BALA Bravo

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I wish all of our readers had a chance to participate in the judging for the Best in American Living Awards. I found the process exhilarating, and the judges' discussions reinvigorated me. Looking at all the great design in the country, the devotion people have to their art and craft, and the value we deliver to our clients is refreshing.

February 01, 2007

I wish all of our readers had a chance to participate in the judging for the Best in American Living Awards. I found the process exhilarating, and the judges' discussions reinvigorated me. It's been a rough few months in the housing industry, and after a while people get worn down by the grind. But looking at all the great design in the country, the devotion people have to their art and craft, and the value we deliver to our clients is refreshing.

It is that element — the ability to refill our passion for our industry — that I want everyone to experience. We all need time to step back from the daily pressures of executing our businesses and remember why we chose this industry in which to work.

The answer is actually pretty simple and came to me during the two-hour discussion to select the Home of the Year. We debated floor plans, mass, scale, proportion, colors, use of materials, site location, cost effectiveness and all those essential design principles.

We narrowed the selection down to just a couple of candidates, any one of which would have made a great choice.

Some spoke of the highest refinement of design, others implemented exciting ideas, others spoke to particularly dynamic regional influences and — finally — some broke conventions and forced us to look at design with a new vision.

The argument that won the day, though, had nothing to do with design principles. It was passion. As one of the judges said, the Home of the Year reflected a passion for design.

It is that passion and the excitement it creates that rejuvenate me and focus me on excellence. I wish everyone had a chance to tap into that vein.

Paul Deffenbaugh, Editorial Director, 630/288.8190, paul.deffenbaugh@reedbusiness.com

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