June 16, 2024


Comfortable residential structure

The 2021 Home & Design Awards

Meet the Judges


Nicole Curtis

Detroit-based Nicole Curtis is the high-energy, charismatic star of Rehab Addict, the long-running hit HGTV and DIY Network show. The self-taught home renovator, designer, and tireless champion of saving and restoring old houses is famous for her extraordinary home transformations and unbridled passion for rebuilding neighborhoods.



Bobby Berk

Alongside the rapid growth of his eponymous brand and his lifestyle site, BobbyBerk.com, Bobby Berk became the resident designer on the Netflix show Queer Eye, which has won three Emmy Awards. As a member of the Fab Five, the Los Angeles–based designer helps bring change to people’s lives starting within their homes.



Allison Crawford

The founder of Allison Crawford Design and HOTELette, Allison Crawford creates beautiful and functional spaces that reflect the personality and passions of her clients. She believes that design creates balance between comfort and luxury. Crawford currently resides in Austin but is moving to Paris this spring with her husband and daughter.



Kinley C. Puzey

Kinley C. Puzey, AIA, is a licensed architect who has spent the last 18 years in the design and construction industry. His project experience ranges from humanitarian efforts on the Navajo reservation to multimillion-dollar custom homes. In 2015 he founded Utah-based Onyx Design Collective, which specializes in high-end residential and unique commercial projects.


Kayla Cooper

As the founder of Kayla Cooper Design, Pennsylvania-based Kayla Cooper loves to design with clean lines and strong architecture. From clothes to cars to spaces, Cooper has designed it all. Though her styles and practices have evolved over the years, her love for design and the creative process has not.



Brad EngelsmanBrad Engelsman

Brad Engelsman is the founder of BEDA, an architecture and design practice based in Brooklyn whose work has been recognized internationally. He has served as full-time faculty at Montana State University and is currently a visiting professor at the New York Institute of Technology.



Barrie Spang

Barrie Spang has been an interior designer for 25 years. She worked for a residential interior design firm in Cleveland, Ohio, for 22 years before starting her own, Sapphire Pear, in 2015. Spang is inspired by color and encourages her clients to go beyond their comfort zone with design.



Lee Starke

Lee Starke is an interior designer for Cline Design Associates in Raleigh, North Carolina. Lee manages an expansive portfolio of projects from residential buildings to corporate office spaces. Her attention to detail and ability to quickly gather consensus among team members makes her an asset to any project.


Just as the landscape of San Antonio and its surrounding areas varies drastically, so too does the range of architecture and design found in the neighborhoods of our sprawling metro area, from modern urban abodes and historic renovations to expansive suburban estates and countryside farmhouses. There’s also no shortage of talented design professionals to perfectly suit each homeowner’s unique desires. That’s more than clear after seeing the entries that poured in for San Antonio Magazine’s inaugural Home & Design Awards, presented by Keller Williams. Submissions included projects completed in the two years leading up to fall 2020, when the competition opened. A renowned panel of judges (see above) from across the country critiqued the works, selecting these winners as the best of the best.


The Galeana Group



“The Hoel House”  |  Living Room

Functionality was paramount in the design of this living room that needed to be suitable for both family time and entertaining—at small and large scales. An artfully designed round table at the entry can double as the location for an intimate meal or a fundraiser check-in. The furniture pieces were selected to move easily to function as needed for the occasion and withstand any party mishaps (the luxe-looking fabrics on the sofas are all treated to be stain-resistant).

Photo by Ryann Ford.


“The Julz Box”  |  Dining Room, Powder Room

Wallpaper, window coverings and textiles provided solutions to a variety of challenges this homeowner faced, including how to incorporate an antique dining set into a bold, transitional home and how to cover a 10-by-10-foot wall of windows in a powder bath without losing the natural light. The Galeana Group used privacy film on 90 percent of that ill-placed window and added showstopping wallpaper in both rooms to draw the eye away from problem areas. Reupholstered chairs give the dining set, which belonged to the homeowners’ grandmother, a fresh take, while black and brass accents complement the glimmering design of the wallpaper in the powder room.

Photo by Ryann Ford.


Clayton Korte



“Savor”  |  Restaurant/Bar

The striking design of the Culinary Institute of America’s teaching restaurant in a former Pearl warehouse building starts before you even enter the space. A glowing canopy made of a blackened steel frame with brass connections and backlit textured glass runs from the patio to the interior and all the way through the dining room to the open kitchen that’s showcased at the back of the space. The warmth and natural finishes are carried through the rest of the design, creating an intimate environment and neutral backdrop for the rotating menu.

Photo by Dror Baldinger.


VE Luxury Homes



“Hill Country Soft Contemporary”  |  Deck/Patio/Porch/Outdoor Kitchen

Nearly 1,300 square feet of covered space make up this outdoor living area. Automatic sliding glass doors create a 10-by-24-foot movable glass wall that opens the great room to the patio, which includes an outdoor kitchen, game room, fireplace, dining/living space and an aviary. Solar screens around the edges can be used for shade or privacy. Lighted steps lead down to a pool, which is flanked by additional seating, a firepit and the lush landscape with fully automated maintenance systems. 

Photo by Trevor Smith.





“The Lynd Company Headquarters”  |  Office

For the headquarters of this local development company, RVK was tasked with creating a distinguished building that would house employees, a museum dedicated to the Vietnam War—the owner served in the conflict and is active with the veteran community—and event space. A double height lobby with a floating staircase separates the museum on the first floor with open office space on the second and private offices, plus employee amenities and a terrace that can be used for entertaining on the third floor. The energy-efficient building features abundant windows, and the use of glass in a long hallway and elevator help bring a cohesiveness to the design.

Photo by Lines & Light Studio.


Sol Studio Architects, LLC



“Nacogdoches”  |  Building Architecture

Sol Studio Architects looked to Palm Springs, California’s Tramway Gas Station, designed by Albert Frey, for exterior inspiration of this parallelogram sited building with a cantilever roof and lots of windows designed to attract potential tenants to a redevelopment project.

Photo by Against the Grain Photography.


Ford, Powell & Carson



“Dairy Barn”  |  Accessory Dwelling Unit, Historic Renovation, Interior Design: Modern, Remodel: Up to 1,000 Square Feet

Ford, Powell & Carson principal John Gutzler transformed a former dairy barn on his Hill Country property into a guest house that’s modern while maintaining its historic charm and connection to the surrounding land. Windows offer views of the Hill Country from three sides of the home and let in natural light during the day, while custom gable end windows that replaced wood siding let the stars peek in at night. The original decking and roughhewn rafters of the ceiling were retained by sistering them with fir two-by-fours, creating a striking wood ceiling that contrasts the cool whitewash of the refreshed plaster. Another eye-catching element comes in the herringbone Endicott brick floors. Ford, Powell & Carson brought its best to the renovation of this run-down property, creating a beautiful result that stays true to the simplicity of the barn’s past.

Photo by Mark Menjivar.


“Blue House”  |  Residential Landscape Water Feature

Gutzler created an outdoor living room in the renovation of the property’s main house, a 1903 farmhouse along the confluence of the Guadalupe River and Holiday Creek near Comfort. Reminiscent of cattle troughs, low limestone walls that double as seating enclose a fishpond with lily pads, goldfish and water that reflects the blue sky, sunset and flames from the courtyard’s firepit.

Photo by Mark Menjivar.


JMS Architects



“Midsomer”  | Architecture: Modern, Exterior Use of Color

The modern façade of this house features concrete, metal, wood and glass, each material providing a striking contrast to the others and the greenery of the landscape. In the resort-style backyard, a blue pool adds to the palette. From a large window in the front, the home’s dynamic floating stair tower can be seen. Inside, the open-concept floorplan is anchored around the kitchen, and a large sliding door opens up to the backyard, creating an indoor-outdoor living space.

Photo by Amanda Terry/Twist Tours.


Hill Country Woodshop, LLC



“Monkeypod Conference Room Table”  |  Custom/Repurposed Furniture

To create this industrial-style conference room table, Hill Country Woodshop imported a 12-foot by 51-inch single live edge slab of monkeypod wood from Costa Rica. The grain of the hardwood has a distinctive 3D nature that’s highlighted through the use of a hard wax. An unfinished steel beam base gives it the unfinished industrial style the client was looking to achieve.

Photo courtesy Hill Country Woodshop.


Bradshaw Designs



“Lakefront Retreat”  |  Full Bath

The renovations of this primary bathroom took it from 1980s Tuscan to modern glam. A soaking tub is flanked by his-and-hers vanities that pair simple brass-bracketed mirrors with drama in starburst hardware on the deep blue cabinets and quartz pendant lights. Some space from the attached closet was repurposed to allow for a larger walk-in shower. 

Photo by Kristin Castaneda.





“Bright & Airy Elm Creek Master Suite”  |  Primary Suite

The homeowners wanted a stylish transitional space that could age along with them. A gas fireplace with floor-to-ceiling custom plaster in the bedroom sets a calming tone that’s carried into the attached bathroom, which was updated with clean, contemporary design elements and ADA-compliant features, such as large entry doors, a curbless shower and 35-inch vanity height. 

Photo by Ryann Ford.


Infinity Pools of Texas



“Curved Pool with Vanishing Edge”  |  Residential Swimming Pool/Spa

This uniquely positioned pool wraps around the edge of an elevated patio in the backyard of a Cordillera Ranch home. The vanishing edge creates the same visual effect as a true infinity pool. A firepit and seating on the salt-finished concrete deck provides an additional place to take in the Hill Country views. 

Photo courtesy Garner Custom Homes.


Styleberry Creative Interiors



Shawna Percival  |  Rising Star: Less Than Five Years

In just over four years, Shawna Percival has established her fresh and focused take on interior design through her firm, Styleberry Creative Interiors. “I believe that an ordered, meaningful and beautiful space is the fastest way to relaxing and enjoying time at home, and that is what drives every project we do,” she says. That ethos to design rooms where clients can live a comfortable, full life has led to designs that draw inspiration from nature, incorporate personal touches and emphasize function along with beauty.

A prime example, her winning children’s room/play space (“Primera Project Play Room”) was once a sunroom that had been used for storage. She transformed it into a children’s play area that has dedicated spaces for crafts, video games, Legos and board games, music, reading and more. Lego and art creations by the kids serve as décor, while comfy chairs welcome the whole family and ensure the room will age gracefully alongside the children.

For a more sophisticated game room for teens and adults at another home (“Waterford Project Game Room,” winner of the specialty room category), she and her team added a high-contrast look to a space blessed with abundant natural sunlight. They balanced black wallpaper, a gray leather couch and black tile behind a candy and soda bar with woven pendants, light cabinetry, a gallery wall of white frames and the metallic and natural hues of saxophones and guitars that double as art on the walls.

Photo by Madeline Harper Interior Photography.


“Primera Project Play Room”  |  Children’s Room/Play Space

Photo by Styleberry Creative Interiors.


“Waterford Project Game Room”  |  Specialty Room (Gym, Music, Billiards, Crafts, Etc.)

Photo by Madeline Harper Interior Photography.


McKinney York Architects



“Hillside Pavilion”  |  Home in the Hill Country

At this Hill Country home for Texas-born Nebraska snowbirds, the pavilion and pool offer a place to relax while taking in the views of the sky and the lake below. Nestled into the hill, the pavilion includes retractable openings and a rooftop meadow that blooms with wildflowers in the spring. 

Photo by Dror Baldinger.


Younique Designs



“Traditional Kitchen Gets a Modern Makeover”  |  Kitchen

This kitchen is a master of contrasts—matte and high gloss, wood and black stone—that all complement one another. The kitchen is set at an angle to allow for traffic flow and to serve as the hub of the home. A wall of cabinets around two ovens (the kitchen has two full-sized ovens plus a steam oven) include pull-out pantries and motorized doors on upper cabinets. An appliance cabinet holds a microwave keeping countertops clutter-free, while custom iron floating shelves and a wine closet behind black iron framed doors puts curated items on display.

Photo by Jennifer Siu-Rivera.


K. Rue Designs, LLC



“Fireplace Transformation”  |  Fireplace

A builder-grade fireplace with dark red brick and a surrounding wall painted light brown were given a lighter treatment with stone travertine, white wood molding and panels, new wall sconces and a faux wrought-iron design piece overhead that disguises the grill vent while still allowing for air flow. 

Photo by Amanda Maeyaert.


Carla Royder Designs & Co.



“John Wayne Inspired Study”  |  Library/Study/Home Office

The homeowner of this study has a love of Texas and John Wayne and a personal history in the power and electricity business, inspiring the design team to honor his roots with vintage accessories. An embossed crocodile wall covering adds depth and texture to the entire room while a custom Kyle Bunting rug pairs well with a structured Noir desk. A submarine accent table aside a leather chair makes for a striking reading nook. 

Photo by Carla Royder Designs & Co.


Virtuoso Builders



“Shavano Estates Expansion”  |  Custom Cabinetry

In an effort to minimize waste, the homeowners of this remodel project requested that their original cabinets be salvaged and reused. Virtuoso Builders took special care to remove them, sand them down and re-stain them for re-installation throughout the project. The island size doubled with the use of old cabinets, while others were used to expand an appliance wall. For some, the design team removed the fronts and replaced them with wire mesh for the look of open cabinets. 

Photo by Jason Roberts.


Dave Isaacs Homes



“300 Queen Anne”  |  Remodel: More than 1,000 Square Feet

This Mahncke Park home was a 1920s-built triplex that Dave Isaacs Homes stripped to its studs to rebuild. The team drew upon the French influence of the neighborhood for a French modern style that’s a beautiful reinvention.

Photo by Shoot2sell.


CKC Custom Homes



“Hill Country Transitional”  |  Lighting

CKC Custom Homes eschewed can lights and boring chandeliers in this New Braunfels home, instead installing a variety of eye-catching light fixtures in various rooms. 

Photo by Lauren Keller, LRES Marketing.


UP & Co.



“Neutrals vs. Brights”  |  Use of Color

UP & Co. relied on distinct color palettes to set the tone for disparate areas of this home, all while ensuring cohesiveness within the house’s composite design style. They used whites and neutrals to create a calming guest room that would be welcoming to every visitor. Outside that bedroom, a common entertaining space leads into vibrant kids’ rooms and serves as a conduit between the two areas with varying needs. Color is introduced there but in shades that aren’t fully saturated to avoid overstimulation.

Photo by Paola Longoria Photography.


“Sevilla Project”  |  Readers’ Choice Best Overall Home

Modern elegance, efficiency and comfort were the leading design themes in this home, which was the clear favorite for our readers, who voted online during January to select this as the top overall home among the architecture and interior design finalist entries. UP & Co. says this budget-conscious project needed to satisfy a penchant for entertaining with the functionality necessary for the homeowners and their young daughter to enjoy the rooms in day-to-day life. They juxtaposed dark furniture with white, open spaces and made sure to allow areas for large groups to gather and move about. Original art throughout the house was specially curated to match the family’s personalities and hobbies.

Photo by Paola Longoria Photography.


Ken Bentley, Bentley Architects

Legacy Award

If an element in one of architect Ken Bentley’s homes is beautiful, it almost always also serves a functional purpose.

“Define what is essential and then make art out of what is essential,” says Bentley, who started practicing in San Antonio in 1965 and has had his own firm, Bentley Architects, for 40-plus years. “You make functional art.”

An Abilene native and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Bentley says he’s loved to draw since he was a kid and was pulled to architecture after summers spent working in construction as a teen. “It became apparent to me early on that I wanted to be an architect,” he says. “I was just fascinated by it.”

He began as a 20-something working with Bartlett Cocke before joining O’Neil Ford’s firm, where Bentley says he learned many of the elements of material and place that still influence him today. “Ford was one of those who was naturally gifted,” Bentley says.

In opening his own firm, Bentley quickly found that he liked to remain involved in each of the projects the group took on and has kept his staff small to allow for that type of hands-on interaction, typically having just three to five associates. They’ve worked throughout San Antonio, Texas and Mexico, focusing largely on residential projects—which Bentley says allows for more creativity—and relying on word-of-mouth to drive business.

Whether at a site on the far Northwest Side or sitting in the garden at the Alamo, Bentley always keeps his sketch book on him and insists on drawing his projects, even as computer programs have allowed for less physical sketching in recent decades. “One has to be careful not to lose their soul with a computer,” says Bentley, who also designs sculptures. “I still draw everything with a pencil. I have a deep commitment to feeling what I’m drawing.”

In each of the homes he designs, Bentley takes pride in responding to both the region where the house is built and to its site, taking into account everything from wind and sun exposure to trees. “We want our work to function and for everything to have a purpose,” he says, explaining that that means avoiding cliches, relying on regional material and considering the culture of the place where a home is constructed.

Torrey Carleton, executive director at AIA San Antonio, says that care and attention to each of his jobs has made Bentley one of San Antonio’s true standouts, even if he doesn’t ever seek recognition. “He’s someone who has always created architecture because he adores architecture,” Carleton says. “It just runs in his blood. His work is very much his own and can be easily overlooked because he shies away from the spotlight and doesn’t submit for awards. His work is timeless, gorgeous and just really sings.”

Photo courtesy AIA San Antonio.


Photo courtesy AIA San Antonio.