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StyleBlueprint has teamed up with the Alabama Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) on our “Make a Move, Make a Room” Interior Design Contest, sponsored by Paige Albright Orientals. All practicing members of ASID Alabama were asked to submit projects that demonstrated how moving a structural element in a room changes the look, feel and functionality of the entire room. You can scroll down to learn more about each project and vote in the box below.

This particular challenge demonstrates how the artistry of design demands expert technical and spatial thinking — the function — married with beautiful, artistic style — the form — to create a truly breathtaking space. These five spaces reveal a mastery of combining form and function, with their creative and gorgeous design solutions. We’ve selected the top five projects, and now it’s your turn to vote for the winning design. Check out the before-and-after pics on these impressive interior design renovations.

Vote for your favorite "Make a Move, Make a Room" Interior Design Contest finalist.

Vote for your favorite “Make a Move, Make a Room” Interior Design Contest finalist.

“Make a Move, Make a Room” Interior Design Contest Finalists

Design Project 1
Designer: A. Brandeis Short, Designer with Pillar & Peacock

The challenge & goal:
Before the renovation, this 1940s farmhouse was typical of its era with a small kitchen and seldom-used formal dining room. The homeowners wanted to expand and combine the narrow, enclosed existing kitchen with the formal dining room and hall, thus creating one open space that allows for several types of entertaining and daily use.

The before and after floor plans

The before and after floor plans

The solution & result:
Designer Brandeis Short of Pillar & Peacock decided to remove the load-bearing wall that spanned the width of the kitchen and to introduce reinforced columns at the island and the footers to achieve a functional, yet grand entertaining space. “Designing the columns so that they were a part of the island design was the most challenging,” says Brandeis. “The last thing we wanted was columns that were stuck in a room!”

“It was a complete transformation of three spaces into one large space that has many functions and allows the homeowners to entertain in different ways — semi-formal dining for a minimum of 10, island seating that allows conversation while cooking and daily use, and comfortable seating for coffee-sipping and TV-watching,” says Brandeis.

AFTER 

Beautiful hardware, marble and tile modernize the interior of this 1940s farmhouse.

Beautiful hardware, marble and tile modernize the interior of this 1940s farmhouse.

The turquoise dining room chairs add a fun and unexpected element to the space.

The turquoise dining room chairs add a fun and unexpected element to the space.

The kitchen's open floor plan makes the "hub of the home" an ideal place for people to gather and enjoy each others' company while dinner is being prepared.

The kitchen’s open floor plan makes the “hub of the home” an ideal place for people to gather and enjoy each others’ company while dinner is being prepared.

Brandeis says her favorite part of the project was the small details, such as recessing the refrigerators into the wall, paneling them and adding architectural door hardware.

Brandeis says her favorite part of the project was the small details, such as recessing the refrigerators into the wall, paneling them and adding architectural door hardware.

RELATED: Ashley Mac’s Home Kitchen: A Stunning Before & After

“Designing the columns so that they were a part of the island design was the most challenging,” says Brandeis. “The last thing we wanted was columns that were stuck in a room!”

“Designing the columns so that they were a part of the island design was the most challenging,” says Brandeis. “The last thing we wanted was columns that were stuck in a room!”

Design Project 2
Designer: H. Don Bowden, Principal of Bowden Architecture

The challenge & goal:
The client had a windowless kitchen trapped between an exercise room and a breakfast room, which were both filled with light. The clients wanted to bring light into the dark kitchen and make the adjacent spaces work with the kitchen for entertaining family and friends.

The solution & result:
“We removed the walls that separated the kitchen from the adjacent rooms, allowing more natural light to come in from the large windows,” says Don Bowden, Principal of Bowden Architecture. “It also opened up the kitchen to allow more space for family and friends to gather during parties and events.

BEFORE

The windowless kitchen was isolated in the middle of the home.

The windowless kitchen was isolated in the middle of the home.

AFTER

"Recreating enough cabinetry now that perimeter walls were removed was the most challenging aspect of the design," says Don.

“Recreating enough cabinetry now that perimeter walls were removed was the most challenging aspect of the design,” says Don.

Don's favorite part of the project was having the chance to play materials and colors against each other.

Don’s favorite part of the project was having the chance to play materials and colors against each other.

The living room flows directly into the kitchen and then dining room.

The living room flows directly into the kitchen and then dining room.

Part of the design features a grand butler's pantry complete with a wine cooler.

Part of the design features a grand butler’s pantry complete with a wine cooler.

Design Project 3
Designer: Chris Magidson, Interior Designer, Stock & Trade Design Co.

The challenge & goal:
“As you can see in the before photos, there were many odd angles in the ceiling soffits as well as some odd doorways,” says interior designer Chris Magidson, who is currently with Defining Home and, at the time of this project, was with Stock & Trade Design Co. Chris wanted to make the dated space feel more modern and open. “The master bath underwent some significant changes as well. Originally, there was a half-height wall that separated the vanity area from the wet area, which included the former shower and a built-in tub by the large picture window.”

The solution & result:
Throughout the residence, all of the soffits were removed and odd ceiling angles squared off, which opened up the ceiling space significantly. In the main living space, which includes the family room, dining and kitchen areas, doorways were opened up as much as possible, making all of these areas one large space. “The main living areas were opened up significantly, making the space feel larger and more modern. Reconfiguring the master bath created a much larger, more open area as well,” says Chris, who admits to having a soft spot for the bathroom. “Both the structural changes and the materials used combined to create a bright and open space, and the view of the Gulf is hard to beat.”

BEFORE

Before: “As you can see in the before photos, there were many odd angles in the ceiling soffits as well as some odd doorways,” says Interior Designer Chris Magidson, who is currently with Defining Home and, at the time of this project, was with Stock & Trade Design Co.

Before: “As you can see in the before photos, there were many odd angles in the ceiling soffits as well as some odd doorways,” says interior designer Chris Magidson, who is currently with Defining Home and, at the time of this project, was with Stock & Trade Design Co.

AFTER

After: The redesign was thoroughly sleek and modern.

After: The redesign was thoroughly sleek and modern.

BEFORE

Before: The original dining room featured a dark color palette with a mix of furniture styles.

Before: The original dining room featured a dark color palette with a mix of furniture styles.

AFTER

After: The redesigned dining room is a total transformation.

After: The redesigned dining room is a total transformation.

BEFORE

Before: There were odd angles and doorways throughout the space.

Before: There were odd angles and doorways throughout the space.

AFTER

After: The kitchen was completely changed, including removing doorways to a pantry and storage space creating a single large area.

After: The kitchen was completely changed, including removing doorways to a pantry and storage space creating a single large area.

BEFORE

Before: The original master bath included a half-height wall that separated the vanity area from the wet area which included the former shower and a built-in tub by the large picture window.

Before: The original master bath included a half-height wall that separated the vanity area from the wet area, which included the former shower and a built-in tub by the large picture window.

AFTER

After: The entire bathroom was reconfigured, including relocating the tub to the center of the bathroom area, installing new floating vanity cabinets, and a large walk-in shower.

After: The entire bathroom was reconfigured, including relocating the tub to the center of the bathroom area, installing new floating vanity cabinets, and a large walk-in shower.

After: The biggest challenge was dealing with the plumbing reconfiguration in the bathroom.

After: The biggest challenge was dealing with the plumbing reconfiguration in the bathroom.

Design Project 4
Designer: Beverly Farrington, Owner of Accents of the South

The challenge & goal:
“Removing just one wall can make all the difference,” says Beverly Farrington, lead designer and owner of Accents of the South. “Our clients came to us to redesign their kitchen, living and breakfast rooms.” Beverly began with the kitchen. “Enjoying each other’s company while cooking in the kitchen was nearly impossible for our clients’ large family. The kitchen was closed off and not accessible to the living room.

The solution & result:
Through the removal of a wall, adjusting the layout and adding additional bar seating, Beverly achieved three spaces that beautifully work together. However, the wall to be removed was load-bearing, supporting the master bedroom above. This provided the biggest challenge. “A large steel beam was installed to support the load. The coffered ceiling provides distinction in the den as well as disguising the steel beam,” says Beverly.

BEFORE 

Before: As you can see in this picture, the cook was blocked from view from the living room by the wall that housed the range.

Before: As you can see in this picture, the cook was blocked from view from the living room by the wall that housed the range.

Before: The living room was traditional yet tired.

Before: The living room was traditional yet tired.

AFTER

After: With removal of the wall that housed the island, the room is transformed. "My favorite part of the project was creating a finished product that was functional yet comfortably elegant — and happy clients, of course," says Beverly.

After: With removal of the wall that housed the island, the room is transformed. “My favorite part of the project was creating a finished product that was functional yet comfortably elegant — and happy clients, of course,” says Beverly.

A softened color palette, seen in this fireside vignette in the dining room, makes the home feel refreshed and calming.

After: A softened color palette, seen in this fireside vignette in the dining room, makes the home feel refreshed and calming.

RELATED: Unbridled Beauty in Africa: Rug Expert Paige Albright’s Buying Trip to Morocco

After: This view offers a glimpse into just how open the space becomes with removal of the wall — living room flows into kitchen, which flows into dining room adjacent to the home's central staircase.

After: This view offers a glimpse into just how open the space becomes with removal of the wall — the living room flows into the kitchen, which flows into the dining room adjacent to the home’s central staircase.

After: Warm, traditional elements mix with sleek touches for a lovely, collected look.

After: Warm, traditional elements mix with sleek touches for a lovely, collected look.

After: Traditional Southern elegance meets modern, laid-back comfort.

After: Traditional Southern elegance meets modern, laid-back comfort.

Design Project 5
Designer: Laura Merrill, Owner of Laura Merrill Interiors

The challenge & goal:
“The goal of this project was to create a more open floor plan, offering ease of entertaining and flow from the kitchen to the den and butler pantry,” says Laura Merrill, owner of Laura Merrill Interiors. Multiple structural elements were changed in this project. For instance, originally, the den’s fireplace was flanked by bookcases that concealed a pantry running behind the entire length of the wall, accessible only through the kitchen.

The solution & result:
The bookcases were removed, along with the wall, and the open butler pantry was also created, offering the perfect area for entertaining. In addition, the removal of the 8-foot ceilings in the kitchen, following the roof line with the addition of the rough-hewn beams, made the space feel much larger. “We also created a pass-through opening from the kitchen to the den to further open the rooms for a more cohesive look,” says Laura. “Windows in the den were replaced with French doors, opening onto a terrace and porch area to enable more flow for entertainment.” Lastly, a basement bathroom was made by closing off a full bath to create the new powder bath, as well as an entire full bathroom on the other side. “Since the plumbing was in place, it was less costly to incorporate another full bathroom into the home, giving added value.”

BEFORE

Before: The original den included 8-foot ceilings and built-in bookcases that blocked a butler's pantry, accessible only via the kitchen. Everything was compartmentalized.

Before: The original den included 8-foot ceilings and built-in bookcases that blocked a butler’s pantry, accessible only via the kitchen. Everything was compartmentalized.

AFTER

After: The space was totally transformed by opening these spaces for ease of entertainment and flow. Windows in the den were replaced with French doors, opening onto a terrace, also great for hosting guests.

After: The space was totally transformed by opening these spaces for ease of entertainment and flow. Windows in the den were replaced with French doors, opening onto a terrace, also great for hosting guests.

After: The rustic open butler pantry exudes an Old World charm with modern touches like its ice maker and wine cooler.

After: The rustic open butler pantry exudes an Old World charm with modern touches like its ice maker and wine cooler.

After: By closing off a full bathroom, a new powder bath — as well as an entire full bathroom on the other side — was created. Since the plumbing was in place, it was less costly and it allowed one bathroom for guests and another for the private suite.

After: By closing off a full bathroom, a new powder bath — as well as an entire full bathroom on the other side — was created. Since the plumbing was in place, it was less costly and it allowed one bathroom for guests and another for the private suite.

BEFORE

Before: The "before" kitchen has a very dated feel.

Before: The “before” kitchen has a very dated feel.

After: With a modern black-white-and-gray color palette and rough-hewn beams, this renovated kitchen exudes timeless charm with modern accents.

After: With a modern black-white-and-gray color palette and rough-hewn beams, this renovated kitchen exudes timeless charm with modern accents.

After: Stainless steel appliances, black marble countertops and modern pendant lighting combine to create this fresh space.

After: Stainless steel appliances, black marble countertops and modern pendant lighting combine to create this fresh space.

The contest winner will be announced at the ASID Alabama Annual Summit on Friday, September 8, 2017, and will receive a special prize from Paige Albright of Paige Albright Orientals. The winner will also be featured in a StyleBlueprint article soon after. So, vote now for your favorite design project, and good luck to each of the designers!

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Thank you to Paige Albright Orientals for sponsoring the “Make a Move, Make a Room” Interior Design Contest.

Check out more beautiful interiors in our Home & Decor section, and follow us on Instagram for design inspiration and our favorite local FINDS.

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