Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
3:42 pm EDT
Friday, September 18, 2020

There’s no place like this home

A house recently built at Bella Collina is a showcase for the latest design trends in the homebuilding industry. 

What once seemed like a pipe dream that existed only in an episode of “The Jetsons,” smart home technology makes a homeowner’s life easy and effortless.

Just ask John Kolb, vice president of construction at Winter Park-based Legacy Custom Built Homes.

He and his crew spent the past 10 months building a 6,600-square-foot home at Bella Collina in Montverde where nearly every room was outfitted with smart home automation devices.

Thirty-six motion sensors provide hands-free illumination when someone enters a room and automatically turn off lights when everyone leaves.

An eight-zone HVAC system allows users to warm up or cool down different areas of the home.

With the simple press of a button, a digitally controlled thermostat creates a personalized shower experience by remembering a homeowner’s ideal water temperature.

There’s a reason this five-bedroom, eight-bathroom home was built with meticulous attention to detail. It has the distinct honor of being the 2018 New American Home, a real-world demonstration of new homebuilding trends to inspire visitors at the 2018 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show, which was held in January inside Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. According to the NAHB website, the show is the “largest residential and light-construction trade show in North America.”

A longstanding tradition of the builders’ show, the New American Home showcases the latest designs, products, and technological innovations in residential home construction. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 industry professionals rode a shuttle bus from the convention center to Bella Collina and toured the home during the three-day event. They also toured the New American Remodel, a 1930s home in Winter Park that was transformed using current building techniques.

“Technology moves quicker with each passing year, and smart home technology in particular simplifies maintenance of the home,” John says. “The home we built showcases the latest concepts in new products, architecture, and lifestyle trends.”

NAHB officials contacted his company in early 2017 to build the New American Home. Construction began in March.

“It was an honor that they selected us for that,” he says. “It’s like the Super Bowl of homebuilding.”

And just like the Super Bowl, intense prep work was required. With only 10 months to complete the project, John flew to various cities across the country to collaborate with leaders in the residential construction industry. Acquiring a wealth of ideas in homebuilding trends, designs, and new technology proved beneficial in helping his company create a home that is elegant, functional, and efficient.

Despite Hurricane Irma in September, the project suffered no major setbacks.

“Typically, it would’ve taken us a year and a half to build a home of this caliber,” John says. “It was a challenging undertaking thanks to the new products we incorporated into this home and the level of detail. Fortunately, everybody came together to make it happen.”

Step inside and you’ll marvel at a home that is as cozy as it is aesthetically pleasing. And you’ll be impressed with the inventive ways to make small spaces more livable. For instance, the space under a floating staircase near the front of the two-story home is used as a wine room and stocked with several wine racks.

Venture upstairs—either by foot or by elevator—and see how a wet bar with a coffeemaker and refrigerator can add life and character to a hallway. Upstairs also is where you will find glass dividers that act as a railing for a balcony area offering panoramic views of Lake Apopka and a pool.

An engaging and fun game room is in the rear of the home on the first floor. There’s an air hockey table, a poker table, and a Ms. Pac-Man arcade game, as well as a bar area with a big-screen television set. Step outside the game room and you’ll find an outdoor kitchen where family and friends can gather for enjoyable summer parties. An interesting appliance called a kegerator—a refrigerator designed to store and dispense kegs—will surely keep the party going well into the night.

State-of-the-art appliances found throughout the home include a Thermador Star-Sapphire Dishwasher, which features a 20-minute wash cycle, and an under-counter, double- drawer refrigerator with three customizable cooling modes.

The exterior of the home maintains the Tuscan-style architecture prominent among other homes in Bella Collina.

“We modernized the Tuscan style and implemented new and cutting-edge designs,” John says. “The house is also very warm and family-oriented.”

As of this writing, John has yet to determine a price for the home. However, it’s safe to say that the lucky buyer will live in a luxurious home with amenities that will make the owner feel lavished and spoiled.