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Best Kitchen 2021 Winner

Nathan Taylor of Obelisk Home was tasked with maximizing storage and function in a 1970s kitchen by reconfiguring the layout. The homeowners also wanted interior finishes that felt authentic to the age of the home.

Tessa Cooper

Jun 2021

Best kitchen winner of the 2021 Design Awards
Photo by Jeremy Mason McGraw, Global Image CreationsThe metallic sheen of modern surfaces serves as a perfect foundation for the pop of the bright and bold color of the appliances and furniture.

WINNING DESIGNER: Nathan Taylor of Obelisk Home

Project Goal Summary

To maximize storage and function in a 1970s kitchen by reconfiguring the layout. The homeowners also wanted interior finishes that felt authentic to the age of the home.



Phelps Grove is a notoriously charming neighborhood, filled with homes with notoriously small kitchens. In this project, Nathan Taylor of Obelisk Home proved that even a tiny kitchen can possess an airy and spacious feel.

As one of the first steps in his design process, Taylor created a plan to move the fridge and oven locations and opt for built-in alternatives, allowing more counter space. “We wanted the refrigerator to be close to the garage door, but also didn’t want it to be blocking the view between the kitchen and living room, so we swapped the oven and the fridge,” Taylor says. Additionally, cabinets with blind corners and pull-out sections lent this space much needed storage. The large-scaled floor tile was also an intentional design choice. Rather than opting for smaller tiles commonly found in older homes, Taylor created an optical illusion that makes the kitchen feel larger.

Kitchen winner of Best Kitchen in 2021 Design Awards
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGraw, Global Image CreationsWith limited space, Nathan Taylor got creative by emphasizing the coziness using patterns and evoking an airier feeling with grays, off-whites and cool metal surfaces.
Best kitchen winner photo from 2021 Design Awards
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGraw, Global Image CreationsCool grays, green and turquoise tones combine to bring a fresh feel to a small space.

Above the dining area hangs a spherical chandelier of crystal flowers. The large piece does not overwhelm the quaint space due to its translucent quality. “We really wanted a statement chandelier that had floral details to connect to the landscaping,” Taylor adds. He further connected indoor and outdoor living with a new sliding door that brought in light.

Aside from adding some paint, he left the original built-in display cabinet as-is. The client already owned the turquoise dishes on display that tie perfectly into the plaid cushions on the chairs Taylor selected.

One of Taylor’s many specialties is designing kitchens with a modern ambiance in a timeless way. Kitchen trends typically come and go more quickly, so Taylor selects tried-and-true finishes that possess almost an ageless quality, such as durable quartz countertops and marble backsplash.

“My favorite design aspect of the kitchen is that it feels classic, functions beautifully, and the marble backsplash is timeless,” Taylor says. This cottage functions as a second home for the clients, but they didn’t want it to feel like a typical vacation. “They 100% wanted it to feel like a home away from home, but they also wanted it to feel authentic,” says Taylor.

Resource Listings

Where to find the looks and materials used to create this winning kitchen design in Springfield, Missouri and surrounding areas.

Business Listings: