Cheryl Hughes and Jim Conti

There's no way to sugarcoat it: The original house was, in the judges' words, “heinous.” But the design and remodel are “light-handed” and “subtle,” but “with a lot of impact.” Now, it's “the nicest house.” And it satisfies the needs of an active family of four. The first phase of the project was to raise the existing house 4 feet, giving the garden-level, which includes the kitchen, dining and living rooms, and entry hall, 14-foot ceilings and filling the previously dark house with light.

Some of the smaller design ideas are what impressed the judges. The open kitchen and living and dining rooms feature a wall of operable lift-slide doors that can be opened to blend the interior and exterior space. The patio includes a barbeque that appears as an extension of the kitchen cabinets. Terrazzo is used on most of the main-level floors and on the kitchen counters. On the patio, the concrete has aggregate selected to match the interior terrazzo. The owner's bedroom has a small deck offering a view of the Puget Sound and a wall of obscure glass separating it from the bathroom.

“There's something intellectual here,” the judges said. “Someone was thinking about this solution. There are some different ideas.”

Cheryl Hughes and Jim Conti

Category: Whole-house remodeling, over $250,000




Ren Chandler, Dyna Contracting, Seattle


Cheryl Hughes and Jim Conti, Hughes Studio Architects, Seattle