Frankel Family Knowledge
Custom home trends: It's all about pizza ovens, fancy remotes & casual comfort
Now doing more business than ever, the Frankels sat down with CultureMap to chat about what's up next for them and what's trending in home design today.
It's all about the Benjamins, baby. One of the newest developments at the Frankel Custom Homes office is their addition of long-time building designer Rodney Stevens to the in-house team. Stevens sketches plans, as he's been doing for 37 years, which Bradley Keene then brings to life with new 3D imaging software.
The Frankels say the software makes it easy to catch design conflicts before the build, but adds a valuable new dimension to the process for their clients. The integrated work flow between designer, architect and builders means that every dollar that goes into the house is accounted for. "My view is, I don't want to get excited about anything I'm not comfortable paying for," Kevin says.
It's also about the pizza. Perhaps part of the larger trend of outdoor living and dining spaces, the Frankels say they've seen an increase in requests for outdoor pizza ovens.
"Kitchens are ever-more a part of the house, and it's all commercial-grade appliances," Scott says. "I blame Top Chef."
One outdoor option that's not taking off, however, is the screened-in porch. Although it's often requested, more often than not, the screened-in porch gets scrapped. Stevens speculates it's because they can darken the interior space.
The game room's going down. Downstairs, that is. It's more of a trend outside of the city, but media and game rooms are tending to move to the ground floor.
Why move to Boca Raton when you could not? Second bedrooms on the ground floor are increasingly common as people prefer to age in place. A lot revolves around the kids — "whether you're getting them in or getting them out," Kevin says.
We're keeping it casual. Formality is taking a backseat to lifestyle considerations, Stevens says. Homeowners are moving away from the formal living room and while many opt to keep the study, it's gotten more comfy casual.
Errybody's going green. Stevens is quick to point out it's more of a philosophy than a trend, but the Frankels agree that the new emphasis on sustainable living wasn't a much of a stretch from the way they were building already.
"We're as green and as future-proof as can be without passing the cost onto the consumer," Scott says. "It's finding that balance between what's exciting and what's overkill."
Frankel Building Group outfits each of its homes these days with both wall-mounted and mobile iPads containing Crestron technology to manage the home — sort of like a really fancy remote for your house. But the "smarthome," though schmancy, lends itself more to energy management than to entertainment, say the Frankels.
Trends they're glad to see go? Granite countertops in the utility room. It's just not very utilitarian.
Trends they did too well: Scott remembers outfitting one house with enough generators to keep it running in a hurricane — literally. When Ike hit, the client was bombarded with in-laws, cousins and friends drinking him out of his house and into Scott's home for more vodka.
Next time, he says, he's keeping the back-up power confined to the master bed and bath, the fridge and, of course, the TV.