Platinum Winner: Whole-House Under $500,000

Remodeling a 60s waterfront home with good bones.

November 30, 2008


Remodeler: Phil Kean Designs Winter Park, Fla.

Architect Phil Kean took advantage of the home's location on the Intercoastal Waterway by installing large sliding doors, a new lap pool and patio.  

After photos by Harvey Smith Photography

From 60s Blah to Modern Escape

Architect Phil Kean was looking for two things when he found this weekend home in Cocoa Beach, Fla.: a waterfront location and a home that hadn't been too botched up with prior remodels.

“This particular house had really good bones, so that's what made it a remodel versus a teardown,” Kean says.

The major goal for Kean was to create a relaxing weekend escape out of the 1960s ranch home. Like many homes of that era and style, the home was divided into lots of small rooms. Many of the walls were removed to open up the kitchen, dining room and living areas of the home.

The original terrazzo floor ran beneath the walls, so Kean was able to leave that basically unchanged. He retained the terrazzo everywhere except in the foyer, where it was replaced by slate tiles to set off that area from the rest of the home. The company used foam insulation to make the home more energy-efficient and brought the building up to current hurricane standards.

The original home was not designed to take advantage of the waterfront view, so Kean added a second master suite and a lanai. The lanai featured retractable screens that could be raised or lowered depending on how bad the mosquitoes were. Kean also incorporated mosquito misters in the back yard to help keep the pests under control.

Because Kean wanted the home to continue to blend in with the neighborhood, he didn't make many changes to the exterior of the front of the home, with the exception of a new stone wall along the front entryway. One of the major design flaws of the original home was that when someone came out of the front door they looked right at the corner of the garage. The diagonal wall helps to pull attention away from the garage. It also continues into the house, defining the entryway and funneling people toward the water. 

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