Tag Archive: Custom Luxury Homes

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

    Leave a Comment

    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!

  2. The 2021 New American Home

    Leave a Comment

    From Phil Kean Design Group, The Latest in Modern Luxury Design

    The New American Home has always served as an example of the latest design, technology and building products.

    One of the things that makes the 2021 home so unique is that it not only incorporates these elements, but it has adapted them based on how the world has changed this past year as a result of COVID-19.

    The approach to this design and build focused on re-thinking what one expects inside a residence; finding ways to use space differently was important in designing The 2021 New American Home. Now more than ever, people are spending more time in their homes and it is important we have spaces that suit our needs.

    Over the past year, we have grown into a more health-conscious society and health is one of the main highlights of the New American Home.

    A new trend came to light as we see the transformation of bedrooms into fitness areas and incorporating bidets into bathrooms, a nod to our European counterparts. The most exciting new “Healthy Home” product used in TNAH21 is the Panasonic Cosmos Smart Fresh Air System. Through carefully placed sensors, the Cosmos system constantly monitors the indoor air quality within the home and automatically activates the system to bring fresh air in and pull harmful air out when levels go below normal. The harmful sources that the system regularly monitors are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fine particulate matter, carbon dioxide and humidity.

    The ingenuity displayed in this smart home is truly something to be admired. Every feature imaginable has been incorporated into this home, from smartphone apps to control your energy consumption, to a StruXure motorized louvered roof system to control the amount of sunlight entering your outdoor living space. The variety of capabilities offered by these features will undoubtedly make spending time in one’s home a more fulfilling experience for any homeowner.

    This gorgeous residence that is a feast for the eyes with layers of architecture, touches of modern industrial design, and hidden gems throughout that allow you to see something new at every glance. With three levels and a staircase lighting the way, you can easily glide to each space gracefully.

    Two considerations usually overlooked in designing a residence is artwork, and pets – the fabric of your home. On the ground level, The New American Home greets you with a gallery-inspired entrance showcasing beautiful and captivating artwork that you will find yourself spending more time in, reveling in the aesthetic. Also on the first level is a room dedicated for man’s best friend with an electronic doggie door that opens to a dog run.

    The second level is dedicated to the master suite. The focus behind the design of this level was to create a space where the homeowners can privately unwind after a long day and relax in a calming environment that offers warm wood textures and a more muted palette. This level includes the master bedroom, spa-like bath, luxury walk-in closet for two, laundry room, exercise room, sauna, a TV lounge, and balcony.

    You can find the main living space on the third level. With 14’ ceilings, south and west facing terraces, you are living among the treetops enjoying the incredible views overlooking the city and experiencing amazing sunsets. You find yourself gazing out from your summer kitchen, while entertaining your guests within this cozy open treehouse feel.

    Discover the luxury of our modern, state-of-the-art living spaces designed with timeless perfection. Read about our design process and the elements we use to create unique one-of-a-kind homes by browsing through our blog articles that cover everything from architecture and design to the construction of and products used in The New American Home 2021.

    Ready to kick off the design process for your luxury residence? Start here.

  3. “Unlock” Your Luxury Residence With These 4 Design Tips

    Leave a Comment

    Brilliant luxury residences have mastered the ability to influence, enhance, and adapt the style and function of a space. Luxury residences focus on the elegant, personalized, and convenient touches that embody the highest pedigree of design – a home where character counts. Here are the four golden keys to “unlock” your luxury residence.

     

    Energy and Flow

     

    Implementing practical elements within the luxury residence for the homeowner’s lifestyle while creating a natural, convenient flow of the space marks the epitome of modern design success. The elegance of even the most aesthetic luxury residence is lost when it’s not usable.

    Making the most of the exterior and interior views is an important part of the luxury home design experience. Open floor plans and access to natural light with full-scale walls of windows and oversized sliding glass doors allow sunlight to flow freely throughout the home, while providing first-class views. Modern luxury homes can also accommodate the desire for a connection with the outdoors by incorporating outdoor kitchens and plenty of welcoming alcoves. Interior spaces that flow one into another without the interruption of walls or hallways extend this dramatic feeling of spaciousness.

    luxury residence living room

    Photo by Uneek Image

    One way to check the flow of your luxury residence is to imagine the energy in the space as water. If water were to flow into your home would it stop or stagnate? Ideally, the energy flow would be smooth and harmonious in all areas.

     

    Create Triumph

     

    Ceilings – they can be detailed, fascinating, luxurious and open the room. An expertly designed ceiling creates a sense of order and triumph of the space – giving an original and innovative look and feel. Various options with lighting and texture will stand out.

    Coffered and wood beam ceilings reflect sustainability and naturalness perfectly, while back-lit drop ceilings create space definition and magic. Create luxury interior ceilings to elevate the design of the rooms in your luxury home.

     

    Deluxe Flooring

    Combining variations of ceiling design with floor detailing continues the harmony of the space.

    If you are looking for industrial sophistication with the added benefit of convenience – the most prevalent flooring solution for your luxury home is polished concrete. Polished concrete floors offer a wide variety of finishes that create a pristine, cohesive look; ideal for a clean, sleek, industrial complement to your luxury space.

    Create a show-stopper with large format marble tile available in natural stone, porcelain or polished ceramic. The light-reflective sheen of the polished finishes will make the space look and feel larger. Both large format tile and polished concrete flooring are excellent choices for modern and luxury homes.

     

    Enter High Class

     

    The front door creates the first impression in a well-designed luxury residence.

    Exquisitely designed and well-made front doors improve functionality and movement into the home while providing the first glimpse of the homeowner’s personality. Inside the home, enrich the entry into every room with style and class by using quality doors. Consider oversized, pivoting, pocketing, barn or hidden doors based on the look you desire and functionality needed for each room.

    exquisite front door

    Photo by Uneek Image

    If you enjoyed our article about how to “unlock” your luxury residence, we encourage you to browse our portfolio of modern architecture, state-of-the-art living spaces, timeless design, and other unique design details. Additionally, peruse our archive of architecture blog articles that focus on our luxury design as well as the processes we use to create these luxury homes.

  4. 3D Renderings in Architecture: How We Craft Luxury Home Visualizations

    Leave a Comment

    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.

     

  5. 3D Architectural Renderings for Modern Homes—Sophistication Every Step Of The Way

    Leave a Comment

    Delivering 3D architectural renderings–architectural visualizations of the client’s dream home–are an oft overlooked aspect of the home design-build process.

    In this post, we are going to describe how these 3D renderings assist in personalizing the home building process for our customers.

    In fact, these renderings have been key to our history of success at bringing multi-million dollar homes to life.

    Let’s dig in!

    A Look At How Phil Kean Design Group’s 3D Architectural Models Offer A Superior Design Experience

    At Phil Kean Design Group, we take the utmost pride in designing and building distinctive, luxury residences that are visually stunning and tailor-made to fit each client’s unique needs and desires.

    Our attention to detail is evident beyond just our finished products–we strive to provide white glove 3D architectural rendering services intertwined throughout out entire design/build process.

    Starting with the very first concept meeting, we gather the information needed to intricately develop your custom home design. After the development of your design, we create a state-of-the-art 3D model walkthrough of the final design, a feature we proudly integrate into our clients’ full-service contracts.

    Our 3D rendering offers more than just a glimpse of what your home might look like.  It brings your project to life and creates the virtual experience of walking through your new home for the first time without ever taking a step inside.

    Modern Architecture by Phil Kean Design Group from Phil Kean Design Group on Vimeo.

    Benefits of a 3D Architectural Renderings Process

    In the luxury residential architecture space, our 3D architectural rendering services provide a thrilling experience for our clients. Once clients see a model of their dream home—a one-of-a-kind 3D experience rather than your typical 2D rendering—they are delivered a breathtaking moment of wonder.  It’s the first moment a client is able to see the intricate details we’ve infused into their home.

    Their home design truly comes to life—before the construction process begins.

    3d architectural rendering of home backyard - phil kean design group

    In addition to this being a memorable experience, we believe there are even more benefits of seeing your custom designed home for the first time.

    The Full 3D Rendering Experience—Getting To Know Your Final Home Design

    Your 3D architecture visualization allows you to see everything from the exteriors to the interiors, flooring details to the ceiling, lighting options and features. Each of these are showcased in detail in your 3D architectural model to help preview the experience and details you will enjoy under the current home design specifications.

    3d architectural visualization of home patio - phil kean design group

    Because we bring a beautiful 3D rendering to life for our clients, they get to see their selections clearly laid out, rather than on a blueprint, 2D render or on a sketch. This is a part of what makes our clients feel confident and reassured about their modern home design–they know that their requirements, priorities and goals will be met by the final phase of construction because they have already seen it.

    In-House Customizations & Changes Are Just A Request Away

    Our 3D modeling process allows you to become comfortable with your unique design before ground is ever broken on your project.

    3d rendering of home interior - phil kean design group

    To help ensure that we are are flexible and responsive to any feedback a client might have during the design/build process, we pride ourselves in having an in-house 3D rendering artist at Phil Kean Design Group that allows us to make tweaks in real-time. We then re-render these design changes for final approval in a timely manner.  Rather than outsourcing to a rendering company, we consider it a necessity to be able to make tweaks in-house without having to wait on long or onerous outsourcing turnaround times.

    Our 3D Architectural Models Belong To You—You Can Share Them As You Please

    Part of the excitement of creating a luxury home is being able to share your love for the design process with your friends and family.

    Because our 3D modeling is part of our client experience, the architectural rendering we create belong to you! You’re welcome to share it with your friends and family, planning boards, homeowner associations, and even on your favorite social media platforms (don’t forget to tag us using @philkeandesigngroup! 🙂 ).

    If you have enjoyed reading about the benefits of the 3D architectural rendering services we offer to our architectural clients, we anticipate that you’ll enjoy our upcoming article describing how exactly we go about our detailed process of creating these models that delight and thrill our clients. Stay tuned for our next installment digging deeper into 3D architectural models within the luxury home space.

    You may also browse through our portfolio of modern architecture, state-of-the-art living spaces, timeless kitchens, and other unique design details, as well as our archive of blog articles focusing on luxury design and modern luxury residences.

  6. How We Accentuate Modern Luxury Residences

    Leave a Comment

    Modern luxury residences rely on aesthetic and seamless functionality.

    Oftentimes, crafting the perfect luxury residence has less to do with the big picture and grandeur, and actually has more to do with the smaller, more intricate details that piece the modern home together.

    In other words, the smallest touches make the biggest differences.

    While notable additions like integrated outdoor/indoor spaces, fitness centers, and bright, functional kitchens surely have their place in modern luxury residences, the attention to detail distinguishes a well thought-out modern home that works.

    Here are the top four places we accentuate our modern luxury residences:

    1. Foyers & Entranceways

    2. Custom Doors

    3. Glass Walls & Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

    4. Multi-Textured Exteriors

    luxury staircase

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    Foyers & Entranceways

     

    Firstly, a well-designed foyer commands attention–it sets the tone for a home’s design.

    This vital detail of a home acts as the elegant transition from the outside of a home to the inside of it. Foyers that are intentionally designed with modern aesthetic and functionality in mind may feature elements such as high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, sculptural staircases that draw the eye upward, extraordinary finishes, and state-of-the-art lighting that provide an elegant finish that grants grace to the rest of your home.

    Custom Doors

     

    Next, our modern luxury residences incorporate custom doors. This seemingly small detail can enhance a home’s aesthetic immediately by acting as luxury focal point before you step inside of your home.

    Modern double-front doors with specific uses of glass and unique doors made from uniquely sourced or handcrafted materials can create a clean and efficient statement that offers an impressive, luxury aesthetic. Front doors with custom designs act as more than just entranceways. They also act as a key integral element of the home’s complete design.

     

    Glass Walls & Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

     

    Additionally, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass walls offer a modern, clean aesthetic that integrates functionality by providing your luxury home with ample natural lighting. Floor-to-ceiling windows, especially when integrated throughout specific key areas of the home, can virtually eliminate the border between your indoor living space and nature outside. Wall-style windows create a spacious, open living area warmed with sunlight.

    modern residential architecture

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    Multi-Textured Exteriors

     

    Lastly, the exterior textures of modern luxury residences aren’t always considered as the focal points of a luxury home.

    However, understanding small details like the thoughtful layering of modern textures transform a home from the appearance of something standard into a something luxury or modern. From white-washed brick and rich wood to multi-colored stone and neutral paint, a well-designed, intentional home exterior featuring richly-contrasting textures can dramatically improve the luxurious look and feel of a home.

    modern residential designs

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

     

    If you’ve enjoyed this article, we anticipate you’ll enjoy reading through our archive of interior design and luxury home articles available here. Additionally, please enjoy exploring our ever-growing residential portfolio here, which is filled with our inspiring interiors and examples of our unique, modern luxury residential design.

  7. Modern Residential Architects’ Top Design Trends 2020

    Leave a Comment

    Modern Residential Architects’ Top Design Trends of 2020

    phil kean architecture

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    A luxury home in 2020 offers more than lavish finishes and large floor plans.

    Modern residential architects emphasize blending form and function by designing products that merge convenience, proper lighting, & unique touches to elevate the home.

    modern indoor outdoor space in home

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    In fact, a truly modern, luxury home in 2020 focuses on a timeless layout with features that offer modern technology as well as high-end finishes and amenities by implementing a few, key design details.

    Blending Indoor & Outdoor Space

    One of the top trends in luxury design is blurring the line between indoor and outdoor space. This can be achieved in several unique ways.

    Deploying floor-to-ceiling windows enhances the offering of natural light. Another option is to use walls of glass that pocket to literally open the interior space to the outdoors. In either case, mimicking the look of lavish indoor spaces in outdoor spaces by integrating similar furnishings and flooring help to blur the line between the inside and outside.

    florida modern custom home

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    Featuring State-of-the-Art Technology

    Modern residential architects focus on creating a functional home that balances aesthetics and logistics.

    By designing and integrating current technology features, a luxury home can be smoothly transformed into a modern smart home. With elements such as smart thermostats, motion sensor lighting, cloud-based security systems, and network-connected appliances and equipment that integrate with your smart phones and watch, your modern home can be a lavish, aesthetically pleasing home that incorporates convenience and accommodation for your every impulse.

     

    modern luxury kitchen

    Photo Credit: Uneek Image

    Lavish Kitchens

    Adding unique features to your kitchen design such as floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, beautifully-layered textures, seamlessly integrated appliances can transform your space into a luxury, modern kitchen focusing on convenience as well as warmth and allure will make your residence feel like home.

    Dressing Rooms and Walk-In Wardrobes

    A modern closet is about more than having more space. A modern residential architects in 2020 will feature design elements that transform your closet into a luxury dressing room. With floor-to-ceiling mirrors, balanced lighting, and built-in shelving units that showcase your collection of shoes, purses and clothing, a simple closet morphs into a decadent dressing room.

    If you enjoyed reading about the most relevant trends that modern residential architects are using in 2020, we anticipate that our archive of blog articles focusing on luxury design and modern residences will appeal to you. Please view our portfolio of modern architecture as well to get a glimpse of our custom homes featuring indoor/outdoor living, state-of-the-art kitchen design, and our many unique design details.

  8. 4 Luxury Home Design Trends You Will See In 2020

    Leave a Comment

    The new year is just around the corner and close behind it are 2020’s newest home design trends that will take luxury homes by storm. Here are four of our favorite up-and-coming home design trends that you will see in 2020:

    1. Prioritizing Personalization
    2. State-of-the-Art Home Fitness Centers
    3. Thoughtful Outdoor Spaces
    4. Unbelievable Kitchens

    Prioritizing Personalization

     

    dream living room 2020

    Photo Source: Uneek Image

    One of the hardest parts about designing a modern residence is standing out from the crowd of typical luxury home designs.

    However, with so many cues devolving from fresh to standard in the luxury space, once unique elements have become commonplace and some have lost their luster.

    In 2020, we’ll see them get back being designed as one-of-a-kind, truly bespoke residences.

    Personalization is key – your home design should satisfy your needs, desires and the functions you will need in your home. Your version of luxury, function and décor should vary from others’ – we all have our own style, tastes, and lifestyle goals in and from our homes.

    However, one thing is certain–including the most current amenities and technology will increase your home’s comfort and enhance its livability.

    Working with a world class designer ensures your home’s amenities, layout, furniture, and flow will reflect your personal style and work in harmony with your daily routine, entertainment and lifestyle needs.

    State-of-the-Art Home Fitness Centers

     

    fabulous-home-gyms

    Photo Source: Roger Davies

    Health and wellness are always in style–Americans are exercising more than ever. In 2020, that won’t change at all.

    However, in 2020, home gyms will increasingly and conveniently be moving inside your home! There are many reasons for this trend, and taking advantage of this opportunity to build your dream home gym is just a stone’s throw away. Incorporating fitness facilities into your luxury design can take many forms, further pushing the personalized aspect of custom residences. The options you choose will ultimately depends on your fitness preferences and what you enjoy.

    A home fitness center with the latest machines and innovations elevates your home design by integrating custom sound features and by giving you a tremendous view into nature or the ocean from a full wall of windows. If you enjoy breathing fresh air while you workout, giving our gym indoor/outdoor versatility can make it even more functional and unique.

    From mini yoga and pilates studios to swim spas and plunge pools–these are many of the fantastic additions to health-conscious residence. Including an onsite spa complete with showers, a sauna, a massage room, a hot tub, and any other type of recovery equipment can complete your luxury fitness experience and keep you achieving your daily health goals.

    Thoughtful Outdoor Spaces

     

    outdoor spaces for home 2020

    Photo Source: Uneek Image

    High-end homes differentiate themselves in many. Those with thoughtfully-designed outdoor spaces stand out amongst the crowd.

    Thoughtfully designed outdoor spaces function as an extension of your home as an additional living area, which allows you and your guests to enjoy the outdoors in comfort.

    The top home amenities to your outdoor space in 2020 will include spacious lanais, built-in retractable screens, misters, fully-loaded outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, TV’s specialty lighting, and custom furniture.

    Of course, customized pools with spas and tanning shelves make our luxury home design wish list too.

    Lavish pools with features such as waterfalls and infinity edges will speckle the most dazzling homes you’ll see heading into 2020. The leisurely life is moving outdoors and those residences that have this al fresco flair will rank high in luxury home design.

    Unbelievable Kitchens

     

    kitchen island design ideas 2020

    Photo Source: Uneek Image

    phil kean kitchens 2020

    photo © Stephen Allen, All Rights Reserved.

    Gourmet kitchens will never go out of style, but the design and functionality of them do change.

    Luxury kitchens in 2020 could contain warming drawers, wine cabinets, smart cooking appliances and hidden walk-in pantries. They can be designed to provide all the tools necessary to prepare and present gourmet meals as well as serve as part of the home’s living and entertainment areas.

    As guests tend to gravitate toward the kitchen, creating spaces for collaboration or conversation over meal preparation will be a trend continuing in the coming year.

    This means we’ll see more counter space than ever, open layouts that facilitate flow and unobstructed sightlines, and expertly-placed lighting.

    There’s no doubt that you want to have your finger on the pulse of the latest home design trends when designing your custom home. Phil Kean Design Group prioritizes setting the latest home trends and collaborating with you to create a dream home that will satisfy your distinctive requirements and unique lifestyle! If you’re building or renovating a luxury home and would like to speak with Phil Kean Design Group, please fill in the form below and we will be in touch.

    Contact

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

     

    Sources:

    “Americans Are Exercising More, but the Obesity Rate Is Growing.” Atlas, Quartz, 15 Mar. 2018, www.theatlas.com/charts/SJlAdbOFG.

    Eugenio, Sheila. “4 Reasons Fitness Is Moving From the Gym to the Home.” Entrepreneur, 23 Mar. 2017, www.entrepreneur.com/article/290579.

    “Luxury Home Outdoor Amenities: Elegant Homes by Real Living Real Estate: Real Living Real Estate.” Elegant Homes International, www.realliving.com/eleganthomes/pages/luxury-home-outdoor-amenities-398691.

    Vale, Ali. “Five Innovative Home Amenities Trending with Home Buyers.” REAL Trends, 24 July 2019, www.realtrends.com/blog/five-home-amenities-that-are-trending-with-buyers/.

  9. 4 Home Designs Sweeping Florida Luxury Neighborhoods in 2020

    Leave a Comment

    From an architectural standpoint, luxury home design trends in Florida are especially unique and interesting compared to in the rest of the nation. You’ll see designs and architecture expressing unique and beautiful styles and tastes set in a backdrop of architectural influences, one-of-a-kind landscaping and décor inspired by the modern artists of our day.

    And when you consider the most posh and awe-inspiring homes in Florida today, you might be fascinated to see what we’ve revealed here as the four invisible trends that you might not notice, unless you’re looking out for them.

    1. Sustainable Home Design

     

    sustainable home design trends 2020

    As awareness of the delicate nature of our planet becomes more prevalent, so do the home design trends and building techniques that continue to preserve it.

    One of the core reasons you don’t see much green design outside luxury neighborhoods is the fact that locally-sourced building materials are often more expensive and harder to come by than their less-sustainably sourced counterparts.

    Other eco-conscious building resources, such as green energy and sustainable materials, are also gaining popularity in the world of luxury, but do come at a price. This is gaining serious traction in eco-sensitive suburbs, especially near the coasts of Florida.

    2. Smart Home Design

    In the most exclusive areas of Florida, the infusion of technology in the designing and building of luxury homes is not as peculiar as one might think. From biometric door knobs, reading your thumbprint to unlock your door – to intelligent climate control and lighting, a significant number of the mundane day-to-day tasks are being controlled and enhanced through the use of integrated home technologies that make daily life easier, your home more modern, and your lifestyle more streamlined and automated than ever.

    Smartphones seem to be in our hands for most of the day. Smart televisions make unwinding after a long day easier than ever. Surround sound and music apps can fill your entire house with your favorite song at the touch of a button. Home devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, take all of the above and control them with just the sound of your voice.

    3. Open Views

    Whether you’re building on the coast or want to watch the sunset over ancient oak trees, letting a little more of the outside in is trending in 2020. This means more (and larger) windows, natural spaces for enjoying nature in comfort, and even scenic views from the bathroom.

    Natural light is not only beautiful, but it’s also good for you. Designing a luxury home in an intuitive manner that takes build location, the direction of sunlight, and layout all into consideration is key to maximizing this desirable openness. From waking ith the morning rays to relaxing in the warm glow of evening, Florida is the perfect place to enjoy the outside, insight – year-round.

    4. Homes Designed with Privacy

    While this may seem like a counterintuitive point to coexist alongside open views and scenic bathrooms, you’ll notice that more home designs in luxury neighborhoods are being built with privacy in mind. Whether or not strategic landscaping plays a part in choosing a more isolated location, privacy is key to a home feeling comfortable, peaceful and truly luxurious.

    In Florida, this sometimes means that creativity is necessary. Utilizing the natural features of the land, constructing subtle and subdued fencing from locally-sourced materials, and embracing the privacy that fantastic landscaping can give you all  of the options that we see trending in Florida’s most luxurious neighborhoods in 2020.

    If you’d like to speak with the Phil Kean Design Group regarding your luxury home design, please fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch!

    Contact

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  10. Interior Design Projects Affect Your Life in These 5 Fascinating Ways

    Leave a Comment

     

    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

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.