For two days in June, six judges — award winners themselves — scrutinized the merits of 271 projects from around the nation in this year’s Remodeling Design Awards. They discussed and debated each project’s creativity, originality, and its power of presentation. Judges considered the flexibility of floor plans as well as the relationship between each structure’s exterior and interior design.

Concepts including simplicity, craftsmanship, and livability played their part in the judges’ assessment of the projects, as well as more subtle attributes such as a design’s “sense of whimsy” or “the story it tells.” One overarching theme was sustainability/eco-friendly design. “This should be required in all design categories, to some level,” said judge JP Ward, AIA. “The education that architects and designers need to pass on to clients is extremely important.”

Awards entries are organized into nine categories, with an additional 26 subcategories based on price. Judges are not required to award a winner in each category, and they have leeway in determining which projects show the highest degree of design expertise and craftsmanship. As expected, kitchens, baths, and whole-house remodels dominated the entries. Many more projects were entered in the green category this year than in the past.

In the end, our judges selected 16 projects for distinction: one Best of the Year, four Grand Awards, seven Merit Awards, and four Honorable Mentions. Slide shows with many more images and project information can be found here.

The Judges

Ali R. Honarkar, principal, Division1 Architects, Washington, D.C.

Greg Kraus, lead designer, Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, Minneapolis

Gary Rochman, president, Rochman Design-Build, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Rebecca Swanston, AIA, principal, Swanston Associates, Baltimore

Patricia Tetro, vice president, BOWA Builders, McLean, Va.

JP Ward, AIA, head architect, Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Cabin John, Md.