A nod to the past and an eye on the future describes the approach of many of today’s designers when creating a new space. Tried-and-true architectural elements turn up in many of today’s homes, teamed with the latest technological gadgets and energy-efficient elements.
This year’s New American Home, showcased at the International Builders Show (IBS) in Orlando, FL, is no exception.
When Charlie and Judy Robertson, of the building firm Robertson Homes in St. Cloud, FL, were designing the home, their goal was to build a home that honored the centuries-old homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The result is a 6,725-sq.-ft., plantation-style home with a columned portico and a two-story, H-shaped design.
Residential designer Dan Sater, AIBD, of the Sater Group in Bonita Springs, FL, translated the concept into a grand interior, with crown molding, wood columns and stairways, multiple fireplaces and period-style wallpaper.
The main level of the home includes a master retreat, a kitchen/nook/leisure room that opens to an outdoor entertainment area, a dining room, a grand salon, a library/study, a powder room and a family suite. The second story features a club room with theater-quality entertainment, a wet bar, games and activities, two guest suites, two full baths and a craft room.
This 25th anniversary New American Home, presented annually by the National Council of the Housing Industry in conjunction with IBS, is also the first showhouse certified by the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Program. It is Energy Star rated and recognized as an environmentally friendly home under the standards given by the Florida Green Building Coalition.
Zoned for Casual Living
The L-shaped kitchen is part of a larger space that includes an eating nook, leisure room and butler’s pantry. The space also extends beyond the interior walls, opening onto an expansive patio with pool and outdoor kitchen.
“The openness of the space allows for views of the pool area and the lake to the rear of the home,” notes Sater. “We sometimes call this area a ‘casual living zone,’ as a place where the family can congregate; generally, it is designed to foster family time together while members participate in their own activities within the communal space.”
The “casual living zone” opens to the outdoor living space by retreating the cornerless, glass walls, adds Sater.
The perimeter walls feature maple cabinets in the Sierra Vista door style in Maple Cognac from Timberlake Cabinetry.
In one corner, tall finished panels and matching doors with the Cognac finish disguise a step-up butler’s pantry. The pantry mimics the whole layout, with the same cabinet shades and undercounter icemaker and wine cooler from KitchenAid and Jenn-Air.
Along the L-shaped wall, a baking center provides not only appliances but ample work and storage space. The center drawer in a drawer base was removed and replaced with a warming drawer from Jenn-Air. The drawer is flanked by two ovens, also by Jenn-Air, with all three sporting the company’s oiled-bronze finish.
Two islands provide optimal function for the space. “Creating two islands makes for two work zones: One allows for food prep, the other for dishwashing,” comments Sater.
The center prep island incorporates a Kohler sink that is located opposite a cooktop, dishwasher, refrigerator and microwave from KitchenAid and Jenn-Air. A lattice wine rack is flanked by spice drawer-based cabinets, and a dishwasher is concealed behind a cabinet panel for a seamless look.
“The island provides a central location for items to be used in cooking on the cooktop or baking in one of the ovens along the L-shaped wall,” remarks Sater. “That sink can be used for cleaning vegetables.”
A two-level island overlooks the Great Room, and features seating on the leisure-room side. On the opposite, lower side, two sinks provide cleanup convenience.