There's rarely clear consensus in the selection of the Best of the Year Award, but this year's discussion went far beyond the usual debate. A radical departure or a deferential nod to preservation? An argument for context — for blending seamlessly with the existing architecture and neighborhood — or for iconoclasm? A provocative big idea or a collection of small ideas? An architecturally driven masterstroke or a restorative intervention intended to extend the home's life by another century?

In the end, the six judges of the 2007 REMODELING Design Awards decided that such benchmarks don't have to be mutually exclusive. After a day and a half of reviewing entries, they agreed to split their decision, giving the Best of the Year award to both the “quiet elegance” of a 1920s bungalow as well as to the more “exotic” expansion of a 1950s split-level.

Their job, the judges concluded, “is to acknowledge the solutions as well as the design.” Showcasing two very different projects “broadens the whole discussion of what is good.” Does award-winning design have to be dramatic — or stylistically modern, for that matter? The group ultimately decided: No. Instead, award-winning projects must solve the client's problem in ways that are tasteful, confident, proportionate, and well-crafted, and that enhance the way people live in and around them.

The discussion isn't over. We invite you to contribute to the dialog about design, and to see more project images , at .

The 2007 REMODELING Design Awards drew 237 entries and resulted in 19 awards: 2 Best of the Year, 4 Grand, 12 Merit, and 1 Honorable Mention. Three of those awards went to projects in the new Green Remodeling category.

Many thanks to this year's judges: James Estes, Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, R.I.; C. Mason Hearn, HomeMasons Inc., Manakin-Sabot, Va.; Michael McCutcheon, McCutch-eon Construction, Berkeley, Calif.; Debra Moore, Custom Design Build, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Susan Pierce, Commonwealth Home Remodelers, Vienna, Va.; and Ben White, Benvenuti & Stein, Evanston, Ill.

To learn more about the 2008 REMODELING Design Awards, please e-mail your name, company, and address to