Detroit Home Design Awards 2018 Readers' Choice Ballot for Best Overall Home

As part of the annual Detroit Home Design Awards competition, you're invited to vote for your favorite overall home. Just view the images here and indicate your preference. The Readers' Choice will be revealed in the April/May 2018 Design Awards issue of Detroit Home.

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Voting deadline is Feb. 1, 2018

View the entries below and select a button on the left to indicate your favorite. Enter your name and e-mail address and then submit your vote!

*Name and e-mail address are required to prevent ballot stuffing.

Entry 1

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Inspired by the Shingle-style homes of the Hamptons, this residence exudes a classic, timeless elegance. Courtyard walls of Connecticut fieldstone artfully manipulate the rolling terrain, creating a terraced hardscape and landscape plateaus. Abundant groupings of Palladian-style and cottage-style double-hung windows, and multiple pairs of French doors, result in natural-light-filled interiors and a connectedness between the interior and exterior spaces. Thoughtful axial lines create an elegant order and flow through the spacious rooms. Sophisticated spaces, designed for entertaining and featuring luxuriously-appointed, stylishly-refined furnishings and detailing, are cohesively blended with charming, immensely livable spaces. An indoor full-court basketball court, batting cage, dance studio, and home theater accommodate the active lifestyle of this family of six. Architectural millwork features prominently, showcasing the furnishings. Deeply-coffered and vaulted shiplap-timbered ceilings, with sculptural open-truss beams, add dimension; while impeccably tailored panel-millwork gives off a refined ambience. Beautiful textures, patterns, and patinas, unified by a soothing coastal color palette, provide visual interest.

 

Entry 2

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Custom craftsmanship and detailing give this residence its vintage flavor, while an open and light-filled floor plan clearly marks it as contemporary. The exterior includes interesting roof lines, abundant windows, and a welcoming porch, while the interior meets and exceeds contemporary expectations for ease and comfort. The main level features almost 3,000 square feet of living space, from the entry with multiple window seats and built-in benches to the central kitchen, living room with fireplace, adjacent dining room, and a screened-in porch. Nearby is a private sitting room and a master bedroom with built-ins and a spa-style double-sink bath. The main level also includes a work room and first-floor laundry, while the second level includes three bedroom suites, a loft, and separate guest quarters with a living area, kitchen, and bedroom. On the lower level you can rest and recuperate in the sauna after a workout in the exercise room.

 

Entry 3

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Mid-century aesthetics are blended with the timelessness of a country farmhouse. Natural wood-lapped siding emphasizes this home’s more modern elements, while classic white board and batten siding covers the core of this house. Inside, a wide hallway connects the foyer to the den and living spaces through smooth, case-less openings. With a stone fireplace, tall windows, and vaulted wood ceiling, the living room bridges the kitchen and den. The kitchen picks up Mid-century style through the use of flat-faced upper and lower cabinets with chrome pulls. Richly toned wood chairs and a table cap off the dining room, which has windows on three sides. A spacious master suite offers separate closets, as well as a tiled bath with a tub and shower, and has a perfect view out to the rear yard. Upstairs there are four separate bedrooms, while the lower level features a gymnasium, living room, and guest suite. 

 

Entry 4

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This three-story live/work building accommodates a business and a private residence. On the main floor there’s a showroom/reception area, coffee bar, conference room, and a workroom. The residence can be accessed on all levels and maintains privacy through the stairwell and elevator shaft. The second level houses a design studio, office, and conference room that opens up to a balcony with retractable screens. There’s flex space above the garage, with a Murphy bed, kitchenette, and access to a private bath. The third level is the private residence. At the front there’s a balcony, living room with linear fireplace, dining room, and a kitchen with a custom island and pullout table. The master suite features dual bathroom vanities, dressing space, a drop-down TV, and a closet wall that opens up to a his-and-hers closet. The lower level is part of the private residence and includes a home gym and recreation spaces. 

 

Entry 5

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Beautifully situated atop a craggy cliff, with panoramic views of Crooked Lake and the surrounding terraced, landscaped gardens, this romantic, charming, and immensely livable French Provencal-inspired home epitomizes the phrase “la vie est belle.” The home is rooted to the land, defined by the solid permanence of the stonework that delineates the strong architectural lines that rise proudly upward. Cascading ledgestone steps and a blend of stone walls and boulders sculpt the land, creating terraced hardscape-and-landscape plateaus to accommodate outdoor entertainment. Indoors, a harmonious balance is orchestrated using a calming monochromatic gray color palette through the spaces; the core of the main-level spaces is ordered by three parallel axes trisecting through the entry loggia, entry gallery, living room, stone-and-brick conservatory, and rear balcony. The entry gallery sets the “centuries-old theme” and creates a quieting, spiritual aura that’s carried throughout all of the interior spaces, transporting one to a simpler era.

 

Entry 6

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This newly constructed house was designed for an estate-sized lot where a previous home had been demolished. It was built to enhance the natural beauty of the grounds and create an East Coast “Hamptons” feel, with its formal front façade and a bright, casual rear façade that opens up to extensive landscaping. In the rear of the home, the generous outdoor living spaces also include a rimless-edge pool. Indoors, a formal foyer sets a luxurious tone for the dining room and front staircase, and then opens up to family and entertaining spaces beyond. The spaces that open to the rear garden — the living room, breakfast area, and kitchen — were designed to take advantage of the southern exposure, and to offer spaces for both casual family living and entertaining large groups of people.

 

Entry 7

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The intent of this project was to capture the look and feel of an authentic 1940s bungalow in the home’s current setting and still meet the client’s modern needs. This involved renovating the existing house and then adding a family room, kitchen, three bedrooms, and an attached three-car garage. A new front porch was introduced to give the house more scale, while the large windows fill the vaulted ceilings with an abundance of light. Placing the bedrooms within the roof line provided an opportunity to create a sense of character in each room. 

 

Entry 8

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This goal for this home, originally built in 1955, was to bring it into the 21st century while maintaining the charm of the original architecture. All the interior and exterior finishes were removed down to the studs, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were redone. The floor plan was opened, going from defined spaces common in the ’50s to an airy design fitting today’s lifestyle. The kitchen was expanded and modernized with new cabinets, appliances, tile, and light fixtures. Second-floor additions were built over the garage and living room, providing the client’s children with their own bedroom/bathroom. A larger master suite includes a marble bathroom with a steam shower, his/her walk-in closets, and a sound system and coffee bar. The lower level has a new kitchen that opens into a finished game/TV room. Careful attention was paid to all interior finishes, to achieve the client’s vision of a traditional home with modern conveniences. 

 

Entry 9

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This 1920s Tudor is a composition of traditional stylings and modern amenities. Rich detailing was critical in the materials selection, from the Pennsylvania slate roof to the cabinetry, tile, stone, fixtures, and wiring and mechanical systems. Upon stepping through the dark mahogany front door, dark-stained wood floors and softly painted wall panels set the tone. Hardwood cabinets, limestone and Calcutta tiles, and stone counters are the beautiful benchmarks of this well-crafted home. The hidden mechanical systems are state-of-the-art, and geothermal wells heat and cool the house with a maximum of energy conservation. Lighting, audio-visual systems, temperature zones, and humidity levels are integrated for luxurious function. The exterior features a perceptive design treatment, and the curb-side view is warm and classic. Narrow side lots are manicured, and the rear bluestone patio with masonry-wall benches and a built-in fire pit maximize the use of space.

 

Entry 10

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A combination of cedar shiplap siding and Fond du Lac stonework graces the exterior of this modern home. In classic Prairie School style, shallow roof pitches, natural materials, and decorative restraint integrate the home into the surrounding landscape; tongue-and-groove stained beadboard on the porch ceiling and overhangs add depth. A mahogany front door with transom and side lights makes for an impressive entry, and coordinates with the garage doors. Floor-to-ceiling windows pay homage to the Craftsman tradition and allow for sweeping views of the lake. A limestone terrace extends from the home’s lower level, further integrating the home into its surroundings, while a deck on the main level can be accessed through sliding glass doors from the family room and dining room. Completed in 2015, the energy-efficient home features geothermal heating and cooling systems, foam insulation, low-VOC paint, and LED lighting throughout, making it as functional as it is stylish. 

 

Entry 11

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This tear-down project turned into a unique two-bedroom, one-story home that’s perched over a 40-foot overlook deep in the woods. The steep grades presented several challenges, which eventually resulted in unique rolling terrain and beautiful garden retaining walls. The one-story, limestone-clad home was designed with views and natural light in mind. Stepping onto the large, timber-framed front porch, you’re greeted by a transparent front door, offering views into the home. The 16-foot-tall foyer, purposely raised 24 inches above the main living level of the home, boasts clerestory windows to maximize light. The parlor is located off the foyer, while the living room is on direct axis with the front door. The kitchen, dining, and living rooms are on an axial vista, with the fireplace and range anchoring each end of the room. A soaring ceiling spans all three rooms and is seamlessly tied together with four timber trusses.  

 

Entry 12

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Sited on beautiful acreage, this European Tuscan Villa presents an aura of enduring beauty and permanence. Thoughtful attention to authentic detailing is interwoven throughout the blend of spacious and intimate spaces, including a chef's kitchen, stone wine room, stone entry hall with a sweeping stairway, mud hall, and large dining and gathering spaces. The home also features five bedrooms, “his” library with a second-story overlook wraparound balcony and reading loft, “her” art studio loft, and an indoor pool. Stone courtyard walls of rugged Cortona fieldstone define spaces that replicate the atmosphere of charming European village squares. A porte-cochere with flanking arcades connects the entry courtyard to an inner courtyard, and an open-air, enclosed Japanese garden shelters a koi pond. Extensive covered loggias and open-air terraces, accessed from a succession of French doors, create a seamless interconnectedness between the interior and exterior, and provide places to relax.

 

Entry 13

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There’s a strong trend these days toward remodeling, building, and designing homes under 3,000 square feet. It’s a choice that specifically appeals to those who want to “live smaller.” This in-town residence, a remodeled 1960s colonial, is a perfect example of the trend; it’s both modern and magnificent in its open floor plan and unique mix of contemporary building materials. The home is furnished with some of the finest examples of Mid-century furniture from manufacturers such as Dunbar and Knoll, which mix well with new collections from Baker and Calvin Klein, and the art and accessories have been thoughtfully curated. Home is a place that’s sacred and deeply personal. It reflects the passions and lives of those who live inside. Home is a place for memories to be made and preserved.  

 

Entry 14

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The original 900-square-foot house on this property was reimagined into a 1,500-square-foot modern, livable bungalow. The home was designed to remain timeless as the homeowners’ lifestyle needs evolve. The interior space was gutted and the majority of the interior walls were removed, so a new L-shaped, open floor plan with kitchen, dining, and living spaces could be constructed. A small addition was built on the first floor to house a new guest room, and the interior space was reconfigured to incorporate a mud room, laundry room, and powder room. Upstairs, the roof was raised slightly to allow a master suite to be constructed in a shed dormer on the back of the house. Outside, the freestanding garage has an attached screened porch, and is connected to the home by a spacious patio. 

 

Entry 15

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This contemporary spec home is truly a derivative of the site on which it’s built. The obscure shape of the building envelope and severe grade situation dictated the shape of the home. Clad entirely in cut limestone and clear vertical grain cedar siding, it has a very strong curb presence. The large overhangs and knife edge fascia provide clean horizontal lines, which are reinforced by the projected horizontal stone banding around the home. On the front porch, you’re greeted by a deconstructed steel I-beam structure, giving the sense of hierarchy at the entry. The entire home has American walnut floors and trim, and subtle steel accents tie the interior with the exterior detailing. The open floor plan provides panoramic views to the lake and pool beyond. The staircase is truly the spine of the home, connecting all three levels with intricate detailing. 

 

Entry 16

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The owners built their dream home in 2000 but, after three children and a lifestyle change, they acquired the adjacent property and executed a full-home renovation. The challenge was to design a completely new home, while trying to keep the structure of the original home’s integrity intact for budgetary reasons. The front door was moved and centered, creating an axial access to the home. The existing staircase was kept in its general location and form, and a locker area and office were added off the foyer. The kitchen was relocated so it’s now the heart of the home, with access to all public areas. A new master suite and one additional bedroom suite were added; the existing master suite was turned into a child's room and another existing room was refinished. The home was designed with the outdoor loggia and pool in mind, to ensure the space works for entertaining.

 

Entry 17

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This modern house has 2,500 square feet on the main level, and a 2,500-square-foot walkout. The main level contains a master suite, great room, dining and kitchen spaces, and home office. The walkout consists of a large rec area with a bar and kitchenette, and three bedroom suites — a very economical and functional layout. The main level floor plan is wide open, with 14-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass throughout. The exterior is a combination of cedar, stone, glass, and metal. A low roof pitch, exaggerated overhangs, linear detailing, and horizontal ribbons of glass create a sleek, modern look. The home’s covered entrance consists of a metal and wood structure that seems to float above the door. This home’s floor plan and layout are very dramatic, yet economical — and it’s a practical solution when you’re situated 45 feet above the lake and no land is visible, giving you the illusion of being in a boat. 

 

Entry 18

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Vacationing on Lake Michigan is a family affair; this client’s family and friends arrive each summer to spend time together. For that reason, the home has five bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths, and an open floor plan with plenty of multifunctional spaces. Coffered ceilings inlaid with headboard and horizontal shiplap walls define the great room, and a river rock fireplace with raw-edge limestone creates a stunning visual masterpiece. The great room transitions into the dining and kitchen areas, which feature beadboard ceilings and walls. A three-season porch, located just off the dining room and kitchen, gives the home a sense of timelessness with outdoor-style shake-shingle walls and a whitewashed wood floor. The master bedroom suite, located on the other side of the great room, offers magnificent views of the dunes and Lake Michigan. This was a challenging build, since all the materials had to be hand-carried across a 4-foot-wide wooden bridge spanning a creek. 

 

Entry 19

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This unique and exciting V-shaped contemporary residence is situated on a peninsula, allowing panoramic views. The exterior walls are constructed of large panels of Minnesota stone, and the 1-inch-thick windows are insulated and bronze-tinted, keeping the house cool during the summer. The roof, meanwhile, features pre-stained arched concrete tiles. The spacious open interior space radiates opulence throughout the home; a perfect example is the 16-inch-wide mahogany plank and 18” x 18” brass inlaid crème marvel marble floors. The home also has four fireplaces, with a pool. Moving outdoors, there’s a covered kitchen and entertainment area, where a 15-inch-long fire pit, along with fire pots, keeps the homeowners and their guests warm and cozy late into the fall season. The perfectly level wraparound patios and decks consist of 2’ x 2’ textured concrete Wausau paver installed on raised pedestals, to allow for instant water drainage.

 

Entry 20

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Floor-to-ceiling windows along the entire back wall provide beautiful views of Pine Lake from this 1970s contemporary home. Doorwalls allow access to the patio from the combined living and dining room, as well as from the master suite. Hardie board siding in crisp white contrasts with dark-stained tongue-and-groove soffits. Silverledge Fond du Lac natural stone, crowned with 4-inch cut limestone sills, skirts the front façade and frames the mahogany front door. The front entry is embellished with a cleanly framed circular window, while steeped roofs at the back of the home swoop gently at the bottom, adding a graceful touch. Large overhangs offer stylish protection to the home. Simple yet substantial white trim neatly accents the clean lines of this beautiful home. 

 

Entry 21

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This mid-size cottage home, built in the early 1900s, had been modified over the years and, consequently, it had little character or cohesiveness. Building a completely new structure created an opportunity to introduce a large, welcoming main entrance, and the dining and kitchen areas are now open and spacious for large family gatherings. The custom kitchen makes the homeowners’ lives easier. Custom cabinetry and built-ins were added in the powder room, guest suite bathrooms, master bath, and laundry room. Most breathtaking, however, is the luxury master bathroom, with its extensive use of marble, a two-person whirlpool tub, an oversized walk-in-shower, and gorgeous inset cherry cabinetry. There’s wide-plank oak flooring on the first and second floors, and an open staircase, lit by a chandelier, features skylights and flush, in-wall step lighting. The exterior is reminiscent of the East Coast “beachy” style and includes an oversized garage that leads directly into a mud room and first-floor laundry. 

 

Entry 22

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This prestigious home is located along the Oakland Hills golf course. A typical ranch home with very high ceilings, the residence had its own set of issues. Planning for a 90-inch TV in the middle of an integrated space between kitchen and great room was tricky. The client didn’t want the TV to be the big elephant in the room, so the design team selected a warm, walnut-toned weave wood to install around the television to camouflage its size. The kitchen nook has a nana wall that opens into an outdoor living space with a fireplace that overlooks the golf course, while the master suite has a 13-foot custom headboard with a mix of modern and traditional styles, giving it a unique appeal. A more modern approach was taken with the lower level; it’s luxurious but, at the same time, comfortable and approachable. 

 

Entry 23

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This project began nearly four years ago, when the homeowners purchased a lot on which they could build their dream home. Their goal was to make it 100-percent smart, and to incorporate both energy efficiency and classic design. Although the home is new, it feels warm and lived in. Nickel and brass elements throughout the home contribute to the lived-in feel, making it more collected rather than matchy-matchy. An important part of the design involved using timeless elements in a fresh approach. This is especially evident in the lower-level bathroom, which features a garden shed-style reclaimed wood vanity, stained limestone countertops, and a shower lined with exterior brick. Every detail in this home — from the base and trim molding to the tile work, furniture, and fabrics — is amazing. This beautiful home was a real collaboration between the architect, the builder, the designer, and all the craftsmen. 

 

Entry 24

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The homeowners envisioned a residence that was modern and unique, while still fitting into the traditional setting of their neighborhood. The answer was a contemporary colonial that’s a new twist on the classic. The house features more than 100 oversized windows, two-toned siding, and white stucco applied over brick — resulting in a subtle texture inspired by Danish architecture. To suit the family’s entertaining needs, two large patios are integrated into the terraced landscape. The residence is modern, light, and airy, thanks to a neutral, monochromatic, muted palette that allows one space to flow easily into the next. Layered textures and tones create interest, depth, and warmth. The lack of moldings surrounding the dark-stained windows and extra-tall doors give the home a clean but sophisticated look, which is balanced with the use of soft textures in the wallpaper, upholstery, and rugs. The result is a home that feels both comfortable and grand. 

 

Entry 25

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The homeowner wanted to downsize into a smaller home with a first-floor master suite and stay within his current community, but it was difficult to find a floor plan with all the bells and whistles he was used to. Eventually, he purchased an older home and hired a design/build company and an interior designer. The house was gutted — walls were moved, ceilings opened, and new windows and doorwalls were added. All the walls and ceilings, plus bookcases and dressers, were adorned with V-grooved, custom millwork. Natural walnut flooring was installed throughout the first floor, and the layout was reconfigured to include an open floor plan between the kitchen, family room, and screened-in patio. Off the kitchen there’s a formal powder room and wine room; a formal dining area and living area lead into the master bedroom/bathroom. The second floor includes two en suite bedrooms and bathrooms perfect for guests.

 

Entry 26

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The design of this contemporary home was greatly influenced by the natural elements of the site. A courtyard, covered entrance, and master bedroom wing are the only visible aspects of this residence from the street. Once inside, however, the spaces expand in all directions — there are large, elevated balconies; landscaped courtyards; indoor and outdoor pools; and private bedroom suites. Exterior materials are few: glass, stone, and cement plaster. These materials harmoniously blend with the natural setting and, in many areas, continue into the interior. The interior spaces seamlessly connect to outdoor spaces and nature; floor-to-ceiling glass with butt glazed corners aids in “destroying the box,” while bringing the experience of nature indoors. There are few “rooms,” only continuously flowing spaces. The practical layout of interior spaces creates greater awareness of the site, and the shapeless exterior is a more natural expression of architecture. 

 

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