Our 11th Annual Detroit Home Design Awards issue presents winning designs created by professionals who most definitely can answer that question.

What makes a house a home?

Our 11th Annual Detroit Home Design Awards issue presents winning designs created by professionals who most definitely can answer that question. They’ve all recently fulfilled the dreams of many who wished to make their house a home, whether the homeowners wanted open, relaxing gathering spaces for weekend visitors at the lake or an intimate dining room where they could share home-cooked meals with friends and family.

All Through the House: A Few Definitions of Home

Nostalgic Nuances: The first-place winner in Millwork features a lower-level kitchen designed by Caden Design Group, who shared with Detroit Home that the owners have a passion for antique Coca-Cola trays. Enter a custom-made refrigerator that emulates an old-fashioned icebox with deep blue panels, light distressing, and those chunky hinges and latches of days gone by. Cool!

Your Home is Your Castle: DesRosiers Architects fashioned an awesome entranceway into its winning design in Decorative Glass and Mirror. As one approaches the front door, a bridge of clear glass spans a large koi pond that evokes the feel of a medieval castle. Splashy!

Collection Cache: A homeowner in the Utility/Storage/Garage category needed a cavernous area to store a treasured car collection. Top winners AZD Architects, with R J Laney Design, came up with the perfect solution — a huge car space on the lower level designed to be visible through the main-level office. Nifty!

Family Central: The family who craved a great spot for cooking in the first-place Kitchen Between 201 and 500 Square Feet category also wanted the space to be handy for paying bills, catching up on the day’s events, toasting the evening, and more. Scavolini Store Detroit (with Vieyra Arquitectos)  worked their magic and more. Smart!

A Working Design: Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design created a dining room in an apartment (first place, Contemporary Dining Room) that’s multifunctional for a couple whose goal was to have a room that could accommodate business meetings, cocktail parties, and entertaining with a huge, unconventional dining table that doesn’t block their view of the Detroit River. Imaginative!

Kid Heaven: When Rariden Schumacher Mio & Co., along with Arik Green Design, was asked to create a space for lots of kids, the client wasn’t kidding! The homeowners’ dream was to host many families for weekends of fun on the shores of Lake Michigan. The solution? Check out the first-place winner in the Children’s Room category — a “dorm” that sleeps 12 kids in bunks and trundles, and a bathroom that’s reminiscent of going to camp (but way better). Sick!

Dinner In: Gorman’s Interior Design came through in a tasteful way when the client asked for a round dining room and table where each guest would feel as though they’re the center of attention. Winning first place in the Traditional Dining Room category (and a spot on the cover of this issue), the space is simple and allows those in the room to shine. Sophisticated!

Fine Feathered Friends, Too: Note the first-place winner in Residential Landscape Between One-Half and One Acre. The homeowners apparently like to spend almost as much time outdoors as in. They now have everything they need (including the kitchen sink, almost!), outdoors. They’ve even created a nice home for winged beauties in a butterfly and hummingbird-friendly garden. Sweet!

I hope you enjoy these and all of the other examples of superlative design. Congratulations to our 2015 winners!

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