The New American Home – Trends to Try

The New American Home

Every year for more than three decades, a group comprised of a builder, an architect, an interior designer, green building consultants, home building product suppliers and expert contractors and craftsmen gathers to design and build "The New American Home." Meant to showcase the latest in building techniques, products and designs, the house is built in conjunction with the International Builders Show sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders. This year, more than 85,000 industry insiders attended the convention in Orlando and most of them took a tour of The New American Home.

While builders may have been more intrigued by new products like AeroBarrier, an aerosol-applied sealant that produces a super-tight seal around ceilings, walls, floors, doors, windows and electrical and plumbing fixtures, consumers appreciate some of the unusual design features that they may see in homes in the future.

Five design trends in The New American Home

Built by Legacy Custom Built Homes in the upscale planned community of Bella Collina outside Orlando, the residence has a Tuscan-inspired, yet modern exterior meant to blend with the Italianate homes in the development. Among the design features that are applicable to homes in any region are:

  1. Access to the outdoors from nearly every room. The importance of indoor-outdoor living grows exponentially every year for homeowners. This house takes blurring the lines between interior and exterior living spaces to new heights, with multiple rooms featuring fully retractable walls of glass. The great room nearly doubles in size when the glass walls are open to a covered patio, one of several patios off the back of the house that function as indoor-outdoor rooms for entertaining or relaxing. The master bedroom suite has a private covered patio and the first-floor guest suite has a private courtyard. Upstairs, each of the bedrooms and the family room have access to a balcony. All this is in addition to the patios that surround the swimming pool, modern outdoor fit pit and outdoor spa.
  2. Flexible approach to technology. While The New American Home naturally showcases the latest in home automation including automatic shades, security, temperature, lighting and entertainment, the technology can be as easy or as complicated as you want. Buyers can sync their technology with a voice-activated system like Alexa or Google Home Assistant for simplicity, or they can tinker with a control room full of tech equipment off the garage.
  3. Two garages for multiple residents. At more than 6,700 square feet, the house has been designed to accommodate multiple generations, a large family or frequent guests. In addition to an elegant paving stone driveway with space for guest parking, the house has an H-shape with a two-car garage forming wings around a courtyard at the front entrance. Each garage has attractive wood doors that match the mahogany-and-glass front doors. One garage has two sets of doors – front and back – so drivers can pull-through, never having to back out of the garage.
  4. Social and private space upstairs. The upper level includes three bedrooms, each with a private full bathroom and access to a balcony. In addition, this space is designed almost like a separate apartment, with a kitchenette, a built-in coffeemaker, a second laundry room, a powder room and a loft entertainment area that opens onto a balcony.
  5. State-of-the-art kitchen. The kitchen has several steam and convection wall ovens, a built-in coffeemaker, a warming drawer, a microwave drawer, a range and a super-fast dishwasher from Thermador. In addition, the kitchen has multiple sizes of refrigerators, freezers and wine coolers in both columns and drawers. The center island includes plenty of space for food prep and casual dining, while a second island adds storage and functions as a buffet for the adjacent great room when entertaining.