The winners of this year's Renaissance Design Competition showcase projects that reflect the commitment and vision of design and construction professionals. From a row house update to a barn-to-office conversion to an oceanfront bungalow, the projects are dramatically different but have a common theme of excellence. The Best of the Year project is a dramatic town house in San Francisco that blends classic and modern themes into a warm and inviting space. Our distinguished panel of judges included contractors, design/build remodelers, and architects. The team met at REMODELING's Washington, D.C., offices in early May to look through over 200 entries. They chose 17 winners. Besides the Best of the Year, the jury named three Grand awards, seven Merit awards, and six Honorable Mentions. The competition is co-sponsored by REMODELING and the NAHB Remodelors Council.

Judges

Tom Gilday, Gilday Design and Remodeling, Silver Spring, Md.

Jim Rill, Rill and Decker Architects, Bethesda, Md.

Kai Tong, Hopkins and Porter Construction, Potomac, Md.

Paul Sullivan, The Sullivan Co., Newton Highlands, Mass.

Best of the Year: Old-House Renovation

San Francisco Treat One of the reasons so many people leave their hearts in San Francisco is the residential architecture. Houses are attractive and fun, and they nod to the past while embracing the future.

David Livingston

The ability to mix a number of elements -- classic lines with modern touches, outdoor space with indoor comfort,and simple finishes with ornate embellishment -- was what brought Best of the Year honors to this San Francisco town house. One of the most dramatic changes to the building is the exterior. The structure is now clad in a warm, olive green, hand-troweled stucco. Graceful wrought iron railings and a large, sculpted cornice add interest. It was the contrasts that caught the judges' fancy. "The exterior is clean and pristine," they remarked. "The lack of detail is contemporary, but it adds warmth at the same time."

The interior, too, is "clean, and not overdone at all," the judges agreed. Recycled pine plank flooring was laid throughout the house, and the new plaster walls were painted in subdued tones. In the front of the house, the living room and dining room were separated from each other, which also added a hallway that houses a first-floor powder room and leads to the kitchen. In the kitchen, traditional touches like the farm sink and painted cabinetry soften the black concrete countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Bathroom fittings: Barand, Rohl, Sunrise Specialty; Bathroom fixtures: Kohler, Barand, American Standard; Dishwasher: Frigidaire; Fireplace: Superior; Flooring (tile): Latco; Flooring (wood): Plyboo; Garbage disposer: Kitchenaid; Hardware: Baldwin, Schlage; HVAC: Carrier; Insulation: Owens Corning; Interior paneling: U.S. Gypsum.
David Livingston Bathroom fittings: Barand, Rohl, Sunrise Specialty; Bathroom fixtures: Kohler, Barand, American Standard; Dishwasher: Frigidaire; Fireplace: Superior; Flooring (tile): Latco; Flooring (wood): Plyboo; Garbage disposer: Kitchenaid; Hardware: Baldwin, Schlage; HVAC: Carrier; Insulation: Owens Corning; Interior paneling: U.S. Gypsum.

Indoor and outdoor space are linked everywhere. The slate patio off the dining room adds basically another room to the floor plan, and every room in the house has either French doors or big double windows connecting it to the outside, strengthening the relationship between out and in.

Built-in bookcases in the living room, study, and kitchen and touches such as the perfectly proportioned door casings detail the high level of craftsmanship throughout.

The judges agreed that this house is a "subdued jewel, without being too overly precious."

Category: Old-house renovation, over $250,000

Location: San Francisco

Contractor: Gregory Sieben, Innovation Builders, Emeryville, Calif.

Designers: Steven House and Amena Hajjar, House + House Architects, San Francisco

Landscape Architect: Evelyn Purcell, Plants Genie, Seattle

Grand Awards

Merit Awards

Honorable Mentions