The Classic Residence
Architect: Geoffrey Mouen, Geoffrey Mouen Architects, Celebration, Fla. GEOFFREY MOUEN DOES not hesitate to name what he likes best about his Classic Residence.

“The greatest thing about my house is the front porch,” he says. “It's huge. You could entertain on it. So many of the TND (traditional neighborhood development) houses shrink that porch down to 4 or 5 feet. They're just not deep enough. I say if you can walk by a sleeping dog and not wake him, that's big enough.”

Bob Rohde, vice president of design for David Weekley Homes, has a lot of good things to say about that 15-by-24-foot porch as well.

“It's not just a porch you can get a couple chairs on; it's truly a living space,” Rohde says. “We do thousands of front porches. This one, I think, people will walk up (to) and say, ‘That's cool.'”

But the ingenuity and creativity of the house goes well beyond the livability of the front porch. The house is designed, Mouen says, for a young family of urban professionals. They can afford whatever they want, and they don't want a big house, a town-house, or a high-rise. They're buying comfort, not square footage.

“It's luxury living in a cottage-sized house; it's not designed for a big family,” he says. “These people know they won't have more kids.”

From the entry hall, guests can see all the way through the great room to the pool in the backyard. Both the dining room and the great room step down from the entry hall, creating a sense of arrival in each of the spaces. Glazed pocket doors from Simpson make it simple to create a feeling of intimacy for a dinner party in the dining room.

A quiet study completes the main level's living spaces. Accessible only through the great room, it offers a retreat from the busyness of household activities. Mouen sees it as a place for parents to pay the bills and kids to work on their homework, or as a music room with a piano.

Interior designer Kathy Andrews, president of Houston-based Kathy Andrews Interiors, envisions the house as a casual, child-friendly urban cottage, owned by a couple in their 30s with a 9-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. While the architecture of the house is traditional, the interior space is a blend of classic and contemporary style. Wood floors from Armstrong combine with Sea Gull contemporary lighting throughout the house, topped by dramatic bead board ceiling detail capping the two-story foyer. Timberlake's white bead board kitchen cabinets are paired with grey Silestone countertops and a contemporary backsplash.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.