The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Key Awards were created in 1972 to recognize excellence in housing design, architecture, interior merchandising, remodeling and landscaping. It has since evolved into one of the premier housing programs in the country.  Patrick A. Finn continues to win Gold and Silver Key Awards every year!







2012 Gold Key Award in Recognition for Outstanding Design 

Excellence in Remodeling  for a Whole House, Arlington Heights O'Sullivan Kitchen

The size constraints of the original three bedroom ranch were more than the family of 6 could manage.  A second floor addition and the remodeling of more than 75% of the main floor living area created a much more functional and enjoyable home.  In order to create the much needed space without over sizing the house for its surroundings, the addition creates a story and a half look with much of the second floor built into a steep pitched roof with integrated shed dormers.  The second floor has a master bedroom with a walk in closet and a master bath with a large custom tiled shower, two additional bedrooms and a hall bath for the kids.  One of the bedrooms was for three boys so it was important the room was built large enough for each one to have their own space.  The colors used for the kids bedrooms and bath are all tied together and give a fun kid friendly feel to the spaces, especially the custom tile shower with blue penny round tiles that seem to resemble bubbles.  The first floor was remodeled to accommodate the new stair to the second floor and to open up the floor plan by making use of the existing bedroom space.  By tearing out one of the bedrooms, we were able to make a much larger eat in kitchen, which was a huge addition, as a designated eating area was lacking in the original house.  The kitchen maximizes space with tall upper cabinets and a working island while still maintaining all the original windows for ample natural light.  The wall between the living room and previous master bedroom was opened up to create a den for the kids to play in and watch TV off the formal living room area.  A small addition for a mudroom with cubbies creates a place for the family to stay organized as they head in or out of the house

2012 Gold Key Award in Recognition for Outstanding Design

Jarosz KitchenExcellence in Remodeling  for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

For this homeowner, the small eat-in kitchen just did not offer enough space.  By building a ten foot addition off the kitchen and dining area, the kitchen now flows with the rest of the house and offers multiple functions for the once small kitchen.  The new space, not only functions as a kitchen, but has a built in bar area, a large island with breakfast bar and ample space for informal dining.  Black and white was the driving force in the selections for this kitchen.  Custom white shaker cabinets contrasted against Absolute Black honed granite around the perimeter are flip flopped on the island which has a dark espresso stain and a Calcutta Quartzite counter.  The contrast on the island creates a focal point for the room.  With several industrial inspired stainless stools around one end, it is the ideal gathering place.  The black and white theme is carried through to the backsplash, which is predominantly white subway tiles set flush to the counters with 1” accents of glass, metal or granite set throughout.  A combination of drawers and doors and a few extras, such as the hidden utility storage behind the fridge, maximize the storage for this kitchen.  A custom built in banquette creates both seating and storage for the informal dining area and creates a cozy and efficient area for the family to gather for meals.  Finally, the hardwood floors that were refinished a dark walnut stain to contrast the white cabinets, continue through the main floor of the house making the kitchen addition seem like it had always been there

2012 Gold Key Award in Recognition for Outstanding Design

Ennes Kitchen 1Excellence in Remodeling  for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

This kitchen had great potential but lacked efficiency of space and an outdated look.  By taking out the soffits, rearranging several of the appliances and maximizing the cabinet space, we were able to update this kitchen and make it everything the owner desired.  Custom cabinetry was utilized to maximize every inch of the small kitchen.  An efficient pantry cabinet, taller upper cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling and ease of access to all of the blind corner cabinets created added storage without adding square footage.  An integrated hutch was also designed with seeded glass cabinet fronts to display decorative china and glassware and elevate the formality of the kitchen and dining area.  A custom tile backsplash with a granite accent over the cook top tied the whole look together.




2012 Silver Key Award in Recognition for Outstanding Design

South Dunton HomeExcellence in New Construction for a Custom Home, Arlington Heights

This custom home was designed to be the owner’s dream house.  Being located in the historic neighborhood of downtown Arlington Heights and having a mixture of historic styles as neighbors, it was important to make this new home fit with the historic character of the neighborhood.  A full front porch, detached garage and exterior details helped to integrate the house into its surroundings.  The level of detail is not limited to the exterior, but flows inside where care was taken to create each room with custom details.  The main floor has a formal entry with a two story stairway, an office and a dining room that create a more historic feel to the layout of the front of the home.  However, floor plan opens up as you move towards the back of the house where the kitchen and informal dining area flow into the great room with a sunroom and deck off the back of the house.  Custom cabinetry, built-ins and crown molding continue the level of detail displayed throughout the entire home.  It was very important to the owner that a bit of the original house that was torn down be preserved, so the leaded glass transoms were reused as a framed decorative element separating the kitchen from the informal dining area.  A mudroom with built in cubbies, storage and a half bath create an informal entry for the family from the detached garage.  With dark wide plank hardwood floors throughout the house, the first floor flows right into the second floor as you ascend the custom staircase.  The second floor houses three bedrooms, two full baths, a laundry room and a master suite with walk in closets, large master bath with custom tiled shower and claw foot tub, and a small private balcony.  The basement was finished to create a playroom for the kids, a second entertaining area with built in bar and a guest bedroom and bath.  The level of finish and detail was continuous throughout the house with two carpenter built mantles, five built-ins, custom cabinetry, and decorative trim details.

2012 Silver Key Award in Recognition for Outstanding Design

Carlsen KitchenExcellence in Remodeling  for a Kitchen, Barrington Hills

Though the overall dimensions of the space did not change, the design maximizes the available space and adds a sense of elegance to this traditional kitchen.  Custom white recessed cabinets are given a traditional touch with decorative moldings, full overlay and a large crown molding.  Wood valances over the built in refrigerator and sink along with a paneled wood range hood, create a continuous crown around the ceiling of the room.  The center island is both decorative and functional.  The slightly curved counter softens the ends which house open storage on one side and a single seat on the other.  A large awning window replaced the two casements over the sink to create an uninterrupted view of the backyard and let lots of natural light in to brighten up the kitchen.  A mixture of natural stone and glass tile were used to create a custom backsplash and the diagonal inset over the cook top picks up on the diagonal set of the new wide plank hardwood floors.

2011 Gold Key Awards: 

2011 Gold Key Award for Excellence in Remodeling

Starting with an original Tudor-style home from the 1920s, it was of great importance to the owner that the character and charm of the original home be maintained throughout the remodel and new addition. Consistency in the details between the old and new parts of the home was crucial and carried out through the trim profiles, doors, custom arches and floor finishes.


2012 Gold Key Winner in Category of New Home Construction under 3500 square feet

We were first approached by the client eight years ago to build a new home. The timing was not right for them, so the project was postponed. They contacted us again two-and-a-half years ago to look into remodeling their existing home or building a new home on the same lot. It was quickly decided that their design needs could not be realized by remodeling their existing home. So began the design process for creating a new home to sit on that site that met all their needs.


2011 Silver Key Awards: 

2011 Silver Key Award for Excellence in Remodeling: Kitchens under $75,000 per Unit

The original kitchen was confined to a small space, which resulted in a poor design, lack of storage and under-utilized space. To overcome this problem, the kitchen was opened up to both the dining room and living room, creating a much larger combined space. By removing the soffits, the custom cabinets could extend to the ceiling, creating additional storage space without adding square footage to the kitchen.


2011 Silver Key Award for Excellence in New Construction: Custom Home Under 3500 Sq Feet

The clients approached us to help them find the right property on which to build a new home. After looking at several properties, the lot was chosen in downtown Arlington Heights. Because we do most of our work in Arlington Heights, we were able to assist the client in acquiring the lot at a reduced cost, which they were then able to put back into the home they were going to build.

Despite its smaller size, it fulfills the needs of the client perfectly. The majority of the house functions on the first floor, with only two guest rooms and a guest bathroom on the second floor. Collecting all the necessary functions on the first floor, allows the clients desire to age in place to be met without incorporating an elevator in the design.

A lot of the inspiration for this home came from Sarah Susanka’s book, “The Not So Big House.” The design intent was to create a smaller home that has the look and feel on the inside that is much larger. This, the owner believes, was achieved and they are very happy with the end result and absolutely love their new home.

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