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  1. Transitional Home Design Trends in Architecture with Phil Kean (Podcast)

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    We are excited to share this interview with Phil Kean, where we discuss trends in Transitional Home Design.

    This trend represents a shift in modern architecture to blending elements of different styles of architecture. A well-designed transitional home is just as timeless as a traditional design, and in the case of Phil Kean Design Group’s homes, always offers unparalleled uniqueness and memorable design details throughout.

    Phil says, “Transitional home design to me is taking elements of a home and blending it so it’s not necessarily a particular style. It may have a traditional hint, or it may have a modern hint with some traditional elements. It’s a blended style that really doesn’t look like a Georgian, or necessarily a modern, or an Italian. It doesn’t fall into a ‘style’.” In addition, “I think it’s always fun to have a little “Wow” moment, or an “Aha” moment, or “Ooh” moment in architecture and design,” says Phil.

    You may have seen Phil Kean’s latest Transitional Home Design: “Custom Home – Modern Hacienda” that will be open to the public in Orlando during the 2022 Parade of Homes in Orlando, June 18 & 19 and 25 & 26, 10am – 6pm each day.

     

    Listen to Phil’s take on transitional home design and how it is used in his Modern Hacienda project in our latest podcast interview below. 

    Jon:

    I wanted to touch today on transitional home design. I wanted to just get from you, first of all, what does transitional home design mean to you?

    Phil:

    Transitional home design to me is taking elements of a home and blending it so it’s not necessarily a particular style. So it may have a traditional hint, or it may have a modern hint with some traditional elements. It’s sort of a blended style that really doesn’t look like a Georgian, or necessarily a modern, or an Italian. It doesn’t fall into a style. So that’s what that means to me.

    Jon:

    First of all, that is a huge clarifier because I think there’s so many different and sort of even sometimes confusing understandings of what transitional actually means. I think you’ve done a great job of simplifying that understanding for us. One of the things that comes up, I would imagine with this especially is the challenge of understanding where to set the boundaries on the design and how do you approach such a nuanced design that does have elements that might be blurred lines between designs, if that makes sense. So in terms of the process that you use to approach a home design, a residence design, that is in that transitional home design sphere, how do you approach that? What’s your process like?

    Phil:

    It’s usually based on a client’s collection of photographs of images and things that they like. I did a home not too long ago that had steel I beams, but it was a traditional home with the stone siding, but it had I beams instead of lentils over the windows. So there’s these little nuances of things that somebody driving by may not really think about it, but it all looks great together. Or doing an open floor plan, a lot of times inside can be very, very modern. A lot of people are liking the modern kitchen, and the modern detailing, and the modern elements, but on the outside they want it a little bit more traditional, or they live in a neighborhood that has a a design review board that forces them to put a tile roof on.

    So how do you do a house that’s more contemporary with a tile roof? You can do a transitional tile home and have it feel like maybe a Villa  in Spain, or a Villa in Italy, or a Villa in France along the Mediterranean or something like that, and get this sort of modern and yet traditional elements blended together. So that’s some of the things that I do <laugh>.

    Jon:

    I think a good question is around colors and the blending of colors. I think, like you’re saying, if you’re looking at more of a Spanish style design where you’ve got the reds and the oranges, and some of those colors that you wouldn’t typically see in an ultramodern type of design or maybe more of a stone design, how do you look at the color spectrum as you’re designing? And how do you choose inspiration and fuse these incredibly different eras and design styles together?

    Phil:

    I’m working on one right now that’s going to be our Parade Home in June. It’s a transitional home that I would call sort of a Modern Hacienda. It’s transitional because it has much more refined details in the sense that there are no arches in it. But it has peak ceilings and it has a tile roof, but it has flat roofs, so it has all of these little elements that you could say, “Oh, that’s a modern piece of the house. Oh, that’s sort of a traditional piece.”, and that’s so. The house is designed around the courtyards. There’s multiple courtyards in this house and gardens. So you lend from the history, but you reinterpret it to today. You’re not trying to make it look like a Hacienda, or a Villa, or a Santa Barbara style, or any of that stuff, you’re just trying to reinvent something fresh and new. Maybe it has a tile roof, you know? So I would call that a transitional home…that smooth stucco and things like that…all of that becomes elements of the design.

    Jon:

    It seems to me that this type of design is all about that rich balance of design styles and different elements that seem to be brought together by these classic lines you would see on one end of the broadband, one end of that spectrum, all the way to juxtaposing that against the hues and the furnishings that are more modern in spirit.

    Phil:

    Yeah, exactly. You can bring in color with fabrics, and textures, and artwork, and all of that can be very, very colorful, but the house can sort of be a subdued backdrop to all of those other things. Or you can bring into the garden, you could bring in very colorful pots, and yet the garden’s a very subdued backdrop. There’s all kinds of ways to play with color in a transitional home that has maybe a modern flare and yet a traditional element, even in ALL the different aspects. I think that’s sort of the fun nature of transitional architecture today.

    Jon:

    Some of the off kilter assortment that you have in an interior that may be, I don’t wanna say clashing, but may be different from what someone might expect. It seems to me that this actually really presents a very exciting maybe full surprises and talking points as you’re entertaining. It’s “Wow, I didn’t expect that! I wouldn’t have expected to see this here.”, but it really does bring out the full design potential of that space.

    Phil:

    Absolutely. I think it’s always fun to have a little “Wow” moment, or an “Aha” moment, or “Ooh” moment in architecture and design. So designing that into a transitional homes can be a little bit more playful and fun. Let’s say you have a traditional home, but you have a see-through fireplace that’s see-through on all four sides, it becomes an “Ooh” factor. Maybe it’s finished in a very traditional way, but the actual fireplace is super contemporary. You know, just all of those things. A lot of transitional homes have very interesting kitchens. There can be a lot of little hidden doors and spaces. Kitchens are really a big playful part of transitional homes for me.

    And then playing with ceiling heights. If you go with a traditional kind of home, you have a normal ceiling height for that style. Whereas if you’re doing a transitional home, you might be playful with the ceiling height or ceiling details. I mean, you might have beams or floating clouds with lights in them. All of those things can be introduced into a transitional home and all feel appropriate. So lighting’s a big part of a transitional home to me.

    Jon:

    Could you elaborate on when you say lighting is an essential part. I guess getting that right really does make or break the space.

    Phil:

    Think about a garden that’s lit at night versus not lit at night. It’s a different experience. It’s the same thing inside a home. If you have an art niche and you light it, or shelves and you light it, or coves and you light it, or beams and you light it, it’s different than if you don’t light those things. You could take a traditional looking beam and create a cove in it, and all of a sudden it feels more modern or more edgy, and it’s all about the lighting. With today’s technology, you can dim it down to almost nothing so it just kind of hums up there. And, a lot of people are using light as art. I did a house where the light went up a wall and over the ceiling in different kind of patterns down a hallway, which was really kind of cool. We did a house a couple years ago where we wrapped every step of the stair with a ring of light, so each of the treads kind of floated in between these rings of light and it was very cool and dramatic, but they were wood stairs. It was this blend between ultramodern and traditional elements. It turned out “Cool”.

    Jon:

    Wow. As you’re saying that I’m visualizing that staircase and that sounds absolutely beautiful. And, one of the words that you use is  playful. I love that because if I’m hearing you correctly on this, there’s a very playful mix of vintage, you know, antique, and contemporary,  paired against a very classic feel in some cases. And then you mix that into beautiful lighting as well. What an amazing experience.

    Phil:

    I do think that’s an important design element that sometimes gets overlooked. It’s just something that if you’re thoughtful and you’re careful. There are people that specialize, that’s all they do is lighting, that’s just their gift. I have a friend I went to architecture school with that all he does is light design for commercial and major installations. So art becomes light. I mean, light becomes art, you know, so it’s kind of that coolness. But it’s not an afterthought. It’s very intentional <laugh>.

    Jon:

    Yeah, that’s what I’m picking that up. There’s a lot of subtlety to this and it’s not going to happen by accident.

    Phil:

    <Laugh> No, no. And, the thing about transitional is that really good architecture, in a lot of regards, is about scale and balance and harmony. So you don’t want to just jolt people when you do a transitional house. You want to make sure you honor a sense of scale, harmony, rhythm. You know, things that make people feel good. And so whether it’s our traditional looking house with overscaled windows, or a grid system, or something like that, that all becomes very transitional and playful. I do think that you have to respect scale. I see some homes that I would say the scales off and you look at it and you say, “I don’t really like that.”, and you’re not really sure what you don’t like about it, but it’s usually the scale, either the scale of the details or the scale of the massing. I’m sure we’ve all seen those. Those two story garages, you know, that are on one side of a house and they just throw the scale, it’s like the house feels off balance. So you need to really think about how it feels and how the rhythm is. I think that becomes the glue that holds a transitional house to be as timeless as a traditional home.

    Jon:

    That’s a very important point. I think one of the problems of the “clear-cut” design styles is that you kind of get landlocked into a specific era.

    Phil:

    Yeah, you can be. Let’s say you’re in a historic area, so you might need to be respectful of a style, but there’s a way to still have some fun and be playful with that style. If it’s an old house, it can be respectful, it can be a similar scale, maybe some similar materials, but you could have some fun. There are whole periods of time where some of the scale was just exaggerated. I think we call that postmodernism. They did these big, oversized columns and big, overscaled details, but the good ones still had a nice scale overall…a nice mass, a nice balance, a nice rhythm. The good ones were successful and the ones that sort of missed that mark weren’t so successful. I think it’s like a painting. Everybody’s going to paint the same thing different, and some people will have more skill at painting it than others. But everybody can sort of visualize and paint, and whether they think it’s good or not, we can all do that. I mean, hopefully we can all do that, unless you’re physically unable to. When we were kids, we would have a blank piece of paper and draw something on it. We were uninhibited, so that’s sort of the same thing with transitional. If you use good resources, then you can understand what you’re doing, then the playfulness becomes really like second nature…like dancing, or like a piece of artwork, or something like that.

    Jon:

    We talked a few minutes ago about the Parade of Homes that’s being launched here this month in June. I would love to hear some examples that speak to this conversation about transitional home design…to just hear from you a few examples from the Parade Home that might be interesting for someone listening in on this.

    Phil:

    One of the things I did with the Parade of Home is I took some of my favorite elements of a lot of the homes I’ve designed in the past and tried to play with those elements. In 2012, I did a show house that had a gallery space in it, so I brought that gallery space back in. Then in 2017, I did a New American Home where it had a detached casita, so I put that in here. Then when I was a kid in college, one of my professors had this raised pool in the yard. Everyone would sit around on the edge of the pool, like a bench, and the pool was in the middle, so I brought an element of that into it.

    Then there’s the open space that’s divided by an art niche. It’s a two-sided art niche that you can put some of your collectibles in and it’s all lit and everything. You can see from the kitchen through into the dining room without having a wall there. It’s very open, yet it’s defined, and this became a wall of art to separate the kitchen from the dining room. There’s high ceilings with beams. I did that in a house a few years ago to help give it more ceiling volume. So it’s just got a lot of little elements. The house itself was on a very strange lot, so I created an internalized courtyard that opens up to one side.

    Those are just the elements, now with the details I have a red tile roof on it, I have brick patios, I have a warm, modern kitchen and the open floor plan, and a transitional fireplace which is surrounded with stone. It has a bar, it has beautiful distressed wood floors. Instead of the typical tile that you might think of in a Spanish style or Hacienda style home, there’s color in a lot of the tile that’s put in the house. So it’s these elements of traditional, but there are no arches in the entire house. Everything is squared and there are transoms. It’s sort of a cool surprise from the street, it looks fairly modest but it’s a sprawling house that creates some real interest to me.

    The color will be in the artwork, and in the fabrics, and in the rugs. It’s gonna have a lot of details that will be memorable. I think that’s what’s important. People will walk through it, whether you love modern or traditional, and be able to see “I could live here.” That kind of feeling, “I could definitely see myself here.” That’s what I’m trying to accomplish. So it’s a little bit old and a little bit new, yet together you wouldn’t call it any particular style, you’d call it transitional. The best thing I’ve been able to call it is a “Modern Hacienda” <laugh>.

    Jon:

    I think this is an amazing understanding. I think that’s probably a good thing that it’s difficult to pin down because it really does fuse together so many different elements from different common denominators that are working together seamlessly, all the while balancing not being too similar. I think that’s a very exciting design style.

    Phil:

    I think it’ll be fun. I think a lot of people will really enjoy it. It has a classic indoor/outdoor style that we like to do here. It has lemon trees and big terracotta pots which is kind of old world, yet done in a modern way. So it’s just not just the architecture, it’s not just the furniture, it’s not just the kitchen, it’s the gardens and the it’s the whole package that makes the house totally transitional.

    Jon:

    I cannot wait to see this. I just want to thank you again for investing the time on this and sharing with us. What an amazing, not only education, but I would also say inspiration to really open up the design possibilities and to open up the spectrum of opportunity that we all have…looking at this through a brand new lens, which is the Phil Kean take on the transitional home design. I’m sure we can direct everyone who’s listening to this to go to philkeandesigns.com and take a look at this for yourself and get inspired by the amazing work that Phil has done on this. What Phil really does well is create designs that when you look at it, you just fall in love with it. It’s an oasis for the eyes. It’s a real experience. So I want to thank you again, Phil, for spending the time here. Is there anything else that you’d want to add regarding the Parade of Homes before we wrap up?

    Phil:

    It’s two weekends in a row and it’s gonna be in June. So if you want more information, you can either stop by or call our office and they can get you more information. If you want to attend it, it’s open to the public. It’s on Saturday and Sunday, I believe the third and fourth weekends of June. I’ll be around the second weekend to meet anybody that would like to talk about architecture or follow up on anything that they might have listened to that intrigued them.

    Jon:

    Amazing. Thank you so much, Phil. Really appreciate it.

    Phil:

    Thank you. I appreciate it too.

     

    Want to get in contact with Phil Kean Design Group to design + build your next luxury home? Contact us today to get started!

  2. The Origins of a Modern Architect: Getting to Know Phil Kean (Podcast)

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    Phil Kean is a nationally-awarded modern architect with an office in Winter Park, Florida, and breathtaking modern residential projects across the globe.

    The Phil Kean Design Group (PKDG) team has been recognized with prestigious awards in the world of architecture and construction including:

    …and so much more!

    We’re happy to dig into how our lead architect and owner got his start, and a bit of insight into the exclusive, signature PKDG process:

    Jon:

    Today we’re interviewing Phil Kean. Phil Kean Design Group is a nationally-awarded design/build architecture firm voted “Best of Orlando” #1 Home Builder by Orlando magazine readers, voted Best Home Builder “Best of Winter Park” three years in a row by the Winter Park, Florida Chamber of Commerce, “Best Of Houzz” Design Award by Houzz.com, and winning the platinum and gold awards from the National Association of Home Builders’ “Best in American Living Awards”. Today we’re going to be talking to Phil to get his insight into the exclusive signature Phil Kean Design Group process.

    I wanted to start with basically, how you got started in the business, and how did you begin the business in Winter Park?  Amy tells me that you started it literally on your kitchen table in Winter Park. So if we could start from the beginning, that would be amazing.

    Phil:

    My dad was a builder, so I grew up around it, so it was always like a passion. When I started the business, it was really one house at a time and I would design it and then I would build it. And it was just me and I worked at my kitchen table. It was really pre-CAD…I wasn’t even doing CAD in the beginning stages. I started CAD…I mean I bought a book and downloaded the computer-aided drafting for dummies…I bought a book over at one of the bookstores and taught myself CAD. And then, my first year I did essentially one spec house and then the next year I did two spec houses. And then the next year I did three houses and I hired my first person. Then each year I hired another person, and I outgrew my kitchen with the second person. We moved into a small office in Winter Park. It was really very small, and then we outgrew that space and grew to a bigger space. And, all these years later here we are <laugh>. Wow.

    Yeah it’s really interesting, when we did our first modern home…, I designed it almost 20 years ago and it’s on Via Tuscany, and it got a lot of  recognition. A lot of people really loved that house. I designed it for myself. At the time everybody was doing the Spanish Mediterraneans, and I remember a realtor friend of mine who told me I was crazy to do a modern house, that they never sell…they’re hard to sell, I’ll lose my shirt. It really did change my career. So you kind of have to trust your gut, I guess. The universe kind of took care of me and I made some good decisions and people really liked my modern aesthetic. It was warm…it used a lot of natural materials. It was more of a mid-century kind of modern than it was like the Miami Vice modern. And it’s just grown from there. It got picked up by one of the big design magazines. It was featured in Florida Architecture, which was to me at the time a giant magazine. It came out twice a year and it was really…, they’re no longer around, but it was really an honor to be picked up in that magazine. And then Florida Design also featured it.  And even today, people still pull up that house and say, “I really like this house. I want a version of this for my lot, or for me.” And so,  almost 20 years later people are still appreciating that first house I did. Which is kind of cool, here in Winter Park <laugh>.

    Jon:

    It’s amazing. I think one of the things that we were talking about before is the design, sort of risks that you took. And I think that you still continue to take in terms of the boundaries and the design aesthetic that you are chasing, and that’s so beautiful. Really I wonder, is it something that when you were designing that first sort of modern look, I mean, did you feel sort of ostracized at all by the, I don’t know, by the architecture review board potentially, or different people who were in the neighborhood watching as it was going up? Were people sort of skeptical until they saw it come to life? Or I guess what was that process like going through that?

    Phil:

    Well, most people didn’t like it until it was finished. And then when it was finished, I opened it up for a Parade of Homes to the neighborhood and people came through and walked it and discovered how unusual the house was. I was inspired by different mid-century architects, so I sort of took some liberties, and kind of like thought about if they were alive, what, how would they approach this lot? And so I kind of approached it that way. There was a big fish tank in the middle and the house sort of pin wheeled around the fish tank. And, then there were these little, little moments where the house pin wheeled. So, then I brought that little pinwheel idea out to the pool. So the pool sort of pin wheeled around the spa and sort of played with the positive and negative spaces and how they reacted to each other. I think it really turned out well. So from that, people started to…, a couple architects lived in the neighborhood and they really appreciated it, they liked that it was outside of the box, and probably that it wasn’t Spanish Mediterranean. People that were in the industry, like I don’t know, I mean, I did get some criticism…like there were people that ran like the HOA’s, and they really didn’t understand me.

    I tried to get on the historic board of Winter Park, and I kind of got voted out. Later down the road I got voted in, but there was a whole debate on whether somebody that was doing modern could understand history and it was sort of like, “don’t you understand that you have to understand history to appreciate modern?”. So, it was really interesting because it’s all about proportions and scale, and modern is a lot less forgiving than a traditional home. I mean, that’s why I think Spanish was so popular because you could throw an arch and red tile roof on it and it became Spanish, there wasn’t a lot of thought about it.  So even today, if you do a brick home with a shingle roof, it’s traditional, well what does that mean…traditional?  But when you’re doing modern and you get the scale wrong, it’s really an ugly building <laugh>. And there are a lot of ugly moderns out there right now because people just don’t understand. It’s not a flat roof that makes a house modern. We do a lot of modern houses that have pitched roofs, you know?

    Jon:

    I’ve seen them. I mean, that’s one of the things in your portfolio that strikes me as sort of unique from, I guess the crowd that wants to sort of aspire to the design that you do. You’re a hundred percent spot on, that you get these sort of flat roofs, just a lot of glass everywhere, a lot of concrete, but there’s not this cohesiveness. I think you’ve built this amazing sort of aesthetic where you’ve got this, exactly like you said, you’ve got this very warm and modern. When I look at your homes, the thing that comes to my mind is “that looks warm, it looks inviting”.  I think that to me personally, and look, by no means am I a connoisseur of high level design, but I guess for me as a layman, when I look from the outside in to a lot of “modern design homes” today, they are about one step away from a sort of a factory <laugh>, it’s a factory with a sofa in it kind of, it’s so industrial that they they’ve lost that human touch, they’ve lost the the warmth aspect of it…and I think you’ve done an amazing job at that. And I think the roofs, and the way that you’ve designed that as well where you do have the pitch and you’ve got the angles letting in the light, it’s absolutely amazing.

    Phil:

    Thank you. Thank you. Well, we/I do believe in a lot of that indoor/outdoor kind of connection with glass, and I like to use materials that can go inside and outside and be cohesive with that. That’s just something I’ve always appreciated. I think it’s important. Light creates a good balance and well-being for people and I try to capture as much light as I can. But indoor/outdoor is really a key design feature for me.

    Amy wanted me to mention somewhere along the way that we were the best designer/architect in Winter Park for the last three years. I don’t know if that’s important or not, but I would say that’s nice in the sense that my neighbors appreciate what we do. And whether they  hire us to build, they appreciate what we do and or design. A lot of times I’ll have people say, “One day I’ll have a Phil Kean house,” which is such a compliment, such a nice thing for people to say.

    You know I look at every house as “What’s the best that this house can be?”, and I call it my award-winning concept. I want every house that ever comes out of here, out of our studio, to be award-winning, whether it’s an expensive home or a tiny little home, there needs to be something that makes this worth winning an award. We won an award several years back, it was the Best in American Living Award put on by the National Association of Home Builders, and there were these big, big homes in the competition, and ours was like a 4,800 square foot home, and we won the Grand Award. One of the judges came up to me and told me that it was about the quality of the spaces and what I did with it that made us win over these obviously much more expensive homes and much bigger homes that were in the competition. And the comment was, “It was just so livable,” all the people could just see being there. So I thought that was one of my highlights. Another thing that was really something that I’m proud of too, is that the AIA, the American Institute of Architects, awarded us the “Builder of the Year”. Now that almost always goes to commercial. You know it’s commercial based…, it’s the big ivory towers and the engineering marvels that win those. The people that build those structures and design those structures are the ones that always win these awards. So, it’s very interesting that we won as a residential architect. I feel like that was a big honor, something I’m very proud of.

    Jon:

    As well you should be, I mean, that’s phenomenal. You’re a hundred percent right. I mean, those awards always tend to go to these very interestingly shaped, or abstract, or very difficult to solve construction type problems <laugh>, you know commercial spaces. And, I think that says so much, I mean, I believe there’s over, what is it, 20,000 architects coast to coast right now plus, at least the last time I checked AIA that’s what it was. It was a huge number, there’s so much talent in that pool. And so first of all, just apart from the interview, I wanna congratulate you for that. I mean, that is absolutely inspiring to hear that.

    Phil:

    Well, this was for Florida and the Caribbean AIA, this was for where we are, it wasn’t a national award. Although the winners of the locals get put in with the national awards. But, it’s still an honor.

    Jon:

    Oh, absolutely. It’s huge.

    Phil:

    All the work going on in Florida, and Bahamas, and the Southeast, it’s pretty exciting. That was a big honor for me.

    Jon:

    I wanna ask you, along those topics, if you don’t mind me asking, I think what we’ve been so impressed with, as I’m sure many others have been as well, is the proportion that you have in your design. It flows and it’s so easy to just stare at and look at. You kind of can get lost in it. Is there a sort of a process you can share, or sort of the approach that you take to the amazing proportion that you use in your design?

    Phil:

    Well, they call it the golden rectangle. I think it was Vitruvius that did it, where he sort of took that proportion. I probably have his book floating around here. He wrote a book on proportion and that was one of the books I had to study in college. There is a ratio between height to width that’s comfortable, that feels good. And the key is that’s probably where you wanna sort of be hanging out. Now, if you wanna play with those, that’s where the drama starts to happen. So you might push the envelope a little bit from that golden rectangle proportion. But, I’d say a lot of people want these really tall ceilings, and they’re fine, and I like tall ceilings, but I don’t like them everywhere. I like to think about what that room’s purpose is, and what’s the right height for that room. Somebody that has a huge art collection is going to need a different kind of height than where you watch TV. Those are just different scaled spaces, and you don’t want to feel uncomfortable. I remember watching one of those HGTV programs, and there was this bathroom that was so tall. I was thinking, I would not feel comfortable in that bathroom! <laugh>, felt like you were in a silo! I think there’s a scale to every space and it really does revolve around the human being and what their purpose of that room is.

    Jon:

    Yeah, I think that’s amazing that you bring that up, because that’s sort of where I was kind of headed. That you’ve got some of these rooms, and I think even if we look towards the way that your indoor/outdoor connects, it’s so flawless versus having a very low ceiling, just sort of, Boom…you pop in and your outside, the way you have that indoor/outdoor flow towards your proportion. But honestly, again, even taking a look at several of your homes to prepare for the interview today, and I was very impressed with exactly what you said, that it’s very easy to see yourself living in that space. It doesn’t feel, you know sometimes if you’re out traveling, you go to these hotels and some of these hotels, the way that they’re designed, they try to sort of overdo everything and you feel like you’re getting lost in the, like you said, you go in the bathroom and you feel like it’s a silo, or you go into the bedroom and it’s way too low. And, so there is that, as you said, that golden ratio.

    What has been one of the larger challenges that you’ve had to overcome in a construction project from a design standpoint, or the implementation phase of building?

    Phil:

    The challenges of construction…, I think the biggest challenge is education. I’ve designed a lot of homes over the years for builders, for their personal homes, and I generally will tell them that my designs will be one of the hardest designs to build. So I spend a lot of time educating the team on how things are supposed to look and how things are supposed to go together. After all these years, my electrician puts up a string and makes sure all the lights are straight. And that the air conditioning vent is falling where it’s supposed to. It’s those sight lines. You should never notice anything in a house that stands out unless it’s intentional. You don’t want, “Why is that light switch too low? Or why is that…”, you don’t want it to stand out, you know? So there’s a comfort zone that people have. And, when you respect that comfort zone, it disappears. So those are important things.

    But probably the biggest challenge is educating people, especially on the first time they build one of our houses, or we get a new project manager, educating them on how all of it goes together. Fortunately, I have such a great team of people that have been with me for so long. You know you’re always gonna keep learning your whole life, but I have this great collection of people that help each other. It’s a team effort, and we don’t have a lot of problems anymore. We try to be better every time we build a house. We work hard to do that.

    But, I would say in Florida, you have different issues than if you’re building in, say Maine. You have to know what the weather’s gonna be like and what the climate’s like. Designing is certainly site specific.

    A lot of designers and architects are “facade”. They draw a pretty exterior and then force a house behind it. I do a good floor plan and then put the face on the floor plan because how you live in that space and how rooms flow to each other and what the views out the windows are, are really important to me. So, I think that’s been one of the successes of our architecture, that people just love their homes. Over the years I’ve been the second or third architect for homeowners that worked with somebody before me. I even had one guy, I was the seventh architect he had hired.

    Jon:

    Wow!

    Phil:

    So, not that we’re so great, but we/I think the key is listening. Listen, listen, listen, <laugh>. People tell you what they want. I tell this to all my team members. I say, if you’re listening, a client will tell you exactly what they need in the first 15 minutes. If you could just sit there and soak in what they’re telling you, those are all gonna be the most important things in the design. So listen, listen closely because they’ll tell you everything you need to know, which is interesting.

    Jon:

    The exterior is almost a product of the interior in a way, versus I think if we look at the average sort of spec home that’s out there. The best materials are placed on the front facing, the side and the back nobody really takes too much care into that. There’s not a lot of love given into that, but I think the beauty of your projects and your portfolio is that you can literally look at them from a 360 angle, from the outdoor perspective, from the exterior and you get great angles. It’s very photogenic, no matter where you’re looking at it from. What does your general thought process look like when you’re looking at a home floor plan and you’re looking at the flow of that? How do you prepare to make something that actually flows and that’s comfortable for the owner?

    Phil:

    Fortunately I’ve been lucky enough to have beautiful views or some really amazing opportunities and often times those are at the rear of the lot. So part of the challenge is always what’s that journey like to get you to the back of the house? What do you, what’s your experience? So, sometimes it’s the outside space. It’s like, how do you create this sort of progression through a house to get you to where the Wow moment is? Or like, if you’re on an ocean and you have like a skinny lot, but the view is at the back of the lot, or something like that. So how do you progress through a house? And it becomes a little bit more like an onion unpeeling, and you start to get this house.

    And so every site is different and every project is different. Maybe that’s why I just love this so much, because it’s like a puzzle. Every project is like a new puzzle, like a new game. And how do I do it better than the last one I ever did? You know? So that’s sort of a cool approach, but gosh, I usually my gut, my first gut instinct is where I kind of get to. And I think that’s where the site will tell you what you need. The client’s checklist will tell you what you need. They’ll tell you. You have everything you need to win the game in the beginning. So it’s just you gotta, you just have to listen.

    That’s the biggest thing <laugh>. You have to have an open mind, you have to open your eyes. I’ve designed homes with outside spaces next to multi-story buildings, and it was all about privacy. How do you be outside in your yard and not have a five story, six story building looking down into your backyard. So, all of those things start to play into the design. So it’s not strictly a series of rooms connected to rooms. You might have a room connected. You might have a room in a particular location because it’s blocking a five story building from looking into your garden, into your private sanctuary. So all of those things become really interesting issue.  I did a house in 2012, it was for the New American Home for the International Builders Show. It had an apartment building next to it and it had an alley behind it. And it obviously had a street in front. So the challenge was, how do I get some privacy? So I created this house that had a “C” shape. It was sort of like the courtyard was in the middle of the house. I used the back of the house to block the five story building from looking into the pool area of the house, and I did some large overhangs and things to really create privacy. And you could be in that house and you would feel like you were anywhere in the world, and you had no clue that there was an apartment building next to you. I mean, it was a nice apartment building, but it was right there, less than 50 feet from the rear of the property. I always felt like that’s what’s important, thinking about all of the pluses and minuses and how do you do all of that? So, it’s been fun.

    Jon:

    The thing that makes what you do uncopyable is what you’re talking about right now. It’s that passion, that the puzzle solving understanding of all of these intricate nuances that make everything come together for that beautiful outcome. And I guess, when you look back over the last few years and you look at these amazing projects that you have in your portfolio, which ones would you say stand out to you as maybe the ones that you’re the most proud of? The one that, for you, is really the legacy project for you so far?

    Phil:

    Well, I think my first modern, which we call “NeMo” for New Modern, sort of changed my career. I think that was in 2006. That was a big game changer. I would say my first New American Home for the International Builders Show from the National Association of Home Builders in 2012 was another game changer. Those two are probably the biggest game changers as far as my career is concerned. Although I have some projects in the works right now that are some of the best we’ve ever done. We’ve got some amazing things on the boards. We’re doing a house in Pennsylvania that we call the Bridge House and it’s in New Hope, Pennsylvania on the river there. I forgot the name of the river, it’s a famous river. Anyway, we call it the Bridge House and all the living is upstairs and it’s just an amazing house. It’s all glass and modern and has a swimming pool, and it’s really cool. It’s on the boards, I mean, we’re still working on it. And then I’m doing a big project over in Tampa that’s pretty amazing. It’s not finished yet, but that’ll be unbelievable for the portfolio. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful home. I’m just proud that I got to do what I got to do. I mean, literally, I changed careers after 9/11 and, I mean, I’d gone to school to be an architect. My dad was a builder, so it wasn’t like outside of my comfort zone, but I had been in the creative industry and I had retail stores and 9/11 kind of said, if I’m ever gonna do this, change and do my passion, I need to do it now.

    So I think I was 39 at the time. And I just sort of said, “I gotta do it.” And I don’t have any regrets. It’s just been a wonderful journey. I appreciate every project I get to do. I appreciate every client that trusts me. I mean, it’s just, it’s really been a remarkable journey and I feel very fortunate that I have this amazing team of people that could work anywhere and they wanna work here with the rest of us. So, I mean, I think it’s really pretty amazing. I don’t know where, why I started that topic. I don’t think that’s what you asked me. I do go on tangents <laugh>.

    Jon:

    Well, I love it though, Phil. I love it. I love it, Phil. This is good. It’s good stuff.

    Ready to start your journey and build your dream home? Contact us today to work with the Phil Kean Design Group team!

  3. Phil Kean Design Group’s St. Petersburg Custom Home Featured in Florida Design Magazine

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    Our newest St. Petersburg custom home project was recently covered in Florida Design magazine’s Summer 2021 issue, Volume 31 No 2. While we cater to a global audience, Phil Kean Design Group team loves to celebrate local recognition!

    After being selected for the architecture and interior detailing responsibilities for the St. Petersburg custom home, our team immediately started working with the homeowners on the the exciting schematic design process to get the project under way. Since the lot featured beautiful waterfront views, we designed the home with statement floor-to-ceiling windows (17-feet high!) and an expansive indoor-outdoor design complete with wet bar, outdoor kitchen, and waterfront dining, living and entertaining spaces!

    See the full feature below, and be sure to check out their other impressive articles featuring luxury homes across Florida!

    Florida Design Magazine with Phil Kean Design Group June 2021

    Phil Kean St Petersburg Florida Modern Home_Page_1Story by Judy Martel

    AFTER TWO YEARS OF HOUSE HUNTING, a wrong turn ultimately led George and Jamie Lutich to their dream home in St. Petersburg’s Snell Ilse.

    The couple moved from the Tampa area to a townhome in downtown St. Petersburg after marrying five years ago. They often spent their free time driving down random streets in surrounding neighborhoods to get a feel for the “vibe”, explains Jamie. “One day, we took a wrong turn a block away from where we always drove and halfway down the street we saw a For Sale sign,” she recalls.  One look was all it took to convince them of the potential.

    Phil Kean St Petersburg Florida Modern Home_Page_2

    “The lot was beautiful and we always knew that whatever we found, the home was going to be a tear-down, because we had our own vision,” Jamie says. So after removing the existing home, the couple commissioned a 4,000-square-foot modified mid-century modern design, satisfying their desire for clean, open spaces that exude warmth and seamless indoor-outdoor living. Given Snell Isle’s location in Tampa Bay, it was also important that nearly every room have a view of the water.

    Phil Kean St Petersburg Florida Modern Home_Page_3

    An internet search led them to architect Phil Kean, president of Phil Kean Design Group in Winter Park. After meeting in person, the relationship was quickly cemented. “Within 20 minutes, we were ready to write him a check,” Jamie says.

    Kean was responsible for the architecture as well as the interior detailing. The result is an uninterrupted design that flows from exterior to interior. Updated local code required that the new home be elevated five feet, but in place of steep steps to the entrance, visitors are greeted by a gradual series of risers leading to a peaceful courtyard with a calming water feature – before they even get to the front door. “This is a house you experience as you enter,” he explains.

    The practical aspects of the home are cleverly placed. For auto enthusiast George (who recently retired from the company he founded, Paragon Water Systems), Kean designed a pair of two-car garages at the end of the one-story home. Positioned with side entrances and hidden from the street, the garages feature lifts that accommodate two additional cars, for a total of eight.

    Jamie’s favorite space is her 480-sqaure-foot closet, with a 10-foot ceiling that includes a lounge area with a sofa and wet bar. “Sometimes my girlfriends come over and we sit and visit in the closet,” she laughs.

    When it came to furnishing the rooms, Jamie turned to the firm that designed her townhome, Michelle Miller Design in Madeira Beach. Armed with a clean slate for a new design, Miller sourced all new furniture in predominantly cream and brown colors

    Phil Kean St Petersburg Florida Modern Home_Page_4

    Upholstered in plush, spill-proof fabrics. She describes the new design as “soft contemporary-glam,” and says that although the Lutiches are empty-nesters, they often entertain friends and family (all three of their grown children live within a mile) and want people to feel welcome and comfortable.

    “There are no hard corners and nothing is stark white; it’s all soft, creamy colors with lots of texture and warm wood,” Miller says. Jamie specified furniture that could be lived on, so Miller installed durable performance fabric. “You could spill red wine and it won’t stain,” she says. Adds Jamie: “I’m not one to have works of art as furniture. I want everything to feel comfortable.”

    With an eye for what’s new and different, Jamie doesn’t believe in a forever home. But for now, this is as close as it comes. “St. Petersburg is like a hidden gem,” she says, adding that although this home ticks all the boxes for entertaining, it also fits their intimate lifestyle as a couple. “Ultimately, we built this home for ourselves,” she says.

    Phil Kean St Petersburg Florida Modern Home_Page_5

  4. Modern Home Design & Construction of The 2021 New American Home – Phase 3

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    Phase 3 of our modern home construction project for The New American Home 2021 is the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) phase!

    This post will focus on our rough-ins, including gas line rough-ins, electrical, roof drains, and our plumbing rough-ins going in. We’ve also started our exterior work with our stucco, and exterior paint will follow that.

    We pride ourselves in having great relationships with essential vendor teams who partner with us on this critical stage. Without their expert work, our inspiring architectural designs could not be brought to fruition. We will highlight some of those residential contractor relationships in our New American Home 2021 – Phase 3 video walkthrough below:

     

    Behind the walls, we worked with innovative products such as Sharkbite’s EvoPEX push-to-connect plumbing system and their new StreamLabs Control smart water shut-off valve. Enovative Group’s AutoHot hot water recirculation system works with the Rinnai tankless water heaters to provide on demand hot water throughout the home.

    OmegaFlex’s TracPipe CounterStrike flexible gas piping was also a “must-have” with its AutoSnap fitting and resistance to lightning strikes. Eaton fixtures are a staple in The New American Home 2021 as they are featured throughout from the outlet receptacles to the circuit panels. Their new Wi-Fi smart devices will be the envy of the neighbors, allowing one to schedule lights to go ON and OFF or DIM at the touch of a button through Amazon’s Alexa App.

    In addition to Eaton’s smart devices, Control 4 took the smart house to a whole new level by integrating the whole home with their control system. Not only can one control the lighting of the home through their app-based system, but it also controls the shades, security and HVAC system. Control 4’s system also works directly with Phantom Screens’ retractable motorized screens used on the terrace, as well as their solar shades on the windows. This is all with thanks to the Somfy home motor system that Phantom Screens uses that Control 4 has the ability to connect with.

    Ready to start your next residential modern home project? Contact us here or give us a call at 407-599-3922.

  5. Modern Home Design & Construction of The 2021 New American Home – Phase 1

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    The New American Home 2021 modern home design process offers a different perspective than Phil Kean Design Group’s previous New American Homes designed and built in 2012 and 2017. In the below video, Phil Kean shares his ideas for the modern architectural design of the home, and walks through the features and amenities of each floor.

    While still modern, this home has a treehouse feel with the main living areas on the third floor looking down over the treetops. As part of an urban luxury development of seven high-end custom homes and townhomes ranging from 3,000 sq. ft. to over 8,000 sq. ft., this home offers luxury living with all the finest finishes, and a walk-to-location in the heart of Winter Park, Florida.

    As we move into the future, we’ve found that walkability and location is ideal. However, in urban locations, walkable properties are hard to come by.

    As with all Phil Kean homes, our mission is to provide award-winning design and construction with our architecturally distinctive spaces while integrating the finest quality of products and services.

    Our Modern Home 2021 Entry: Floor-by-floor Design

    With three levels, The New American Home offers a unique living experience on each floor.

    With an art gallery entrance, the ground floor includes a three-car garage, guest bedroom with en suite bath and office. A dog room dedicated to man’s best friend is also featured on the ground level, along with added doggie doors located on every floor.

    The second floor is dedicated to the owner’s suite with a large master bedroom and spa-like master bath that connects to a boutique walk-in closet. It also includes a TV lounge with walk-out balcony, laundry room, and an exercise room with sauna and en suite bath.

    The third floor offers awe-inspiring 14’ ceilings throughout making it the perfect place to entertain, whether it be in the great room and music room or the state-of-the-art kitchen that connects to a large outside terrace and summer kitchen overlooking the treetops.

    Check back here next week as Katie Kovac, our incredible Construction Coordinator, walks through this modern home’s design materials and partner vendors we chose for this stunning project in Winter Park, FL.

  6. 3D Renderings in Architecture: How We Craft Luxury Home Visualizations

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    3D Renderings in Architecture: How We Craft Luxury Home Visualizations

    Creating 3D renderings in architectural projects, like the one below, allow our clients to take a realistic step into the luxury home of their dreams.

    It is an essential part of the Phil Kean Design Group’s architectural design process.

    In our previous blog, we provided our readers with insight into how these renderings offer our clients a stunning, tailor-made 3D view of their luxury home design before breaking ground.

    Now we are taking a closer look at this behind-the-scenes process, explaining how we take the home design we created for our client, and use cutting-edge technology and our in-house rendering expertise to create a detailed 3D rendering of both the outside and inside of the home.

    The First 3D Rendering Steps

    Once our architect and client are happy with the schematic design they’ve developed consisting of elevations and floor plans, the architect provides the project’s CAD file to our in-house rendering expert. With this information, our renderer creates an initial 3D model of the exterior of the home with our high-tech software.

    The architect can use this model to further discuss the details of the home.  They can open this model, rotate it and show the client their design from every angle, every perspective to ensure they’re not just satisfied with the concept, but feel exhilarated to see their residence come to fruition.

    Crafting the 3D Rendering

    Once the client signs off on the conceptual design, our design team gives our renderer everything they need to begin accurately developing the home 3D rendering—site photos, Google Earth data, exterior materials, etc.  They add intricate details to the concept model, such as textures, colors, exterior lighting, hardscape, and even topographic landscape.

    Finally, our interior design team develops the interiors of the 3D rendered model, creating luxury spaces with flooring materials, paint colors, ceiling details, plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, countertops and more. They lay out furniture placement and other décor throughout the home’s interiors and outdoor living areas.  Every detail is modeled to represent the house exactly as it will be built.

    When the design has been fully detailed, our render imports the model into our cutting-edge rendering program, Lumion, which is software that specializes in adding realism to the images and allows our architects to give our clients comprehensive views of their luxury home.

    This unique program gives us the freedom to create an authentic experience for our clients—we can adjust sunlight to mimic the position of the sun at any given time of day, add realistic lighting that emits from sconces and pendants, and even create night views that provide our clients an in-depth look at the dramatic landscape lighting that’s possible.

    Our Final Steps for Creating Luxury Home 3D Renderings

    As our design team begins to finalize the details of our client’s home, our rendering expert spends time finely tuning each environment in the 3D rendering by adding realistic effects to make the experience look and feel even more lifelike.

    For example, the renderer adds in reflective surfaces or translucent materials to create a sense of depth and texture. Water movement is added to water features and pools. Lighting and shadows are adjusted to reflect the time of day and weather used in the rendering (the rendering can include snow, fall foliage, sunsets, etc.).

    When all the nuances have been incorporated, the render creates a 3D “fly around”.

    Using this fly around technique, they create a video that will circle the house so our clients can see every angle of the design through a realistic experience that makes them feel like they’re truly standing in front of their home.

    Then it gets even better!

    The renderer can use Lumion to create a “fly thru” of the floor plan as well.  The fly thru video gives our clients the experience of walking through their luxury home, as if they’re stepping into their home for the first time.

    With this process, we’re able to grant our clients a realistic experience that allows them to get an authentic first look at what their luxury dream home will soon be.

    If you enjoyed diving into our 3D rendering process, we encourage you to browse through our portfolio of modern architecture, state-of-the-art living spaces, timeless kitchens, and our other unique design details. Further, explore our archive of blog articles that focus on luxury design and modern luxury residences.

     

  7. Why Luxury Homeowners Choose Design Build Firms

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    Design-build—the home project delivery method in which your architect is the designer and contractor for your project— is certainly not a new concept and has been reported as being in use for over four millennia. It has been the prime way architectural projects have historically come to life throughout history.

    What is ‘design-build’?

    What design-build means to you and your project is that the​ ​gap is removed​ ​between your luxury home design and construction in the real world.  This is achieved by allowing the architect to act as both the visionary and the ​implementer​ of your project.  As our ideas of luxury residential design continue to evolve, for many luxury homeowners, design-build is once again becoming the only logical choice.

    In contrast, the traditional building method — ​the design-bid-build method​ — oftentimes, homeowners and architects are unsatisfied with the end result because the design has been misinterpreted or incorrectly implemented by the contractor and subcontractors, which ultimately means the loss of the home’s original architectural design.

    design builder florida

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    But that’s not the only reason. In fact, there are several benefits behind working with a design-build firm and several reasons that guide owners toward this decision—we’ve laid out a few of the most important below.

    How design-build projects orient home projects for success

    1. Design-build provides continuity

    Firstly, when working on a multi-company home project, there’s a higher risk of design features getting lost in translation between companies.

    What the designer and yourself as the homeowner have worked on and decided is best might not be what the builder prefers (or understands) from a design standpoint — and ultimately, the end result can be compromised. Cohesion and continuity can be problematic when working with a traditional delivery method.

    Watching a design-build firm in action is the definition of a streamlined process.  From the initial design sketches to the final walkthrough of the completed residence, the design integrity is meticulously monitored and managed.

    2. Designer Involvement Is Priority

    As mentioned, though it’s certainly not the case with ​every​ building or construction company, builders tend to stray from design plans without consulting the designer.

    This can happen on large features or material choices or on smaller details, however, with a design-build firm, the designers you chose to create your home plans are ​guiding​ the process and ​leading​ the in-house builders through that vision in a hands-on, involved way. This helps to maintain the design integrity all the way through to the finish line.

    modern design builder florida

    Photo Credit: Tommy Daspit

    3. Design-Build Takes Total Responsibility

    Additionally, there are great advantages as a homeowner to having a singular company manage every piece of your luxury home project.

    With a traditional design-bid-build project, responsibility is split across design and construction companies and all aspects of the project are divided amongst the groups, leaving room for potential blame shifting or misallocation of responsibilities and resources.  Having a single point of accountability in your luxury home project means more clarity for you and peace of mind coming from knowing that every detail will be attended to.

    4. Design-Build Expedites Projects

    Lastly, in recent research released by the ​Construction Industry Institute (CII), it was reported that design-build​ projects continue to ​deliver on a faster scale, ​while providing ​greater​ ​reliabilityin​ ​cost​ when compared to traditional building methods.

    In fact, it was noted that design-build projects see about 3.9 percent less schedule growth and are delivered ​much faster​ on average than design-bid-build projects. When you separate the design and build process by opting out of choosing a design-build firm, you run the risk of your project taking nearly twice as long to complete, costing more, and dealing with reliability and design congruence.

    design build firm florida

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    At Phil Kean Design Group, it is our mission to provide our clients with the complete solution for award-winning design ​and​ construction in their luxury residential projects. If you would like to speak with a Phil Kean Design Group representative about how our firm can bring your luxury home design to fruition, please fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch.

    Contact

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  8. Interior Design Projects Affect Your Life in These 5 Fascinating Ways

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    Interior Design Projects Affect Your Life in These 5 Fascinating Ways

    Your interior design project allows your personality to truly shine through your home at a significant level. It is, after all, where you spend the majority of your time. You might be hosting a social get-together or enjoying a relaxing evening with your loved ones, and you know well that the environment surrounding you plays a major role in your experience. It could be said that your interior design affects you just as much as you affect it.

    As such, understanding how the aspects of your interior design project can influence you is vital to you, your guests, and the overall ambiance of your home.

    1. The Power of Paint

    The color of a room can directly affect your moods and feelings, making walls, ceilings and paint one of the most interesting–and important–interior design project choices. For example, studies have shown that blue tones are linked to feelings of calmness and serenity. Brighter, warmer colors, on the other hand, lend themselves to enthusiasm and energy.

    The correct shades and color palette can make each room in your home come to life. Calming hues like blue can be great for bedrooms. Colors like orange work well for areas where you will be entertaining. Choosing the right colors could prove to be just as beneficial to your life as it is to your home’s design.

    2. An Uptick in Value

    While the overall styling and structure of your home are integral in establishing its value, interior design can build upon and increase that value dramatically. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint, high-quality fixtures, or even functional modifications–think about how much an upscale kitchen changes someone’s perception of a house–every adjustment you make is an investment in the future of your home!

    As with any interior design investment, tasteful, high-end choices are bound to lead to positive returns. When selecting anything from flooring to appliances and beyond, remember that your home value will be positively affected by these changes.

    3. Inspiring Entertainment

    Whether you’re someone who enjoys large parties or someone who favors smaller, more intimate gatherings, the space you use for hosting needs to fit your preferred style of entertaining.

    Making sure you choose the right seating arrangements, the correct lighting, the perfect shade of paint, and a myriad of other factors can not only facilitate your social gatherings, but also inspire friends and family. In the end, it all comes down to great interior design!

    4. Naturally Healthy

    While colors certainly have mood-altering properties, the presence of plants can actually purify air, increase focus, and even help you relax and unwind. In other words, no matter what color scheme you choose for your home’s interior design, make sure you throw a little green–and maybe some florals into the mix!

    5. Positive Décor

    Furniture, floor coverings, and even wall art often depict a challenging dilemma–do you lean toward functionality or obsess over style? The answer typically resides somewhere in the middle. By striking this balance, you can best embrace your aesthetic preferences while still creating a welcoming, livable space.

    In fact, everything from the texture of upholstery to the seating arrangement can influence how you feel in a space. Be sure to focus on flow and day-to-day functionality, even if that means finding a balance between a luxurious design and comfort-oriented selections.

    If you would like to speak with Phil Kean Designs Group about your upcoming interior design project, please fill out the form below and we’ll  be in touch shortly.

    Contact

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  9. Every Luxury Home Needs These 6 Amazing Rooms

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    Modern luxury home Birmingham AL

    Building your luxury home design is exhilarating – the possibilities are simply endless! If you are looking for specialty rooms that elevate your home to the upper echelons of design, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six amazing rooms you should consider adding to your luxury home design:

    1. Game Room

    A well-appointed game room can be the perfect place to unwind, embrace your competitive side, and even host guests. Consider the possibilities–a billiards match, energizing light emanating from your state-of-the-art video game setup, and a cozy, modern sofa to watch your favorite movies.

    No longer are game rooms limited to the old image of concrete basements and mini-fridges. Things have changed. In many luxury estates, you can find a much different room – well-appointed with luxurious materials, custom furniture and creative modern takes on what play and relaxation can look like.

    2. Home Library

    Rich wood floorings, the classic look of antique books, the comfortable embrace of leather–the home library can be your quiet nook for the next rainy day. Your impressive collection of books and art allow you to escape into your own world within the pages of your next read.

    3. Home Office

    Having a comfortable home office space to work, research or handle business activities is important, especially if you want to take that early morning conference call without heading into work. A dedicated space allows you to focus and be more productive in your very own environment.

    Switch on your favorite music and don’t forget, if you need a coffee or snack, your kitchen is only steps away. A home office grants you the versatility to conduct business, host and enjoy a produce space without leaving the house.

    4. Theater

    The biggest game of the season is inching closer; you and your loved one just enjoyed an indulgent home-cooked meal for date night. You have had friends and family over to stream the latest blockbuster…what do all of these scenarios have in common? They’re enhanced by a home theater, of course!

    Plush chairs and ambient lighting with awe-inspiring audiovisual systems. Your home theater can give you and your guests the perfect place to reconnect and recharge.

    5. Wine Room

    Like most things, wine should be properly stored. If you have an extensive collection, rather than relying on a few underperforming wine racks, many luxury homes are incorporating their very own wine rooms.

    For the connoisseur, you can take precise control over the temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors in which your wine will be stored, ensuring optimal conditions for long-term aging. We can even incorporate a tasting area and impressive display to enjoy with company.

    6. Home Bar

    Each amenity mentioned thus far would arguably be more enjoyable with a drink in hand, so why not include a home bar in your new luxury home design? Whether you prefer the minimalist décor of modernism or the richness of traditional design, your home bar can add that special touch that can bring an extra sparkle into your evening.

    If you are interested in discussing your new luxury home design with Phil Kean Design Group, please fill in the form below and we’ll reach out to you!

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  10. “Top Custom Home Builder of 2019” Awarded by Orlando Business Journal

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    Phil Kean Design Group Awarded “Top Custom Home Builder in Florida”

    Many impressive homes rise from the lush green landscape of Central Florida. Gracing lakesides, enhancing the scenic vistas of oceanfront, standing in distinct accord against the impossibly blue skies of the Sunshine State, modern architecture is a common sight in the surrounding area of Orlando. While you can find example after example of such beautiful structures, those from one particular custom homebuilder stand out from the rest.

    Phil Kean Design Group could be considered the epitome of modern architecture design but in reality, it is so much more. Its creations are more than blueprints for buildings. Instead, it embraces the challenge of finding unity between landscapes, the needs and desires of clients, and the individual artistry with which each home is imbued. Time after time, Phil Kean Design Group achieves the coveted balance needed to elevate an incomparable modern structure to the status of a one-of-a-kind, completely custom, luxurious dwelling. It is no wonder, then, that once again the prestigious accolade of Top Custom Home Builder has been received in 2019.

    Clean, alluring lines speak to the irresistible artistic quality that is poured into each design, while the surrounding landscape is accounted for, allowing designs to dance with and complement the scenery rather than stand starkly against it.

    The generous incorporation of glass emphasizes the harmonious bond between home and nature–a harmony that can be found in every aspect of each home, from the building materials to the calming inclusion of water features.

    Each home, while strikingly modern and tech-forward, manages to find the impossible balance and integration between architecture and nature, giving them an organic feeling that many others attempt to replicate. This openness and organic fluidity flows into each masterpiece by Phil Kean Design Group. This is another way in which the Group sets itself apart. Rather than exercise in the sharp angles and cold minimalism that has become synonymous with contemporary architecture, the designs and dwellings one sees and enters are welcoming and created to be lived din, to entertain, and to savor.

    Each client’s specific needs and desires are taken into consideration and woven seamlessly into the tapestry of the final product, giving a unique personal fingerprint to each home the group completes. From warm outdoor spaces for hosting summer dinner parties to bespoke interiors that make each room a piece of a cohesive whole, Phil Kean Design Group’s homes are as functional as they are inspiring.

    Each design is ambitious without being superfluous, intimate yet artistic, and uncompromisingly stands on it own. With such work that simultaneously pushes boundaries and retains effortless beauty, Phil Kean Design Group is not just the epitome of modern architecture–it is the relentless evolution thereof.

    We invite you to peruse the full portfolio and see with your own eyes the work, the designs – the wonder of modern architecture – that the judges at OBJ have named “The Top Custom Home Builder Of 2019”.

    If you are interested in having Phil Kean Design Group design your own slice of heaven, please fill out the form below and you will be contacted within 48 hours.

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