Profiles in Excellence: NKBA Design Competition

Peter Salerno, CMKBD, kitchen and bath designer and president, Peter Salerno Inc., Wyckoff, New Jersey

Peter Salerno knows what it takes to be an award-winning designer. With 22 NKBA Design Competition awards in multiple categories over a span 14 years, including best overall kitchen in 2008 and 2012, he also knows the impact winning the award can have on your career.

“Being an NKBA Design Competition winner has given me and my business increased exposure and credibility,“ says Salerno. “Because of it, I’ve been offered new projects all over the world, most recently kitchen designs in both Russia and Canada.”

Several of Salerno’s award winning projects have been featured on HGTV.com and in magazines like Kitchen & Bath Design News, Signature Kitchen and Baths, Home Style, Design New Jersey, (201) Magazine and Bergen Magazine. Winning also landed him a spot in an NBC video showcasing New Jersey mansions and led to consulting jobs with White River Millwork, Inc. and Enkeboll Design. Not to mention the multiple job offers that have come about due to the award.

“A Las Vegas-based couple called me about a home they were building in Santa Barbara after seeing one of my winning projects in Woman’s Day magazine,” he says. “Within the month they flew me out to the job site to take a look at the kitchen, which turned into a $300,000.00 project.”

The award brands you a part of an elite group of designers and exposes you to an entirely new client base according to Salerno, and he encourages all NKBA designer members to consider entering the competition.

“I’ve found one of the best ways to build your business is to be recognized as an award winning designer,” says Salerno. “The NKBA Design Competition challenges you to be your best and puts your career on the fast track.”

To set yourself apart in the competition, Salerno advises designers to think about how they can differentiate every aspect of their project.

“Think outside the box when it comes to colors, flooring, light fixtures, counter tops, all of it,” he says. “Every project of mine that’s won an award stood out because it wasn’t ‘vanilla’.”

Salerno believes an award-winning project begins the moment you see the space and sense its potential.

“You work with the homeowners to uncover their dream kitchen and envision how it fits into the space,” says Salerno. “Then you create the drawings, getting them excited about the process, until, finally, the finished product brings their award-winning dream kitchen to life.”

Download the official entry packet with information on the competition entry process, categories, prizes, guidelines and more at NKBA.org/Competition, and showcase your award-winning designs today.