2 0 1 6 A W A R D S
English Manor Residence
In the tradition of historic English Manor country houses, this English Manor residence has an aura of timeless, stately bearing and a refined elegance which is carried seamlessly from the exterior architecture throughout all of the interior spaces to create a cohesive and artful integration between the interior and exterior architecture.
While the house is sited on acreage with beautiful manicured lawns, mature trees and English-style gardens, the property in-town Birmingham is long and relatively narrow. This required a creative architectural footprint to aesthetically house 3-cars and numerous, spacious interior rooms including an English conservatory, two-story barrel-vaulted library, and large dining and gatherings spaces, while creating a charming European streetside elevation.
A stone-arched porte-cochere was designed, with an inner, open-air motor courtyard, styled after an upscale horse stable, allowing the carriage-style garage doors to be sheltered from the street. A second-story enclosed bridge, with windows facing into the motor courtyard and toward the street, creates the drive-under and connects the main house to a guest suite that is housed above an independent single-stall garage.
A veranda off of the library repeats the arches of the porte-cochere and formal front entry, giving balance and scale to the ordered façade, while stone courtyard walls create a welcoming approach, exuding an English country charm.
The design concept was to integrate classic, traditional architecture with a fresh, modern interior aesthetic. Antique rugs, exquisite millwork, interior stone walls, limestone fireplaces and floors, and beamed and coffered ceilings are juxtaposed with modern art and contemporary furnishings.
Coastal Shingle-Style Beach House
This coastal Shingle-style beach house, sited on the Atlantic Ocean, is a retreat destination for family and friends to reunite and reconnect to the magical beauty of the sea. The Shingle-style architecture is inspired by the classic seaside homes of McKim, Mead & White, with a modern-coastal interpretation.
Pure, strong geometric shapes are playfully repeated and artfully arranged to create a unified architectural composition. Oversized, sweeping brackets support wide roof overhangs and add a lyrical dimension.
The design concept was to create an experience of being wholly connected to the ocean, with all of the primary living spaces and four of the seven bedroom suites having expansive views of the ocean and direct access to interconnecting covered verandas. These outdoor spaces provide shelter from rain, wind and sun, and create havens for enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding seascape.
Challenging building codes in this serious hurricane zone require that any “living space” must be elevated a minimum of 14’ above ground for surge waters to flow under. The design solution was to create an 8-car garage under the “living space” by engineering the house with extensive structural steel to eliminate dozens of raised-foundation pilings, and sheathing this ground-level space with a “break-away” wall-façade, consistent with the Shingle-style architecture of the upper-level floors.
Pool House for Coastal Shingle-style Beach House
This charming, whimsical pool house structure is an extension of this beach house located on the Atlantic Ocean, and was designed to visually buffer the public boardwalk access to the beach, creating privacy for the pool and garden area. It is designed in the same classic, coastal Shingle-style as the main house with stained wood shakes, white-painted trim and brackets, and a playful porthole window, and becomes an enchanting visual backdrop to the pool.
Its petite scale contrasts with the scale of the main house to create an intimate, cozy sense of space. The structure also serves as a wind block, so that on days when the wind gusts off the ocean, this area of the yard remains calm and tranquil. It services both the pool guests and those that are returning from a day on the beach with changing facilities, a shower, and as a place to store and spray the corrosive saltwater off of wet suits, snorkel and scuba equipment.
The interior is elegantly simple and durable with crisp white, marine-painted board-and-batten siding, and natural teak flooring that exudes a carefree cottage vibe. The stairway from the pool level to the main level deck is creatively integrated into the structure of the pool house, and the flat roof creates an extended landing which becomes a viewing platform that overlooks the pool and offers expansive views out to the ocean. The overall structure is a beautiful piece of architecture which adds to the composition of the home and gardens.
Classic, Traditional Interior Design for an Italian Villa Inspired Residence
Working within the strong architectural framework of this Italian villa, which was inspired by the classical work of Andrea Palladio, the traditional design of the interior spaces respects and embraces that classical tradition, while also achieving a sense of modernity, and is the perfect counterbalance to the architecture.
The design concept was to juxtapose the rustic, masculine boldness of the exterior stonework with a refined and elegant interior to create a dynamic relationship between the rustic and refined, raw and polished, and ancient and modern. The spaces are edited, simple and honest, without unnecessary embellishment.
The restrained and timeless color palette of warm-and-cool tonal grays, derived from the rugged Cortona stone of the exterior, is punctuated with the softest whisper of blue, and flows throughout the interior to unify the spaces and enhance the seamless flow between the interior and exterior spaces.
Light penetrates the rooms from multiple pairs of French doors that surround the spaces, changing throughout the day, animating the exquisite furnishings and objets d’art of raw and polished natural silk, linen, sisal, marble, glass, antique leather, and polished and painted wood.
Bold, geometric patterns, which play on the Palladian theme of geometry, are introduced as a bridge between the strong composition of the exterior stonework and the refinement of the fine finishes of the interior. The interest is in the variation of patterns, textures, and patinas that engage the visual and tactile senses in this artful interior that is beautiful and rich with depth and meaning.
Traditional Foyer for English Manor Residence
The entry foyer of this English Manor residence juxtaposes the formality of a traditional English Manor entry foyer with the rustic charm of an aristocratic hunting lodge.
An antique landscape oil painting in a silverleaf frame, a refined walnut center table, two velvet-upholstered modern-style ottomans, a celadon bowl and antique perfume boxes comprise the exquisitely edited composition, and hint at the refined taste of the spaces beyond.
The smooth, polished limestone of the floor contrasts with the coarseness of the stone wall; while the texture and tonal colors of the skin rug are a perfect complement to the stone wall and reinforce the story of a hunting lodge rooted in the tradition of the English countryside. The juxtaposition of rough and smooth stone, wood, iron, velvet and fur creates visual and tactile interest in this sensual foyer.
Library for English Manor Residence
Inspired by the stately libraries of historic English Manor homes, this refined library has an aura of grandness, while retaining an intimate scale. It suggests scholarly pursuits, while simultaneously exuding a livable, charming persona.
The design concept was to create an elegantly classic space with a modern aesthetic. An heirloom ikat rug and leather-bound books are juxtaposed with a mixed-media collage by David Melton and contemporary furniture. Designed to be graciously welcoming in all seasons, a cozy sitting area snuggles around the fireplace, providing an inviting place to read on cold, winter nights; while in temperate weather, pairs of carved French doors can be flung open to a covered terrace and courtyard garden beyond. This visually and literally extends the space to the outdoors, while an anteroom, that transitions the library from the entrance hall, further extends the space.
Custom-designed, finely-detailed black walnut millwork defines the two-story, barrel-vaulted ceiling, which is the dominant architectural feature of the library. Ribbed vaults draw the eye upward to the balcony of the second-floor reading loft that overlooks the space.
The exquisitely elegant walnut millwork is the highlighted feature of the bookshelves, fireplace mantelpiece, paneled walls and gentleman’s bar cabinetry. Polished limestone floors flow from the entrance hall and through the space, and provide a pleasing contrast with the dark walnut millwork, while unexpected pops of yellow enliven the room, keeping it fresh, vibrant and welcoming. The space is elegantly balanced, proportioned and sophisticated, with all of the elements creating a unified architectural composition.
Living Room for an Italian Villa Inspired Residence
The exquisitely restrained living room, of this Italian villa residence, is the centerpiece of the architectural and interior composition around which all the other spaces are organized.
The design concept of this villa was to create a beautifully ordered procession of spaces, from the entry loggia, through the elegant entry-hall gallery and living room, out to the rustically-elegant rear loggia, with three perfect parallel axial sightlines through the spaces, to relate to each other and the magnificent surrounding landscape.
The design objective was for the living room to have views of both the front and rear landscapes. This was achieved, with views to the front Tuscan-like landscape framed through the tripartite arches that define the space from the entry-hall gallery, and outward through the three pairs of French entry doors.
Views to the rear landscape are directed through the three pairs of French doors that connect it to the rear stone loggia. Gentle cross breezes flow through the space, while a beamed ceiling draws the eye through the space.
A magnificent original oil painting by Richard Bogart hangs above the refined limestone fireplace, and sets the quiet color palette and ambiance for the room. Symmetrical bookshelves flank the fireplace and display a collection of first-edition leather-bound Swedish books and an antique black marble mantle-clock.
The beautifully refined chairs and sofa table are by Schumacher, while the custom made sofa sits on a Stark silk rug. Dark-stained, hand-scraped walnut floors anchor the room, while a bronze and beaded chandelier floats overhead.
Classic Conservatory for English Manor Residence
Designed in authentic English Georgian style, the classical conservatory of this English Manor residence is a timeless piece of architecture.
An artfully proportioned structure of classic, white-fluted columns and a deep entablature define each window sash and support the lofty glass and iron roof. It attaches sympathetically to the brick “host” building, in traditional English style, and becomes a graceful, architectural feature of the tranquil English gardens that surround it, creating an aura of being transported to the English countryside.
It creates a charming, idyllic place to gather with friends for tea or to read your favorite Jane Austen novel. French doors lead from the garden into the conservatory, which is glazed in deep Wedgewood blue. On bright sunny days, the color reflects the blue of the sky; while on cloudy, misty days, the serene color creates an ethereal, romantic ambiance. The space is exquisitely elegant and edited, with raw linen slip-covered chairs gathered around a natural limestone table that is centered on a bare tumbled French limestone floor.
Tall, slender silverleaf maples, in hand-glazed urns, emphasize the soaring height of the glass ceiling that floats overhead. The strong architectural lines of the ironwork define the cathedral structure, while the glass disappears. French doors open the conservatory to the main gallery that bisects the residence. An exquisite, modern-classic-style dining room is placed directly on axis across the gallery hall. The spaces interact and harmonize with each other, visually and literally flowing together, to create a cohesive composition which is sublimely elegant and romantic.
Gourmet Kitchen for Coastal Shingle-style Beach House
This spacious gourmet kitchen of this coastal Shingle-style beach house is exquisitely designed to accommodate multiple cooks, and for entertaining large groups and frequent houseguests. It is a bright, welcoming space to gather with friends and family to prepare meals together, while enjoying the expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean and seascape through the curtain of windows that encompass the entire ocean-side wall of the space.
It is well equipped with professional appliances including a 60” Capital Culinarian Series 8-burner range with griddle, side-by-side fully-integrated, paneled Subzero refrigerators, two Bosch dishwashers, two ice-makers, and warming drawers.
The fine furniture-quality cabinetry is handmade in a classic, traditional style consistent with the Shingle-style detailing of the home. The luminous white color of the cabinetry was selected, after sampling dozens of shades of white, to artfully reflect the changing natural light and moods of the ocean. It continues the casual-elegant upscale theme of the exquisitely-detailed millwork that is extensively carried throughout the house.
Three Fine Art lanterns with muted, silver-leaf finish and translucent mica shades suspend above the extended kitchen island. A classic white subway tile backsplash completes the composition.
Formal Dining Room for English Manor Residence
The formal dining room in this English Manor residence exemplifies the high style of modern classicism that embraces sophisticated romanticism and understated elegance. The space is beautifully proportioned and balanced, and is refreshing in its refined simplicity. The architectural millwork detailing which envelopes the room, on all four sides and ceiling, creates a sense of structure and symmetry to the space.
The refined recessed-panel millwork is glazed in a soft white for a clean, classic elegant look. The focal point of the room is an original modern painting by Mary Rousseaux. The beautiful, soft composition and coloration of the painting is counterbalanced with an antique mahogany Neoclassical sideboard and glass hutch that is built into the room and a vintage iron door that leads to a wine room.
Master Suite for English Manor Residence
The sophisticated master suite of this English Manor residence blends classic, traditional architectural elements with a beautifully edited restraint for an aura of romantic, timeless elegance. A unique double groin vault ceiling creates a sense of structure in the large master bedroom, delineating the sleeping chamber from the sitting area, with a vault ascending over each space. The groined ribs rest on acanthus-scroll corbels, while the arches are finished in waxed Venetian plaster which shimmers and glows.
This rejuvenating spa room retreat was designed as part of an entire-wing addition onto the existing home to create a private sanctuary away from hectic, busy schedules and the pressures and demands of everyday life. It is a quiet, peaceful place where time slows down, distractions can be shut away, and the ultimate luxury of a brief respite can be attained to re-center and find balance.
It is equipped with a professional massage table, pedicure station, and a large steam room, as well as a private bathroom with shower and dressing area. The space is exquisitely beautiful. Glistening Sicis Italian glass mosaic tiles are installed on all of the floors, and on both the floor and walls of the steam room, in a soft, neutral color palette of topaz, zinc and brown to imbue a warm, peaceful ambiance.
Whimsical Children’s Room
The design concept for this fun, whimsical children’s room was to nest built-in beds under the roof eaves to provide a charming, cozy place to snuggle and sleep. Two twin beds are symmetrically placed on opposing walls, and are designed consistent with the vernacular Shingle-style of the home, with white-painted, plank-board wall-finish detailing and tailored recessed-panel drawers for storage under the beds.
A color palette of pink, in soft and bold shades, is combined with sunny yellow and apple green, with touches of sky blue and lavender. The colors are repeated in multiple patterns of paisley, stripe, polka dot, and bold daisy floral. The room is flooded with natural light, and the colors glow, creating an ethereal, fairytale-like ambiance, as if a page out of a favorite princess storybook has come to life. An ensuite bathroom continues the theme of the bedroom, while a large walk-in closet provides generous storage for clothing and toys.
Interior Stone in Bath for Classic Shingle-Style Home
The master bath of this classic Shingle-style residence continues the elegantly relaxed, yet refined style of the home. The space is beautifully proportioned and ordered with a symmetry that is orchestrated with his-and-hers flanking vanities drawing the eye to the sculptural free-standing bathtub which is the focal point of the space.
It is set in an alcove, surrounded by walls of rough-cut limestone, carried from the exterior of the home, to create a romantic, fairytale ambiance of being transported to a picturesque “outdoor garden grotto” that is a private sanctuary for bathing. Driftwood shelves are built into the stone walls to create niches to store towels and soaps.
Encaustic Tile in Master Bath for English Manor Residence
The master bath of this English Manor residence is a classically romantic space that embraces the historical traditions of architecture with a modern interpretation. A carpet of Newcastle Antique encaustic tile sweeps through the space, in the age-old tradition of encaustic tile floors that have graced the great buildings of Europe and Morocco for centuries.
Its connection to antiquity is alluringly romantic, and it elevates the drama of the symmetry of the space. It is left unbordered for a modern aesthetic. The encaustic tile “field tile” is carried into the shower where it is surrounded by a coordinating “border tile”, to create a rug-like design consistent with traditional European and Moroccan architectural tilework. The drama of the tilework is tempered by the quiet, refined elegance of carrara marble, which is introduced into the design to visually lighten and soften the space.
These design units interlock, creating the remarkable patterned floors and walls that have been revered for centuries. A neutral color palette of natural greys and creamy whites keep the ambiance softly romantic and freshly modern.
Library Millwork for English Manor Residence
Elegantly detailed and finely finished custom-designed black walnut millwork is the highlight feature of this classic traditional, country estate library in this English Manor residence.
Gracefully and impeccably curved walnut ribs define the two-story, barrel-vaulted ceiling, drawing the eye upward to the balcony of the second-floor reading loft that overlooks the space. Attention to detail is practiced in every aspect of the design and craftsmanship. Every piece of the millwork is placed with deliberate and exacting mathematical precision, and every transition from plane to plane is carefully and artfully planned out and accomplished.
Gentleman’s Bar for English Manor Library
In the tradition of formal English Manor country houses, an anteroom transitions the main entry hall from the stately paneled library in this English Manor residence, and features a gentleman’s bar with exquisite custom-designed, black walnut cabinetry.
The space exudes an aura of gracious hospitality and sets the stage for the exquisite custom millwork of the library beyond. The elegantly detailed and finely finished cabinetry conceals a beverage refrigerator and icemaker; while copper wire mesh upper cabinets enhance the display of heirloom gold-leaf glassware. Under-cabinet lighting highlights the repurposed vintage walnut-framed, antique mirror squares installed as the backsplash which add a soft reflective quality.
Custom bookshelves symmetrically frame an arch window, directly on axis with the double doors that open the anteroom from the entry hall. The cabinetry is stained dark roasted chestnut to reinforce the masculine ambiance of this dignified space. A refined, classic egg-and-dart detail decorates the crown molding frieze, which is carried around the perimeter of the anteroom and the library for a unifying composition.
Laundry/Gardener’s Room for Classic Shingle Style Home
Inspired by the classic Shingle-style homes of the Hamptons, the laundry/gardener’s room of this Shingle-style residence continues the elegantly relaxed, yet refined style that flows throughout all of the spaces of this home. The room is spacious, with custom-designed, white-glazed cabinetry with dove-gray quartz countertops for organizing laundry and garden activities.
The soft, dreamy sky-blue color of the shiplap walls is beautifully complemented with the crisp, fresh white of the trimwork, reinforcing the light and airy ambiance of being in an outdoor space on a perfect summer day. It is a lovely space to play arranging flowers after spending a carefree day in the garden.