A Richland contractor recently was named a regional winner in a kitchen design contest by Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliances.
Aaron Magula's company, Dream Builders, designs and builds custom homes and commercial buildings.
The contest drew entries from across the United States and the world. There were 1,600 entries this year, some coming from as far as Italy, Brazil, The Netherlands and Russia.
The kitchen design Magula submitted is one he created for Dr. Jean You of Pasco. Her house was featured in the 2012 Parade of Homes.
You had a good idea of what she wanted in her 20-foot by 22-foot kitchen but Magula made it a work of art.
The room has stainless steel countertops and incorporates two new products from Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliances -- a glass-fronted fridge and 15-inch integrated modules -- including a steamer, a wok and multiple burners -- that together make the cooktop.
"I think my design caught the judges' eye because it's so different," Magula told the Herald.
Seven design experts winnowed the entries to 54 regional and international winners using the criteria of use of space, design and integration of the company's appliances. The region includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Western Canada.
"Here I was, sitting among big name designers and architects from all over the western region. They were flashing photos of kitchens up on a screen, photos I recognized from magazines, and whose name did they announce as the regional winner? Mine," he said about the announcement in Seattle. "I couldn't believe it."
"They weren't very happy to hear it went to someone from Richland, Wash. They kept asking, 'Where's that?' " he said.
Magula is a Richland native and proud to call himself a Richland High Bomber. He took some architecture classes but didn't complete his degree. He's worked for some architects but mostly is self taught.
"I build houses, contemporary houses. Designs that I, myself, like," Magula said.
He's been designing and building homes -- three to five a year -- for seven years. To see his designs, go to http://dreambuildershomes.com/.
As a regional winner, Magula will receive a trip to Sub-Zero and Wolf's Wisconsin-headquarters to attend the awards ceremonies next week. Six winners will share more than $140,000 in cash prizes, with $40,000 going to the designers of the top traditional and top contemporary kitchens.