Real estate briefs: Sarasota and Manatee counties



Neal Communities will hold a grand opening for the gated Woodland Trace community from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.

More than 150 people have signed up for the community’s VIP information list. Located at 6315 Laurel Wood Run in Sarasota, at the southwest corner of Saunders Road and Tuttle Avenue, the 45-site development preserves more than 50 percent of its land as open space, in lakes, wetlands and natural landscape.

“This location offers discerning home buyers a unique opportunity to enjoy Florida’s natural landscape,” said Michael Storey, president of the Lakewood Ranch-based building company.

The Neal Communities development features a neoclassical architectural theme, with four home plans, which range in size from 1,870 to 2,367 square feet. Layouts include two- and three-bedroom plans, plus a den. One plan also offers a three-car garage. The furnished Endless Summer 3 model has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den, a two-car garage and 2,181 square feet of living space.


The 2014 Best in American Living Awards, presented this month at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, demonstrated what is trendy and innovative in contemporary home design.

“Homes are being designed with relaxation in mind, as this year we saw an overall simplification in the designs, with cleaner lines and more natural elements,” said BALA chairman Stephen C. Moore, senior partner/marketing with BSB Design Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa.

Trends seen in the winning projects include:
• White-on-white kitchens: Many kitchen designs featured white cabinets, topped with white counter tops and finished off with white backsplashes and white trim. Industrial textures are being introduced, but they are muted or white.
• Double-island kitchens: The popular open living/cooking/dining spaces are lending themselves to more creative and casual spaces. Back-to-back islands and side-by-side islands are showing up in all styles of homes, with one island for cooking and preparing food and the other for serving food and dining.
• Centered bathtubs: Bathrooms are continuing to becoming more spa-like. Large, well-designed tubs are being pulled away from the wall and treated like sculptures.
• Natural elements mixed with contemporary materials: A softer side of modern design is evolving as contemporary and industrial materials are beginning to mix with natural materials. Wood, steel and glass are a popular combination.
• Better-quality details: Details, such as how a hand rail meets a stair, are getting better. Light, classic details that are clean and well thought-out are amplified when pulling together major pieces of a simple, clean-lined space.
• Get-away rooms: Whether it is a room with a view or a game room, spaces that allow you to get away from everyday life are becoming popular.


Last modified: January 30, 2015
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