2018 Rhode Island Design Awards

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

Residential Renovation



Photograph by Nat Rea

Free Rein

“Rarely do we get to see a professional’s design of their own home that’s this dynamic,” one of our judges proclaimed upon seeing this spec house by From [in] Form. The transformed Cape was meant to tell a story — one of the firm’s unique design approach — and the judges could read it clearly. “Sculptural,” “beautifully executed” and “highly detailed” were just some of the ways they described the house, which puts the history of the structure at the forefront with its reclaimed wood and exposed window weights while also acknowledging the present by way of a steel staircase and sparse interiors. It’s the perfect window into the minds of designers who describe their ethos as “the desire to feel the history of the house that once was: for light, for memory, for curiosity, for connection.”

Design-Build Team: Jason Wood, Adrienne Wood, Rachel Stopka and Tristan Mead, From [in] Form, Providence
Photographer: Nat Rea, Barrington



Photography by Nat Rea.

White Space

The original state of this Newport cottage was so unremarkable that architect and City by the Sea local Christopher Arner couldn’t recall it when the clients first called. All that meant was he had his work cut out for him and he certainly rose to the challenge, according to our judges. Working with the clients’ request for a weekend retreat not far from their primary residence that was “new and refreshing,” Arner added a front porch to the entry and back deck but kept the rest of the structure within the existing footprint. The transformed space, with its light and airy finishes, is almost unrecognizable from the original, a stark contrast that wowed our judges and surely pleased the clients as well.

Project Architect: Christopher Arner, AIA, CWA Architect, Newport
Interior Designer: Whitney Bauer Designs, Middletown
Contractor: Sound Building Corp., Portsmouth
Photographer: Nat Rea, Barrington



Photography by Anthony Crisafulli.

Writer’s Block

You’d never know by looking at the finished product that the starting point for this streamlined house on a wooded property in Little Compton was a shed that used to house an RV. Our judges called it a “true innovative renovation” and that’s what architect Gale Goff was going for when she took the structure from its humble beginnings to what she describes as the “perfect stage set for intimate moments and grand expressions of space.” Included in the renovation was the addition of a sunroom complete with glass sliding doors that let the outdoors in. Unique details like fir and steel trusses break up the open space while also emphasizing the living area’s ceiling height. The custom stucco chimney and schist hearth give the large room a focal point. It’s easy to see how the owner, a writer, must pull plenty of inspiration from her new home.

Architect: Gale Goff Architect, Little Compton
Builder: Dennis Talbot Construction, Adamsville
Photographer: Anthony Crisafulli, Boston, Mass.

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