values.” Every room evokes an amalgam of cultures, time periods, and styles, all in concert with an ever-growing fine art collection. Judges characterized the interiors as cultured, sophisticated, crisp, and inviting.

click here to view the runner-up and finalists in interior design

It’s not easy to fashion what judge Katie Ridder calls a “four-season garden” in the back of a Manhattan townhouse. Says Ridder: “I admire the varying heights, structure, and softness in this beautiful and practical garden design.” A courtyard effortlessly melds interior and exterior living spaces, with the garden now doubling as a practical space for dining, while swaths of geometric plantings, Renaissance gray limestone paving, and a decidedly modern pergola make for “a lush, textural refuge from the city,” comments judge Carl D’Aquino.

click here to view the runner-up and finalists in garden design


The prevailing design question for the renovation of this kitchen was how to pay homage to the past while embracing the new. In re-creating the kind of scullery typical of 18th-century homes, the architects designed a room that is “beautifully appointed and appropriate for the house, yet not conventional,” comments judge Matthew Patrick Smyth. The clients were firm in their desire for a space that was fresh, modern, and functional for cooking and gathering, but also one that respected the house’s architecture. White cabinetry with walnut-stained interiors, a matching island countertop, and a backsplash of white milk-glass subway tiles result in a “clean, warm environment,” says judge Amanda Nisbet.

click here to view the runner-up and finalists in kitchen design


Art fills not only the galleries in Chelsea, but also the walls of this neighborhood apartment, as the clients collect works by emerging talents. So it made sense that the bath in the master suite, situated in a converted factory building, be an artwork in itself. Architect Carol Kurth incorporated a rich palette of smoky-gray hues, natural slate, glass accent tiles, sea-green granite countertops, and undulating sandstone Dune tiles as wall coverings. “It’s a stylish urban retreat that makes the perfect canvas for the clients’ bold, curated art collection,” Kurth says.

click here to view the runner-up and finalists in bath design


WINNER: N1R surface-mounted lamp, Nosanchuk
This digitally fabricated light fixture is made from a flat sheet of acrylic that has been laser-cut and assembled around a frosted glass tube, giving it a thoroughly modern shimmer.

runner-up: Aviator cocktail table, Kavante
Made from anigre wood and oxidized bronze, with two artfully hidden drawers on its sides, this streamlined cocktail table is ready for takeoff in both traditional and modern decors.

finalist: Bracelet lamp, Goralnick
Based on the idea that lighting is the “jewelry of the home,” the Bracelet lamp is made of impossibly thin swirls of iron stacked like bangle bracelets, so that they almost seem weightless.

finalist: RPR Brag table, RockPaperRobot
A spin on the round brilliant-cut diamond, this Corian table appears to defy gravity, though a circular steel base anchors it. A glass top placed across two Brag tables doubles the fun.