Kitchens, Renovations

Top kitchen designer

After an extensive search for the country's leading kitchen designers, Caesarstone has announced the recipient of the prestigious 2012 Kitchen Designer award. The three judges - Aidan Bennetts, Elloise Rudman and Darren Bester - carefully scrutinised the top quality entries to unearth a truly groundbreaking design.  Ultimately, first place went to Durban’s Beth Gillitt from Kitchen Classics for her Loots project design. Describing the layout of the space housing her design, Beth says, 'We had quite a big space to work with, but the challenge was to link it with the rest of the home, as it's open plan. One of the first things you see when you enter the house is the kitchen, so it had to blend in and at the same time be a stunning feature of the house.' Taking her cue from African materials and textures, she aimed to incorporate these elements into the kitchen. She therefore used timber veneer and walnut to capture the desired look. An important part of the challenge was to integrate Caesarstone products into the design. When asked how she went about doing this, Beth says, 'To complement this and contrast it, it still had to be contemporary at the same time and Snow White Caesarstone was the best choice because of its consistency, which worked so well with the timber.' When it comes to main features of her kitchen design, the island is definitely one of the big attractions. 'You see it first when you enter the space, so it had to be inviting and functional – being able to serve as a preparation surface, as well as a relaxed, social area as well', Beth explains. But this was no ordinary island design. In order to make it that much more visually interesting, Beth decided to heighten its base. The raised effect gives it that extra something that certainly sets her work apart from the rest. She's also taken a similar approach with the seating space, which is slightly unusual. The materials look like they've grown into each other, via the shadow line detail; she achieved this by leaving a gap between the stone and timber table. When asked for her final thoughts, the designer comments, 'I just love the clean cut lines that create a beautiful aesthetic appeal – I also love that the design reflects the personality of the owner and that this kitchen just makes me want to cook!' It certainly is a dream kitchen that we wouldn't mind calling our own... As the overall winner, Beth Gillitt received R50 000, an interview on SABC 3's Expresso morning TV show and she'll also feature in our October 2012 issue, on shelf 17 September.  For more information about the runners-up and their prizes visit