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Outstanding design deserves recognition, and seven sensational St. Louis design projects have been singled out for our second annual Architectural Finesse Awards. Evaluated by a distinguished panel of Kansas City architects, the winning entries include a unique variety of newly built and remodeled living spaces, honored for their architectural ingenuity and integrity and overall aesthetic appeal.

And the winners are…

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“Everything here is either hot, sharp or dirty,” jokes Mike Kinnikin, describing his 12,000-square-foot metalwork shop, Eureka Forge. Mike, along with 11 other guys, spend their days at the shop creating one-of-a-kind artworks out of steel, bronze, copper, brass, aluminum and other metals. “My dad started this business, and I learned from him. I grew up with it,” Mike says.

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EdgeWild Restaurant and Winery chef Aaron Baggett was cooking at a Chinese restaurant and studying to be an architect when his sister convinced him that he belonged in culinary school. “I went from building buildings to building plates,” says Baggett, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

EdgeWild’s most popular dish is an appetizer, Pistachio-Crusted Herbed Goat Cheese topped with white wine-quince syrup. It’s also the first recipe Baggett created for EdgeWild, which opened a year and a half ago. 

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 In the 18th century, British statesman Edmund Burke theorized that for men to love their country, their country should be lovely. Burke’s constituents in the British Isles took him at his word.

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Your garden no longer has to be restricted to a horizontal layout. Vertical gardens in the form of living retaining walls are an ideal way to manage grade changes on your property. Other benefits include storm water management, air quality improvement, energy savings and noise reduction.  “You can plant your entire garden within the pockets of the wall,” says Mark Woolbright, owner and founder of The Living Wall Co. “Even vegetation can grow on your wall.”

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When it comes to decorating small spaces, many believe in the “less is more” tack. But Nick Decker favors the opposite approach. His Lafayette Square townhouse, just 1,200 square feet, is practically stuffed to the gills.

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