Best of American Living Award
2005 Parade Home    

This stunning home beat out nearly 4,000 other entries to win a Gold Prize in the 2005 Best in American Living Awards (BALA), which was cosponsored by Professional Builder magazine and the National Association of Home Builders. Brighton’s award was in the “Best Specialty Room in a Home 3,001 to 5,000 Square Feet" category for an innovative element Brighton calls the “Flex Suite.”

Outside, the 750-square-foot Flex Suite occupies one end of the 5-Star energy efficient main home and features three entrances, yet blends seamlessly into the front elevation. Inside, the Flex Suite incorporates many mobility-friendly features including open spaces, wide doors, and hardwood floors. Rooms are large and fixtures and details are consistent with those found in the main home.

When used as a dwelling, the Flex Suite’s interior space includes a dining room, fully-outfitted kitchen, laundry, living room, full bath and bedroom with double closets. As a business, the Flex Suite easily accommodates private office(s), a meeting room, file storage and a receptionist and/or waiting room. This function appeals to professionals who prefer to work from home, but crave the privacy, functionality and professional appearance a converted bedroom could never offer. In all cases, the Flex Suite has its own exterior entrance and garage access.

The Flex Suite is connected to the main home via a utility room, but two hidden passageways offer both temporary and long-term connection to the main house. The first hidden passageway is behind a bank of cabinets in the main home’s kitchen, which simply slide into a corner cavity to reveal a 36-inch wide opening leading into the Flex Suite’s kitchen. This allows the Flex Suite’s kitchen to be commandeered as a prep kitchen or butler’s pantry for large gatherings. The second hidden passage connects the living room of the Flex Suite to the eat-in portion of the main home’s kitchen, separated by easily removed custom cabinetry in both rooms. The living room easily becomes a sunroom when connected to the main house.

The variety of access to the main house means the Flex Suite can be adapted at any time to accommodate whatever the need demands. In that way the Flex Suite refuses to be pigeonholed to a specific use. Its functionality, and therefore its value, is unlimited.

The BALA Gold Prize is the first award Brighton has ever won, but it also happens to be the first contest he has ever entered. Award