During its 31 year history, the New American Home has dazzled International Builders' Show attendees with groundbreaking trends and high-end-look touches inside and out. For example, visitors were wowed by the straight, clean lines of the 2012 home and the nearly seamless indoor-outdoor transitions of the 2013 model.
While architect Jeffrey Berkus promises surprises around each corner of the 2014 show home, the takeaway for many visitors will be how project planners generated so much design pizzazz with affordable, off-the-shelf products.
“We are going to show very affordable products used very creatively,” says S. Marc Thee, principal of Marc-Michaels Interior Design. “The [sponsor] vendors have asked us to put on our creative thinking caps and show that builders at any price point can achieve great design.”
Here are just a few examples of unique, but more affordable, installations in the works from the Winter Park, Fla.-based design firm:
--Visitors will be guided from the front door through the core of the house to the backyard pool via a center-access “runway” made of large-format porcelain tile from Dal-Tile. It will contrast with the rest of the flooring in a slightly different color and level of polishing, says Marc-Michaels director of production Kathryn Dunagan.
--To furnish the home’s dream kitchen, designers speced Timberlake cabinetry in all-standard sizes.
--A striking wood texture detail behind the main staircase is made of cut lumber in various sizes.
--A chevron pattern wall in one of the bedrooms employs standard chair rail and molding. “It’s a very simple idea but very dramatic and creates a lot of interest,” says Dunagan. “We did it very inexpensively.”
--A big design story in this year’s home is its “new neutral” color palette, says Thee, describing the soft palette as mimicking the hues found in menswear fashion. Some of the colors to look for include are called graphite, palomino, and shrimp. “We’re going to incorporate very organic moments with very glamorous moments,” he says.
--The Thermory thermal-treated hardwood decking for the porch off the first-floor master bedroom was brought inside: A few planks from the deck extend into the bedroom, providing an eye-catching transition from outside to in, says Thee.
--The designers carefully thought out where to place awe-inspiring creations to get the most bang for the buck. Thee calls it “moment design,” and estimates there will be at least two dozen of these elements sprinkled throughout the house.
"Blow out a moment in a space and then back off of those expensive decisions in other areas or adjoining spaces,” the designer explains. “It’s about really letting that one touch impact all the nearby space.”
--On the casita flooring, workers created an ombre effect, popular in hair coloring and fashion, by incorporating dark pebbles on one side fading to light colors on the other.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.