Cutting-edge style meets everyday practicality
By AMY STUMPFL
For Brentwood Home Page

Real estate junkies, rejoice! The area’s only Southern Living Showcase Home opens Friday in the new Dorset Park neighborhood off Granny White Pike.

castle_SLHOME_breakfastAnd while the $1.2 million French Country home – built by Brentwood-based Castle Homes – features the very latest in design styles, techniques, products and technology, it offers something more. True livability.

“We approached this project the same way we approach every home we build – starting with efficient design and the overall flow of the floor plan,” says Alan Looney, president of Castle Homes. “It’s easy to get sucked into all of the new ideas and technology, but it has to be practical and livable.

“We wanted to create a home that people could relate to and draw inspiration from for their own homes.”

Whether you’re looking to build a new house or simply update your existing home, you will find plenty of innovative ideas. For example, the kitchen is a chef’s dream, balancing elegance with everyday efficiency. The center island is a “Calcutta Gold” honed marble with a thickened edge, while the perimeter quartz counters are Caesarstone – a durable, nonporous mineral-based product. And the backsplash features a water-jet “Sinuous” mosaic tile pattern in a natural stone product.

castle_SLHOME_kitchen1The enameled cast-iron farmhouse sink with apron front and chrome bridge-style faucet (“Whitehaven” by Kohler) is available to fit a standard sink base cabinet – making remodels a cinch. The kitchen also offers space-saving features such as a microwave drawer, a towel pull-out, and a pop-up lifter for the kitchen mixer in the center island.

“Kitchen mixers can be heavy and take up a lot of counter space,” says a lead designer with Castle Homes. “The lifter is easy to use and keeps your mixer close at hand, but out of sight when it’s not in use. We’ve had a lot of clients requesting this lately, and it’s easy to install in a base cabinet.”

Weigel also points to the adjacent mud room and desk area, which features custom cabinets and dry erase paint on the wall.

“This is a great way for families to stay organized,” Castle Homes Lead Design Coordinator says. “As you come in from the garage, kids can drop off their backpacks or whatever without creating a mess in the actual kitchen. And the dry erase wall offers a handy message board – or just a fun creative outlet for little ones.”

Indeed, the Showcase Home features the hottest paint colors and faux finishes – from the Moroccan-inspired walls in the downstairs powder room to the stenciled Ikat-design rug effect found on the exterior concrete porch floor.

“The techniques of faux finishes in this home are on the cutting edge of what is happening in design layering today,” says Heather Looney, vice president and designer for Castle Homes. “When you introduce texture, even a very neutral color palette offers depth and interest. You can have many layers without seeming too busy.”

“Stenciling has come a long way,” she adds, pointing to the powder room’s graphic tone-on-tone pattern. “The soft Moroccan walls with subtle shimmering embellishments add another element of glamour to this room. These finishes can be added to your home easily and affordably, taking any room into another dimension.”

The upstairs media/bonus room offers another simple, yet effective technique, using a “continuous envelope” approach to the paint color.

“By using the same color on the walls, ceiling and even the trim, the room looks much larger,” Castle Homes lead designer explains. “It soothes the eye, simplifying the room’s lines and keeping it from looking so choppy.”

This fluid approach applies to the design elements and furnishings, as well. For example, designers used round tables in both the dining room and living room to enhance the home’s open floor plan and allow ease of movement when entertaining.

“The round tables are great for conversation and easy on the knees,” Heather Looney says. “I like movement, and a large square in a high-traffic area is more like a hurdle stopping all flow.”

Along with flow and movement, however, Looney says it’s important to “softly define your areas.”

For example, designer Jerome Farris of Peddler Interiors uses muted zebra draperies in linen and silk velvet to set off the living room. Likewise, Dana Goodman of Dana Goodman Interiors uses a linen faux finish on applied molding walls to give the open dining room an added touch of sophistication.

“Subtle introduction of trends is what keeps Southern Living classic, yet innovative and up to date.”