2021 Rhode Island Design Awards

Scroll this year's award winners and discover picture-perfect abodes, from a repurposed power station to a three-century-old farmhouse.

Residential Renovation • Design Star

Green Light


Anthony Crisafulli.

When generations come together, this winner is the happy outcome. “It’s an integration of old and new, beautifully done,” was our judges’ takeaway. Only two families in almost three centuries had owned this 1730s cape in Little Compton when the new buyers, a landscape designer and climate change expert, committed to continuing that responsible stewardship. They hired the talented designers to weave together modern energy efficiency with the need for historic preservation to create a comfy family home. The project’s three elements — a historic house with its three-sided fireplace and a 650-foot addition with a sunroom’s living green roof, connected by a central glass box — pay respect to history as well as to modern sustainability. “The integration is done beautifully,” one judge noted. “They didn’t mess up the scale by adding another floor or giant dormers. I love that someone’s willing to tackle an antique cape.” A history lesson, indeed.

Architect: Gale Goff Architect
Project Designer: Lee Barrett Borden
Construction: Arkins Construction Company
Landscape Architecture: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design
Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations
Photography: Anthony Crisafulli

Residential Renovation • Award of Distinction

Electrical Attraction


Nat Rea.

With a nod to its early years as an electric substation, this formerly dilapidated little brick house is a power to be reckoned with. The architects collaborated with preservation officials to ensure the exterior was appropriately restored. Its 800 square feet of living space feels roomy and comfortable, not cramped on one hand or drafty on the other. The mechanicals along with the washer and dryer are artfully hidden behind doors in the hallway. Our jurors applauded the use of materials, the exposed metal work and the choice of copper to highlight the clean white interiors. It has a tiny house feel, without feeling small, they agreed. “It’s a great project.”


Nat Rea.

Architect: Michael McKinley and Associates
Builder: Gardner Woodwrights Custom Home Building
Photography: Nat Rea