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Every year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) picks its favorite housing, structures, firms and architects, and this year there were quite a few show-stopping designs – even designs that can help with inspiration for more modest dwellings that don’t end up in architectural journals.
There are four categories, but for most people looking for ideas the focus is usually on the one- and two-family custom residences. In 2016, winning homes were found in Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Mississippi.
Let’s look at a main design takeaway from each, starting in Part I with the Hog Pen Creek Retreat and the Independence Pass residence:
Like all residences on this list, the Hog Pen Creek Retreat benefits from its location. But, to be fair, it makes exceptional use of said location – on the shores of Lake Austin – by allowing the surrounding natural features to influence and ultimately define the flow of the space.
Just a few eye-popping features include porches on either end of the home, an outdoor boardwalk that connects the porches while also serving other parts of the property, and large windows that provide sweeping views.
GET THE LOOK: Focus on landscaping. Clear your window sightlines to widen the view and let in more sun. Add a fountain, a new walkway or even a garden feature like a bench or pergola so you can better enjoy your time outdoors.
The squat, squared-off symmetry of the Independence Pass Residence stands in stark contrast to the soft foothills of the Rockies that roll into the horizon from the home’s many vantage points, but that’s just one of several contradictions on display.
Sharp edges and ample stonework on the exterior give way to warm woods on the inside that are further softened by uncomplicated décor and plenty of natural light, all despite a distinctly modern design.
GET THE LOOK: Trim the artificial fat from your décor and open up your space. Trade in some of your older, bulkier pieces and focus on quality with a few hard-hitting wood and stone accents.
Tune in tomorrow to see what we can learn from the AIA’s favorites in Hawaii, Oregon and Mississippi.