By Kathleen Stanley, Matthew Power, and Nigel F. Maynard

Riley House II

Guilford, Conn.

You can tour the world on the first floor of this renovated, '60s spec house: An octagonal peristyle aspires to Italy's San Vitale; horizontally striped columns recollect Siena, Italy; and the wooden salad bowls capping the columns hail from Sierra Leone, Africa.

Category: Interior detail; Entrant/Architect: Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Centerbrook, Conn.; Builder: William H. Dahlberg, Clinton, Conn.

Tudor Bath


Formal but restrained, this master bath addition to a 1928 Tudor features limestone tiles, marble, and polished nickel fittings. Doug Walter Architects added contrast to distinguish the vanities: a cherry-stained projecting unit for the husband and a recessed painted version for the wife. Nickel plumbing fittings and light fixtures elegantly echo the past.

Category: Bathroom; Entrant/Architect: Doug Walter Architects, Denver; Builder: Coggeshall Construction, Denver; Interior Designer: KD Design Consultants, Denver

Special Focus

Aki Music Studio

Guilford, Conn.

Abiding by the client's request, Centerbrook Architects infused this barn-cum-music studio with lots of light and unobstructed views of the landscape. The curved wood ceiling panels describe the curves and lines of a violin but also provide good acoustics.

Category: Media room; Entrant/Architect: Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Centerbrook, Conn.; Builder: Triangle Builders, Essex, Conn.; Structural Engineer: Gibble Norden Champion Brown, Old Saybrook, Conn.

Boldwater Point Kitchen

Edgartown, Mass.

The mix of top-notch appliances and old-fashioned touches is just right in this up-to-the minute country kitchen. Beadboard ceilings, bronze fixtures, generous millwork, and almost 9 feet of countertop add warmth and convenience.

Category: Kitchen; Entrant/Architect: Mark Hutker & Associates Architects, Vineyard Haven, Mass.; Builder: Johnson Builders, Vineyard Haven

Spanish Bungalows,

Residence One

San Diego

A modern take on the traditional wood trellis, this version has a slim profile and is made from metal. The landscape architect envisioned a peaceful outdoor space for shade as well as for privacy from the neighboring house that is just 10 feet away.

Category: Exterior detail--trellis; Entrant/Builder: Christopher Homes, Newport Beach, Calif.; Developer: DMB Associates, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Architect: Scheurer Architects, Newport Beach; Landscape Architect: Summers, Murphy & Partners, Dana Point, Calif.

Summit Bridge Residence

San Ramon, Calif.

Judges liked the smooth flow between the master bedroom and bath in this luxurious 6,775-square-foot, semi-custom production home, priced at $1.9 million.

Category: Owners' suite; Entrant/Architect: Robert Hidey Architects, Irvine, Calif.; Builder/Developer: Shapell Industries of Northern California, Milpitas, Calif.; Interior Designer: Design Line Interiors, San Diego

Private Residence

Scottsdale, Ariz.

This massive 9,550-square-foot desert home includes an elegant pool with integral stepping stones and a priceless view. Judges liked the "endless" design.

Category: Swimming pool; Entrant/Builder: Platinum Homes, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Architect: RDA, Scottsdale

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Diego, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Denver, CO.