2018 Master Design Awards: Residential Interior Less Than $100,000

by Kyle Clapham
2018 master design awards residential interior


Baxter Construction
Hopewell, N.J.

Project name:
From Dark and Dated to Sleek and Sophisticated
Project location: Princeton, N.J.
Square footage: 600
Project cost: $75,000


The original family room housed a floor-mounted, nonfunctioning gas fireplace insert, and the flanking cabinetry did not meet the storage needs of the clients. They sought to rejuvenate the entertainment wall and replace the old fireplace with a new one mounted on a bluestone hearth, while creating an upscale yet classic feel for the outdated interior of their 20-year-old residence.

A sizable opening between the kitchen and family room had an unnecessary dropped header that affected sightlines into the two-story living space. Following its removal, a rustic redesign of the wall now complements the new kitchen cabinets, which feature a painted glaze finish. A reactive prefinishing process highlights the natural tannins of wire-brushed, wide-plank white oak flooring.

Photos: Thomas Robert Clarke Photography


TEW Design Studio
Durham, N.C.

Rima Nasser
Project name:
Fun, Playful Haven
Project location: Cary, N.C.
Square footage: 2,400
Project cost: $77,000


The transformation of this family residence was completed without structural changes to the home, resulting in better functionality through style and layout. The ultimate challenge was to give the homeowners the look they wanted without detracting from the existing character of the home, while also not wasting materials. The original layout had its share of design quirks and lighting challenges.

The colonial style residence, typical of central North Carolina, required some significant modernization without looking out of character. At the same time, the family’s fun personality opened opportunities for bold design.

Early design concepts were presented and completed prior to the entire family’s move across country. Initial design consultations featured the mom’s perspective, reflecting the personalities of each member of the family. Design concepts for each family member’s room were reflected in a detailed wish list with clear understanding of their style tendencies.


Lighting: Arteriors Home; Robert Abbey; A&B Home; Shades of Light; Elk
Fan: MinkaAire

Photos: Bob Fortner Photography


Grossmueller’s Design Consultants, Inc.
Washington, D.C.

The Levine Group Architects + Builders
Project name:
Project location: Washington, D.C.
Square footage: 694 (first floor)
Project cost: $74,569


To address the need and want for more space—rather than the tight footprint and closed spaces of the living room, dining room, kitchen and foyer—Grossmueller’s Design Consultants aimed to rethink the existing. Openings from the kitchen to dining room, dining room to living room, and foyer to living room were enlarged, thus providing spaces more conducive to entertaining yet retaining an intimate feel. In opening up the space, HVAC ducts from removed walls had to be integrated behind new cabinetry.

Also, a required structural beam between the living and dining rooms became a defining feature. A cramped eat-in within the kitchen was transformed into an entertaining built-in with wine refrigerator, kegerator, and additional storage and counter space. Details that contribute to the health and safety of the homeowners while enhancing its form and functionality include thoughtful lighting control placement and weaving old and new hardwood floors without thresholds.


Cabinetry: Greenfield, Alder, Ginger with black glaze
Kegerator: Summit
Sliding patio door: WeatherShield
Flooring: Oak woven into existing
Paint: Benjamin Moore

Photos: John Tsantes/Pixel Acuity

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