2016 Homes of the Year

This year's homes of the year are more impressive than ever.

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Builders and designers from all over 417-land send in their best work for our annual Homes of the Year contest. Our region is full of beautiful homes showcasing their expertise. This year we sent the entries to be judged by members of the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri. They were impressed with the talent coming out of southwest Missouri, and you will be, too. Every year we get to see the best of the best, and this year is no exception. Turn the page to find breathtaking custom homes, modern materials and transformed spaces that anyone would love to come home to, and meet the builders who push the boundaries of creative home building. 

This home by builder Rick Ramsey transforms traditional farm structures like a barn, a silo and a main house into one glamorous living space.

Category: $1,000,000 or more
Homeowners: Anonymous
Winning Builder: Rick Ramsey, Ramsey Building Company, 201 N. Main St., Nixa, 417-725-5545, ramseybuilding.com
Photographer: Randy Colwell

A modern lodge sits atop a hill overlooking a lake, flanked by a luxury pool. Fire pits blaze. Doors open, and eastern light shines on the 20,000-square-foot lodge. This Home of the Year is designed so that its owners will be so content they’ll never want to leave. And with three separate living spaces, why would anyone want to?

“It’s three houses in one, literally,” says home builder Rick Ramsey. “The whole idea was to make it look like an old barn was attached to a silo, which were added onto the main house. The homeowners and I worked together to get the exterior developed and designed to make each look like they were added on at different times.”

Each individual building flows into the next, with particular spaces defined throughout. Above the garage, there’s a bunk house featuring beds for up to 12 guests. In the great room, 24-foot ceilings tower over massive beams of reclaimed pine, and 17-foot-tall windows frame a lush backyard view. 

But the showstopper of the property is a five-story silo, which features different spaces for each level. The top floor serves as a majestic observatory with 360-degree views of rolling hills from one the highest points in 417-land. Throughout each room, corner and level, locally sourced materials are featured. Ramsey and the homeowners consulted two local rock pickers to find the perfect bedrock for the facade. An old walnut tree from the property was stripped and made into flooring for the owner’s office. Oak beams in the hearth room were made from a tree pushed over to make room for the house.

“I spent more time drawing ideas on napkins and on note paper during this project than I really can say,” Ramsey says. “There are so many areas that needed special features, and those details we came up with together. All those napkins made the home come alive.”

OUTDOOR LIVING: The back of this home, built by Rick Ramsey, was meant to be the ultimate entertaining and outdoor retreat. Tons of room allow for family nights and friend gatherings on chilly nights by the fire. 

OBSERVATORY LIVING ROOM: A cozy seating area atop a five-story silo gives guests a front-row seat to the star of the silo: its views. Custom wraparound windows and fun furniture make this space truly one-of-a-kind. 

OBSERVATORY STAIRS: The top floor of the five-story silo offers a stunning panoramic view of the rolling Ozark hills. The spiral staircase that leads down through the silo is made with locally sourced materials, connecting the home to the nature that surrounds it.

CURVED LOFT ENTRYWAY: The curved loft entryway serves as a continuation of the mudroom and is the first floor of the silo. A curved, custom bench provides seating in the quaint space. “Trying to find anything that would fit on a radius wall like that would be a challenge, so there were a couple of levels [where] we built benches to provide extra seating,” says home builder Rick Ramsey.

GREAT ROOM VIEWS: The windows in this expansive great room are 17 feet in height. The natural light illuminates the 24-foot ceilings and massive reclaimed pine trusses below. Plush, comfortable seating in earth tones makes the room feel inviting, and a true wood-burning fireplace invites guests to stay awhile.

This home was designed to be a retreat for the homeowners and their guests. To bring the outside in, one special feature opens the home up to endless entertaining possibilities. “The beautiful kitchen, they have these double doors that completely open up, and all of a sudden, the interior kitchen becomes an outdoor kitchen,” Ramsey says. “Plus, we have these pocket doors on the inside to keep the bugs out. It’s incredible.”

KITCHEN: Modern finishes meet rustic details in this expansive kitchen. An extra-long granite and quartz island provides extra entertaining counter space and seating. Rich, dark wood traditional cabinets are flanked by modern industrial cabinets, adding dimension and definition to the spaces in the large kitchen. “We chose to paint some and stain some, and that added some depth to the kitchen,” Ramsey says.

MASTER BATHROOM: The master bathroom has plenty of room for the homeowners to get ready in the mornings, and continues the modern design scheme. Floating shelves are attached to reclaimed paver brick walls, and the bathroom also features floating vanities. The Reed glass linear tile pattern transitions smoothly into the open shower. 

MASTER BEDROOM: A calming retreat, the master bedroom and its neutral palette allow for custom details to take center stage. Reclaimed oak beams were sourced from oak trees pushed over during the construction of the house. Designer carpet with a modern texture and an all-wood platform bed are luxurious touches in the master suite.

BASEMENT RECREATION ROOM: The basement living spaces provides more room for family and friends to gather. A custom steel mantel gives a modern touch to the wood burning fireplace that features custom masonry and an iron branch decorative detail. This room also plays home to the fish family members, housed in a see-through aquarium. 

BACKYARD: One major design element of the back facade was the addition of a collapsing door wall. “There’s a whole set of doors off the [basement] kitchen,” Ramsey says. “We collapse them, and that indoor kitchen turns into an outdoor kitchen. And I have double pocket doors on either side that you can shut and keep the bugs out.”

SILO: The silo was designed to look like a standalone feature that was added to the main house and barn structures. “We had some landscaping done to try to berm the house,” Ramsey says. “You know with old farmhouses, they’d have a tree pop up next to the house and they wouldn’t cut it down? We wanted to make it look like that.”

FRONT FACADE: The modern lodge was designed to look like three unique spaces combined in one: a barn, a main house and a silo combined over time. Rocks sourced from various parts of the Ozarks provided a base, and reclaimed wood beams from textile mills in the Carolinas provided the frame of the unique, grand home.

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