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Mitchell kitchen is national award-winner

Tom and Mary Day pose for a portrait in their kitchen Friday afternoon. The cabinets were built by Patzer Woodworking and won a national award by the Cabinet Makers Association. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)

Mary Day is quick to respond when asked about the favorite part of her house.

"It's definitely the kitchen," she said. "The layout, the cabinetry, it's just a fun place for us."

Mary and her husband, Tom, moved into their north-Mitchell, brand-new home in April 2012, but it was more than a year later they learned their kitchen -- designed and installed by Patzer Woodworking -- won a national award by the Cabinet Makers Association, a national trade group.

Patzer, a Mitchell-based company that's been customizing woodwork since 1981, finished installing the cabinets about a month before the home's completion. The Days' residence is east of Lake Mitchell on Lakeview Lane and was designed by their daughter, an architect.

Tom Patzer, 57, owner and founder of Patzer Woodworking, never told the Days, who are Mitchell natives, their kitchen would be placed in an awards contest.

At the end of July, Patzer learned the design earned national recognition, winning the first place Diamond Award in the "kitchen, European, under $25,000" category at the CMA convention.

The project was designed by Brenda Puetz, who has worked for the Mitchell-based company for nine years.

"She's a very talented young lady," said Patzer, who added 15 employees took part in the project.

Added Day: "That was exciting when he told us it won. Brenda was great to work with. She took a lot of ideas and figured out how to make them work."

The award-winning design was built with European cabinets, which, Patzer explained, are frameless.

"Most cabinets are built with face frames," he said. "We chose to eliminate those. The openings were wider and you weren't giving up all this room to the frame. We think we've perfected it because we've been doing it for years. It gives it a clean look. It's a way we build cabinets and it's catching on nationally."

Patzer Woodworking has now claimed two CMA awards in two years. Before winning first earlier this year, Patzer took second place in the "kitchen, over $25,000" category in August 2012. He said, unlike in the past two years, the company is considering submitting multiple categories next year.

Although the physical award hasn't arrived in Mitchell yet, Patzer said it will eventually be displayed at the company's showroom at 414 E. Juniper Ave. He expects it to arrive in October.