Category: Additions, over $250,000

Location: The Plains, Va.

Contractor: Chris Carey, Walnutdale Building Co., The Plains

Designers: Anthony Barnes and Timothy Clites, Barnes-Vanze Architects, Washington, D.C.

Anice Hoachlander

Unlike in Washington, D.C., 40 miles east, space in rural The Plains, Va., is not so dear a commodity; with their property encompassing 32 acres of fields and rolling hills, the owners of this farmhouse had plenty. What these clients of Anthony Barnes and Timothy Clites needed was for the architects to capture more space within the walls of their home.

As much room as the site allowed, the 4,470-square-foot farmhouse couldn't contain the family of five, plus their many guests and business colleagues, who planned to use the house for two-day retreats.

Even given so much room to play with (the program included a separate tractor shed and a garage with upstairs guest quarters), the architects still had to design a contextually appropriate structure that maintained the traditional character of the house, originally built in 1918.

And contractor Chris Carey's Walnutdale Building had to execute — replicating the skill of craftsmen from another era.

Both designers and contractors mastered their respective challenges, our judges agreed. Thoughtfully applied vernacular details abound, said the judges, including symmetrical gables, the bluestone-ringed exterior, and the cedar plank and aged Virginia soapstone surface materials inside. And little things make a big difference; the interior trim work, updated throughout the house, is “tremendous,” one judge said.