No matter what their stylistic leanings, most residential architects know design did not begin with Corbu. Most of their clients also see a continuum of design relationships that traces back to the very earliest enterprises of humanity. They’re not afraid of looking back to move forward, nor do they fear mixing elements of the classic and the modern. For, indeed, few neo-traditional houses have floor plans from the 1800s. And no new modern house is completely severed from all antecedents. All we see informs what we do, whether consciously or subliminally. In keeping with this spirit of inclusion and continuity, we asked architects we admire to share their trade secrets with us—their tried-and-true products for contemporary or transitional work and their great finds for traditional work. It’s a lovely collection they’ve compiled for us, some of it displayed in their own fine work. We’re delighted to present it to you.

Looking at the artful insertions of modern products within existing older homes, we see hints of interesting adaptations to come. So much of our housing stock is aging. We can always tear down and build anew, but sometimes it’s even more satisfying to preserve the pentimenti of previous interventions and to usher these traces along into the future. Old and new, living together in harmony. Thanks to the skilled hands of residential architects and their well-considered choices.

2012 Architects' Choice