Category: Details, under $25,000

Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.

Contractor: Debra C. Moore, Custom Design Build, Ann Arbor

Designer: Michael Klement, Architectural Resource, Ann Arbor

Stanley Livingston

The clients' objectives for this 1960s ranch were to add a fireplace, create drama and focus for the living room, and bring natural light to the center of the house. The final project meets all the objectives, but it doesn't stop there. Simple details throughout completely change the room inside and out.

The existing gable roof had been over-framed by prior owners to improve roof performance. The new design lifts up one section of the roof to expose the rafters and form a triangular light monitor that a judge described as a contemporary take on a dormer. The light that enters is hidden from view and muted, because it diffuses across the wall.

The notch and bar in the fireplace wall emphasize the positive and negative elements of the contemporary design — adding the much-needed drama the clients asked for.