Now’s your chance to go behind the gates of some of Lakewood Ranch’s swankest neighborhoods (think The Lake Club and The Country Club) when the 18th annual Lakewood Ranch Tour of Homes kicks off Friday. Thirty-two models by 14 of the area’s best builders will open their doors throughout the master-planned community, with homes priced from the high $100,000s to more than $5 million.
We got the chance to ask some of those builders about what home buyers want today.
Indoor-outdoor living. “It’s huge,” says Peter Mason of Lee Wetherington Homes, whose tour entry is the West Indies-style Windsong model in Country Club East. “We’re putting a lot of square footage into the outdoor spaces, with big fire pits, outdoor TVs and pizza ovens as well as the pool and spa.”
Screens are back. “We went back and forth,” says Derek Nelson, president of Arthur Rutenberg Homes, whose tour entry is the contemporary four-bedroom Almeria in The Vineyards at The Lake Club. “And we decided, with the bugs in Florida, we’re putting screens back on the outdoor porches.”
And so is terrazzo. T.J. Nutter chose high-polished terrazzo floors for his new Leeward model, also in The Vineyards at The Lake Club, which he describes as “West Indies meets modern.” “Home owners spent years covering up their terrazzo, but this version is very high-end and buyers want it again,” he says. It’s part of the trend toward “cleaner, fresher, lighter” architecture and décor.
And next year’s color trend is… And speaking of décor, Steve Murray of Murray Homes, whose tour entry is the Resolute model in Staysail Court in The Lake Club, is working closely with Crate & Barrel at the Mall at University Town Center to choose the next big trends. In 2016, he says, watch for lots of crisp navy and lime.
The Lakewood Ranch Tour of Homes runs through Nov. 22. Details are at www.lakewoodranch/tourofhomes.com.