Once a year housing industry professionals come together for the world's largest home show. In fact there are several shows but the two biggest ones are the Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) and the International Home Builder Show (IBS). It's hard to demonstrate home design trends on the convention floor so in parallel to the show, a New American Home (ANAH) is built each year.
In January 2017, I had the opportunity to visit this year's New American Home in Lake Nona, a suburb of Orlando, Florida. This year's house was created by the team at Phil Kean Design Group. More than any other house I've visited, it showcases new construction technology that I'm certain will over time, move into the mainstream of America's housing industry.
This article is the first in a series of articles because there's so much great information to share … and more than 300 photos, although I can't share them all. We'll start here and you'll join me as I enter the house with a hint of the surprises in store. Then over the next few days, I'll add more articles focusing on:
- New Home Design Trends – in this year's New American Home.
- Lifestyle Homes You Never Want to Leave – illustrating how the role of our homes is expanding beyond the basic sleep, dress and eat.
- Entertaining Informal and Elegant – walks through the house and hilights where you can entertain friends from small groups to larger gatherings.
- Kitchens Galore – reflects how we're integrating the outdoors into our daily lives which includes meals cooked on the grill.
- Bedrooms, Bathrooms & More – as we can't forget about these basics.
- Green Products & Building Materials – that enable this house to produce as much electricity as it needs … and so much more!
Home Design Trends to Save Water
The New American Home uses native plants and yes, I checked and palm trees are native to Florida. But Americans seem obsessed with their lawns and it's time to get over that. We're wasting too much water outdoors (roughly 30% of the 320 gallons/day used by the average family). The EPA estimates that nationwide, landscape irrigation accounts for almost one-third of all residential water use, or 9 billion gallons per day.
That's why you should start looking for WaterSense labels on toilets, sprinkler systems and other home features that use water. And if you don't live in California where they've started to get rid of their lawns due to drought conditions, maybe it's time?
Now you'll understand why I've fallen in love with these hybrid lawns, that combine concrete and grass, to reduce the need for water. Another secret – you can't reach down and touch the lawn but I did. That lawn never needs water because it's astroturf!
If you don't like concrete or want a little more variation in your landscaping, you can use stones in assorted shapes/colors, mulch which also comes in a variety of colors and in Arizona, we use a lot of sand because it's everywhere.
Welcome to the 2017 New American Home
After you've taken thousands of photos of front doors, you earn the right to chuckle at why we make such a fuss about the front door. While it's true that our neighbors gather insight into who we are by the front door, American front doors are rarely used unless you're having a party.
What I do love about this door is how it's showcasing the unusual materials used to build the house. I'll leave most of the details to subsequent articles but want to point out one design feature. Look at how the lines, regardless of where you look, are all horizontal – the door, the siding surround the door, and the metal screens in front of the glass walls.
The horizontal lines let you view and enjoy the landscape.
There's motion and yet, it's relaxing too!
Walking through the door, you enter a walkway that draws you in with a matching door in the distance.
But wait …
Are you inside the house? or still outdoors?
Welcome to a house full of surprises which we're sharing below because we've got so many great photos and design tips too!
Want to See More Home Design Trends?
This article is the first in a series of 7 articles (outlined above) sharing home design trends found in the New American Home. We're rolling them out one day at a time, so come on back to see more great photos (sure, we're biased because I took them).