Architectural Interior Award-Winners

  • The 550-square-foot unit was dilapidated and dated.

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    The 550-square-foot unit was dilapidated and dated.

    Courtesy Studio Garneau

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    The new dressing room is lined with FSC-certified walnut and ample shelf space.

    Bart Michiels

    The new dressing room is lined with FSC-certified walnut and ample shelf space.

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    The old kitchen was a separate space.

    Courtesy Studio Garneau

    The old kitchen was a separate space.

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    The old dressing room.

    Courtesy Studio Garneau

    The old dressing room.

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    The new space integrates the kitchen into the main living space.

    Bart Michiels

    The new space integrates the kitchen into the main living space.

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    Its corner location means the space gets ample daylight.

    Robert Garneau

    Its corner location means the space gets ample daylight.

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    The unit features a simple palette of materials to convey a sense of calm and relaxation.

    Bart Michiels

    The unit features a simple palette of materials to convey a sense of calm and relaxation.

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    A large sliding door allows the owner to separate the sleeping area from the main living space.

    Bart Michiels

    A large sliding door allows the owner to separate the sleeping area from the main living space.

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    The new bathroom features blue tiles and frosted glass doors.

    Bart Michiels

    The new bathroom features blue tiles and frosted glass doors.

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    Clever built-ins and features such as a hidden hamper help the space live large.

    Robert Garneau

    Clever built-ins and features such as a hidden hamper help the space live large.

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    The loft space before the renovation.

    Courtesy Office of Architecture/Push

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    The architects gutted the space and left only the key structural elements.

    Kishore Varanasi

    The architects gutted the space and left only the key structural elements.

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    Living room, den, and kitchen are organized on the east side where they benefit from the natural light and views on the west side.

    Kishore Varanasi

    Living room, den, and kitchen are organized on the east side where they benefit from the natural light and views on the west side.

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    Freestanding walnut cabinetry and cantilevered wet bar help define the space.

    Kishore Varanasi

    Freestanding walnut cabinetry and cantilevered wet bar help define the space.

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    Full-height sliding and accordion doors hide ample storage throughout the space.

    Kishore Varanasi

    Full-height sliding and accordion doors hide ample storage throughout the space.

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    An axo of the unit shows the organization of the spaces.

    An axo of the unit shows the organization of the spaces.

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    Matthew Millman

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    Matthew Millman

    Together, the Zipper and Cradle pieces define the area closest to the loft’s entry.

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    Matthew Millman

    In the living and dining space, the Hearth converges with the Scrim.

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    Matthew Millman

    A bilevel island, known as the Stage, provides some separation between the living room and the kitchen.

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    Thomas Loof

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    Thomas Loof

    A glass wall separates the master bedroom from the rest of the apartment.

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    Thomas Loof

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    Turett Collaborative Architects

    The project’s floor plan.

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    Erik Kvalsvik

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    Erik Kvalsvik

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    Erik Kvalsvik

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    Erik Kvalsvik

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    Erik Kvalsvik

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    Muse Architects

    The project’s first-floor plan.

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    Muse Architects

    The project’s second-floor plan.

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    Muse Architects

    The project’s basement floor plan.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    The architects continued the home's textured ceiling outside to form an exterior soffit.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    Floor-to-ceiling wood windows maximize water views from the living room.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    The kitchen feels expansive, thanks to well-placed windows and a warm, modern material palette.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    Another look at the ceiling’s seamless flow from inside to outside.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    The well-choreographed view from the den through the dining room and kitchen.

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    The Miller|Hull Partnership

    The project’s floor plans.

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    The Miller|Hull Partnership

    Conceptual drawings of the project’s elevations.

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    Torfi

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    Torfi

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    Ralf Seeburger

    The large island anchoring the main living area conceals seven stools; its recycled rubber cladding is a durable, kid-safe surface.

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    Ralf Seeburger

    This highly sustainable house takes advantage of natural daylight, passive cooling, and recycled-content materials.

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    Minarc

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    Minarc

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    Dan Rockhill

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    Rockhill and Associates

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    Dan Rockhill

    A radiant in-floor heating system picks up the slack on cloudy days.

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    Halkin

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    Paul Warchol

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    Desai/Chia Architecture

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    Paul Warchol

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    Benjamin Benschneider

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    Benjamin Benschneider

     

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    Benjamin Benschneider

     

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    Benjamin Benschneider

     

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    The mild steel-clad entryway of the old building, a former shoe parts warehouse, blends with the transitional neighborhood.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    The movable table, inspired by the work of George Nakashima, was center-cut from an old-growth tree that died naturally and retains the tree’s contours.

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    Benjamin Benschneider

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    Paul Warchol

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    Paul Warchol

    The architects anchored the loft spatially with two wood and glass cores that house the baths and a home office.

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    Courtesy Desai/Chia Architecture

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    Paul Warchol

Although curb appeal is the favorite buzz phrase of real estate agents, it’s often a home’s interiors that matter most to occupants. The way various rooms feel, how they function, how they’re connected, spatial flow, and quality of light are all important factors when designing either large airy public areas or intimate retreats. The clients’ program often determines a floor plan layout, but once the plan is set, it’s the architectural detailing and finishes along with furniture and furnishing choices that create the atmosphere and quality of those rooms.

This collection of past Residential Architect Design Award winners in the architectural interiors category demonstrates what a big difference architects and designers make in creating appealing, livable, even joyful spaces. These lofts, apartments, renovated single-family structures, and even a few new houses were all recognized for their thoughtfully planned and finished interiors. The judges were won over by material choices for walls, ceilings, and floors that generate specific moods, glazing arrangements that bring natural light and ventilation deep into an interior, trim or lack thereof that defines areas, and flexible partitions or convertible built-ins that transform a cozy nook into a wide-open party space. Stephen Muse, FAIA, succinctly sums up the importance of good interior architecture and design. “The idea is to make the spaces similar enough to hold together,” he says, “but different enough that you have reason to move from room to room.”