The Grand Prize Winner

Bold Yet Elegant

By Julianna Weiss-Roesller


How do you update the kitchen in one of the oldest homes in Anchorage? A space that, by modern standards, is small, dark, and poorly laid out? A house that the client’s family has had for generations?

These are the questions that designer Fernanda Conrad found herself facing when she was contacted for the job that ultimately became our Grand Prize winner.


Thankfully, the clients themselves were, in Conrad’s words, “kind and easygoing.” They just wanted a light, open concept kitchen that felt modern… without discounting the history of the home.

How did Conrad achieve that?

After talking to the client, she decided to go for a mid-century modern look that incorporated their favorite color: teal.



Not surprisingly, the biggest obstacle was designing within the confines of a generations-old structure. Conrad got around this – and opened up the space – by vaulting the ceiling and painting the supporting structures white.

Combined with the sleek Durasupreme Paintable White and Storm Gray cabinets, the light Cambria Quartz countertops, nearly invisible can lighting, and windows that were strategically placed to let in as much natural light as possible, it helps create a kitchen that feels bright, airy, and spacious.



The teal doesn’t hurt either! To get the clients’ favorite color into the design, they opted to use that color for the tile splash (Fireclay Tile). It really makes the wall pop, but without taking over the room. The teal shabby-chic teal bar stools, too, are a nice touch that draws the eye at the bottom of the room.

Also helpful was the decision to extend the original natural oak flooring into the new kitchen. The wood not only warms and softens the stark white cabinetry, but also marries the kitchen and living area seamlessly, making it feel bigger than it really is.



Additional kitchen features of note include the vertical lift doors on the wall cabinetry, glass inserts, and a floating shelf to display the client's favorite dishes and add some splashes of color. 

The appliances, which are all Thermador, fade into the background intentionally and were chosen based on what fit into the design. Because of this, they provide a sense of utilitarian strength and elegance that melds with the aesthetic of the kitchen to form a seamless whole.  

The end result is a kitchen that seems like it’s floating on clouds. Pretty impressive for one of the oldest homes in Anchorage.

Photography by Dave Davis - DMD Real Estate Photography