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2011 A-List Finalists

It’s time for accolades, acclaim, and applause.



The A-List is back and this year’s competition is raising the bar. We have added new categories, new judges, and expanded our coverage—in the magazine and in video.

With hundreds of beautiful entries, how did we narrow the list to just a handful of winners? We asked the best in the business—our accomplished panel of judges—for help. To complement returning judges, Eric Cohler and Celerie Kemble, we invited Jonathan Adler, Bunny Williams, Vicente Wolf and architects Jeremiah Eck and Paul MacNeely to weigh in. Their choices and comments can be found below.

Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to our finalists!

These design professionals were selected by our judges for their exceptional work. To find out who won first place in each category, read our November/December 2011 issue on newsstands November 1.

Architecture: Modern

 

Joeb Moore + Partners  
Conceived as a nature sanctuary for the owner, this outdoor addition affords a retreat and refuge offering quiet, meditative views. A series of cascading screened and covered teak/mahogany terraces negotiate the immediate surrounding wetlands. This unique outdoor space may be one of only a handful of two-story screened and covered porches in the country.

Professionals
Architect: Joeb Moore
203-769-5828; joebmoore.com

 

Stein Troost  
With views of Saugatuck Cove in Westport, this crisp-light-filled contemporary embodies sustainable design and capitalizes on its location with floor-to-ceiling glass. With interiors featuring bamboo floors and paneling, walnut and butternut cabinetry and recycled-glass tile, the house is both cool and warmly livable.

Professionals
Architect: Stein | Troost Architecture Associates
203-831-9983; steintroost.com

Builder: Raise High Construction
203-854-6994

  Robert Cardello Architects
A special home, designed by an architect for himself in the late 1960s, the property includes a guest house that was converted into a studio for the homeowner’s sculptures, which have been displayed at the Guggenheim in Venice. To create a modern artist’s enclave, the interior partition walls were removed and new decorative structural elements developed. The updated studio’s large glass openings overlook an exterior terrace and afford water views.

Professionals
Architect: Robert Cardello Architects
203-853-2524; cardelloarchitects.com 

Builder: Jerry Radice

 Kitchens

 

Deane and Steven Mueller Architects
For this sleek Greenwich kitchen, the team incorporated clean lines and stylish elements to create a peaceful open space for cooking and entertaining. Two islands make for convenient prep while providing plenty of space for family and friends to gather. “The black and white palette with touches of marble and stainless steel has glamour and style yet is totally practical,” says A-List judge Bunny Williams. “Functionality comes from the double islands, superb storage, and excellent lighting.”

Professionals
Kitchen Designer: Deane
203-327-7008; deaneinc.com

Architect: Steven Mueller Architects
203-869-3758; stevenmuellerarchitects.com

 

Laura Kaehler Architects
“This clean, well-organized kitchen has superb attention to detail and excellent use of materials,” says Bunny Williams. “Architectural detailing is well thought through, with the emphasis on the horizontal.” To achieve the look these Greenwich homeowners wanted, the designer selected as many maintenance-free surfaces as possible. The “quiet” kitchen employs a limited palette of color, materials, and hardware. Stainless steel was used for the perimeter counters as well as for the subway tile backsplash, and white quartz Caesarstone slabs top the island counter.

Professionals
Architect and Designer: Laura Kaehler Architects
203-629-4646; kaehlerarchitects.com

Builder: Gallo Contracting
203-698-9400
 

 

Cobble Court Interiors
A sophisticated kitchen in a waterfront home, this renovated space features elegant materials including an antique French oak island with barn-post-style brackets topped with a high-gloss Calcutta blue marble counter, a surface repeated in the backsplash. “The brass faucet and interesting mix of materials caught my eye,” notes A-List judge Celerie Kemble. The design direction creates a room with clean architectural lines and layers of transitional elements in the surfaces, lighting, color pattern, and texture.

Professionals
Designer: Cobble Court
203-972-7878; cobblecourtinteriors.com

Dining Room 

 

Wainscot Solutions
“This dining room reminds me of David Hicks and Ralph Lauren, melding the best of English and American tradition,” says A-List judge Eric Cohler. “It’s over-the-top and ingenious. The mirrored ceiling reflects the light, making a small room feel larger.” With the paneled wainscoting finishing in a sleek ebony, a crocodile skin wallpaper border, and a crown jewel of a chandelier, this dining room design is a true transformation.

Professionals
Designer: Suzanna Wanicka

Wall Treatment: Wainscot Solutions
860-354-3638; wainscotsolutions.com

 

Amy Aidinis Hirsch
For this chic Greenwich dining room, the designer paired metal-framed chairs upholstered in cowhide with a solid wood bench for seating. The dark chocolate grass cloth anchors an abstract canvas digital print on the wall. An antique Chinese cabinet adds a splash of red. “This dining room is bold, brash, and contemporary, a perfect combination to make a traditional home feel modern,”
Eric Cohler notes.

Professionals
Designer: Amy Aidinis Hirsch
203-661-1266; aahirsch.com

 

Pimlico
In an 1820s home, this atypical dining room houses an oversized fireplace and bathes in sunlight, with antique French doors opening to beautiful gardens. To make the sun-filled garden room by day turn warm and cozy at night, the designer kept the palette neutral and brought in a range of textures, including linens woven with metallic and faux- fur upholstery on the sofa. “There is an observed responsibility to the 19th-century character of the dining room,” says Eric Cohler. “I enjoy the simplicity of the creamy warm palette.”

Professionals
Designer: Pimlico (Melissa Lindsay)
203-972-8166; pimlicohome.com

 Bath Designs

 

Alisberg Parker
A blend of modern design with traditional materials and fixtures, this Greenwich bathroom features a classic freestanding Waterworks tub flanked by swing-arm lamps. A custom walnut vanity is set against nickel medicine cabinets, inset in a wall of milky glass subway tiles. “This feels luxurious and homey at the same time,” says A-List judge Jonathan Adler. 

Professionals
Architect and Designer: Alisberg Parker
203-637-8730; alisbergparker.com

 

JMKA Architect
Riffing on a New York subway theme, this bathroom’s creative design completes a playful suite for two boys. The walls are white subway tile, and the floor is a streetscape with a yellow-striped walk area and a manhole cover. Subway handles are used as towel bars.

Professionals
Architect: JMKA Architects
203-222-1222; jmkarchitects.com

 

Wadia
Emphasizing the role of bathroom as a space for casual relaxation, this contemporary design creates a quiet escape for the homeowners. It features an oversized soaking tub, steam shower, his-and-hers vanities, and custom cabinetry. A gas fireplace transforms the bright and airy room into a cozy, romantic retreat.   

Professionals
Architect and Designer: Wadia
203-966-0048; wadiaassociates.com

Kids' Room/Playspace

 

PL Design 
This cozy space for three young children is designed for both studying and relaxing. Surrounded by built-in bookcases, the custom-built daybed with a trundle is perfect for sleepovers. “There’s a great use of fun fabrics here,” notes Celerie Kemble. “I like the hint of green in the backs of the bookcases.” Fabric and furniture sources include Cowtan & Tout, Osborne and Little, Madeline Weinrib, Manuel Canovas, and Quadrille.

Professionals
Designer: PL Design, Pavleta Landjeva
203-550-5371

 

Steven Mueller and Deane
A colorful room designed for two sisters, the open space with high ceilings and handsome crown molding features built-in desks and sleek lacquer cabinetry for storing the girls’ clutter. Modern artwork, geometric rugs, and bright upholstery make this a fun place for hanging out with friends. Says Jonathan Adler: “I believe that kids’ imaginations thrive in rooms that have lots of bold, saturated color.”   

Professionals
Kitchen Designer: Deane
203-327-7008; deaneinc.com

Architect: Steven Mueller Architects
203-869-3758; stevenmuellerarchitects.com

 

Sam Allen Interiors
While designing this “big-girl” room that would grow along with its eight-year-old inhabitant, the designer was inspired by a bold ikat fabric. The vintage daybed upholstered in lavender is decked out with plenty of pillows, in ikat and white Mongolian lamb hair. The homework area is anchored by a white lacquer parsons desk with a hot-pink geometric lamp. “This is sophisticated yet youthful,” says Jonathan Adler.

Professionals
Designer: Sam Allen
203-984-5590; samalleninteriors.com

Renovations

 

Neil Hauck
“Sensible and appropriate, this is a good renovation example for all of us,” says A-List judge Paul MacNeely, AIA. At the heart of this renovated home, designed to meet the needs of a family of five, is a kitchen, family room and breakfast nook, spaces that open to one another. Upstairs, a master suite was added and, by increasing the pitch of the new roof, a large third-floor playroom and office/guest room. Eric Cohler observes: “The house was transformed into a late 18th-century, early 19th-century style through the use of natural materials and detailing that allow the house to unfold.”

Professionals
Architect: Neil Hauck, AIA 
203-655-9340; neilhauckarchitects.com

 

Hilton-Vanderhorn
This project transformed an austere 1960s development house into a classic Colonial Revival. The new entry portico features pairs of Doric columns that support a classic entablature and decorative railing. Rearranged windows with new casings, sills ,and cornices balance and enliven the facade. Paul MacNeely remarks, “A complete change of clothing. Well done!”

Professionals
Architect: Hilton-Vanderhorn 
203-862-9011; hilton-vanderhorn.com

 

Laura Kaehler Architects 
An older contemporary in Westport was updated and enlarged through this project, starting with the front entrance—now a two-story, light-filled space. The main stair was treated as a piece of sculptural art, with its Mondrian-like pattern of clear and frosted glass metal panels within mahogany framing. “The front entry is much more inviting and the pool facade is invigorating, just like a swim. I love how they don’t lose the ‘70s modern feel of the facade,” says Jonathan Adler.

Professionals
Architect: Laura Kaehler Architects
203-629-4646; kaehlerarchitects.com

Builder: Hoffman Contracting LLC
203-966-8000

Landscape Design: Devore Associates
203-256-8590; devoreassoc.com

 Pool House

 

Karen Bow Interiors 
A colorful and playful pool house, this garden-inspired room in Darien is designed for the young and the young at heart. Hand-stamped custom fuchsia flower wallpaper creates visual punch on the walls and ceilings. Iconic Tulip chairs with tangerine vinyl cushions are paired with a Saarinen table—a perfect perch for sipping a drink.

Professionals
Interior Designer: Karen Bow Interiors
203-968-6274

 

Wadia
Located in Greenwich, this Georgian pool pavilion mimics the design of the main house. From the handcrafted brick to the limestone arches to the Doric Pilasters, this pavilion is a jewel nestled in the landscaped gardens. “This elegant classical structure sits quietly in its surroundings, constructed of the best materials, which all contribute to the understated luxury,” says Bunny Williams.

Professionals
Pool Design: Wadia
203-966-0048; wadiaassociates.com

 

Saniee Architects
This contemporary pool structure in Greenwich is a hybrid of an Indian pavilion. It aims to maintain consistency and a sense of order in its structural elements. With one side covered and the other letting light filter in through the open pergola, the pavilion creates two distinct spaces. “It has a dramatic glamorous feeling and is truly an outdoor living room,” notes Bunny Williams. “The space is well planned with both a seating and a dining area, which makes it a great space for entertaining.”

Professionals
Architect: Saniee Architects
203-625-9308; sanieearchitects.com

Landscape Architect: Sean Jancski
914-967-1904; invitingenvironments.com

Architecture Traditional, more than 7,000 square feet

 

Hilton-Vanderhorn  
Built on Long Island Sound, this French Normandy manor house takes its design inspiration from the original house on the site, which now forms the east wing of the estate. “Reminds me of Edwin Lutyens’s great 1920s English architecture,” notes Eric Cohler. “I like the form of the entrance court and the structural dissolve allowing the viewer to see through one side of the house to the other. A house of such powerful mass does not overwhelm but presents a light and airy surprise.”

Professionals
Architect: Hilton-Vanderhorn 
203-862-9011; hilton-vanderhorn.com

Builder: Significant Homes
203-966-5700; significanthomesllc.com

 

Mark P. Finlay Architects   
Originally inspired by a historical manor in Virginia called Woodlawn, this Georgian-style home in Darien is one that the architect has worked on twice, once in 1993 and more recently for new homeowners. A nice sense of proportion is felt throughout, with a breath and spaciousness the clients appreciate. “I am a sucker for Georgian any day,” says Eric Cohler. “Love the reinterpreted plantation home of Virginia, yet this home does not feel forced on 20th-century living.”

Professionals
Architect: Mark Finlay
203-254-2388; markfinlay.com

Interior Designer: Bunny Williams
212-935-5930; bunnywilliams.com

builder: Baltray Company
203-966-0699; baltraycoinc.com

 

Sean O’Kane
This new 10,000-square-foot residence faces the street with a triple-gabled facade. Behind it, an L extending into the backyard contains the kitchen, breakfast, and family rooms, overlooking a stone terrace. Inside, the wood floors are domestic, antique, wide-board white oak with a soap finish. The library is constructed of black walnut with a French polish finish. 

Professionals
Architect: Sean O’Kane
203-438-4208; sokaia.com

Builder: Fox Hill Builders
203-655-9046

 Architecture: Traditional,  less than 7,000 square feet

 

Austin Patterson Disston
Though faced with a small site in downtown Greenwich, the architects were able to create a very livable and private terrace and backyard. The house uses traditional shingle details with flairs at each level, transom windows, French doors, and a curved bay window. “This project has an appropriate sense of base that links the house to the landscape,” notes Paul MacNeely, AIA. The house expresses the informal ease, access to outside spaces, built-in furniture, and window seats that made the shingle style so popular.

Professionals
Architect: Austin Patterson Disston
203-255-4031; apdarchitects.com

Builder: Wernert Associates
203-869-1110; wernert.com

 

Sean O’Kane  
This 1,400-square-foot guest cottage overlooks a tidal inlet of Scott’s Cove in Darien. The approach to the design was to create a small-scale cottage with hints of Carpenter Gothic with exterior siding in cypress, installed in a vertical board and batten style. “This playful interpretation of Carpenter Gothic mixes small and large windows, evoking a rhythmic and whimsical feeling,” says Eric Cohler. “The house’s diminutive size makes me smile, because the design is brave. The fenestrations work in a quirky way that lends itself to this style house.”

Professionals
Architect: Sean O’Kane, AIA
203-438-4208; sokaia.com

Builder: E.M. Rose Builders Inc.
203-481-4550; emrose.net

Designer: Dawn Fawcett   
203-733-6204

 

Milton Development
A transitional design, this Westport home is a tasteful blend of traditional and contemporary aesthetics. The interior meets the needs of today’s families: a smaller living room, larger great room, and kids’ computer workspaces out in the open where parents and children can interact. The dwelling is modern and sleek but with a warmth that comes from the rich wood flooring and details.

Professionals
Architect and Builder: Milton Development
203-441-8385; miltondevelopment.com

 Landscapes

 

Devore
This classic garden-design project in Darien encompasses facets of a sustainable landscape, including wetland restoration, native plantings, organic land management, and architectural preservation. The simple geometry of the limestone terrace and pools unify the house with the surrounding landscape. It’s a design that Paul MacNeely describes as “fantasy” and “intriguing.”

Professionals
Landscape Design: Devore Associates
203-256-8590; devoreassoc.com

General Contractor: Pompa Construction
203-552-5236

Pool: Signature Pools
203-866-7665; signaturepoolsinc.com

 

James Doyle Design Associates   
Set on four acres in Greenwich, this home’s approach is defined by an alee of white flowering magnolias set in formal boxwood parterres. The landscape behind the home includes outdoor living and entertaining spaces with bluestone terraces and a private perennial walk with a striking bench as a focal point. “The elegant English-style garden is totally appropriate for the Tudor house,” says Bunny Williams.

Professionals
Landscape Design: James Doyle Design Associates
203-869-2900; jdda.com

Landscape Contractor: Roberto Fernandez Landscaping
203-869-3171; robertofernandez.com

Masonry: Gonclaves and Alves Masonry
203-576-8700

Pool: Signature Pools
203-866-7665; signaturepoolsinc.com

 

Wadia
Inspired by the resident’s French countryside excursions, this picturesque garden embodies the relationship between a house and its gardens. The new landscape design acts as a branch of the architecture with tall hornbeam hedges as walls defining an outdoor room. A stone gazebo acts as a passage from one garden space to the next. “Reminds me of the 19th-century and 20th-century English landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll,” notes Eric Cohler. Says Bunny Williams, “The garden architecture and scale of the elements are superb, the mix of plant materials is excellent.”  

Professionals
Landscape Design: Wadia,
203-966-0048; wadiaassociates.com

Bedroom

 

Cobble Court Interiors 
The fresh design of this bedroom in a waterfront home draws on an intriguing mix of materials: antique French oak flooring and wood grain wallpaper paired with silver-leaf wave mirrors and powder blue linen headboards. “Cerused oak-patterned wallcovering lends an authentic beach look without being theme-y,” notes Celerie Kemble. “It’s clean, natural, and tailored.”

Professionals
Designer: Cobble Court Interiors
203-972-7878; cobblecourtinteriors.com

 

Amy Aidinis Hirsch
“What a beautiful bedroom!” says Celerie Kemble of this guest bedroom in a Greenwich home. The designer chose a cream chinoiserie grass cloth wallcovering from Brunschwig & Fils, along with vibrant, youthful colors of guacamole green and citrus yellow pulled from a history document fabric from Lee Jofa. The antique bamboo four-poster bed was restored and refurbished. “The mix of chinoiserie, florals, embroidered bedding, animal print, mirror, sisal patterned rug, and bamboo bed is complex and interesting,” notes Kemble.

Professionals
Designer: Amy Aidinis Hirsch
203-661-1266; aahirsch.com

 

Lynne Scalo
This sexy master suite in a classic Georgian-style home in Greenwich incorporates luxe fabrics on classic pieces, such as the classic French commode from Paris, which is wrapped elegantly in parchment. Above hangs a crystal chandelier realized in an unexpected shape. The bedroom is simply swathed in tones and textures of silver and gray. “I love the modern luxe feel without being too over the top,” notes Jonathan Adler.

Professionals
Designer: Lynne Scalo
203-222-4991; lynnescalo.com

Pool Design

 

Devore and Shoreline Pools   
Below the balcony of the sitting area of this Greenwich property, water flows from a spillway in the wall, providing a pleasant sound to the surrounding areas. The stone wall extends down into the pool, with an underwater bench below the waterfall. The pool coping is flamed bluestone.

Professionals
Landscape Design: Devore Associates
203-256-8590; devoreassoc.com

Pool Design: Shoreline Pools
203-967-1203; shorelinepools.com

Architect: Joeb Moore
203-769-5828; joebmoore.com

Builders: Prutting & Co.
203-972-1028; prutting.com

 

Sean Jancski Landscape and Wagner Pools    
The owners of this Greenwich home wanted an organic, natural feeling for their pool and outdoor living space, so the pool and spa are shaped in a freeform, lagoon-inspired look. A waterfall adds movement and a naturalistic effect and also conceals street noise; an underwater bench allows swimmers to sit below the falling water. “The naturalist scheme will only become better with the passing of time,” notes Paul MacNeely.

Professionals
Pool and Landscape Design: Sean Jancski
914-967-1904; invitingenvironments.com

Pool Contractor: Wagner Pools
203-655-0766; wagnerswimmingpools.com

 

James Doyle and Signature Pools  
On this historic property, once a 126-acre estate, the pool ties in with the original 1928 structures. Plastered in a medium gray color with three-inch- thick rock race coping, it has a sense of age. New stone walls enclose the pool space and tie back to the house. Climbing hydrangea, under-planted with masses of Muscari, have been trained up the stone walls; an English bench is surrounded on either side by climbing New Dawn roses.

Professionals
Landscape Design:
James Doyle Design Associates
203-869-2900; jdda.com

Pool: Signature Pools
203-866-7665; signaturepoolsinc.com

Landscape Contractor: Aquino Garden and Landscape
203-570-0598

Masonry: Sandoval’s Landscaping and Masonry
203-969-7507

 Living Spaces

 

Pimlico
In this New Canaan living room, the designer succeeded at creating a sophisticated space with modern elements that also incorporates the room’s historic architectural details. Says Bunny Williams: “The term organic glamour says it all. A stylish combination of elements blends the rustic and refined furnishings of the room. The display of artwork is very well done.” Celerie Kemble adds, “It’s just gorgeous!”

Professionals
Designer: Pimlico
203-972-8166; pimlicohome.com

 

Muse Interiors 
With a range of textures and calm colors, the living spaces in this 1924 Greenwich home offer a stylish retreat. “The library is a clean, modern, timeless space with a good sense of scale and proportion,” notes Bunny Williams. Adds Celerie Kemble, “I love the architecture of the windows and the use of patterns.” 

Professionals
Designer: Muse Interiors
203-344-9444; museinteriors.net

 

Carrie Miller Interior Design
In a waterfront Riverside home, the designer created a comfortable space that features linen fabrics, country antiques, and tones that play off the Sound. “An excellent treatment of a living room in a house by the sea,” says Bunny Williams. “The clean lines of the furniture let the room breathe.” 

Professionals
Designer: Carrie Miller Interior Design 
203-708-0095; carriemillerinteriordesign.com

 

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