About the Key Awards

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.

Today, the Key Awards are one of the premier housing awards in the country.

Keep reading to see a few of the accolades received by our design, construction, and remodeling teams.

Our Gold Key Awards

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

urban farmhouse kitchen

The homeowner’s of this historical home knew coming in that they wanted to show this home some love so that they could make it current and inviting. The home is close to downtown shopping and restaurants, and filled with turn-of-the-century charm, so naturally Patrick A. Finn Ltd. was very excited to be bringing in a breath of fresh air to this chopped up and outdated home. To modernize the home we updated the mechanics to make it energy efficient, with new insulation and a high-efficiency HVAC system. Not only that but also taking out the dropped ceilings and designing the first floor to have an open floor living plan. The kitchen in particular was designed like how a modern family will use it, enough space for two or three cooks to prepare a dinner while still being able to socialize with guests or family members in the rest of the house. Ceiling height custom cabinetry, along with custom interior cabinet accessories fully utilizes the kitchen’s storage space. The kitchen was designed to look not too different from what it might have been long ago; all new appliances blend in with a similar color to the cabinets or are hidden with panels, fixtures and hardware match the vintage style of the home. Details like white subway tile with grey grout, re-purposed original millwork, added crown molding, and cased out openings really bring the space to life. This almost hundred year old home can now go a century more with the help of enthusiastic homeowners.

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

award winning kitchen

This kitchen remodel required a lot of re-arranging from the old cramped kitchen and separated dining room. This couple loves to cook and hold large family gatherings, and their dream was to have a space to do just that. For this transformation we actually closed up one large window from the old breakfast space to achieve a more symmetrical cabinet layout, and you wouldn’t even notice there used to be one there. Not to worry though, because the two atomized solar tubes bring in more than enough natural light! There was a lot of rearranging structure also to open up the walls like we did to join the spaces to each other, but the end result was definitely worth it. We used an underutilized corner to create a beautiful piece of cabinetry for storage and utility. The large island’s design was massaged through the whole process to fit the space just right. Finishes like the cherry cabinets, driftwood colored tile, gray counters with hints of burgundy, gray backsplash, and of course the Irish emblem above the range, all sing together to give the whole space an elegant, transitional look.

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Palatine

black and white kitchen

This cooking couple will never be cramped in their confining, dated kitchen again! To achieve their dream, the wall separating the kitchen from family room was removed and the ceiling was vaulted into the family room, giving us a lot of extra volume to work with. Taking down the old ceiling and framing allowed us access into the attic and gave us the chance to re-insulate their roof; their fireplace will be more than enough to keep them cozy now. This classic two-toned kitchen will be something to enjoy for years. The U-shape and two-tiered island brings so much function to the cooking space, and with the cabinets heights taken up to compliment the vaulted ceiling, they gain so much storage. From the now opened kitchen, the homeowners can look across their family room to their resurfaced fireplace and out through their new sunroom to their highly coveted water view on this property. This bright four-season sun room continues the vaulted ceiling; and the myriad of windows, and skylights help to carry the open feel from the kitchen to the living areas. Just because it may look like an indoor-outdoor porch as the homeowners had wished, we fully insulated and drywalled the room for it to be used throughout the year. We can’t leave out the remodeled basement, a custom made desk/entertainment center along with a wet bar finish off the room with an elegant note. All these spaces create a wonderful home to entertain at or to just spend a quiet weekend relaxing.

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Deer Park

Expanding the kitchen was never a part of the scope for this modern family, but the kitchen they lived in was never functional for them. Not only were the soffits an eyesore, but lots of glass cabinets left too much for show. Making this kitchen look worthy of a magazine, but also more functional required a few adjustments such as moving the fridge and microwave locations. With a two story home there’s always things hidden in the soffits, to get ceiling height cabinets some plumbing from the bathroom above had to be re­worked. Updated, ceiling height cabinetry in the classic but modern shaker style gave this space a breath of new life. The perimeter white cabinets with dark quartz countertops were complimented with a warm walnut island and though the homeowner loved the look of marble, quartzite was a great alternative that doesn’t stain and like quartz, is anti­microbial. This modern white kitchen with warm accents of reclaimed wood can now be enjoyed by this young family and shown off to their friends and family.

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

The existing kitchen was small and removed from the living space. By removing the wall that divided the previous kitchen from and incorporating a breakfast nook the space became open and connected. Matching the habits of a modern family, a homework station for two was incorporated with cabinetry into an otherwise unused space. The large island includes storage access on two sides, artistic granite countertop, cookbook shelf and seating for four.

This mid-century kitchen was revamped into a timeless space that brings it back into this century. The modern inspired design was mixed with industrial finishes creating a timeless look that transformed the feel and function of this home.

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

The configuration of the existing kitchen floor plan did not allow for this family to entertain in the way they would have liked. By opening up the wall to the dining room we gained space for a large island and ample room for traffic flow throughout the kitchen. The new walnut island features granite countertops, seating for three and dramatic toe-­kick lighting. The perimeter inset cabinetry includes a stainless steal appliance garage and Carrera marble subway tile backsplash in a herringbone pattern. The use of task, ambient, and decorative lighting lend interest and practicality to the space. Opening up the room allows friends and family to gather and admire the wonderful views from this central location

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Mount Prospect

This lovely home only needed some lipstick on the exterior, but the kitchen addition in the back of the house transformed how this family lives and entertains in this amazing new kitchen built for a chef. High end appliances were fully integrated into beautiful custom walnut cabinets. Polished off by gorgeous marble counter tops on the perimeter and walnut end grain butcher block for the island. This kitchen features three pantry cabinets ­ one solely dedicated to spices. There is no lack of space inside these cabinets! Framing the kitchen is a beautiful picture window with a stunning golf course view. This is truly a space to cook, gather and entertain!

Excellence in Remodeling for a Whole House, Arlington Heights

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The size constraints of the original 3-bedroom ranch home 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 space, 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.

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

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For this homeowner, the small eat-in kitchen just did not offer enough space.

By building a 10-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, the kitchen becomes an 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.

Excellence in Remodeling for a Kitchen, Arlington Heights

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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, tall 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 cooktop tied the whole look together.

Want to learn more about our award-winning work?

Call (847) 358-4133 for a free consultation or see what clients have to say about working with Patrick A. Finn, LTD.

Our Silver Key Awards

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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 2-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, 2 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 2 carpenter built mantles, 5 built-ins, custom cabinetry, and decorative trim details.