The Grand Prize Winner

Stunning yet Functional

By Angela Rose


“It was a one butt kitchen,” homeowner Bret explains with a laugh when describing the old cooking space in his home of six years. “If we wanted to unload the dishwasher, we had to take the dishes out, set them on the counter, and then close the dishwasher before we could get them up into the cupboard. It just wasn’t very functional at all.”


It was also identical—from the cabinetry and countertops to the flooring and appliances—to the other 25 kitchens in the neighborhood. Bret and his wife, Clarissa, wanted something different, so they enlisted the expertise of Hollie Ruocco, of Creative Kitchen Designs, Inc., and Anchorage contractor Dan Bruzas. One look at the finished product is all it takes to see why the design is this season’s grand prize winner. 


“Clarissa wanted to focus mostly on gray tones,” says Ruocco,” so we used Steel Gloss thermofoil on the Dura Supreme Alectra Tribeca cabinetry.” Additional texture comes from grain-patterned tile on the floors and stone and glass mosaic tile on the walls. Q-Quartz Carrera Grigio countertops from Alaska Countertops enhance the kitchen’s contemporary feel.  “She wanted very sleek and clean lines,” Ruocco adds.  


Professional grade stainless steel appliances—from the 42-inch Sub Zero refrigerator and 30-inch Thermador range to the Bosch hood and Jen Air trash compactor—were essential. “We wanted appliances that were big, bad and would last while also making our kitchen unique,” says Bret. 

We wanted appliances that were big, bad and would last while also making our kitchen unique,
— Bret


LED tape lights are another novel addition. “We used them underneath the upper cabinets and at the toe of the lower cabinets so they reflect off the tile floors,” says Ruocco. “The color can be changed to any shade under the rainbow, and they have dimmers as well.” 


But the kitchen’s stunning appearance isn’t all that makes it special: it’s also extremely functional. “In their old kitchen, there was a peninsula coming off the wall,” Ruocco says. “We removed the peninsula to open up the traffic way. We also added an island with two seats so they can sit there for breakfast or coffee.” 


“Hollie moved the compactor and disposal to the left hand side of the sink and the dishwasher to the right hand side so it all flows very nicely” Bret adds. “I love the functionality the most.” 

Photography by Dave Davis - DMD Real Estate Photography