Discovering remodeling and design trends has always been a popular pastime, and since the advent of HGTV and Houzz--really the Internet in general--the interest in remodeling and all things home has exploded. But sometimes trends can make it difficult to develop well-designed spaces as clients make selections just to keep up with the Joneses. (Must have that farmhouse sink—even if it’s too deep for a six-foot-six homeowner to use.) Remodelers and architects have a tough job balancing clients’ wishes with good design principles and budgetary concerns.
While remodelers and architects enter awards programs with what they deem their best work, they see their projects individually. But the judges are comparing sometimes dozens of projects in a single category. Every project has something to recommend it, but trends sometimes can get in the way of discovering a project’s value. After viewing 10 similar designs, it’s the quiet detail that stands out—the interesting use of materials like steel, stone and wood; attention to proper proportions, mass and scale; unique joinery. That unique something is what keeps designs fresh and reads as an elegant solution.
In 2007, Remodeling Design Awards judges asked whether award-winning design had to be “dramatic or stylistically modern” and answered that “award-winning projects must solve client's problem in ways that are tasteful, confident, proportionate, and well-crafted, and that enhance the way people live in and around them.” That same sentiment has held true every year in the judging process.
Remodeling editors and all the judges of the Design Awards have seen the trends come and go (just look at our slideshow above for evidence of how much has changed over the past decade). Regardless, good design, as one 2016 judge noted, “shows management and restraint, a steady hand with the application of materials.” It will always rise to the top.