2022 Rhode Island Design Awards

From seaswept Narragansett to bustling downtown Providence, our annual Design Awards showcase the cutting-edge creations of the area's best architects and designers.
O22ec129des

The kitchen of the High Hill House by architecture firm Cote Architecture, the gold winner for residential new construction. Photography by Anthony Crisafulli Photography

The submissions for this year’s Design Awards came from every nook of the Ocean State, from the sea-swept Narragansett coast to the buzzing byways of downtown Providence. In all, we received forty projects for consideration. Our amazing Massachusetts judges — Patrick Ahearn, an architect based in Boston and Martha’s Vineyard; Vivian Robins, who runs her own design firm in Westford; and Andrea Timpano, a senior editor at Architect magazine and former editor-in-chief of Boston Home and Boston Weddings— helped cull through the talent to choose their favorites.

So here are the winners of the 2022 Design Awards! We hope you enjoy, and maybe even pick up some design tips and tricks to use in your own home. 

RESIDENTIAL NEW CONSTRUCTION

VILLAGE VIBES l GOLD 

The judges loved the mix of rustic agrarian architecture and modern touches in this Tiverton house on the banks of the Sakonnet River. Ahearn was struck by the “village-like assemblage” that gives the home a warm, insular vibe. The building takes advantage of the site’s spectacular views, especially evident from the open living area, first-floor master bedroom and second-floor guest room. The group also liked the thoughtful use of materials throughout the home, a separate studio space and a gleaming, high-tech kitchen just perfect for entertaining. “The kitchen made me smile,” Timpano says. “I could envision my own family spending time there.” 

O22ec130des

Photography by Anthony Crisafulli Photography

Architects: Chris Cote, Cote Architecture;  Adam Gross, Ayers Saint Gross
Builder: Jacob Talbot Fine Homebuilding
Structural Engineer: Camera O’Neill Consulting Engineers
Landscape Architect: Martha Moore
Interior Design: Kirby Goff Interior Design
Photography: Anthony Crisafulli Photography

O22ec131des

Photography by Anthony Crisafulli Photography

 

 

WINGING IT l SILVER 

Another Sakonnet River stunner, this time a four-bedroom home built for a ceramic artist and his family in Tiverton. One-room wings take advantage of the views and cross breezes, with a central gallery wall holding ceramic treasures. The home sits on five acres, with a separate guest cottage and pool house with sauna. The materials are a smart mix of sleek, warm and green: white oak on the cabinets, stairs and ceilings; concrete floors in the entry hall and guest cottage; and triple-glazed windows and solar panels for energy-saving measures. It all made for a winning combination for our judges. “I like the detailing,” says Ahearn. “[Estes Twombly and Titrington’s] work is consistent; their detailing is consistent. I’m really a fan of their work.”

O22ec132des

Photography by Warren Jagger Photography

Architect: Estes Twombly and Titrington Architects
Builder: Jacob Talbot
Landscape Architect: Martha Moore
Photography: Warren Jagger Photography

O22ec133des

Photography by Warren Jagger Photography

 

 

Picture Perfect l BRONZE 

The judges fell in love with the story behind the Picture House in Jamestown. Architect Spencer Alexander designed it for his mother, Linda, to replace the 150-year-old family home set in a converted horse barn. Robins was a fan of the warm white oak flooring, while Timpano was intrigued by the home’s waterfront views and ebony cedar exterior, drawn out by a Japanese charring technique known as shou sugi ban.

O22ec134des

Photography by Max Burkhalter

Architect: Spencer Alexander, Anderson Alexander
Builder: Anderson Alexander
Photography: Max Burkhalter

_______

RESIDENTIAL RENOVATION

Philadelphia Freedom l GOLD 

O22ec135des

Photography by Nat Rea

Designed by McKim, Mead and White in the late 1800s for a Philadelphia family, the oceanfront estate known as Stone Lea has an impressive pedigree. It was recently renovated for Philadelphia transplants with a growing family who wanted a property rooted in tradition with the ease of a summer home. The judges all agreed that the tasteful renovation enhanced, rather than overshadowed, the home’s artful period details. “The interior decoration is beautiful,” says Timpano. “The wall coverings are daring and the entire feeling is polished and inviting.” Ahearn agrees. “They took out the bad interior detailing and brought it back to what it was like in a very elegant way.”

O22ec136des

Photography by Nat Rea

Architect: Jon-Paul Couture, Couture Design Associates
Builder: Sweenor Builders
Interior Design: Taste Design
Photography: Nat Rea

O22ec137des

Photography by Nat Rea

 

Ranch Glow Up l SILVER 

O22ec138des

Photography by Anthony Crisafulli Photography

When the homeowners bought this one-level Portsmouth ranch, they knew it had to be entirely transformed to take advantage of the stunning Sakonnet River views and gorgeous light. What was once low and dark became transparent and light with the addition of a second-floor master suite and copious amounts of windows. Varying roof levels lend a ’60s feel to this “beautifully done renovation with spectacular views,” says Robins. The home’s interior details appealed to Timpano, as did the judicious use of glass. “There’s a way to do glass,” she says. “This house, to me, did that.”

O22ec139des

Photography by Anthony Crisafulli Photography

Architect: Chris Cote, Cote Architecture
Builder: Behan Bros.
Structural Engineer: Camera O’Neill Consulting Engineers
Interior Design: Taste Design
Landscape Architect: Verde Design
Photography: Anthony Crisafulli Photography

O22ec140des

Photography by Anthony Crisafulli Photography

 

 

Wickford Reawakening l BRONZE 

O22ec142des

Photography by Greg Premru

The homeowners purchased this Wickford home for a summer getaway, thanks to its gorgeous setting on Poplar Point, but knew it needed some serious updating thanks to its dated kitchen and bath areas. Judges praised the home’s clever interior details, especially the white oak stairwell that incorporates a large bar area underneath. Timpano loved the home’s “coastal edge” and use of rattan and white shiplap walls. “It really caught my eye,” she says. “The use of space here is a nice surprise.” The formerly cramped home now boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, three bedrooms — including two tastefully decorated guest suites — three-and-a-half baths and a large kitchen space with ocean blue cabinetry that’s tailor-made for entertaining.

O22ec141des

Photography by Greg Premru

Architect: Gail Hallock
Builder: Lawrence Builders
Interior Design: Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, Blakely Interior Design
Photography: Greg Premru 

O22ec143des

Photography by Greg Premru

_______

NEW OR RENOVATED BATHROOM

Seaside serenity l Judges’ Shout Out

When a Providence couple traded in the city life for a new Narragansett beach house, they needed a lot of storage space in the 3,000-foot-home. That meant taking advantage of every nook and cranny. That’s evident in the his-and-hers bathroom, where Kelly Taylor of Kelly Taylor Interior Design crafted an open, modern and highly functional space packed with every luxury: heated floors, lilac-accented Bianco Dolomite marble floors and shower walls, custom Alpine Kitchens cabinets, a soaking tub and dressing table for her and a shared shower that connects both spaces. “It’s a great use of space,” says Robins. “The dressing table, the choice of tile — it’s all very serene.”

O22ec144des

Photography by Nat Rea

Architect: DiMauro Architects
Builder: Sweenor Builders
Interior Design: Kelly Taylor, Kelly Taylor Interior Design
Photography: Nat Rea

_______

 

COMMERCIAL NEW CONSTRUCTION/RENOVATION

A STRIKING BALANCE l GOLD  

It was a slam-dunk for newcomer the Beatrice: The judges all agreed this upscale hotel in downtown Providence deserved the top spot for the way it melds beautiful architectural details with contemporary styling. “It’s a good blend of a modern interior with classical architecture,” says Ahearn. “It won’t look dated tomorrow.” The design was inspired by rustic design elements in the 1887 building and the more refined surfaces brought in during construction. The judges also loved the showstopping lobby, with its three-story crystal lighting fixture, gleaming terrazzo floor and the Italian tile mosaic of Beatrice Temkin, the matriarch of the Paolino family, for whom the hotel is named.

O22ec145des

Photography by Warren Jagger Photography

Architect: Eric Zuena, ZDS Architecture and Interiors
Project Team: Eric Zuena, Eric Schall (project manager), Amy Bergeron (interior design)
Consultants: Jeremy Page, Structures Engineering and Design; Marc Plante, Building Engineering Resources
Photography: Warren Jagger Photography

 

 

Tasteful Reimagining l SILVER 

When Taste Design outgrew its original Jamestown location, it moved to a larger space in Middletown overlooking First Beach and Easton’s Pond. Owner Patti Watson wanted a homey space where her team could collaborate and deliver their best work, and where clients could see the latest local innovations in home decor, fixtures and furnishings. Robins was especially fond of how they transformed the plain brick exterior to a charming portico entryway. “The space really showcases their talent,” she says. Timpano agrees. “The transformation is so impressive. The space is indicative of the people who work there.”

O22ec146des

Photography by Kyle J. Caldwell

Architect: Christopher W. Arner
Builder: J2 Construct
Interior Design: Taste Design
Landscape Architect: Dan Gordon Landscape Architects
Photography: Kyle J. Caldwell

 

 

MODERN NAUTICAL l BRONZE 

To turn its second-floor outdoor deck into a year-round space, Coast Guard House owner Bob Leonard reconvened the team he first used in 2013 to renovate the landmark Narragansett restaurant. Timpano especially liked how the team preserved the building’s original stonework and added south-facing windows in a new bar space to let in even more of those spectacular Narragansett views.

O22ec147des

Courtesy of NDL Designs

Architect: Frank Karpowicz
Architectural Designer: Tim Reed
Builder: Michael Gemma, Magnag Construction
Interior Design: Nancy DiPrete Laurienzo, NDL Designs
Photography: Courtesy of NDL Designs

_______

COMMERCIAL INTERIOR DESIGN

 

TIMELESS SOPHISTICATION l GOLD  

“Tasteful” is how Robins describes Bellini, the Beatrice’s trendy anchor restaurant in downtown Providence that serves up modern Italian dishes and the namesake peach cocktail with a sophisticated flair. “The restaurant features a timeless appeal of old and new,” says Ahearn, noting sleek details — poured terrazzo flooring, European-designed furniture and gleaming wooden paneling sourced from a local yacht builder — that accentuate the building’s historic bones. That the project only took nine months to design and complete during the pandemic is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic.

O22ec148des

Photography by Warren Jagger Photography

Architect: Eric Zuena, ZDS Architecture and Interiors
Project Team: Eric Zuena, Eric Schall (project manager), Amy Bergeron (interior design)
Consultants: Jeremy Page, Structures Engineering and Design; Marc Plante, Building Engineering Resources
Photography: Warren Jagger Photography

 

 

BEAUTIFUL DETAILS l SILVER 

When called upon to reimagine the Coast Guard House’s second-floor deck, designer Nancy DiPrete Laurienzo of NDL Designs turned to local artisans and craftspeople to help illuminate the space. Robins loved the hammered brass and forged metal fireplace cladding and the soulful lighting that features a chandelier made to resemble a lobster trap with hand-blown knot pendants. Ahearn was fond of the space’s nice balance of details, including wooden furnishings crafted by Amish and Connecticut-based woodworkers, Narragansett photographer John McNamara’s historic prints mounted on metal panels, and a white tile, quartzite and brass bar completing the Narragansett landmark.

O22ec149des

Courtesy of NDL Designs

Architect: Frank Karpowicz
Architectural Designer: Tim Reed
Builder: Michael Gemma, Magnag Construction
Interior Design: Nancy DiPrete Laurienzo, NDL Designs
Photography: Courtesy of NDL Designs

 

 

WARM AND WELCOMING l BRONZE 

The judges admired the warm wooden tones used liberally throughout Giusto, the freestyle Italian restaurant at Hammets Hotel on the Newport waterfront. The stylish neutral banquette seating also drew the judges’ eyes, as did the understated nautical detailing. “It’s obviously a very coastal setting without coastal decor,” says Timpano. “That’s a nice change of pace.”

O22ec150des

Photography by Angel Tucker

Architect: Union Studio
Builder: Behan Brothers
Interior Design: Libby Slader, Libby Slader Design
Photography: Angel Tucker

O22ec151des

Photography by Angel Tucker