2018 Rhode Island Design Awards

Architects, designers and builders are lauded for stunning new builds, renovations and interior design.

For more than twenty years, our annual design awards have attracted amazing talent. This year’s winners are no exception.

The day of Design Awards judging is hands-down one of our annual favorites. The entries never cease to impress and listening to the judges weigh in on what works — and what doesn’t — is thrilling. This year’s judges — Michael O’Connell, an interior architect with international firm Perkins and Will; Daniel Steger, principal architect and owner of DSG Architecture in Boston; and Stephanie Rossi, an interior designer who runs her Boston-based firm, Spazio Rosso — didn’t disappoint. Making their way through dozens of entries, they managed to nail down fifteen residential and commercial projects that truly exemplify Rhode Island’s notable design talent. Here’s to the 2018 class of Design Awards winners!

Residential New Construction



Photograph by Peter Vanderwarker


Architect James Estes had several requirements to meet when creating this Providence dwelling. In addition to ensuring the modern structure blended well with its more traditional East Side surroundings and acted as a fitting backdrop for the owner’s collection of vintage travel and advertising posters, he also had to leave the two oaks that inhabited the lot’s north corners undisturbed. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Estes and his team checked all of those boxes and then some to give his clients a house that merges two distinct structures — a rectilinear bedroom wing and a shed-roofed pavilion that holds the living room and kitchen — by way of an entry hall. All told, it’s a design our judges deemed “unique,” “bold” and “elegant.”

Architect: James Estes, Estes Twombly Architects, Newport
Contractor: Wes Deane, Highland Builders, Tiverton
Landscape Architect: Martha Moore, Tiverton
Structural Engineering: Loren Yoder, Yoder and Tidwell, Providence
Photographer: Peter Vanderwarker, West Newton, Mass.



Photograph by Peter Vanderwarker


A design is always a little sweeter when there’s a story behind it. In this case, the client had vacationed on the south shore of Jamestown, an area known as the Dumplings due to its large rock formations, for thirty years, eventually meeting his wife there. On their vacation strolls on the beach they would pass a house with panoramic views of the bay that they talked about owning one day. Fast forward a few years and the couple purchased the house, which was in great disrepair, and tapped firm Estes Twombly to help them start fresh. For our judges, the final product — three cedar-wrapped gable forms joined by a flat-roofed entry — recalled
a classic New England style that’s both timeless and refined. For the clients, no doubt, it’s the manifestation of their dream come true.

Architect: James Estes, Estes Twombly Architects, Newport
Contractor: Carson Granville, Granville Builders, Wakefield
Landscape Architect: Pamela Rodgers, Verde Design and Horticulture, Newport
Interiors: Ken Dietz, Dietz and Associates, Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Structural Engineering: Loren Yoder, Yoder and Tidwell, Providence
Photographer: Peter Vanderwarker, West Newton, Mass.



Photograph by Nat Rea

Labor of Love

Creativity was key in mapping out the plans for these guest quarters, designed as a private summer residence that also needed to work — both from a zoning and design perspective — with the existing house on the lot. Architect Jonathan Chambers collaborated with the clients and the town of Charlestown to devise a dwelling that acted as an attached guest space with a link to the main house by way of a covered walkway. The new addition sits at a right angle to the existing house for privacy’s sake, and has a modern farmhouse aesthetic that’s a perfect complement to the original shingle-style building. Our judges praised the structure’s strong interiors, as well as the use of wood, concrete and glass. It’s a striking getaway that gives the couple just enough of their own space while still being close enough to enjoy guests, the pool and the landscape all summer long.

Architect: Jonathan Chambers Architects, Providence
Landscape Designer: Andrew Grossman Landscape Design, Seekonk, Mass.
General Contractor: Kenneth Lee, South Kingstown
Custom Cabinetry: Martin Woodworks, West Warwick
Photographer: Nat Rea, Barrington