Timberlake Brings The New American Home to Life

New American Home Party Goers

Guests enjoy themselves at the Timberlake Cabinetry party at the 2012 New American Home in Winter Park, Florida during the International Builders’ Show on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012.

Once a year, 50,000 members of the builder community come together at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) to see the newest homebuilding trends. This year, in Orlando, we were once again showcased in The New American Home, a house built from the ground up just for the show attendees.

So much more than a booth filled with samples, the show home lets visitors experience our cabinetry in a spectacular custom-built home that demonstrates innovative ways to design, personalize and add value in any home on any budget.

A few highlights from this year’s home included:

  • An art gallery with $1.2 million in artwork
  • A beautiful outdoor space of decks and a pool
  • A 30-foot paneled wall created entirely of cabinet doors
  • Twelve rooms of Timberlake cabinetry

It’s always best to experience the home in person, but for those who can’t, we’ve got more on the home, including a photo gallery, on our 2012 New American Home project page.

Best Mix of Work-Play at IBS

Considered one of the hottest tickets at the Builders’ Show, our invite-only VIP party at The New American Home is a chance for top builders, designers, architects and industry executives to experience the show home as it was intended—all lit up and set to entertain.

Under starry skies in nearby Winter Park, some 150+ guests made their way room to room while cool jazz, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres set a mood that kept people engaged.

How engaged? When a caterer’s truck experienced a small fire, the majority of guests simply moved the party to the front lawn and eagerly returned when all was clear.

Party Photos

There were candid party photos

And photo booth photos

And *cough* fire (!) photos *cough* …

Video Interviews

We also did video interviews with guests at the party, so check back occasionally so you don’t miss them!

It’s Never Over

The Builders’ Show may be over, but we keep The New American Home open for all-comers, all year long — with Portfolio Magazine. A week-long photo shoot and interviews with a dozen project decision makers is transformed into 44 printed pages of photos and stories that continue to inform and inspire the trade and homebuyers.

From profiles of the design and build teams to features on the home and cabinetry features, it’s a publication that will be read and re-read. Make a virtual visit yourself or request a printed version from your sales rep!

A Home for Entertaining

A Margarita and a Dip in the Pool. Sound good? Or how about a maritni while you listen to Frank Sinatra?Those are the spirited words Phil Kean, architect and builder of The New American Home, uses to describe the atmosphere he’s created. “This house has a sexiness,” he says. “It’s designed for someone that enjoys entertaining.”

Pool Bar

The sunlit pool at the center of the C-shaped home is the sparkle for any gathering, indoors or out. Whether viewed from the spacious lanai and patios or through the glass walls of the living space, it creates a decidedly festive vibe.

Go with the Flow

The flow of the house is also an important part of the hospitality. Each area feels fully defined, yet open to the next without the interruption of hallways and walls. “There’s a beautiful flow, no bottlenecks,” confirms Rob Turner, interior designer. “It’s all in the space planning. Each area has its own character, but it’s drawing you from one into the next.”

The design also offers a space for every type of entertaining, notes Kean. “There are spaces for groups of ten, or people in small groups, or one person on a cell phone. People can move according to what they’re doing.”

Eat, Drink and be Merry

The bar  inside The New American Home 2012 gallery

The must-have features in the kitchen are the cornerstone for unforgettable entertaining. “The kitchen is designed to be a clean space that always looks organized,” begins Kean “There are beautiful, ample cabinets, and there’s a large nearby storage corridor.” He adds, “There are two stoves, two microwaves and two warming drawers,” And for bigger events? “The kitchen is just off the garage, so it’s perfect for caterers.”

The art gallery features a bar that includes refrigerator drawers, a wine chiller and generous storage cabinetry. There’s also a summer kitchen on one of the poolside patios, designed for sociability. Notes Turner, “Sometimes these features are facing a wall. Here, it faces the people you’re serving. And it’s a bar, so you can have a drink and a conversation while someone’s cooking.”

“In The New American Home, we’ve created an oasis in an urban setting,” smiles Kean. That calls for celebration. Martini, anyone?

This article originally appeared in Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2012) of Portfolio Magazine.
Portfolio Magazine is an award-winning showcase of exciting design ideas and industry insights.

Artful Living

The New American Home 2012 features a 16 foot custom stone wall, perfect for displaying artwork

Like all masterpieces, this one started with seeing the world through new eyes. “We should think of art not as ‘dessert’, but salt.” That’s the insight, garnered from a TV documentary, which inspired Phil Kean, architect and builder, to include a world class art gallery in The New American Home.

When Phil says, “This house thinks of art as salt,” he means that it’s the crucial spice for every day, not just a special occasion treat. He clarifies, “As more and more people downsize, they want more beautiful things around them. Instead of a formal living room, why not a gallery?”

In reality, this magnificent space has many faces. Yes, a collection of museum-quality artwork by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns graces a 16- foot wall for open house events during the International Builders’ Show, but that’s just the beginning. Now add a bar and grand piano. Infuse welcoming conversation groups of contemporary furnishings gathered on a chic shag carpet. Frame a view of the lush patio and pool with soaring glass windows.

Clearly, this is a gallery for the fine art of living, for casual entertaining, for quiet luxurious relaxation, for a peaceful afternoon, a musical interlude or a glittering party.

A Masterwork of Balance

Rob Turner, interior designer, was charged with filling the canvas of Kean’s architecture. He understood the viewpoint immediately. “I’ve worked around great art collections before, and one of the design elements is people in the space.” He also had an intuitive feel for Kean’s approach. “Phil and I have done many projects together. We have a great design relationship – and friendship.”

The look is a signature Turner interior: a clean, simple, modern approach that accentuates the design. But this is no cold, aloof museum. There’s a pleasing warmth to the stone wall where the paintings hang. Recessed lighting is intimate and inviting.

The New American Home 2012 Gallery Niche

What is the key to the chameleon nature of the space? Balance, advises Turner. “If I designed with too much, if it was too heavy handed, the people and artwork get lost. What I needed to do was get a furniture layout that was strong enough to stand up to the architecture, but not take away from the art.”

“It’s a fun room,” asserts Kean. “There’s a piano, so it’s a music room with great acoustics. It has a little bar for a couple of wine coolers or to serve drinks. It’s built for entertaining, with a Palm Springs feeling.”

Room for Creativity

The “salt” of art is found in more than just the gallery. It flavors the entire house. As you descend the open floating staircase, you come upon a wall of granitelined niches where a collection of artisan-blown glass sparkles. Lighted shelves grace the office. Sculpture fills the garden. An elegant grid of framed prints follows you through the dining room. And, the open design and immense glass walls of the home make every room a gallery for another.

Is it any wonder Phil was inspired to add an art studio to the blueprint? A sometime painter, he couldn’t help but paint himself into the picture. “I thought if I had a great spot for my art, I might start again.” The room is, in fact, a temple to the muse. Natural light warms the space. The view opens to the garden, pools and patios, with the glass-walled gallery as a final backdrop. It’s detached from the main house, so there’s solitude without isolation.

Like the gallery, the studio is a creative playground for today’s ever-shifting lifestyles. Because the space includes a bath, it could be retouched into a guest suite or a striking office for someone who works from home. “Let’s say you have a newborn,” adds Kean. “It could be for the nanny.” Still, he concludes, “I like the idea of someone creating art there…an artist in residence.”

Chances are, Phil will get his wish—in a way. If there’s an art to beautiful living (and there is, of course), then the style and imagination, design and ingenuity of this home will always have an artist in residence.

This article originally appeared in Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2012) of Portfolio Magazine.
Portfolio Magazine is an award-winning showcase of exciting design ideas and industry insights.

An Insider View: How to Phil a Home with Ideas

The New American Home 2012 delivers the wow factor of a first impression, followed by detail after detail of astonishing style, innovation and functionality.

The goal was to take it to the next level,” says Brad Grosberg, fellow principal in Phil Kean Designs. “Everybody that’s seen the house so far says that Phil accomplished it.”

Phil Kean (right), Architect & Contractor, and Brad Grosberg (left), Co-Principal of Phil Kean Designs

Phil Kean’s talent is uniquely suited for this year’s home, designed as a perfect little gem in a Winter Park, Florida, infill neighborhood near Lake Osceola. At 4,181 square feet, it’s the smallest New American Home in many years. And Kean makes every inch count. The clean, contemporary design is open and airy, expanding the space by blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors—a signature trait. Yet, the white box design is invitingly warmed with color, faceted with personality, and polished with the unexpected.

How does Kean bring such broad vision to the project? He is both the architect and contractor for the home—a first for The New American Home project, but not for Phil. The president of Winter Park, Florida’s Phil Kean Designs is both a licensed architect and a certified residential contractor, and he takes on that dual role for most of his clients.

“I consider myself unique because I get to design and build,” says Kean. “I do a 3-D model in CAD,” he says, but then he colors outside the lines in an organic process. “Afterwards, I hand-sketch the home to think through the visual spaces and details.”

When Phil the architect’s work is complete, Phil the contractor is just getting started. “If you think you have all answers when you’ve finished the blueprints, you’re missing out on opportunities to do something better.As you walk through a home, you tweak things, see a way it could be better,” he says. That passionate pursuit of perfection doesn’t apply just to The New American Home. “I do this with all my houses. I don’t charge my clients for change orders. If you’ll be comfortable with changes, I promise I’ll make the house better.”

Born for the Project

You might say that Kean was born for this career. His father was a builder. “He used to take me to the jobsite as a kid. At age seven, I would unroll the blueprints, find the walls and think in 3-D.” By age eleven, he’d decided to become an architect.

Adding the contractor moniker was borne of frustration. “When I started, I was doing design for other people. I got frustrated with contractors ‘value building’ the best parts out of my house designs.” A builder friend suggested Phil should do his own construction. Problem solved. “I got my contractor’s license and worked with a builder for several years. We’d design and build them together.” Eventually, Phil went out on his own, and today Phil Kean Designs’ architecture, design and interiors team works nationally and internationally.

Ideas are for Everyone

The New American Home 2012 Floating Stairway

What are the defining characteristics of this year’s showcase? Ideas that are accessible to all designers and builders lead the list.

“People are mesmerized by inside-outside lifestyle. The floor to ceiling windows, the glass, is a major design element,” he says. “They could be anywhere in the world. It has a whole feeling of being someplace else.” Two visitors’ reactions illuminate the point. “A guy from Germany came through and said this house could be there. Another said it could be in South Africa. It has an international style with appeal to people all around the world.”

And the list of don’t-miss features continues. “The hidden doors incorporated in the pantry,” he says of the virtually invisible spaces tucked into the walls. “People will love the stairs, too,” he adds about the floating scissor stairs, artfully lighted. “And we did a beautiful bar back for the entertaining area, just phenomenal—subtle and beautiful.” What are other favorite elements? “The art gallery is world class. They’ll be thrilled about the flooring. People will love the openness of the kitchen, and the cabinetry is gorgeous,” he continues. “We took Timberlake’s stock cabinets and turned it into a custom look.” A grid pattern created by cabinets, combined with doors used like paneling, creates long, rich wood walls connecting living spaces. “It’s amazing!” he raves.

So Good, So Green

The National Green Building Standard Emerald Status is another point of pride. Phil is a Certified Green Professional and member of the Florida Green Building Coalition and U.S. Green Building Council. It’s a commitment the company has had since its beginning, and Kean sees it as a market benefit. “One of the non-negotiable things I’m finding with homebuyers is a desire for green. You don’t have to talk them into it; they come wanting it,” he assures.

Every design element about the home carries a personal feel as well. That’s because Phil owned the property where The New American Home now sits. He had plans to build a showcase home for his own company and perhaps live in it himself for a time. Then the call came from National Association of Home Builders. They needed a new contractor for the 2012 home. “I had contacted the NAHB about my interest last year, but everything was already in place. When the original plans fell through, they remembered me,” a delighted Kean confides. He soon added the role of architect to his responsibilities, and planning began.

Serendipity Becomes Spectacular

The team had their work cut out for them, and time wasn’t on their side. “We didn’t close on the lot until January, and started construction in February,” Kean muses. Grosberg echoes the sentiment: “There was a call from somebody that said that there’s no way they’re going to complete this house. You’ve got to figure this one out.”

The company’s response was instantaneous, says Grosberg, “We came back and literally went into 12 hour days, 7 days a week, with 50, 60, 70 people working here a day.” And what do you do when faced with challenges like this? “Close your eyes, take a deep breath and jump!” laughs Kean. That focus, flexibility and sense of humor helped keep the project humming in the hectic months when the inevitable crises occurred—many of which gave way to beautiful serendipity.

Phil gives this example: “I’d chosen flooring and done all the design work, then I found out it wasn’t in stock. I had to lower the ceilings, re-cut doors and redo all my anal retentive details.” Yet trouble transformed to delight. “It turned out incredibly more beautiful than my original design!”

Phil’s sense of possibility also helped the house evolve throughout the building process. A stone wall wrapping an elevator tower caught his imagination. “When they put it up, it was so phenomenal we had to use it someplace else.” Quickly, new plans called for a 16-foot stone wall in the art gallery and two more outside walls. “Sometimes more is more!”

The secret to unleashing this sense of creative freedom— especially under the tyranny of a grueling schedule, looming due dates and inevitable crises? It’s not a bricks-and-mortar answer. “It’s about relationships,” Phil insists. “Fortunately, I have some of the best trades people in the whole world. Many of them are people I’ve worked with for years, and they’ve always been heroes to me.” Echoes Grosberg, “It was just an extraordinary experience.”

And the culmination of all that creative vision, changing, evolving, rethinking, reworking, discovery and tweaking is unmistakable in every detail: Perfection.

This article originally appeared in Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2012) of Portfolio Magazine.
Portfolio Magazine is an award-winning showcase of exciting design ideas and industry insights.

White Box Meets Modernism

The New American Home 2012, Winter Park, Florida

When you ask Phil Kean of Phil Kean Designs what inspired the design of the 2012 New American Home, he first talks about looking backward, and finding inspiration from the architecture of the 1950s and ‘60s.

The home is a reinterpretation of the Classic White Box, which architects such as Richard Meier and Le Corbusier were doing at that time. Kean says the house is also reminiscent of Sarasota School of Architecture’s philosophy in the ‘60s. “This was before there was a lot of air conditioning in Florida,” says Kean, “so indoor/outdoor was important.” Kean found that to be intriguing, so that’s where he started: with modern thoughts of broad overhangs, and terraces, and rooms that blend the indoors and outdoors.

Although the past informs the present, Kean was looking forward to taking advantage of current technologies and design trends. To fully explore the melding of inside and out, the glass was one of the key influences in the design of the house. The structure is literally designed around the glass to accommodate floor-to-ceiling glass panels and doors.

Project Manager of the New American Home, Alex Hannigan, says the windows cater to consumers’ desire for this feature. “There’s a great expansive view,” says Hannigan, “and that’s important in the more modern architectural aspect of this home’s design.”

The cabinetry used in the home was chosen because of its simplicity. Phil comments that the cabinetry is “kind of like the ‘50s and ‘60s, when a carpenter would come to the house and actually construct the cabinetry right there.” That’s the look that was achieved using Timberlake cabinetry, which, while not custom, has the look of custom because of the unusual applications in this house. For instance, one solid wall of cabinets, set in a grid pattern, not only emphasizes the architecture, it actually helps to create it. Kean thinks that “people will be surprised that it’s a stock cabinet.” The cabinetry through most of the house is finished with a dark espresso color. “This rich, almost black, tone gets pulled into this White Box, and it warms up the whole house. It’s a really good blend.”

The exception was that Kean used white finishes on the bathroom cabinetry to ensure that the look will not quickly become dated. The floating cabinets in the master bath are surrounded by classic white marble, with under-cabinet lighting that further gives the vanity even more of a feeling of “floating.”

Another primary architectural feature of the home is the modern look of its stone exterior. Phil Kean and Brad Grosberg had a vision of what they wanted for the stone, but it did not exist. So, they worked with Environmental Stoneworks to manufacture a completely new stone for this house. The process included studying photos of a variety of stone used in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The result was white stone with some color variation, installed with white grout in a linear pattern.

The interior floating, scissor-type stairs are another interesting architectural element, which came out of a design solution alternative when the original invisible stair concept planned was too steep for the budget. “We wanted a very minimal stair,” says Kean, “and we wanted to be able to see through the stair, to the outside, the exterior landscape.” The material on the stairs is the same as on the floors—a natural limestone that looks almost like wood when it’s installed— so the stair looks like an extension of the flooring material as it moves up to the second floor.

Kean stresses that the style of the home has a timelessness, and he feels strongly that it will hold its timelessness. “People have commented that this house could be anywhere—it has an international style that would appeal to people from around the world. It has a sexiness to it.” Kean laughs. “It makes you want to have a martini and listen to Frank Sinatra. Or have a margarita and sit by the water. It takes you somewhere other than where you are.”

And yet, this incredible house seems perfectly at home right where it stands.

This article originally appeared in Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2012) of Portfolio Magazine.
Portfolio Magazine is an award-winning showcase of exciting design ideas and industry insights.

The New American Home 2012 features Timberlake Cabinetry

New American Home 2012 Kitchen

The New American Home 2012 kitchen features Timberlake Lausanne Maple Espresso cabinetry.

Timberlake Cabinetry, a leading supplier to the new construction market, brings custom-look style and personalized functionality to The New American Home (TNAH), the annual showcase house of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). TNAH is presented in conjunction with the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, FL, February 8-11, 2012. The home is open to builders, remodelers, architects and designers as a way to discover new design trends, products and construction technology.

Twelve rooms of the 4,181 square-foot home feature Timberlake Cabinetry. The updated “White Box” architecture, reminiscent of the Sarasota School’s philosophy of the 50s and 60s, relies on contemporary collections from Timberlake to reflect the warm sophistication of the design. The sleek Lausanne slab doors in near-noir Maple Espresso extend a unified furniture-style look through the home, appearing in the kitchen, media room, loft, master bedroom, powder room, office, family room, art gallery and dining room. Phil Kean, whose trio of Phil Kean Designs companies served as the architect, builder and interior design service for TNAH, describes the effect: “This rich, almost black, tone gets pulled into this White Box, and it warms up the whole house. It’s a really good blend.”

In the master and guest baths and the art studio, the clean white of New Haven Maple Linen was chosen to add a counterpoint to darker shades throughout the rest of the home. A classic line and coloring creates a timeless feel that never feels outdated.

More Information

Visit The New American Home 2012 Photos & Project Details page for more photography, details, and links on this home.

For more information on Timberlake Cabinetry, including a company fact sheet, official boilerplate and more, please visit the Timberlake Newsroom.