2022 Master Design Awards: Whole House $300,000-$700,000 — BRONZE

by Emily Blackburn

Distinctive Design Studio

Sheboygan Falls, Wis. 

Location: Elkhart Lake, Wis. | Square Footage: 2,118 | Project Cost: $550,000

The scope of this project was to turn an empty “white box” garage condo unit into a 2 story home, maximizing the vertical space to provide a full kitchen, 2 lounge areas, 3 bathrooms, as well as 3 bedrooms in addition to showcasing a sports car that could be driven directly into the 1st floor living space. The team was asked to provide full architectural plans for the layout of the home and detailed drawings for all cabinetry, plumbing, and lighting. Additionally, they were tasked with providing selections for all finishes, fixtures, lighting, furniture, and accessories to deliver a luxurious rustic-industrial aesthetic.

The biggest challenges in this project surrounded the car in the first floor living area. Originally, the condo unit had a standard horizontal lift garage door system. The challenge was how to make it look and feel like a home and not like a garage, being that the car would be showcased in the first floor living space. The team needed to hide the garage door, as well as have all of the living spaces be open to another, which they did by creating a custom wall application of wood panels that covers from floor to ceiling. Another challenge they were faced with was engineering and building the climate-controlled wine storage underneath the open stairs. With a brick wall on the backside of the wine storage and not enough space to place a self-contained beverage refrigerator underneath, this area proved to be a unique challenge for our team. They were able to take advantage of some unused space underneath the stairs adjacent to the kitchen to build custom climate-controlled wine storage cabinetry. The space needed to be properly insulated, have additional HVAC run, and have tempered glass sealing doors. This element also helped bridge the car/garage space into the kitchen.


Wood Flooring: Mannington
Ceramic Tile – Floor: Shaw, Del Conca, Dal Tile, Florida Tile, Lungarno, Coverall Stone
Ceramic Tile – Wall: Lifestyle, Porsum, Dal Tile, Lungarno, Shaw, Coverall Stone, Adexusa/21st Century 

Paint: Sherwin Williams
Kitchen Cabinet Pulls: Amwell Bar Pull 
Cabinet Pulls: Kingsmill Knob
Sink: Kohler
Faucet: Kohler
Toilet: Kohler

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