In June, the Gold Nugget Awards program conferred honors to its 2015 winners at a gala celebration in San Diego. From over 630 U.S. and international entries, the judges selected a final round of Grand- and Merit-worthy projects in categories including single-family, multifamily, and custom residential, as well as mixed-use and commercial designs. The judges praised creative approaches to classic concepts and the depth of detail executed in the winning projects. Trends especially prominent in this year’s projects include integrated, open designs that favor unexpected materials, sophisticated lighting, and striking, thoughtful details.
SPACE SHIFTERS Outdoor spaces have become more prominent, and interior spaces informalized. Seamless indoor/outdoor transitions through collapsible, floor-to-ceiling doors make primary residences feel like a vacation home. Many of the winning homes feature multifunctional spaces, such as a formal dining room that doubles as an office. Judges also observed a heightened appreciation for revitalizing and repurposing historical and blighted locations with the aim of making a more beneficial use of the land and space.
BARE MINIMAL International entries favored more opulent, over-the-top designs, while U.S. work followed a more clean-lined approach. One exception was the high-end single-family market, which is heavily influenced by overseas buyers. Sleek exteriors meet cool, uncluttered interiors to make the best use of space. Many kitchens and baths emphasized a single focal point or appliance, such as a soaking tub.
SUSTAINABLY SMART Commitment to energy-efficient, sustainable development practices has expanded significantly since the category's inception in 2002, building on an across-the-board upward spiral for the development field this year. The connected home that allows residents to monitor and control energy and appliance usage is more popular than ever, backed by support from the Apple and Android markets. "Smart" innovations by companies such as Nest Labs make it easy to integrate home technology.
Here are the Grand Winners in single-family design:
Best Single-Family Detached Home—Under 2,000 Square Feet
Ludlow Cove Cottages — Townsend
Location: Port Ludlow, Wash.
Builder: Westharbor Homes
Developer: Port Ludlow Associates
Architect/Designer: Union Studio
Interior Designer: 2+ Design Studio