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Home Profiles

Design Awards 2016

Good interior design strikes the perfect balance between beauty and function. Peek inside homes that showcase 417-land's best interior design work, and meet the masterminds behind the designs.

By Jennifer Adamson and Ettie Berneking, with additional reporting by Rose Marthis and Savannah Waszczuk

Jun 2016

Good interior design strikes the perfect balance between beauty and function, spaces that demand to be looked at in awe and lived in comfortably. That’s exactly what this feature does, too: You’ll stare at the beauty in the photos and picture yourself living in these dream rooms. Last winter, we asked all of 417-land’s interior designers to show us their best projects for our annual 417 Home Design Awards contest. We collected all 89 entries and sorted the gorgeous and innovative designs to send to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Tennessee Chapter. Their team of professional interior designers judged each project based on aesthetics, design skill and narrative explanation. We received the highest-scoring entries and our Creative Director Heather Kane toured each finalist home in person to take in the beauty and functionality for herself. The following pages show off the winners. Get lost in the photos, and then start planning your very own dream home.

Meet the Designers

The winning designers come from different backgrounds, experiences and styles, but they all have one thing in common: making beautiful homes for their clients.

Brian Kubik, AIA Architect

Brian Kubik, AIA Architect
Buxton Kubik Dodd Creative

Jeremiah Lee, CGP

Jeremiah Lee, CGP
Rock Solid Renovations

Jacque Pitts

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor
Obelisk Home

Denise Wright

Denise Wright
DKW Designs

Meet the Judges

This year’s team of 417 Home Design Awards judges are from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Tennessee Chapter. 

Susan A. Besser, ASID, LEEP AP
Franklin Preservation Associates
Franklin, Tennessee
615-599-2631

Kim Costner, Allied ASID, NKBA, CAPS, Certified Aging in Place Specialist
Kmpact Design, llc
Brentwood, Tennessee
615-481-0674

Marcia Knight, ASID 
Marcia Knight Designs​
Nashville, Tennessee
615-491-3430

Janis Lisle, ASID
Lisle Interiors
Brentwood, Tennessee
615-815-0123

Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawLiving Room: The goal in the living room was to create a gathering spot separate from the dining room and kitchen, even though the square footage is shared. A large rug was laid to distinguish the space, then a 12-foot-long sectional and four comfortable chairs were positioned along its perimeter to create a central focus and frame an area for the family to hang out. When guests come over, the double coffee table and drop-leaf table behind the sofa can be pulled apart for even more seating. Accessorizing was all about making high style look approachable, so Taylor used durable fabrics and layered textures and sprinkled in metallic accents, like gold branches and a gold-leafed rhino head that projects almost 6 feet from the fireplace. “I like to add something that’s totally unexpected, something that makes you go, ‘Well, that’s kind of weird but kind of cool,’” Taylor says.

Winning Designer 

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence

Anonymous

Project Challenge

To furnish and decorate an open main level with expansive walls and a 20-foot ceiling, as well as divide it into three separate rooms, the designer strategically arranged furniture and worked with a production art vendor to make images to scale.

Selling everything you have and starting over is a bold move, but one gutsy couple did exactly that, right down to their house. They needed a bigger one anyway and wanted a fresh interior that was a total departure from the dated French-country look of their old place, so they bought an empty lot in their existing neighborhood and hired people who could make their dream come true. Everything was going according to plan until midway through the project when their relationship with their original designer unexpectedly ended. That’s when designer Nathan Taylor came to the rescue. 

After learning the couple’s request to accommodate as many people as possible without sacrificing comfort or function, he and his team realized the need to improve initial floor plans for the main level to make the best use of space, including moving the dining room from its planned location in front of the kitchen to the large, open foyer instead. With that kink worked out and construction complete, the home was ready to be furnished. 

To give the homeowners the clean, light style they desired and also to distinguish the living room, dining room and kitchen from each other in an open layout, a neutral color palette served as the base for adding in skillfully arranged furniture, including seating for 25, and minimal accessories that aren’t overly flashy but add a little glitz.

“With the exposed beams, very high ceilings and simple architecture, it really feels like a modern barn,” Taylor says. Elsewhere, the master suite and den were built to create a retreat for the couple to escape their busy lives and provide the family of six with a communal spot to spend time together.

Overall, everything about this design lends meaning to the phrase out with the old and in with the new. “We really want to take our projects from start to finish, all the way through,” Taylor says. “And I think people can tell our work because it truly has a cohesive, collected, curated feeling that just works and feels good together.” 

Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawLiving Room: The goal in the living room was to create a gathering spot separate from the dining room and kitchen, even though the square footage is shared. A large rug was laid to distinguish the space, then a 12-foot-long sectional and four comfortable chairs were positioned along its perimeter to create a central focus and frame an area for the family to hang out. When guests come over, the double coffee table and drop-leaf table behind the sofa can be pulled apart for even more seating. Accessorizing was all about making high style look approachable, so Taylor used durable fabrics and layered textures and sprinkled in metallic accents, like gold branches and a gold-leafed rhino head that projects almost 6 feet from the fireplace. “I like to add something that’s totally unexpected, something that makes you go, ‘Well, that’s kind of weird but kind of cool,’” Taylor says.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawLiving Room: The goal in the living room was to create a gathering spot separate from the dining room and kitchen, even though the square footage is shared. A large rug was laid to distinguish the space, then a 12-foot-long sectional and four comfortable chairs were positioned along its perimeter to create a central focus and frame an area for the family to hang out. When guests come over, the double coffee table and drop-leaf table behind the sofa can be pulled apart for even more seating. Accessorizing was all about making high style look approachable, so Taylor used durable fabrics and layered textures and sprinkled in metallic accents, like gold branches and a gold-leafed rhino head that projects almost 6 feet from the fireplace. “I like to add something that’s totally unexpected, something that makes you go, ‘Well, that’s kind of weird but kind of cool,’” Taylor says.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawLiving Room: The goal in the living room was to create a gathering spot separate from the dining room and kitchen, even though the square footage is shared. A large rug was laid to distinguish the space, then a 12-foot-long sectional and four comfortable chairs were positioned along its perimeter to create a central focus and frame an area for the family to hang out. When guests come over, the double coffee table and drop-leaf table behind the sofa can be pulled apart for even more seating. Accessorizing was all about making high style look approachable, so Taylor used durable fabrics and layered textures and sprinkled in metallic accents, like gold branches and a gold-leafed rhino head that projects almost 6 feet from the fireplace. “I like to add something that’s totally unexpected, something that makes you go, ‘Well, that’s kind of weird but kind of cool,’” Taylor says.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawKitchen: In addition to the seating in the living room and dining room, Nathan Taylor put seats at the bar in the kitchen that can act as sole seating for intimate gatherings or extra seats for larger groups. The leather chairs are made with durable materials, and Taylor kept the neutral gray color palette to blend the elements throughout the entire dining and kitchen area.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawDining Room: When the original blueprints for this home were drawn up, the dining room was supposed to be adjacent to the kitchen, but the layout wasn’t scaled properly to maximize space. To remedy this problem, Taylor decided to move the dining room to the foyer. With the main entrance close by, he faced another dilemma: how to disguise the table so guests don’t feel like they’re walking into a formal eating area as soon as they enter the home. A very traditional table was painted to blend in with identical neutral-colored chairs, making it less obtrusive. The reclaimed chandelier is 60 inches in diameter and divides the dining room and the living room by adding shine without being showy.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawHallway: Taylor and the team at Obelisk Home hand-picked every accessory to make the entire house feel cohesive from room to room. This hammered metal chest, nature-inspired art and pop of green were consistent elements throughout the home.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawMaster Bedroom: The family-friendly nature of the home’s main living area inspired design choices in the master suite, but so did the homeowners’ wishes for a space that promotes intimacy and relaxation. To blend the two themes, Taylor brought in a bed cozy enough for two but big enough for late-night snuggle sessions with the kids. An upholstered headboard and frame along with a patterned linen duvet and pillow shams are fuss-free yet luxurious enough to complement other opulent features in the room, including an intricately detailed rug, bone inlay chest-turned-nightstand and grouping of decorative mirrors. “I don’t like to use mirrors unless they serve a purpose, but here they add reflectivity and drama to the ceiling, with light coming in from the window opposite and diagonal,” Taylor says. The sitting area has leopard-print linen chairs, a linear painting by local artist John Hull and a marble-topped accent table designed by J. Kent Martin, co-founder of Obelisk Home, which beautifully matches marble used in the adjoining bathroom.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawMaster Bedroom: The family-friendly nature of the home’s main living area inspired design choices in the master suite, but so did the homeowners’ wishes for a space that promotes intimacy and relaxation. To blend the two themes, Taylor brought in a bed cozy enough for two but big enough for late-night snuggle sessions with the kids. An upholstered headboard and frame along with a patterned linen duvet and pillow shams are fuss-free yet luxurious enough to complement other opulent features in the room, including an intricately detailed rug, bone inlay chest-turned-nightstand and grouping of decorative mirrors. “I don’t like to use mirrors unless they serve a purpose, but here they add reflectivity and drama to the ceiling, with light coming in from the window opposite and diagonal,” Taylor says. The sitting area has leopard-print linen chairs, a linear painting by local artist John Hull and a marble-topped accent table designed by J. Kent Martin, co-founder of Obelisk Home, which beautifully matches marble used in the adjoining bathroom.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawMaster Bathroom: To give this bathroom a spa-like feel, Taylor and his design team pulled in tons of marble and other monochromatic elements beginning with variegated subway tile used to frame a gorgeous walk-in shower. A soaking tub sits atop a gray porcelain floor tile, which runs to the opposite wall and bumps up against a double vanity with cabinet doors identical to those in the kitchen. Again, marble was used, this time on the countertops, because of its luxurious quality. Black-and-white art and pops of green create a look that is neutrally dramatic, much like that of the living room.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawMaster Bathroom: To give this bathroom a spa-like feel, Taylor and his design team pulled in tons of marble and other monochromatic elements beginning with variegated subway tile used to frame a gorgeous walk-in shower. A soaking tub sits atop a gray porcelain floor tile, which runs to the opposite wall and bumps up against a double vanity with cabinet doors identical to those in the kitchen. Again, marble was used, this time on the countertops, because of its luxurious quality. Black-and-white art and pops of green create a look that is neutrally dramatic, much like that of the living room.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawOutdoor Living Space: This area was a priority for the family, so Nathan Taylor created an inviting outdoor atmosphere with multi-functional and durable outdoor seating options to maximize the space and make the outdoor living area as welcoming as the indoor space. Much like the interior look of the home, the outdoor space works with the neutral base colors but brings in life with bright accessories and statement pieces, like the chandelier.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawOutdoor Living Space: This area was a priority for the family, so Nathan Taylor created an inviting outdoor atmosphere with multi-functional and durable outdoor seating options to maximize the space and make the outdoor living area as welcoming as the indoor space. Much like the interior look of the home, the outdoor space works with the neutral base colors but brings in life with bright accessories and statement pieces, like the chandelier.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawExterior: Nathan Taylor used a combination of metal, stone and wood materials made cohesive with classic lines on the exterior to inspire the design in the interior of the home.
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Kitchen Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawThe Perfect Blend: The kitchen was completely overhauled to replace traditional elements with a modern style to match the newly installed appliances. Design melds perfectly with function, like the island with hidden storage and a raised center to block the view of the sink.

Winning Designer

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence

Anonymous

Project Challenge

A new stove and oven were recently installed in the kitchen, so the design team had to work around the range to make the rest of the kitchen look new, too.

The kitchen in this home is part of an open floor plan that also includes the living room. With no walls to separate the eating area from where the family relaxes, creating distinct spaces for both activities was crucial to the design, but making sure the overall look was unified was equally essential. “I think it’s super-important that there’s cohesion,” says designer Nathan Taylor. “You can have a humongous room and create rooms within that room. It’s all about texture and consistency.”

Before any remodeling could begin, everything that was brown and traditional had to go, so all the cabinets were ripped out, and the island was leveled to get rid of a raised bar that harshly divided the space. New cabinetry was hung and painted pale gray to blend in with the walls, a natural stone mosaic backsplash was installed, and a range hood that was finished to replicate old steel and sized to balance the weight of the living room fireplace was added.

The island overhaul continued with adding a granite top and perimeter, hidden storage, a charging station, double trash bins and a new seating area for breakfast or homework. “My idea was to create this humongous counter surface, but the clients didn’t want to see the sink from the living room, so we bumped up the section in the center and used an organic walnut slab to conceal the utilitarian purpose.”

Finally, different types of lighting were brought in to make the space user-friendly around the clock, whether the homeowners are completing tasks, entertaining or just passing through. These layers of illumination complete the modern-elegance theme.

Photos by Jeremy Mason McGraw The Perfect Blend: The kitchen was completely overhauled to replace traditional elements with a modern style to match the newly installed appliances. Design melds perfectly with function, like the island with hidden storage and a raised center to block the view of the sink.
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Hearth Room Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawCozy Up by the Fire: Designer Denise Wright gave a modern facelift to the homeowners’ green sofas. Starting with a neutral color palette allowed her to bring in warm details with gold fabrics and patterns and tie everything together with tones of orange and blue.

Winning Designer

Denise Wright, DKW Designs
2252 S. Celebration Ave., Springfield, 417-350-4520

Residence

Rick and Pam Johnson

Project Challenge

Often, a corner fireplace can create opposing focal points as it competes with other central design elements. To avoid this issue and to create a modern and eye-catching fireplace, floor-to-ceiling porcelain tiles now frame the fireplace along with artwork that pulls in the room’s central color scheme.

Sometimes the easiest way to start a remodel is to evaluate what you already have, which is what designer Denise Wright did when giving Rick and Pam Johnson’s hearth room an elegant facelift. Wright reupholstered the Johnsons' matching green sofas, which served as inspiration for the room's remodel. With two sofa-lounging dogs to keep in mind, Wright used a durable fabric to recover the sofas. Besides offering easy maintenance, the neutral fabric is embellished with ivory- and gold-colored threads. “The fabric plays like a solid even though it’s a textural pattern,” Wright says. “The benefit here is that, even if you took out the throw pillows and lamps, you have a clean palette if the owners want to eventually redecorate.” 

For an extra dash of elegance, Wright created a pattern with different sized nailheads that wrap around the base of the sofas. With the neutral foundation set, Wright next set to work painting the walls a light grey to contrast the darker charcoal color used on the base of the fireplace. Next, elements of gold and silver were mixed in, including the geometric patterned drapes and the faux leather ottoman that sits on casters for easy maneuvering, and pops of bright orange and blue were woven throughout the room to give it an airy and modern ambience. 

Repurposing another of the homeowners’ existing pieces, Wright reupholstered the dining chairs with complementary geometric fabrics to pull in the gold and orange hues used in the décor. As the final touch, Wright framed in the existing gas fireplace with horizontal porcelain tiles that run floor to ceiling. The finished product creates an instant focal point while pulling the room together for a modern but timeless elegance the owners were looking for. 

Photos by Jeremy Mason McGraw (Left) Natural Touch: The antler chandelier is a nod to the husband’s hunting hobby and a strategic design choice meant to add an organic touch to the polish of so many new things. (Right) Blooming in Color: The orchids on the mantel, an Obelisk Home calling card, complement the jewel tones in the rug, pillows and decorative accessories in the living room

Winning Designer

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence

Anonymous

Project Challenge

Cabinets in the adjoining kitchen overpowered that end of the space, so a natural stone fireplace with a hand-carved mantel and sleek firebox was built as a focal point.

Homes in magazines always look so perfect. Everything seems as if it just came that way. But getting to that point takes hard work and problem-solving, like figuring out what to do when the antler chandelier you had custom made is three inches too wide and won’t fit through the front door. Designer Nathan Taylor’s solution? Saw off the tip of one of the antlers, and glue it back on later. “We were going to have the entire thing repainted, but the husband and wife thought, ‘This is part of the story,’ so we left it,” he says. 

The structural walls of this living room were also left intact, but every other element that looked traditional was fair game for demolition, including a sloping French fireplace. Once the architecture was simplified, the design team had a blank slate to create the modern and elegant look the homeowners requested. They used a supple leather sofa, chairs, a bench and ottomans to add seating for seven more, then put the homeowners’ existing game-playing table atop a rug that warms up the family-friendly space. 

But the standout feature is definitely the eye-catching chandelier. And the antler snafu? The repair is barely visible, but knowing it’s there reminds Taylor and the homeowners that the design process doesn’t have to be perfect to pull off a room that is.

Photos by Jeremy Mason McGraw Bringing it Together: When the homeowners realized their style preferences differed, they brought in Nathan Taylor to help create a space they both loved. The relaxed, eclectic look became the theme for the dining room.

Winning Designer 

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence 

Anonymous

Project Challenge

To blend the homeowners’ separate ideas about what is visually attractive, the designer incorporated furniture and accessories to match each of their aesthetics but kept the same color scheme and finishes throughout the room.

The homeowners who call this dining room their own first met Nathan Taylor when they stopped by Obelisk Home to purchase accessories. Right away, Taylor noticed their differing opinions about what is stylish. The husband loved metal. The wife preferred elegance. Later, when it came time to remodel their Branson residence, the couple recognized their tastes were disjointed and summoned Taylor’s expertise. “They realized that [buying elements separately] without an overall plan wasn’t working, so we sort of backtracked,” says Taylor, who guided the couple in merging the architecture and finishes they both find appealing while respecting their personal visions. 

The couple decided on a relaxed, eclectic look, which became the theme of this dining room makeover. Taylor started with a masculine table made of reclaimed wood and stainless steel and grounded it with a soft, antique Persian rug. He then combined two neutral-colored wingbacks with six aluminum-clad chairs to accentuate the casual feel of the space. “The idea was to feel like you could gather and all sit at the table and have a glass of wine and not feel like you were waiting to be served,” he says. 

At either end of the table are spots for having after-dinner cocktails: a wine bar, which doubles as a serving station during dinner parties, and a lounge area with a metallic-framed floor mirror, brushed-nickel floor lamp and additional seating. Manliness and luxury continue to commingle elsewhere with the addition of a pierced chandelier with crystals, walnut bar stools and a hand-blown vase containing white orchids. The whole design plays off the color scheme and clean lines of the adjoining kitchen, giving the homeowners a look that is cohesive yet distinctly his and hers. 

417 Home Design Awards 2016: Master Suite
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Master Suite
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGraw In the Bag: This master suite had all the right bones in place, and designer Nathan Taylor just had to help the couple rearrange furniture and add some accessories to bring the space to life. Taylor made sure the custom shelving in the closet was used to display designer handbags and shoes (left), and added greenery to bring together the natural wood elements in the bathroom (below).

Winning Designer 

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence 

Anonymous

Project Challenge 

The way the homeowners had the furniture laid out made the master bedroom feel empty, so the design team rearranged pieces and added new ones to up the coziness factor.

Designer Nathan Taylor proves that small changes can make a big difference. Without removing or relocating any walls, and instead simply reconsidering the placement of furniture and accessories, he completely changed the look of this master suite. As with all renovations, Taylor began by evaluating the busy couple’s needs. “They wanted function and cohesion with elegance,” he says, and they also requested a place where they could intimately coexist without being cramped. 

In the bedroom, a chair blocking the full view out the window was removed, and two tweed chairs were added for reading or watching television. Above, a circular 30-inch LED chandelier—a surprise gift to the wife from the husband—softens hard edges found elsewhere in the room. Accessories infused with orange and navy complement an earth-tone palette and leave the eye searching for natural elements. Among them, a wood-and-marble vanity, rain-glass window and greenery behind the tub bring the outdoors in and make relaxing easy.

Finally, in the closet, existing custom shelving was utilized to better display designer clothes, shoes and handbags. A dressing table topped with whimsical hands gives even more prominence to jewelry, perfumes and little trinkets the couple like to leave for each other. Matching saddle leather slipper chairs with stiletto feet are ideal for resting while helping each other choose the perfect outfits for a night on the town. 

From three rooms that were sparsely decorated, visually disconnected and visited only out of necessity to a master suite that is now an inviting and comfortable oasis, these homeowners now have many reasons to spend time in this part of their house.

417 Home Design Awards 2016: Master Suite Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawMaster suite bath.
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Master Bath Photo by Dan Rockafellow PhotographySouthwestern Spa: The homeowners fell in love with a bronze branch shower pull at a resort in the Smoky Mountains, and that feature became the starting point for a complete bathroom overhaul to create a getaway right in their own home.

Winning Designer

Gina McMurtrey, Gina McMurtrey Interiors
7865 N. Shady River Lane, Willard, 417-343-6058

Residence

Anonymous

Project Challenge

Needing to replace the large drafty window in the bathroom with something that would match the home’s southwest-style exterior, McMurtrey framed in frosted glass blocks to create a window wall. The finished product lets in plenty of natural light without sacrificing privacy, and the grid pattern window even fits with the home’s exterior style. 

If there’s one thing you don’t often find in modern bathrooms, it’s carpet. But that was exactly what designer Gina McMurtrey discovered when she took on this remodel. She found once-plush carpet along with a host of other design flaws, including metallic foil wallpaper, baby-pink crown and trim molding, a sunken tub and narrow doorways no wider than 24 inches. As the owners pointed out, it was time to upgrade, and McMurtrey couldn’t help but agree. 

With plans to give the baby-pink bathroom a rustic yet contemporary makeover, McMurtrey and her team started by demolishing the existing space. The sunken tub was removed, walls were knocked down, the large drafty window was pulled out, and all the drab carpeting was hauled away. In its place, McMurtrey put in a zero-entry shower lined with travertine subway tile and real stone along one wall to give the owners a mountain spa getaway. The drafty window was replaced with a grid of frosted glass that mimicked the home’s southwest-style exterior, and the glass shower door was cut to resemble the mountain landscape. The bronze branch shower pull was the project’s starting point after the owners mentioned falling in love with the feature at a resort in the Smoky Mountains.

To give them that luxurious resort ambience, every light in the remodeled bathroom is on an independent dimmer, including the LED lights roped around the inside brim of the cut glass sink. “This allows you to change the mood of the room,” McMurtrey says. “It can be a spa, it can be romantic, it can be bright and exciting.” The new space also features heated floors and a heated towel warmer, all set on timers. Expansive mirrors were installed around the vanity to create the illusion of extra space, and a dark-stained linen closet now offers additional storage. In the end, the new bathroom echoes the owners’ sense of style and elegance while capturing the rustic mountain ambience. The added bonus? All that carpet and baby-pink molding is long gone. 

417 Home Design Awards 2016: Master Bath Photo by Dan Rockafellow PhotographySouthwestern Spa: The homeowners fell in love with a bronze branch shower pull at a resort in the Smoky Mountains, and that feature became the starting point for a complete bathroom overhaul to create a getaway right in their own home.
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Powder Bath Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawOut with the Old: Nathan Taylor had already designed the living room and kitchen for these homeowners, so he brought the same modern approach to the powder bath and replaced yellow walls and faux finishes with a fresh color scheme.

Winning Designer

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence

Anonymous

Project Challenge

Because the plumbing is on an exterior wall and the homeowners requested minimal changes to the existing floor plan, the design team had to disguise the fixtures by enclosing them in matching trim work.

Designer Nathan Taylor had been commissioned to renovate two other rooms in the southwest Springfield home featuring this powder bathroom. He was asked to convert the bathroom from its former French-country glory to the matching modern style he already envisioned in the living room and kitchen. That meant saying goodbye to yellow walls and faux finishes and hello to a fresh color scheme and attractive building materials.

To start, the Obelisk Home team had to figure out how to maximize storage, so they replaced the existing vanity with a floating vanity cabinet built using sleek lines that balance the movement found in the figurative granite countertop. “It was a humongous process to find the perfect slab,” Taylor says. “[The homeowners] wanted it to feel very geological without a lot of yellows and oranges, and we wanted to find a slab big enough for the bathroom and kitchen without having to find two slabs.”

After a simple square-framed mirror and new lighting were hung, the final step was to add details that maintained the minimalist vibe. Knowing the homeowners’ good taste, Taylor scoured the house for existing pieces to transplant. He found an antique rug from Israel and a couple of contemporary paintings—pieces that tell the homeowners’ story and breathe life into the project.

417 Home Design Awards 2016: Children's Room Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawSurprise Space: Designer Nathan Taylor brought in the 11-year-old boy who calls this space home once before construction started to learn all his favorite things—purple and black, Legos and books. Then he never saw his room again until the surprise reveal.

Winning Designer

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence

Anonymous

Project Challenge

The client was 11 years old at the time of the remodel, so lots of outside-the-box thinking and custom work went into suiting his personality and interests.

When you’re a kid, there’s nothing like a big surprise. When you’re a designer, there’s nothing like the big reveal. For the preteen who got a room makeover and for designer Nathan Taylor, those moments were one and the same with the transformation of this guest room into a kid-friendly place that’s part practicality and part fantasy. “We wanted to create a space for a very intelligent and precise child,” Taylor says. “We met with the child once prior to construction, and he was never allowed in the room until the surprise reveal.” 

The boy is an avid Lego collector, loves purple and black and is a huge fan of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, so the Obelisk Home team incorporated all his favorites into the room’s final look. To begin, they reimagined the layout to include expansive custom bookshelves, a reading loft, concealed toy storage and a desk area for studying and building. Then the focus turned to fun details, like a secret compartment behind the head of the bed, a light fixture with spider-like appendages and a blackout Roman shade that makes the room dark enough for a hobbit. 

An Obelisk Home graphic designer created the wall art of Middle Earth (the setting of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels) and had it printed on metal and magnetized to display drawings and projects. Purple velvet drapes, a purple ottoman and an owl lamp hinting at the world of wizardry bring the plan together. The result is scholarly and streamlined A-plus work that left the young learner speechless. “Seeing reactions like those is an acknowledgement that what you did wasn’t in vain,” Taylor says.

417 Home Design Awards 2016: Children's Room Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawOff the Pages: The boy who calls this room home loves Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, so Taylor added details from the novels, like this custom-made Middle Earth map printed on metal and magnetized to hold drawings and projects..
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Renovation
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Renovation
Photos by Gayle Babcock - Architectural Imageworks Seamless Transition: Jeremiah Lee and Susie Edie kept the bathroom's style and finishes true to the rest of the home’s 1930s style.

Winning Designer

Jeremiah Lee and Susie Edie, Rock Solid Renovations
4166 N. 20th Street, Ozark, 417-581-8096

Residence 

Anonymous 

Project Challenge 

When it became clear that this team had to run plumbing directly through the homeowner’s dining room, they needed a new game plan. The solution was to create a pillar to hide the drainline as it runs from the second story down to the basement. 

To give this homeowner the bathroom of her dreams, Jeremiah Lee and Susie Edie had to turn an empty attic space into a functioning bathroom no bigger than 6-by-8 feet. The lack of plumbing wasn’t the only issue this team had to worry about—they also had limited space and an angled ceiling to keep in mind—but the finished product matched the 1930s bungalow seamlessly. To turn this vacant attic into a master bath, the team started by removing the crumbling old plaster before redoing the ceilings and adding new ventilation and plumbing. 

The plumbing was easily the hardest part of this project. Needing to run pipes from the second story to the basement with the family’s dining room directly below the space, the team got creative and hid the pipes inside a column. From there, marble floor tile was installed, and walls were painted a dark charcoal to offset the bright white of the tile. New shelving and a medicine cabinet were added for extra storage, and a stained glass window lets in plenty of natural light. 

With the flooring in place, the team next had to bring in new doors and trim molding to match the home’s time period. “That’s where a majority of our work comes from,” Edie says. “We match everything from style and stain to the finish and sheen. You want to make sure on a remodeling project that it looks like it’s always been there. You don’t want it to look like it’s a brand new bathroom.” To complete the ’30s-style renovation, Edie and Lee added subway tile to the shower, which was designed just big enough to fit the owner’s Great Dane. With the last piece of plaster hauled off and the marble floor sealed, the new vintage-inspired master bath was complete.

417 Home Design Awards 2016: Guest Room Photo by Jeremy Mason McGrawLakeside Retreat: With a location providing stunning views of Table Rock Lake, the homeowners wanted a guest room inspired by relaxing resorts. Jacque Pitts started with a vibrant orange color scheme, and brought in soft whites and natural elements to complete the look.

Winning Designer

Jacque Pitts, Brashears Furniture
2750 Shepherd of the Hills Expy., Branson, 417-337-5028, and Bears to Chairs Gallery, 500 W. Trimble, Berryville, Arkansas, 417-818-6882

Residence

Bobby and Kim Robertson

Project Challenge

Once it was decided orange would be the primary accent color in this guest suite, designer Jacque Pitts had to then find the correct shade of orange for each piece of decor. Rather than perfectly matching each piece, coordinating shades were used to create a cohesive design.

With a stunning view overlooking Table Rock Lake, this relaxing guest suite needed to match the serene landscape just outside, and designer Jacque Pitts was up for the challenge. With glass French doors separating the spacious bedroom from the adjoining sitting area, turning this understated guest suite into a resort-like escape was as easy as choosing the bedding, which is where Pitts started first. With a fresh coat of paint on the walls and a new Big Ass fan circling quietly overhead, a white linen bed was brought in as the rest of the room’s design came together. The homeowners’ race horse inspired the pops of bright orange, and Pitts found the perfect orange nightstands to set the room’s color palette. Keeping the color scheme simple but vibrant, a plush black-and-white area rug was added to warm up the cool tile floor, and two black chests embellished with mirrored drawers were pushed together to create a large dresser. With linen bedding as a base, Pitts added several contrasting textures throughout the room including the night stands, which are covered in rough burlap and painted orange. The metallic driftwood table lamps hint at the natural beauty outside, and the rattan furniture in the adjacent sitting room helps create a resort atmosphere where guests can relax and unwind after a day on the lake. For extra guests, a sleeper sofa was added to the sitting room along with a storage ottoman to keep blankets and pillows out of sight. “We wanted this space to be interesting but not be matching,” Pitts says. “The owners didn’t want the home to be traditional. They wanted a dramatic setting to make it feel like you’re at a resort. Thanks to pleated shades that hide only an inch or two of the view once pulled up, that luxurious vacation setting is only heightened by the spectacular lakefront view outside.”

Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawLakeside Retreat: With a location providing stunning views of Table Rock Lake, the homeowners wanted a guest room inspired by relaxing resorts. Jacque Pitts started with a vibrant orange color scheme, and brought in soft whites and natural elements to complete the look.
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGrawLakeside Retreat: With a location providing stunning views of Table Rock Lake, the homeowners wanted a guest room inspired by relaxing resorts. Jacque Pitts started with a vibrant orange color scheme, and brought in soft whites and natural elements to complete the look.
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Home Office
417 Home Design Awards 2016: Home Office
Photos by Jeremy Mason McGraw (Left) Made From Scratch: The homeowners walled in a patio to create space for this custom study, complete with a custom-printed wallpaper. (Right) Scientific Style: The owner’s career in plastic surgery inspired accessories like the metal skull.

Winning Designer

Nathan Taylor, Obelisk Home 
214 W. Phelps St., Springfield, 417-616-6488

Residence 

Anonymous

Project Challenge

In choosing wallpaper for this room, the designer wanted to use a pattern that was meaningful to the client but neutral enough for potential future homeowners, so a custom print was manufactured.

You’d never know by looking that this home office used to be a patio. But last winter, the homeowners decided to turn their upstairs screened-in porch into a dining room and add a better outdoor living area. The patio became an ideal relocation for the husband’s old study, which had been turned into a baby’s room. The idea was inventive but not impossible considering some of the bones were already in place.

To enclose the space, three walls were built onto an existing exterior wall of the adjacent family room, stabilizing the brick columns supporting the above porch. The windows on that same wall were replaced with French doors to provide a new opening to the exterior patio, and three additional windows with plantation shutters were installed into the new walls to provide natural light during the day and privacy during late-night study sessions.

Next, designer Nathan Taylor and his team moved in to personalize the room, but the innovation didn’t stop there. Taylor enlisted a company in Michigan to custom color and print blue-plaid grass-cloth wallpaper to reflect the husband’s love of the New England Patriots. Taylor says that new technologies and young companies are able to make customizable décor and wallpaper an attainable option for just about any budget.  The wallpaper’s masculine energy and the husband’s work in plastic surgery inspired other decor choices, including leather swivel chairs, an area rug made from vintage silk neckties, a metallic skull and even some things the husband already owned. The smart look is collected over time to last for generations. 

417 Home Design Awards 2016: Home Theatre Photo by Randy ColwellSpace for Everyone: Brian Kubik left the theatre open so guests and family members could sit at the back bar and watch a game or movie on the big screen while still being part of the fun.

Winning Designer

Brian Kubik, Buxton Kubik Dodd Creative
1435 E. Bradford Parkway, Ste. 100, Springfield, 417-890-5543

Residence

Anonymous

Project Challenge

With no bedrooms to worry about, this in-ground basement was turned into the perfect hideaway for family movie night or game night by leaving the theatre room open and giving the space a sports bar atmosphere.

When Brian Kubik’s clients designed their new home with a basement that had almost no natural light, everyone knew the perfect use for the cavernous lower level: a movie and game room. “This entire basement was designed for entertainment,” Kubik says, and he’s not exaggerating. With a game room, bar, pingpong table, video games, pool table, basketball hoops, lounge seating and a theatre room, this family’s basement has it all. But what makes this theatre room different than most is the lack of an actual room. Instead of boxing the movie room in with four walls, Kubik left the space open to make it more functional and inviting. “Everything revolves around this theatre,” Kubik says. “We did a house for this family five or six years before this, and we included an enclosed theatre room, but they never used it.” To add the sports bar atmosphere the family wanted, Kubik worked with a neutral color palette of gray, black and metallic and added several seating areas ranging from leather-backed bar stools to tufted bench seating. With four kids and a love of entertaining, this family needed a space appropriate for all ages, which meant it needed to be durable. “There’s nothing breakable, and we gave it an adult vibe while still allowing it to be a playroom for the kids,” Kubik says.

Photos by Holmes PhotographyOut of the Woods: Long added a modern twig light fixture in the wine cellar to match the wooden details.
Photos by Holmes PhotographyCheers to Family: The basement’s existing bar became the focal point of the room, with updated wooden planks and soffit lighting to frame the space.
Photos by Holmes PhotographyWell Thought Out: Long let no detail escape her plan, and she was even sure to add soft carpeting by the games to muffle sound.
Photos by Holmes PhotographyGather Around: Long added plenty of seating for entertaining with the sectional and leather chair, and, she softened the masculine leather with warm lighting.

Winning Designer

Haden Long, Ellecor Design & Gifts
2144 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-720-2602 

Residence

Michael Swann

Project Challenge

This spacious basement was in need of a focal point, and the existing bar had the potential to serve that purpose but needed some serious updating. To give the bar a masculine facelift, the base, soffeting and cabinets were covered with slabs of stained wood to form a herringbone pattern that glows under the soft light.

ith more than enough room to spread out in, this family basement went mostly unused. To change that, designer Haden Long decided to treat the expansive lower level as a casual living room and used the existing bar as the room’s central focal point. To update the space while giving it more functionality, she removed the stone fireplace along with the existing built-in cabinets. In its place, Long had a large custom-made TV stand brought in and added surround sound to the basement to create the perfect movie or game night retreat for the owner and his family and friends. 

For plenty of seating, a large sectional and leather chair were added, and a plush area rug gives the gathering space extra warmth. Next, Long turned her attention to the outdated bar lodged between the TV area and the owner’s glass-walled wine cellar. Using a mix of woods and stains to create a textural design, Long wrapped the bar with wood planks along the base, cabinets and structural pillar. Soffit lighting was added above the bar to frame in the space, and the new mirror and glass wine racks help to balance out the rustic and elegant styles. 

Granite countertops and leather barstools add a masculine elegance that flows into the adjacent wine cellar where a large modern twig light fixture was added to continue the wooded theme. Even the custom-made TV stand matches the newly remodeled bar. “We wanted the bar to be unique and serve as a main focal point without being over-the-top,” Long says. The once buttercream yellow walls were repainted a darker but still neutral color, blackout drapes were hung above the basement window, and an area rug was added beneath the pinball machines to muffle the noise. With all of that complete, the once underused basement was turned into a stylish family retreat. 

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