ASID 2017 Design Excellence Awards

Editorial StaffAugust 17, 2017
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The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Arizona North Chapter is the premier organization for local interior designers. Each year, ASID salutes its members’ design achievements in multiple categories for residential, commercial, hospitality, health care and sustainability. The winners were honored at the 2017 ASID Design Excellence Awards Gala, held in August at the Phoenician in Scottsdale. Following are the First Place winners and Best in Show winner for the Commercial category of interior design. The winners in the Residential category are presented in this month’s issue of our sister magazine, Phoenix Home & Garden. For more information about the ASID North Chapter, visit

Business Office Over 5,000 Square Feet 

Elaine Alexander Allied ASID 
Est Est Inc.
Project: Wallick & Volk

In this real estate and mortgage office, we remodeled raw space for 22 offices, an open reception lounge, a break area/coffee bar, storage, restrooms and conference areas with high occupancy. A challenge was to create both a welcoming first impression for clients and a delightful work environment for employees. The use of organic woods and clean, contemporary finishes reflects current residential design trends; this is most evident in the reception lounge. Space planning allowed every employee to have a window, while conference rooms were positioned in the center. A secondary challenge was the size of a conference room to be used by staff and for biannual meetings with visiting colleagues. Creative space planning and the use of glass partitions resolved the issue. The room feels comfortable and casual when used for open-door meetings, and the transparency prevents it from feeling contained during biannual conferences when it is at maximum capacity. 


Senior Living Community 

Shahlla Zahedi Allied ASID 
Thoma-Holec Design LLC
Project: Maison Senior Living/West Vancouver, BC, Canada
The design team was very focused on offering choices to the assisted living and memory care residents and encouraging independence and socialization, as well as providing the residents with dignity and respect. Amenities include a lobby with a bistro, tea and activity room, theater and chapel, private dining, restaurant with fireside dining, indoor gardening, and multiple game and social lounges. The architectural details, millwork, lighting and furnishings were designed to provide a luxurious environment. Each hallway has a different art theme, which provides a gallery-type feel and aids the residents in locating their apartment or a specific amenity. Stunning views with an abundance of large windows, custom interactive artwork, a custom history photo wall and life skill stations also aid the space’s memory care mission. The interior design team focused not only on the aesthetics, but also in providing residents with ample opportunities to experience a comfortable, engaging and dignified environment. 


Retail Space 

Laura Smith Allied ASID
LRS Interiors 
Project: Laura Richie Smith Interiors/Tempe, AZ

This luxurious retail showroom was created to convey the interior designer’s distinctive personal aesthetic, while emphasizing the numerous home furnishing and accessory offerings available to her clients. The goal was to transform an empty warehouse space to display a collection of room vignettes, highlighting an array of styles and price-points, appealing to clients’ broad-ranging tastes and needs. The living room settings show off a diverse design portfolio, featuring a variety of upholstery options with numerous possible cushion inserts, seating depths and finishing details, ready for clients to select their individual level of firmness and comfort. Two dining vignettes highlight an eclectic offering of casegoods, while the bedroom presents an opulent composition of lavish textiles. Generous crown, base and applied moldings, combined with engineered wood flooring and airy linen drapes, create a timeless and sophisticated palette to accentuate the designer’s fresh take on traditional style. 


Public or Educational Facility 

Joi Prater Allied ASID 
Joi Prater Interiors
Project: Brynne Smith Memorial Campus for Foothills Animal Rescue/Scottsdale, AZ

The clients wanted to build a world-class sanctuary for rescue animals in North Scottsdale that also functioned as a memorial for a beloved young woman and animal lover killed in 2013. In designing this singular facility, Prater was obliged to consider the comfort of the animals, to stay within a restricted budget and to design the interior to reflect modern desert architecture. Reaching out to industry partners, the designer secured donated materials throughout the facility: furniture, lighting, tile, wood, granite, etc. The biggest challenge was to take donated materials and create a cohesive, well-planned design. This was achieved by selecting palettes derived from the donated materials. The flooring choice and HVAC system were crucial selections. Epoxy flooring was specified in the animal areas for sanitary purposes and for “softness” under sensitive paws. An efficient HVAC system was required to keep everyone healthy. The custom plumeria lights in the lobby represent a tattoo the young woman had. 


Hospitality Facility 

Holly Asher Allied ASID 
Est Est Inc.
Project: Sonoran Clubhouse/Scottsdale, AZ

The renovation and expansion of this community staple created challenges and opportunities. This cherished country club needed not only an aesthetic update, but also the addition of several amenities. An outdoor space was repurposed as indoor gathering areas to create a “resort lobby” feel. A dining space became a deluxe fitness facility. The former fitness areas became a world-class spa with treatment suites and luxurious locker rooms. Group fitness, an updated pro shop, and new youth center were also necessary. It was imperative that the comfort and familiarity of the long-running club remain, while giving it a fresh look to attract a new, younger demographic – all while maintaining a very firm budget and timeline. The strict mandate was a constant during the construction and FF&E (furniture, fixture and equipment) phases. The design team was very thoughtful and thorough in selecting the interior finishes, as well as in designing the custom furniture and light fixtures featured throughout. 


Singular Space 

Jose Martinez ASID 
FoRM Design Studio
Project: Babbo Italian Eatery/Surprise, AZ

The clients’ objective was to design a private dining room within the main restaurant, while maintaining a visual connection to the main dining room through a vintage-style casement glass wall system. The room allows guests to enjoy more intimate social groups while maintaining a presence within the larger communal volume of the restaurant. The main wall features a traditional Italian chalkboard graffiti wall framed with key muses; centered, a wood wall unfolds and bends upward to become a floating wood soffit. The wood soffit, fractured from solid planks to open slats, helps to create interest within the ceiling and to stagger amber seeded-glass pendants over the main dining table. A custom credenza of dark wood, patterned CMU block and a long quartz top with waterfall edges becomes the central feature display for the wine selections. Above the wine credenza, a large casement window provides a view into the active display kitchen. 


Special Function Space

Wendi Stallings ASID 
Private Label International
Project: Envy Residences/Scottsdale, AZ

First impressions mean everything to this home-building client’s target market: jet-setting nomads and discriminating tastemakers who want a home that expresses a distinct sense of style without compromising on location, amenities and service. To captivate this market, the design needed to express imagination and sophistication. The result is a modern interpretation of iconic glamour. The first impression at the lobby communicates a boutique hotel feel that captivates with a bold black, white and gold palette. This ultramodern and luxe backdrop is continued in the lounge, where details make a statement of racy sophistication with dramatic lighting and shimmering gold and bronze elements. Private wine lockers and a communal table topped by a granite slab with recessed, iced chillers add to the sense of exclusivity. Adorned in custom furniture and layered with rich materials and finishes, this lounge gives every resident and guest a unique sense of city living.



Anita Lang Allied ASID 
IMI Design
Project: Design Studio/Scottsdale, AZ

You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so what do you want to say? For this studio, the statement was “Welcome!” with a fresh, innovative, professional, creative and sharp style. Along with modern and clean aesthetics, practicality was a priority: room for two teammates, plus storage for paper goods, supplies, files and more. The solution was a custom reception built-in of washed, rifted oak; matte white lacquer; and quartz slab. First, an asymmetrical composition was designed, anchored on the left with a vertical oak trellis, adding architectural interest and supporting a digital portfolio. This is visually balanced with the horizontal desk, with just enough height to hide clutter while still allowing a friendly “hello” from the receptionist. The desk is supported by an interesting metal wedge leg. The paneled backdrop is magnetic-locked cabinetry, providing an ample amount of storage. The linear sign is implemented in crisp stainless steel, repeating the horizontal read of the desk lines. 


Outdoor Living Space 

Lawrence Lake ASID 
Lawrence Lake Interiors
Project: Escape Pool/Phoenix, AZ

Urban design is the focus of these dramatic outdoor spaces for a multi-family building project. From intimate party pods to the poolside catwalk, the design uses a contemporary mix of woven seating with acrylic and metal accents. Umbrellas, accent chairs and pillows spread color throughout the design plan, creating a sophisticated feeling with a fun and energetic vibe.


Emerging Professional 

Kimberly Cox 
Allied ASID
Thoma-Holec Design LLC
Project: MorningStar Senior Living at 
RidgeGate/Lone Tree, CO

This spacious senior living community located in Lone Tree, Colorado, is a community that was designed to create beautiful, functional spaces that adhere to all neighborhoods of senior living: independent living, assisted living and memory care. The basis of the design was to develop areas that are dedicated to aging in place and accessibility, while keeping the integrity of a cozy and welcoming community. 


Universal Design/Aging in Place 

Bonnie Lewis Allied ASID
55+ TLC Interior Design 
Project: McDowell Village Senior Living/Scottsdale, AZ

The senior living community client wanted a new reception area that would eliminate clutter and provide an additional workstation. Creating a contemporary area with a hospitality aesthetic and custom-designed, ADA-compliant reception desk for two staffers, the designer included taller contrasting transaction counters with sign-in iPads for fast self-service; two wheelchair-accessible counters; and lockable storage cabinets to eliminate visual clutter, among other details. 



Monica Sullivan 
Allied ASID
Moxie Design Studio  
Project: Infinity Software Solutions/
Scottsdale, AZ

For a rapidly expanding software company, a larger office space with cutting-edge design was necessary. The main objective was taking an existing space with a forest of partition walls and creating an invigorating work environment. Incorporating perforated, bold-colored felt panels in the workspace and the employee lounge set the tone for a modern environment with a casual vibe. High-quality, sound-absorbing, renewable and flame-resistant, the panels make for a unique and functional design element. 


Reuse-Repurposed Design 

Claudia Gerster 
Allied ASID
Creative License Intl
Project: The Bus at Eastmark’s Bus Stop/Mesa, AZ

To develop a dynamic theme for a master-planned community recreation center, we designed an environment centered around a renovated school bus and named the space “The Bus Stop.” The wheels and one side of the vehicle were removed and the interior was gutted to provide space for upholstered booths. The cab was restored and open for kids to experience the feel of driving the bus. Festoon lighting was added to the interior ceiling and a cooler for beverages was mounted to the rear, among other functional elements. Our client wanted a memorable space that would be activated with residents. The bus made this space a great success.


Lighting Fixture 

Michael Jackson 
Industry Partner 
Hinkley’s Lighting
Project: Enchanted Earth/Scottsdale, AZ

A new client, who owns a working farm, walked into our showroom with an idea for a chandelier that looked like tree roots. Our lead designer created a sketch, from which we produced a detailed drawing showing how we intended to create the fixture to fit her space, balance her existing lighting and incorporate a subtle steampunk aesthetic that complemented two sconces she purchased to accompany the fixture. The resulting chandelier fit the space perfectly and created an amazing shadow-and-light effect throughout her foyer. 



Mark Schriefer 
Allied ASID
Project: Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa/Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

This chair can be found on one of Cabo San Lucas’ newest seaside resort properties. For the resort’s coffee shop and delicatessen, a stable and reliable chair was required to pair with the banquettes that cover half of the space. Having proposed a few chair options to the client and having them all rejected, the designer opted for a cantina aesthetic, basing it on an iconic architectural detail one might find over doorways and windows throughout Mexico. The result is a one-of-a-kind chair that the client is proud to call their own. 


Randy Wolfe 
Industry Partner 
Wolfe Woodworking
Project: Chair Formerly Known as Prints

The design challenge was to build a truly one-of-a-kind, captivating chair – an opportunity that coincided with the passing of the pop music icon Prince, whose easily recognizable symbol dominates the curved chair back. Made of 3-inch-thick poplar laminate clamped in a re-purposed form, the slab was flush-trimmed with a router, rounded over with a large bull-nose bit and hand-sanded with incredible care. Prince’s song “Purple Rain” was the inspiration for the crackle finish on the chair. 



Leann Fernald 
Industry Partner 
Project: Wine Cellar Experts/Scottsdale, AZ

The design challenge was to create a striking and sophisticated fascia for a custom wine cellar, providing artistry as well as functionality for the maintenance of the cellar’s climate control system. The elegant and intriguing lyrical curves of the vine, embellished with robust, ready-for-harvest clusters of grapes and leaves, bring a sense of the vineyard into the cellar. Engineered to obscure the seams, the split panel tricks the eye and gives the appearance of a single, uninterrupted design. 


Suzanne Daley 
Industry Partner
Alyshaan Fine Rugs 
Project: The Angel Wears Alyshaan

The designer/client came to us with a fun custom rug proposition. They had watched the movie The Devil Wears Prada and fell in love with the rug shown in Miranda Priestly’s living room. Having purchased furniture from Italy in ombre shades of blue to pair with a modern white leather sectional, they wanted their new rug to complement the new furniture. We composed the client’s artwork, utilizing 60-knot New Zealand wool and viscose raised in white and charcoal, framing all the wool colors very nicely and giving the rug a feeling of movement and flow.