Inside Job: Interior Details of the 2017 New American Remodeled Home

Details about the interior products and technologies used in the Orlando show home

March 17, 2017

Before images: courtesy Phil Kean Design Group; after images: Jeffrey A. Davis, Davis Photography

Residential lifestyles and design options have changed a lot since the 1980s, and The New American Remodeled Home shows just how far they’ve come. The 2017 remodeling demonstration house introduced at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla., in January turns a dated 1987 home into a showplace of what today’s homeowners want—and highlights the products and technologies available to make homes more beautiful, more comfortable, and more energy efficient than ever.

Cosponsored by Professional Remodeler and the National Association of Home Builders, the remodel was designed and produced by Phil Kean Design Group (PKDG), in Winter Park, Fla., a residential design/build and interiors firm. Twenty-two manufacturer partners contributed to the project.

At 4,631 square feet, the three-bedroom remodeled house is about the same size as the original; a second-floor bump-out added just 187 square feet. The transformative difference is in how that interior space connects and functions.

Continuity + Coordination

The old house was a patchwork of separate rooms—great room, living room, dining room, kitchen—threaded together by narrow doorways. In his redesign, Phil Kean, an architect, interior designer, and Certified Residential Contractor, brought all of these living spaces together in an expansive, contemporary gathering space. A variety of finishes and design details define zones within this open area while visually connecting them, and consistency in finishes, colors, and styles extends that connection throughout the house. 

GREAT ROOM: Before (above), after (lead image)

The new gathering space (see main image) is light-filled and airy, with high-quality finishes that work as well for entertaining guests as they do for relaxing at home. Expansive glass patio doors from Ply Gem provide natural light and views, while the white walls and lighted coffered ceiling give the space fresh vitality and crispness. Large, illuminated art niches along one wall of the great room and in the adjoining foyer add an inspired, one-of-a-kind feel to the space.

A distinctive feature of the remodeled home is the gleaming white marble-look porcelain flooring from Daltile. Durable and easy to clean, the Marble Attaché line’s extra-large 24-by-48-inch tiles, in Calacatta, sweep across the gathering space, the entry foyer, and much of the rest of the house, making a statement of design clarity and continuity. That consistent, contemporary look even carries through to the Eaton screwless switch plates, which present a smooth, unblemished surface. 

At one end of the large gathering space is a conversation area anchored by a fireplace wall faced with stacked-stone veneer from Environmental StoneWorks. The stone matches the exterior veneer and coordinates with the light tones and geometry of the rest of the gathering space, while adding warmth and texture. The 6-foot-wide custom fireplace from Town & Country Luxury Fireplaces is equipped with color-changing LED lights and is framed by a rectilinear natural-quartz surround from Daltile that stretches the full width of the wall. The dark gray quartz accentuates the fireplace while coordinating with Daltile quartz features across the room in the kitchen area.

Coordination and continuity also shine through in the home’s lighting choices. The whimsical assemblage of Progress Lighting pendant fixtures over the dining table and food prep island expand on the theme set in the entry, and that carries though to the pendants in the second-floor game room.

Clusters of harmonious, but not identical, pendant lights (above, left) add a whimsical touch to the breakfast area, main entry, and second-floor game room. The use of frosted-glass panels (above, right) in some interior doors ensures privacy while admitting light to interior spaces.

Comfort + Convenience

Today’s homeowners place a high priority on comfort and ease of use as well as style. The New American Remodeled Home incorporates technology and products that both look great and assure comfortable, luxurious living.

With the push of a button on a handheld remote, the Phantom Screens motorized screen between the lanai and pool deck can be completely retracted into the overhead pocket or lowered to any level for shade or weather protection. The suite of wood interior doors from TruStile Doors enhances comfort as well, whether the panels are wood, mirrored, or clear glass. Pocket doors maximize circulation area, and the use of frosted glass panels ensures privacy while sharing light across interior spaces.

A residential elevator from Garaventa Lift enhances accessibility in the two-story home. The in-line elevator has a compact profile that unobtrusively fits in the space off the entry hall and quietly operates with a 2 horsepower electric motor. A dual-entry system accommodates the floor plan—the lift is entered on one side from the first-floor hall and exited from another side on the second floor.

The motorized screen extends the indoors onto the pool deck. The screen can be completely retracted into an overhead pocket or lowered to any level for protection from bugs, UV rays, and weather.

Kitchens + Baths 

The kitchen area is bounded by two parallel islands that continue the rectilinear theme of the fireplace wall and feature matching finishes. The eating island has a white marble counter that matches the flooring, and its ends are made of the same Daltile gray quartz as the fireplace surround and the food-prep island’s counter.

The kitchen houses a full suite of high-performance Thermador appliances, grouped around convenient work areas. One end of the room houses food storage via a walk-in pantry and a large side-by-side refrigerator and freezer. The cooking area includes two professional wall ovens and a 60-inch-wide dual-fuel range. A microwave drawer and refrigerator drawers are convenient to the food prep and eating islands, as is a coffee machine set into the wall.

A space off the dining area that formerly was part of the pool bathroom has been converted into a wine storage and tasting room containing three tall 18-inch-wide Thermador wine refrigerators and a marble counter for wine tasting.

KITCHEN: Before (above), after (below)

Like the kitchen, the bathrooms and wet areas extend and reinforce design themes. Daltile products on the walls and floors, and in the shower areas, showcase a variety of styles and are easy to maintain. The rich array of coordinated Kohler fixtures and fittings in the kitchen also make a strong contemporary statement in the bathrooms, which feature under-mount lavatories and large shower rainheads with air-induction spray. The master bathroom tub provides a state-of-the-art spa experience employing Kohler’s VibrAcoustic technology, which emits sound waves to envelope and resound within the body. The shower system links two six-port controllers that deliver to each fixture individual control of water temperature and a choice of showerheads and body sprays.

The bathrooms provide not only comfort but also optimal performance. The exhaust fans from Air King operate quietly and efficiently to keep the bathrooms well ventilated. Walls between bathrooms and adjacent spaces use CertainTeed SilentFX wallboard, a product that combines noise-reducing drywall with a viscoelastic polymer to minimize sound transmission. The company’s Diamondback Tile Backer was chosen for wet areas to ensure strong moisture and mold resistance, and its Habito drywall product, which is designed to support heavy loads, was used on bedroom walls for easy, secure installation of wall-mounted televisions, as well as in the great-room display niches.

BATHROOM: Before (above), after (below)

Energy Smart + Healthy

Luxury features and conveniences in The New American Remodeled Home don’t come at the expense of energy efficiency. In fact, energy specialist Drew Smith, COO of Two Trails Sustainable Building Consulting, in Parrish, Fla., estimates the home will deliver a savings of more than $1,500 per year compared with the energy costs of the house before the remodel. 

Part of that efficiency comes from creating a tight thermal shell, from roofing to walls to windows. But many interior products are also energy savers. All of the Thermador appliances and the Air King exhaust fans, as well as the washer and dryer, carry an Energy Star rating, and all of the Progress Lighting fixtures contain energy-efficient LED bulbs. The zero-clearance fireplace features full-seam welded construction and cool-glass technology so that it doesn’t tax the HVAC system by overheating the room. 

Five tankless gas water heaters provide hot water on demand without the cost of heating and storing hot water in tanks. And Kohler technology enables the low-flow toilets and lav faucets to cut weekly water use by almost 1,000 gallons—a reduction of more than half. 

Crush-resistant Omega Flex gas piping, a polyethylene-sleeved flexible stainless steel system, decreases the likelihood of expensive repairs, and the SharkBite Plumbing Solutions push-to-connect water supply valves and fittings create a secure, reliable piping system. Eaton electrical and wiring devices provide an efficient and safe electrical infrastructure.

In addition to energy efficiency and reliability, technology in The New American Remodeled Home supports a healthy environment. The fireplace incorporates a direct-vent blower that circulates fresh air and prevents gases from escaping into the home. A QuFresh air intake system from Air King draws fresh air from an exterior gable and routes it into the house. The advanced system—which meets ASHRAE 62.2 standards for fresh air supply—uses sensors to maintain energy efficiency by preventing intake of air that’s too hot, cold, dry, or humid.

Even the walls throughout the home, which use CertainTeed Gypsum’s innovative AirRenew Indoor Air Quality Gypsum Board with M2Tech, promote a clean, healthy environment, cleaning the air by attracting and binding airborne volatile organic compounds. 

GAME ROOM: Before (above), after (below)

About the Author


About the Author


Wendy A. Jordan is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.

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