2015 Homes of the Year

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Ever been out driving and seen an extravagant house that made you slow down a little? There may have been something about it that made you wonder what was behind the front door.

Let us take you inside four of 417-land’s most impressive dwellings, designed by builders who knew just how to make us stop and stare. As the winners of this year’s Homes of the Year contest, their fresh ideas and talents range in style and prove originality is as important as layout. From a glass-enclosed wine cellar to several showstopping chandeliers, no details in these houses were overlooked.

Whether you’re drawn to Old World, American, Arts and Crafts or contemporary, each of these homes will make you swoon.

Beam work, dark hardwood floors and more than 10 wallpapers give this home a cozy but refined ambience.

If Doug Pitts ever decides that he’s tired of building houses, there’s a laundry list of other jobs at which he’d probably excel, all because of one very critical skill that he has mastered over the years. “You have to be successful in reading people,” he says. 

From working as a carpenter and an industrial education teacher to now running the show at his own construction company, Pitts has been around people so much that it’s now second nature for him to perceive their thoughts and feelings. This has given him the upper hand in developing relationships with his clients.

“One reason why this house is a winner is the homeowners,” he says. “The homeowners trusted the people they hired, from the builder to the designer to the interior designer. Trust is why this home turned out like it did. I think it’s important that everyone knows it’s a true team effort to have a house that becomes a success like this.”

“I like the use of different wall coverings and colors throughout the home. That’s kind of new to us. The designer picks that, but we have to make sure it all comes together.” —Doug Pitts, Doug Pitts Construction

Because the owners had confidence in Pitts and the project’s custom home designer, Ron Hill of Euro World Design, a sprawling 11,014-square-foot home was born. The house perfectly captures the essence of The Worman House at Big Cedar Lodge, an appearance that appeals to the couple. The crew also lucked out, because the owners were willing to be adventurous in their decision making and enjoyed collaboration.

Outside of the home, Old World qualities are evident in beam work and heavy texture. Inside, Craftsman-like touches abound in warm woodwork and windows galore. There are more than 10 wall coverings with lots of detail, and vibrant, semi-gloss colors reflective of the stained glass at The Worman House. 

Overall, everything about this project exceeds expectations, and the owners now hold the key to their dream home.

Sitting Room: Just off the kitchen, a nook with painted stone and a herringbone brick floor looks like a small breakfast room at The Worman House at Big Cedar Lodge, a favorite place of the homeowners. A mustard yellow, blue and green color scheme here is a nod to the family’s Scottish heritage.

Master Suite: The homeowners wanted their master suite on the same level as, but separate from, their children’s rooms. Their bedroom features oak flooring, hand-hewn beams and window grids to provide a richness and warmth. A built-in entertainment center and wallpaper with a sexy shimmer make relaxing a luxurious experience. 

In the airy master bathroom, the same effect is achieved with floor-to-ceiling mosaic tile, a soaking tub, a walk-in shower with body sprays and marble on every surface. The building challenge here was making sure the flat ceiling in the bedroom flowed seamlessly into the vaulted ceiling in the bathroom, which was accomplished by carrying the ceiling beams through from room to room.


Dining Room: To smoothly transition from the living room into the dining room, the same solid oak flooring was installed, and collar ties (a type of structural reinforcement) were used in the ceiling design. Repetition can also be seen in multi-paned double doors that open to a back deck. Visual interest was added by arching the doorway between the dining room and sitting room. 

Basement Living Room: No other spot in the home comes alive with Old World charm more than the basement living room, designed to feel like a Scottish pub. Dark beams and trim used throughout the home are repeated here, but more prominently displayed in conjunction with a green-tinted, stained concrete floor. A color palette of browns and reds, extending into the back office, as well as evidence of hunting, exude gallantry and machismo and make this the perfect spot to gather for game night or a round of drinks.

Living Room: In the living room, a 16-foot window wall inspires awe. Cased in wide trim, its many panes usher in sunlight and offer a stunning view of Lake Taneycomo. Collar ties stretch across the ceiling, making the space seem more expansive, while at the same time drawing the eye to other dark features in the room, such as the solid oak floor.

 Exterior: Staying true to the Old World style the homeowners wanted, a variety of shapes and natural materials were used on the home’s exterior. Dark features like stained doors give the home a masculine look, but light-colored stucco and paint soften the facade. A casual friends’ entrance is easily accessible from the driveway, and  a second entry, covered by a gable made of oversized beams, welcomes guests more officially. Around back, an elevated flagstone deck overlooks an in-ground pool.


Guest Bedroom: A bevy of bold choices was made in one of the home’s six bedrooms, beginning with ornate, bright green wallpaper and graphic-print window draperies. But the concept works because the room’s construction is very simple. Guests have access to an en suite bathroom and small closet.


Kitchen: The kitchen is one of the largest rooms in the home, and it was made to feel even bigger with its openness to the nearby living room, dining room and sitting room. Taking center stage is a 5-by-9-foot marble island that often acts as a dinner table during the week and has base storage for extra pots and pans. Wood panels and hardware that match the cabinetry cleverly disguise the fridge, freezer and dishwasher. A mother-of-pearl prep sink, larger farmhouse sink, double ovens, plenty of counter space and easy access to a butler’s pantry make mealtime as easy as pie. 


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