koning eizenberg architecture, santa monica To meet their clients' slim budget for this Santa Monica, Calif., custom home, Koning Eizenberg Architecture decided to think of it as a "Crate and Barrel" house. "We wanted to do something with good spaces but that wasn't overly customized," explains principal Julie Eizenberg. "A house that would fit into Crate and Barrel's product line if they sold houses."

Eizenberg and project architect Oonagh Ryan graced the simple Modern box with a few big gestures. A pop-out master bedroom window and balcony adds texture and interest to the rear elevation while bringing extra light into the room. Downstairs, a rear wall of mostly glass brings indoors and outdoors together. Ingenious use of everyday products, such as painted MDF grooved by the contractor for a beadboard effect, cut costs while supplying the clients with the design quality they expected. "It's a very economical little house," noted a judge.

principal in charge: Julie Eizenberg, Koning Eizenberg Architecture
project architect: Oonagh Ryan, Koning Eizenberg Architecture
general contractor: William Gorton, William Kent Development, Tarzana, Calif.
project size: 2,940 square feet
site size: 0.17 acre
construction cost: $167 per square foot
photographer: Benny Chan/Fotoworks