Launch Slideshow

A quick glance at this Florida beach house from the pool could make a new-comer think he has had to many mojitos.

Square in the Air

Square in the Air

  • A quick glance at this Florida beach house from the pool could make a new-comer think he has had to many mojitos.

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    A quick glance at this Florida beach house from the pool could make a new-comer think he has had to many mojitos.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    A quick glance from the pool at this Florida beach house could make a newcomer think he has had too many mojitos.
  • From some angles the copper-clad box appears to hang.

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    From some angles the copper-clad box appears to hang.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    From some angles, the copper-clad box appears to hang in the air.
  • A Stair to air.

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    A Stair to air.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    The stairs seem to head into the air.
  • The flying box offers no exterior clues to its contents from its entrance.

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    The flying box offers no exterior clues to its contents from its entrance.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    The flying box offers no exterior clues to its contents from its entrance.

  • A pool view of what looks like a backward Cubist comma.

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    A pool view of what looks like a backward Cubist comma.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    A pool view of what looks like a backward Cubist comma.

  • Its all about the view from inside the box.

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    Its all about the view from inside the box.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    It’s all about the view from inside the box.

  • Interiors are simple, almost nautical, as though you were on a cruise ship with a balcony overlooking the beach.

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    Interiors are simple, almost nautical, as though you were on a cruise ship with a balcony overlooking the beach.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    Interiors are simple, almost nautical, as though you were on a cruise ship with a balcony overlooking the beach.

  • The bathroom is simple and functional.

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    The bathroom is simple and functional.

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    The Greg Wilson Group

    The bathroom is simple and functional.

 

Launch Slideshow

This Winter Park, Fla. House, with its French West Indies-inspired exterior, was named Home of the year by BALA judges.

Belle of the BALA

Belle of the BALA

  • This Winter Park, Fla. House, with its French West Indies-inspired exterior, was named Home of the year by BALA judges.

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    This Winter Park, Fla. House, with its French West Indies-inspired exterior, was named Home of the year by BALA judges.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    This Winter Park, Fla., house, with its French West Indies–inspired exterior, was named Home of the Year by the BALA judges.
  • Running the family business from home is a breeze with a home office and conference room with a separate entrance.

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    Running the family business from home is a breeze with a home office and conference room with a separate entrance.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    Running the family business from home is a breeze with a home office and conference room with a separate entrance.

  • Not only does La Belle offer site-lines from inside to outside, but the open floor plan allows views side-to-side as well.

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    Not only does La Belle offer site-lines from inside to outside, but the open floor plan allows views side-to-side as well.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    Not only does La Belle offer sightlines from inside to outside, but the open floor plan allows views side-to-side as well.

  • La Belle is a see-through house, not much obstructs the lake-view from the homes front to back.

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    La Belle is a see-through house, not much obstructs the lake-view from the homes front to back.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    La Belle is a see-through house, not much obstructs the lake view from the home’s front to back.

  • The homes interiors were kept casual and understated.

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    The homes interiors were kept casual and understated.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    The home’s interiors were kept casual and understated.

  • Indoor-outdoor living is a prominent feature. Hidden screens to block insects and glare can easily be lowered to keep the lanai areas comfortable year-round.

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    Indoor-outdoor living is a prominent feature. Hidden screens to block insects and glare can easily be lowered to keep the lanai areas comfortable year-round.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    Indoor-outdoor living is a prominent feature. Hidden screens to block insects and glare can easily be lowered to keep the lanai areas comfortable year-round.

  • An upper roof deck, offers an elevated view of the backyard lake.

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    An upper roof deck, offers an elevated view of the backyard lake.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    An upper roof deck offers an elevated view of the backyard lake.

  • The upper roof deck has plenty of space for more private lounging.

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    The upper roof deck has plenty of space for more private lounging.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    The upper roof deck has plenty of space for more private lounging.

  • Even the master bath offers a view of the lake through the shower.

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    Even the master bath offers a view of the lake through the shower.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    Even the master bath offers a view of the lake through the shower.

  • The home-office conference room opens to an outdoor courtyard.

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    The home-office conference room opens to an outdoor courtyard.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    The home-office conference room opens to an outdoor courtyard.

  • A boater's view shows the wide-open home's back side.

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    A boater's view shows the wide-open home's back side.

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    Harvey Smith Photography

    A boater’s view shows the back of the wide-open home.

 

Launch Slideshow

The Laguna Alturas garage-dominated front is softened by stone and wooden garage doors and creates a bit of a mystery about the BALA Platinum award winner.

Family Refuge

Family Refuge

  • The Laguna Alturas garage-dominated front is softened by stone and wooden garage doors and creates a bit of a mystery about the BALA Platinum award winner.

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    The Laguna Alturas garage-dominated front is softened by stone and wooden garage doors and creates a bit of a mystery about the BALA Platinum award winner.

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    Eric Figge

    The Laguna Altura’s garage-dominated front is softened by stone and wooden garage doors and creates a bit of a mystery about the BALA Platinum award winner.

  • A hallway leads from the front door to the family great room haven.

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    A hallway leads from the front door to the family great room haven.

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    Eric Figge

    A hallway leads from the front door to the family great room haven.

  • A great room across the back of the home is a cozy retreat overlooking the backyard.

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    A great room across the back of the home is a cozy retreat overlooking the backyard.

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    Eric Figge

    A great room across the back of the home is a cozy retreat overlooking the backyard.

  • A classic white kitchen is integrated into the great room space.

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    A classic white kitchen is integrated into the great room space.

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    Eric Figge

    A classic white kitchen is integrated into the great room space.

  • An upstairs loft can be a family retreat from life in the great room or morphed into another bedroom.

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    An upstairs loft can be a family retreat from life in the great room or morphed into another bedroom.

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    Eric Figge

    An upstairs loft can be a family retreat from life in the great room or morphed into another bedroom.

  • A lanai offers enough space for a family dinner al fresco; a useful feature in a California home.

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    A lanai offers enough space for a family dinner al fresco; a useful feature in a California home.

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    Eric Figge

    A lanai offers enough space for a family dinner al fresco; a useful feature in a California home.

 

Launch Slideshow

A simple traditional white kitchen adjoins the rear great room

Grounded Wing

Grounded Wing

  • A simple traditional white kitchen adjoins the rear great room

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    A simple traditional white kitchen adjoins the rear great room

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    Mid Coast Studio

    A simple, traditional, white kitchen adjoins the rear great room.

  • A number of recycled materials including recycled runway concrete and metal blast fencing from the former Stapleton Airport were reused in Lime.

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    A number of recycled materials including recycled runway concrete and metal blast fencing from the former Stapleton Airport were reused in Lime.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    A number of recycled materials including recycled runway concrete and metal blast fencing from the former Stapleton Airport were reused in Lime.

  • Black bricks lend a horizontal feel to the family rooms hearth area.

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    Black bricks lend a horizontal feel to the family rooms hearth area.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    Black bricks lend a horizontal feel to the family room’s hearth area.

  • The kitchen is sleek but cozy and efficient, with enough space to gather around the cook.

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    The kitchen is sleek but cozy and efficient, with enough space to gather around the cook.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    The kitchen is sleek but cozy and efficient, with enough space to gather around the cook.

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows expand the dining rooms visual space to the outside.

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    Floor-to-ceiling windows expand the dining rooms visual space to the outside.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    Floor-to-ceiling windows expand the dining room’s visual space to the outside.

  • An outdoor space was squeezed into the side of the home that sits on a narrow, alley-loaded lot.

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    An outdoor space was squeezed into the side of the home that sits on a narrow, alley-loaded lot.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    An outdoor space was squeezed into the side of the home that sits on a narrow, alley-loaded lot.

  • The upstairs master suite is the full width of the narrow home.

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    The upstairs master suite is the full width of the narrow home.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    The upstairs master suite is the full width of the narrow home.

  • A loft offers a retreat.

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    A loft offers a retreat.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    A loft offers a retreat.

  • A do room makes space for a mud room, laundry, sitting area and twin craft desks.

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    A do room makes space for a mud room, laundry, sitting area and twin craft desks.

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    Mid Coast Studio

    A “do room” makes space for a mud room, laundry, sitting area, and twin craft desks.

 

Launch Slideshow

A family room overlooks a rear courtyard.

Poker Façade

Poker Façade

  • The narrow traditional front of 1120 Montana hides an expansive, multi-level home with eclectic modern-traditional interior vibe.

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    The narrow traditional front of 1120 Montana hides an expansive, multi-level home with eclectic modern-traditional interior vibe.

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    Herbie Rooprai

    The narrow traditional front of 1120 Montana hides an expansive, multi-level home with an eclectic modern-traditional interior vibe.

  • The formal living room is cozy and eclectic

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    The formal living room is cozy and eclectic

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    Herbie Rooprai

    The formal living room is cozy and eclectic.

  • A family room overlooks a rear courtyard.

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    A family room overlooks a rear courtyard.

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    Herbie Rooprai

    The family room overlooks a rear courtyard.

  • A simple traditional white kitchen adjoins the rear great room

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    A simple traditional white kitchen adjoins the rear great room

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    Herbie Rooprai

    A simple, traditional, white kitchen adjoins the rear great room.
  • Calm sitting areas abound inside 1120 Montana.

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    Calm sitting areas abound inside 1120 Montana.

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    Herbie Rooprai

    Calm sitting areas abound inside 1120 Montana.

  • A simple, elegant marble-clad master bathroom.

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    A simple, elegant marble-clad master bathroom.

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    Herbie Rooprai

    The master suite, includes a simple, elegant, marble-clad master bathroom.
 

Square in the Air

Like a backward Cubist comma, a Florida guest house appears to float above the lawn.

Forget the quaint guest cottage by the pool that you expect to see on the Sarasota beachfront. This guest house defies convention and, seemingly, gravity to preserve a view of the Florida surf.

The copper-sided cube cottage on a Florida estate needed to be built high to avoid storm tides. TOTeMS Architecture managed to do that and maintain the ocean views from the main house by raising the module up onto nearly invisible supports, making the 302-square-foot building appear as though its stairs climb to a house hanging in the air.

The structure functions as a sitting room by day, a bedroom by night, and an abstract objet d’art all the time. At more than $500 a square foot, the price tag is similar to that of a piece of art, too, albeit more practical. After all, you can’t live in a Cubist painting, much less catch an ocean view. 

Belle of the BALA

A houseful of rooms with a view is named home of the year.

There are only two rooms in La Belle that offer no views of sparkling Lake Osceola—an upstairs bedroom and the media room. From any other place in the house you can spend every waking moment gazing at the shimmering blue body of water through the wide-open back of the home. The lake is in sight when you chop onions in the kitchen, lift weights in the workout room, and sit up in bed first thing in the morning. The water can even be seen while showering, framed by a square window cut in the marble-clad master shower wall.

Better yet, the scenery can be enjoyed unmolested by mosquitoes, the glare of the setting sun, or the Florida heat and humidity that smothers like a hot wet blanket in summer. La Belle’s indoor/outdoor spaces are protected by special motorized screens. Hidden from view when not needed, the screens block glare, insects, and help retain 90 percent of the air conditioning.

An office and conference room with a separate entrance out front make it easy to run a business from home. And an elevator, a second master bedroom downstairs, and an accessible entrance through the garage, will allow aging in place. Though measuring 5,394 square feet, the French West Indies–inspired exterior looks more comfortable than grand from the street. The interiors are contemporary, in whites and neutrals, creating a quiet backdrop for the view.

Family Refuge

A California production house cossets its residents in comfort, indoors and out.

Coming home to Siena at Laguna Altura after a long day at work must feel like popping down a rabbit hole into a warm, safe den. The stone-clad street façade, two-thirds of which is taken up by two rustic wooden garage doors, offers just a hint of the haven within. Once inside, visitors travel down a narrow hall. The passage ends at an expansive great room with a happy arrangement of kitchen, living area, and eating nook, all with large windows that overlook a backyard through a pergola-shaded lanai roomy enough for a large dining table plus seating.

In Southern California’s temperate climate, the lanai can function as another living area for most of the year, adding some welcome extra space to the snug 1,673-square-foot home.

Upstairs are three bedrooms and two baths, including a master suite with a roomy closet. For a family that can make do with two bedrooms, the third can become a cozy loft refuge with enough space for a couch, flat-screen television, and desk area.

Grounded Wing

A different shade of green house lands at Stapleton.

Among the crowd of traditional homes at Denver’s Stapleton community, Infinity Home Collection’s aptly named Lime model stands out like green fruit in a basket of red apples. The home received a LEED Platinum rating with a HERS score of 38, and was built using a variety of recycled materials, including wood from trees killed by the pine beetle plague along with recycled runway concrete and metal blast fencing from the airport that once operated on the site.

But Lime offers unique design, too, as well as a nod to the area’s former life: The home’s cantilevered front porch roof tilts slightly off horizontal, as though it were an airplane wing banking toward a landing at a long-gone runway. The other-than-90-degree angle theme continues throughout the house with porches and decks angling off the home’s narrow-deep mass.

The 2,342-square-foot house lives well, too. The open plan features a great room at the front of the home and a novel “Do room” on the back side of the house near the kitchen. The room features a stacked washer and dryer and dual craft desks built into a wall of storage.

The upstairs holds three bedrooms and a loft space. And an outdoor living space on one side was created on the narrow alley-loaded lot by sliding the home to one side of the 50-foot-wide lot.

Poker Façade

A large, modern-style house hides behind a formal limestone front.

There are some surprises hiding behind the classic stately limestone façade of 1120 Montana.

For one thing, there are more layers than a trifle in this narrow, but deep house, each delightfully distinct, and all decidedly less stuffy and more of an eclectic modern-traditional fusion than its upper-crust Chicago street face suggests.

Visitors climb up from the street to reach the main living area, arriving as would be expected in an open formal living area adjoined by a dining room. The kitchen-great room at the rear of the home overlooks a stone deck with an outdoor fireplace that separates the home from the three-car garage. The second floor houses the sleeping quarters, including a roomy master suite and three other bedrooms. The basement holds a large guest suite, exercise room, and a family room.

But while the front elevation shows two stories and a basement, this house actually has an additional floor: a roof deck level situated over the rear-loaded garage that includes a conservatory and fifth bedroom. Together, the spaces add up to 5,800 square feet in a 27-foot-wide, 68-feet-deep footprint.

Download the complete 2011 BALA Award Winners List