Use These Award-Winning Design Tips (Part II)



shelving, convertible furniture, coffee tables, ottomans

People who have a passion for design, décor and style pay attention when the American Institute of Architects (AIA) picks its favorite homes every year because the judges mean business – the winner’s circle is basically a cul-de-sac of fabulousness.

That’s why we’re taking a look at the best of the best in AIA’s one- and two-family custom residences category. As we saw yesterday, this is where we’ll find great ideas that we can put to good use in our own homes.  

Here are the last three of five residences in our picks from this year’s list:

Honolulu, Hawaii

Described simply as the Island Residence, the AIA’s pick on Oahu is an artful blend of Hawaiian and Japanese culture. A wide covered porch wraps around the frontage, while banks of sliding glass keep much of the home open during fair weather.

The watchword for the entire design is “durable” – Hawaii is at turns stormy and sunny, and both will cause damage over time, so the designers used plenty of materials like cedar and copper that weather well with minimal treatment.

GET THE LOOK: Beautiful durability is always in style, and comes in many forms. Start with outdoor furniture in teak with weatherproof fabrics that look good both indoors and out to create your own anywhere oasis. 

Newberg, Oregon

Just southwest of Portland, outside the little town of Newberg, the Newberg Residence is an exercise in tempering nostalgia with a vision toward the future. Built as a bridge over a preexisting manmade pond on the owner’s farm property, the home is a modern jewel resting in the crown of rural Oregon.

GET THE LOOK: Embrace your history, and find ways to weave the old in with the new. DIY is your ally, as is selecting new items that speak to your lifestyle and your favored design themes.  

Jackson, Mississippi

The Oak Ridge House is an L-shaped residence that stands stolidly in slate, zinc and glass, with an exterior that betrays little emotion. Things soften somewhat on the inside thanks to beautiful pecan accents, though the overall mood is one of efficiency.

GET THE LOOK: Get more use out of your space. Ottomans with storage, lift-top coffee tables and convertible shelving offer just a few ways you can maximize space and increase efficiency without sacrificing style.

If you like these designs and ideas, you can find even more help from the pros at Porch or Decorist.   

This lift-top coffee table by Coaster Fine Furniture makes TV dining and entertaining easy, while also providing additional storage for remotes, magazines and more.

Jesper’s convertible commercial-grade shelf can be reconfigured for maximum space efficiency.

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