By staff October 1, 2007


“I'm seeing a heightened awareness of the kitchen and bath industry to create products that are healthy for the environment,” says Missi Bart of Renaissance Design Studio, “as well as innovative products that promote wellbeing.”

Nowadays, says Bart, the interests of the homeowners and the environment go hand-in-hand. Energy-efficient appliances, water-saving devices and plumbing fixtures, lighting products with LED technology, and natural and sustainable materials are just a few of the ways to achieve earth-friendly peace-of-mind.

“The most amazing and innovative serenity products available are the new showerheads and bath systems that feature aromatherapy and chromotherapy,” says Bart. “Most people are familiar with aromatherapy and the wonderful calming effect the smell of lavender can provide. Chromotherapy [sometimes called color therapy, light therapy or colorology] is based on the premise that certain colors are infused with healing energies.” Chromotherapy uses the seven colors of the rainbow to promote balance and healing in the mind and body. Homeowners can now create their own colorful spas by choosing from a selection of whirlpool tubs that feature a spectrum of LED lights when filled with water.


Catherine Kerr of Catherine Kerr Interiors echoes the endorsement of color this season, adding that simple, elegant styles with a few eye-catching accouterments will make your interior sizzle this fall.

First off, she says, less is more. “Everyone wants less clutter and simpler designs and lifestyles,” she explains. Homes look less cluttered with softer color tones. “The Old World style—dark and dramatic with heavy woods and accessories—is not as in as it used to be,” Kerr says.

Purple in particular is making a royal re-entrance in popular design. “Purple and lilacs are back,” says Kerr. “For a year or so you couldn’t find a purple fabric book.” Kerr even cites a particular shade of purple—aubergine—as an especially hip tone, becoming more and more available by the minute.

Once you’ve got your colors sorted out, get something beautifully transparent to shine. “Crystal is hot,” Kerr says. “Crystal curtain rods, crystal lamps, crystal accessories—all of these are a must have.”

Lastly, balance that sparkle with some unique fabrics, which are always in. “Unusual textures, silks, odd prints and shapes go with any color palette or look,” says Kerr. But you don’t need to break the bank on new textiles, she adds. “I see more and more washable, wearable luxurious silks and prints, and outdoor fabrics with polyester in them. You can't tell the difference.”


Due to tremendous interest generated through its open-house events in July, August and September, The Founders Club has extended the Showcase of Homes to include another public invitation to explore the community during the last Sunday in October. Dozens of homes from a variety of builders and a variety of price ranges will be open on Oct. 28 (realtors are invited to a special showcase on Thursday, Oct. 25). The showcase invites prospective homebuyers to tour the Founders Club’s neighborhoods at their leisure and enjoy complimentary refreshments at the grand clubhouse, Golf Hall. The featured homes represent significant price reductions across the spectrum of residences available in the Founders Club, which includes floor plans ranging from 3,089 to 14,090 square feet and single-family homes beginning at $675,000. Visitors can find maps to the open houses at the sales gallery.


John Cannon Homes has a new technological tool in its arsenal. This summer, the local builder teamed up with Sarasota-based MotionVR to give prospective homebuyers a chance to take walk-through home tours without leaving their computers.

Customers can now navigate their way through realistic online tours of John Cannon homes—walking through doorways, going up and down stairs, and even having a look around the outside. The self-led virtual tours act as convenient, efficient precursors to real-life visits and help John Cannon clients explore more homes as well as narrow down their choices for a streamlined home-buying process.

Developers of proprietary Web technology for real estate, hospitality and travel industries, MotionVR is responsible for the creation of the realistic, 360-degree interactive experience, which allows viewers to survey a home’s design and layout while stopping at will to further examine particular angles. John Cannon representatives are excited about their newest marketing aid: Studies have shown that these types of virtual tours are viewed 40 percent more often than still photos.


Within the prestigious community of The Concession, an even more luxurious project is in development: Nicklaus Manor aims to improve upon the Concession’s already high standards with 33 designer homes, concierge services and other exclusive amenities. Ranging from 3,300 to 5,500 square feet and starting at $2 million, homes in Nicklaus Manor are being developed with layout and design input from renowned designer Adrienne Vittadini. Residents will enjoy exclusive membership to The Concession Golf Club, including access to the course named “America’s Best New Private Course” in 2006 by Golf Digest.

With homes currently under construction, Nicklaus Manor is being marketed and sold exclusively through Nicklaus family-owned Golden Bear Realty. Models are now open.

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