Homefront - October 2006

By staff October 1, 2006

MIRACLE HOUSE The Florida Suncoast Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation will soon reap the benefits of a truly groundbreaking charitable collaboration. Villa Milagros, a 10,000-square-foot luxury waterfront home currently under construction on St. Armands Key, represents the shared efforts of Paradignm Development and Voigt Building and Design, along with Re/Max Properties and Robb & Stucky, to create a magnificent destination aimed at raising community awareness about breast cancer.

Set to debut in the spring of 2007, Villa Milagros will be open for public tours, with ticket proceeds and a portion of the home’s final sale benefiting the Florida Suncoast Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The interior and exterior spaces will be created by the design team from Robb & Stucky and will include a 2,000-bottle wine vault, gourmet and catering kitchens and separate accommodations for staff. Villa Milagros is listed through Re/Max Properties.

INFORMATION OVERLOAD Once you’ve made the decision to remodel, there’s no end to the information available to help get you started—from magazines to the Internet to hopping in the car and scoping out the area’s myriad designer showrooms that display the latest in cabinetry, countertops, tile, appliances and lighting.

And once you know everything, how do you begin to make a decision that will suit both your tastes and needs over time? “Each day prospective customers visit our design center with a file folder full of ideas for remodeling their home,” says Jim Butler, president of CCS Cabinetry. “It is precisely at this stage where we begin to give the homeowner first-class service.”

Through careful questioning, remodeling professionals work to uncover not only what the customers love, but how their families live. Before long, decisions are being made and a great new space begins to take shape. “We encourage our customers to do their research but make sure to meet with a professional in the remodeling industry when it comes to making the final decisions for that new kitchen or bath,” Butler advises. “Professionals know the exact convection oven that will fit the wall space between the custom cherry cabinets you’ve selected.”

ON THE WATERFRONT In keeping with its reputation for creating award-winning developments like The Inlets and Hawk Island, Camlin Home Corporation presents two stunning new waterfront communities. Bella Solé and Harbour Walk at the Inlets, both located along the Manatee River and just minutes from the beaches, offer exceptional home sites with waterfront views and deep-water access from private docks. Harbour Walk at the Inlets offers homebuyers a choice of freshwater or saltwater home sites. Located on an exclusive peninsula, Bella Solé features only 18 Tuscan-style residences with elements in travertine, bronze, marble, walnut and more.

AMERICAN CLASSICS Ethan Allen keeps producing furniture hits. Among the national home furnishings resource’s current popular collections, American Classics is composed of pieces that display the clean lines and versatility of quintessential American design.

Beginning with classic furniture silhouettes, American Classics are instilled with a modern perspective that includes a more delicate scale and fashion-forward finishes. The highboy chair, for example, is patterned from furniture found in homes of the mid-18th century and features an intricate fan carving, black finish and traditional brass-finished batwing hardware. The piece typifies a line of home furnishings versatile enough to suit any design style and make a statement in the bedroom, living room or even a hallway. American Classics can be found in Ethan Allen’s Sarasota store on South Tamiami Trail.

SHOWER POWER Redoing your bathroom? Why not personalize it? Hill’s Showcase of Designer Plumbing owner Marianne Hill points to the increasing popularity of electronic showers, which allow the showerer to control multiple components with the push of a button, adding convenience and streamlining the look of the shower. Multiple shower handles are things of the past, and there’ll be no more tinkering to find the right setting or temperature. “The electronic shower systems are user-friendly and incorporate leading-edge technology,” says Hill.

Along with the push-of-a-button convenience, the systems offer high-flow valves, which give individuals the ability to create a variety of spray designs and showering experiences. And digital thermostatic performance delivers preferred water temperature on a constant basis.

CRYSTAL LIGHTS No matter your home’s style, crystal lights will fit right in. In fact, crystal is the highest-selling lighting item, according to Susan Inderbinen, co-owner of Light Up Your Life. “Contemporary crystal pendants, chandeliers and wall mounts are suitable for all interior designs,” she says, adding that today’s crystal comes in a rainbow of colors to complement any decor.

Many contemporary crystal light designs are low voltage, “which means a brighter, cleaner light than the traditional light source,” says Inderbinen. “The low-voltage bulb also enhances the crystal, making it sparkle as never before.” And there’s no need to worry about complicated installation; Light Up Your Life can adapt crystal pendants for any rail system.

WALLS AND ALL Anyone who’s tried to reproduce professionally designed interiors from pictures and articles in decorating magazines knows how hard it is to find the perfect fabrics, wallcoverings and furniture. Not to worry, The Wallpaper Store has all the answers for ambitious design-it-yourselfers.

Tucked away in Coral Cove Mall on South Tamiami Trail, The Wallpaper Store’s surprisingly spacious showrooms contain nearly 3,000 wallcovering books and thousands of fabric samples, as well as a decorating studio housing custom and designer furniture, lamps and sewing services.

In addition to the store’s expansive selection, owners Kevin Trevor Mock and Jonathan Kendall Slentz boast design resources “that others in the area do not have access to.” Plus, their staff of talented decorating assistants and licensed designers is always there to help assemble picture-perfect designs.

MISSING PIECES The leveling housing market seems to be affecting everyone—including the consignment furniture business. Osprey’s House of Lords reports that many consignment stores have recently had to contend with a low supply of decent, pre-owned furniture. With fewer new-home purchases in the area, there are fewer people buying new furniture and less secondhand furniture available for sale. Instead of being consigned, quality pre-owned furniture is staying put. Supply is down and demand is up; according to House of Lords, now is a good time to sell your secondhand chairs and sofas.

PRICED TO SELL Prudential Palms Realty recently began implementing its Value-Priced Property program, designed to shorten the real estate negotiation process by pre-qualifying homes at a certain value determined by the current market and the home’s condition.

“With certified appraisals and inspections in hand, both sellers and buyers will feel confident about the value of the home,” says Prudential Palms president Scott Sosso, who explains that sellers can rest assured that their homes are “priced to sell.” And “buyers can feel confident that the asking price is based on concrete information and not what someone might think or want their home to be worth.”

Value-Priced Properties are pre-inspected by an ASHI inspector and pre-appraised by a state-certified or MIA appraiser, with the price set no higher than the property’s appraised value. Sellers participating in the program, which is optional for all listings, will enjoy the benefits of Value-Priced Property rider signs, special agent tours, e-mail blasts and special promotions to real estate agents and prospective buyers.

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