We’re thrilled to share the design projects that wowed our expert judges for our inaugural Your Modern Cottage Design Awards Competition.

The 2022 YMC Design Awards recognizes residential home designs within the United States of America that reflect our three principles of great residential design: Homes designed for the uniqueness of the clients; Homes built for today and the future; and Homes that are a retreat from the complexities of our world. In addition, we believe that modern is not a design style, but a lifestyle. As a result, we welcomed designs of all styles. 

Our three judges — Scott Edmonston, AIA, president and principal architect of SEA Studio, LLC; Stacy Millman, AIA, principal of SKM Design LLC; and John Vetter, AIA, owner of Vetter Architects — based their votes on how they responded to our three design principles.

We bestowed award winners in three categories below. Upcoming posts will take a closer look at the winning designs as well as those that received an Honorable Mention.

1. New Modern Cottages

Houses designed to take us away from the modern rush. These homes provide a retreat for the families that gather there and provide a place where they can reconnect with each other. Size of homes can range but should be no more than 4,800 square feet.

Winner: Tidewater by Randall Kipp Architecture

“Nicely organized with a central gathering space that is thoughtfully flanked by two private bedroom wings. This layout creates two courtyards, public and private, that are knit beautifully into the surrounding natural landscape. By organizing the plan into three components, the large home is broken down into smaller scaled ‘cottages.’ Elegant glass details create uninterrupted views and connection to the gardens and the lake beyond.” ~ John Vetter, Vetter Architects

Photography Credit  (Above & Featured Image) – Maxwell MacKenzie 

2. Modern Cottage Additions and Renovations

Houses specifically altered, adapted, and renovated for the families living within them. These designs transform a mundane house and turn it into something special.

Winner: House in Town by Elliott Architects

“This renovation truly created a modern flow and sensibility in an existing 1800s structure. I like that the exterior was barely changed except for modern glass shapes inserted into the colonial facade, like the barn door and bay windows. They give light to the interior by day and a glow to the exterior by night. The new skylights also puncture the exterior allowing light to fill the dramatic double height space. The kitchen, which once felt dark and cramped with low ceilings, is now a bright open gathering space.” ~ Stacy Millman, SKM Design LLC

Photography Credit (Above & Below) – Trent Bell 

3. Small Modern Cottages

There is a trend today to go small. But let’s face it, not all of us would feel comfortable in a 400-square-foot home. This category celebrates new modern cottages that are small and efficient but still accommodate a very comfortable, modern lifestyle. Cottages in this category were capped at 1,600 square feet.

Winner: Cloud Ranch by Best Practice Architecture

“Powerful images! Clean. Simple. Love the use of humble materials in a beautiful way.” ~ Scott Edmonston, SEA Studio LLC

Photography Credit: Rafael Soldi

About Our Judges:

Scott Edmonston, AIA, is the founder and principal architect at SEA Studio located in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Scott and his diverse team at SEA are focused on establishing an honest architectural language in a unique, rapidly evolving coastal region, which has otherwise been void of critical design thinking throughout its recent development.

In the office, and within the firm’s radius of influence, Scott has spearheaded an advancement of sustainable architectural practices, along with an elevated concentration on human-centric design. Such values have landed Scott and his team with seven AIA Delaware Awards over just the past several years.

Stacy Millman, AIA, principal of SKM Design LLC, brings more than 25 years of experience to her boutique, full-service architecture and interior design firm. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art from the University of Michigan before receiving a Master of Architecture from Parsons School of Design. Prior to founding her business in 2004, Stacy worked at several award-winning firms in Manhattan, where she honed her timeless aesthetic and learned the importance of mixing function and style.

Today, as a registered architect licensed in Connecticut, her use of clean, crisp details, natural materials, and visual simplicity is reflected in all of SKM Design’s projects, many of which maintain the delicate balance between historical architecture and modern sensibilities.

John Vetter, AIA, owner of Vetter Architects, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota in 1982. Three years later, he opened his studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has acted as principal-in-charge of design over the past 36 years.

His firm’s award-winning work has consistently explored the nature of residential design in both rural and urban settings, seeking uncommon solutions to common design challenges and bringing architect-designed housing to a wider public audience. Throughout his career, John has participated in numerous design juries and Vetter Architects has been honored with numerous Wisconsin AIA awards.