Orlando Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri Shares Fireplace Design Ideas and Tips
In our personal home, designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri, we have three ethanol burning fireplaces that fit perfectly with our modern decor and busy lifestyle.
The fireplaces burn denatured ethanol, a renewable modern energy that burns free, emits no fumes, is environmentally friendly and virtually maintenance free. Ethanol fireplaces don’t require a vent nor a chimney, nor a utility connection for fuel supply making it ideal for almost any architectural environment.
Our linear fireplaces are crafted of stainless steel and are super easy to use. I simply pour in the bioethanol fuel, we use Regal Flame Ultra Pure Ventless Bio Ethanol Fireplace Fuel into the holders and light the containers for the flames to burn. To extinguish the flame, simply pull the cover over the fuel container to smother the flame.
In our master bedroom and summer kitchen, we have a Regal Flame Fargo 43 Inch Ventless Built-In Recessed Bio Ethanol Wall Mounted Fireplace.
The Fargo’s steel outer frame gives it a contemporary unique recessed in wall fireplace with its due bio-ethanol burner concept, providing malting flames.
Gas fireplaces are another environmentally friendly heating solution for the modern era with high-efficiency ratings and contemporary designs that don’t sacrifice form for function. The latest gas fireplaces accurately render the look of wood-burning fireplaces for that traditional look and ambiance.
They burn realistically with lifelike looking logs, embers and orange flames. Gas as a fireplace fuel has many advantages over wood. Gas eliminates the mess and work with burning wood and is convenient to ignite and control with a button, piped into the home or from a refillable tank. Gas burning fires eliminate chimney-build up from the by-products of burning wood which can add soot and odor to the home or cause house fires if the chimney is not properly maintained.
Because gas fireplaces don’t require a roof access chimney to vent like wood fires, there is greater flexibility in installation around the house.
When selecting a fireplace, consider the heat output and how it may affect or degrade a TV, electronics, artwork or shelving above a fireplace. It’s important to talk with your builder about how the construction of fireplace chase walls and installation will mitigate heat transfer to the electronics or artwork mounted above it.
This Florida Modern Home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri is a regional interpretation of popular modernist styles but with warmth and texture that counterbalance rectilinear lines and sleek elements. Unlike typical modernist styles with flat roof lines, Jorge created his version of Florida Modern architecture with subtle roof pitches that appear flat from the facade yet promote better drainage.
“Florida’s humid climate sees a lot of rainfall and frequent hurricanes, so we considered those climate factors in our design of this 5,000-square-foot home. Flat roof lines in Florida tend to create structural problems because of rainwater water pooling on the surface,” explains Jorge.
Large windows and sliding glass walls fill the home with natural sunlight enhancing its modern style. “There is a delicate balance we strike in the design of large windows without too much glass that will overheat the home and negatively impact its energy efficiency,” says Jorge.
An inverted L entry tower clad in split-face white travertine anchors the rectilinear planes. “We didn’t want a very plain, very cold house so we added a lot of textures with wood, stone, glass and steel.”
In the family room, the focal point is a fireplace that soars 22 feet framed with a tower of espresso wood panels and steel bands and a floating mantle crafted of white quartz. Sleek wood beams throughout the home add warmth and character.
Next to the great room, the winery has double glass doors that offer a transparent view to the travertine split face wine wall and starburst light fixture with a wine tasting bar, cold storage area, and espresso wood floors.
The great room opens to the kitchen, filled with natural light from sliding glass doors. The double kitchen island serves as a prep area and a breakfast table that accommodates six people, crafted of modern white lacquer cabinets with quartzite tops. Espresso wood grain cabinetry with white quartz lines the perimeter of the kitchen.
A custom-colored range by Big Chill in cobalt blue and framed by a silver glass tile backsplash adds a pop of color that coordinates with the blue accents in the adjoining family room.
Marble floors ground sleek design elements including a trio of chrome globe pendant lights and stainless steel appliances.
The dining room sits to the right of the foyer and opens to the family room crowned by a modern barrel ceiling framed in espresso wood featuring a chrome lightsaber LED light fixture. The travertine split-face stone feature wall acts as a unifying architectural element.
The master bedroom features an ethanol-burning fireplace, one of three in the home, and a dropped ceiling with espresso wood trim that acts as a canopy over the bed with two hanging light pendants used in lieu of nightstand lamps which is one of the latest looks in lighting.
The master bathroom exudes a spa-like feel with a freestanding rectangular tub with a chrome waterfall faucet surrounded by Mexican river rock in gray tones.
The double entry shower with rain head fixtures features porcelain wood tile and pebble stone floors. Modern floating cabinetry and vanities are crafted in espresso wood with sleek, recessed hardware. Surface mounted rectangular sinks and the mirrors framed by pebble stone walls draw inspiration from luxury baths in boutique hotels.
Upstairs, a glass panel bridge that connects both wings of the home and overlooks the family room.
The right-wing upstairs features two bedrooms and the left wing comprises a bedroom and a media room.
The home is powered by smart-home technology controlled by Alexa voice command that operates thermostats, the refrigerator, lights, the video doorbells, alarm system and audio-visual technology including a Sonos speaker system.
Designed for indoor-outdoor living, sliding glass doors connect the family room and the kitchen to the outdoor entertaining spaces including a living room with firepit and an outdoor kitchen with bar top and table.
A pergola with the outdoor sitting area and fire pit overlook the geometric pool and spa, embellished with glass mosaic tiles. For more design ideas from Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri, subscribe to his YouTube channel TradeSecrets by Jorge.
Today’s kitchen is both the focal point and social hub in updated and new homes. No longer walled off from view, the kitchen is open and inviting where cooking is communal and entertaining often gravitates around the island and dining spaces. Style is more important than ever with the kitchen front and center in the home; however, the aesthetic choices and layouts can be overwhelming. To help you decode your kitchen design, Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri offers the following style guide and tips for creating a kitchen that is functional, inviting and in sync with your home’s interior decor and architecture.
Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri often designs kitchens in a style he calls “Florida-Modern” that embraces and balances the sleek, clean lines and modern materials with warmer, natural materials and elements. Natural stone floors and a mix of natural stone and engineered surfaces bring texture and a contemporary edge to the look. Lighting fixtures can either emphasize the modern look or counterbalance with more traditional designs. “I like to add reflectivity to the Florida-Modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances and chrome fixtures and chrome-framed glass fronted upper cabinets mixed with natural wood cabinets. Gray and white color palettes provide an ideal foundation to create this look because it feels fresh, airy, open and current,” says Ulibarri.
“A lot of my clients want a less fussy, sleeker, easier look, to match their lifestyle,” says Ulibarri.
There’s a lot of design buzz about transitional-styled kitchens. Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri’s interpretation of this hybrid style is the Modern-Mediterranean kitchen. Envision sleek cabinetry, single-color, solid-surface countertops, geometric hardware, a glass mosaic back splash, sculptural range hood and lighting fixtures and stainless-steel appliances for an industrial luxe vibe strategically set in a rustic palette of travertine stone floors, ceiling beams and travertine split-face stone on accent walls.
In Florida, our unique take on the transitional kitchen honors our attachment to the traditional, timeless appeal of Mediterranean architecture and our desire for something modern and edgy.
Mediterranean architecture endures in Florida as a style perfectly in sync with its surroundings and history. But exterior curb appeal doesn’t have to dictate interior decor.
Florida Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri says most of his clients prefer some variation of Mediterranean architecture, but their interior preferences often merge Old World and 21st century styles. “I have clients who want a home that looks from the outside like it has endured for generations. Yet on the inside. the style is sleek and modern-a look commonly defined as contemporary”
The traditional-styled kitchen with a nod to Tuscan influences, remains a perennial favorite look among Florida homeowners. “Many of my clients prefer a Tuscan-styled kitchen for its timeless appeal that feels like the home has been there for generations but with modem amenities,” says Jorge.
Rustic elements figure prominently in traditional kitchens with wrought iron light fixtures, travertine floors, stained cabinetry, corbels, mosaics, ornate detailing, beams and barrel tile ceilings.
“The look is warm and inviting, typically with a sun-kissed or earthy color palette of reds, oranges, browns and beiges.”
For more design ideas and inspiration give Jorge Ulibarri a call at 407-733-5500 to discuss your custom home and subscribe to Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri’s video series, Trade Secrets
Residential Architecture Should Consider the Context, Location & Environment of a Home.
Unlike other places in the country, Florida summers are characterized by an intense rainy season and extremely high temperatures. Careful consideration must be given to these climate conditions in the design of the home.
Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri designs his own interpretation of Florida Modern that embraces the characteristic rectilinear facade with subtle roof elevations to accommodate the region’s subtropical climate. “Flat roofs work great in other regions of the nation, but here in Florida, heavy precipitation and strong UV rays shorten the lifespan of some of the water proofing materials including roof membranes and sealants. Flat roofs don’t drain as easily as sloped or pitched roofs. The rooflines I design have a subtle pitch crafted of flat concrete tile to promote drainage yet still preserve the rectilinear style,” explains Jorge, who is finishing up two Florida Modern custom residences, one on Markham Woods Road in Lake Mary and the other in Lake Markham Preserve in Sanford.
The Lake Markham Preserve home in Sanford overlooks a large ski and boating lake with its own dock. The home is designed to wrap around the lake view and drink in natural light through two-story windows.
“Modern homes are known for their large walls of glass but in Florida, due to our high temperatures, we need to find a balance. I design tall windows spanning from the floor to the ceiling that speak the visual language of contemporary architecture without overheating the home and compromising the comfort factor.”
In the Lake Mary custom residence, large second-story windows act as skylights illuminating the main living spaces without overheating them. “Large rectangular glass windows on the facade and the front door’s horizontal frosted glass panels infuse a lot of natural light into the foyer and family room, while sliding glass doors and a two-story trio of windows on the back of the home capture natural light as the sun shifts throughout the day. “
Other expressions of Florida Modern architectural style include stacked stone or ledge stone on the exterior and interior of the home. White ledgestone is used on the facade of the Lake Mary home and echoed in the interior on the double-height fireplace.
In the Sanford home, a slate gray ledge stone embellishes many interior and exterior features and ties the living spaces together. “Stone visually warms up the space as a natural material juxtaposed with popular contemporary-styled, man made materials and finishes such as chrome and lacquer.
Lighting choices also convey a particular interpretation of contemporary style from minimalist to midcentury modern. One home references space age, Googie-inspired influences with starburst and globe lighting fixtures while the other home nods to art and sculpture with its lighting choices.
Florida Modern style is a balancing act of design elements and materials that make a space warm and inviting yet sleek, clean and sophisticated.
For more design ideas and inspiration give Jorge Ulibarri a call at 407-733-5500 to discuss your custom home and subscribe to Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri’s video series, Trade Secrets
Staircase Design Ideas from Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri:
Today’s floorplans showcase the staircase as the focal point of the room serving as functional sculpture. No longer relegated to the back of the home as uninspired utilitarian features, the latest staircase designs merge art and engineering to defy the limits of the standard banister and baluster system. Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri designs the staircase in each of his custom homes as an attention-getting architectural feature and shares a few ideas to inspire your own stairway style:
Acrylic or glass rail stair systems create a contemporary, clean silhouette drawing focus to the stair risers and treads. This staircase has no hand rails, opting instead to encase the steps behind a tempered glass wall for safety and visual effect.
See-through stair railing systems can draw focus to feature walls such as this one crafted of stacked stone and the floating wood steps. “Stair feature walls crafted of wood, stone, tile or decorated with art add visual drama and replace the outdated accent wall painted a different color that was once popular in main living spaces,” says Ulibarri, who is building a contemporary home with a white stacked stone stair feature wall and glass railing system.
Cable Railing Systems:
Metal railing systems with horizontal or vertical cables, crossbars, mesh or perforated metal in aluminum, brass, iron, steel or stainless steel go great with contemporary and industrial-styled interiors. Metal designs come in a variety of finishes— polished, brushed, satin or powder coated and with fasteners and fittings in interesting shapes. Mix materials by adding handrails of wood or plastic.
Stairs that appear suspended without supporting structures below are popular designs because they work well with traditional styles and contemporary styles.
Under the Stairs Wine Storage:
Jorge Ulibarri suggests making the most of under-stair space with creative storage features such as a wine cellar. “Typically, the space under the stairs is large and deep enough to build a walk-in wine storage room with refrigeration and a tasting bar. Under the stairs wine storage is one of the most in-demand features in my homes, ” says Ulibarri, who is building a contemporary home with under-stair wine storage crafted of glass doors with display lighting.
For more design ideas and inspiration, subscribe to Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri’s video series, Trade Secrets.
Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri Shares the Latest Looks in the Kitchen & Bath for 2017
If you are thinking of building a new home or undertaking a kitchen or bath remodel, Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri wants to share the latest trend report from The National Kitchen & Bath Association for inspiration and an honest look at what is in and what’s out in kitchen and bath style. Here are the major takeaways:
Contemporary and Transitional-styled bathrooms and kitchens outrank Traditional design preferences as people opt for clean lines, sleek and simple over fussy details and embellishments.
Whites and grays continue to be the most popular color palettes in the kitchen and bathroom; however, blue with violet and purple undertones are gaining traction. Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year Greenery is inspiring cooler greens in home interiors with gray and yellow undertones or blue-green shades.
In the kitchen, frameless cabinetry continues its forward march into the latest looks, in high gloss and matte finishes. White and gray painted cabinets continue to dominate kitchen color schemes and are joined by blue and black toned cabinets. High gloss finishes in cabinetry take it to the next level of sheen with new chrome-plated metallic finishes joining the mix of lacquer surfaces.
Black stainless steel is a popular look in kitchen appliances paired with matte black finishes and quartz outranks granite as the surface of choice. Microwave drawers replace stand alone units and induction cooktops and convection ovens are must-haves on the list for an updated kitchen.
In the bathroom, floating vanities and open shelving continue to be popular storage features while undermount bathroom sinks and trough sinks are replacing vessel sinks and pedestal sinks.
Hardware is all about mixing and matching to create your own personal style statement mixing metals and styles. Plumbing fixtures and lighting fixtures also mix it up with different metallics in combinations of chrome and brushed gold, brass and nickel etc.
For an added dose of bling, some designers are using metallic grout with metallic tiles.
In the bathroom, ceramic tile flooring remains the number one choice in looks that mimic wood and stone. For more design ideas and inspiration, subscribe to Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri’s video series, Trade Secrets.
Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri Shares Ideas for Contemporary Pool Design
For years, lagoon-style and mediterranean-style pools dominated outdoor styles in luxury homes but lately, mainstream taste is leaning towards more modern, sleek designs to coordinate with contemporary architecture.
These rectilinear resort-style pools bring a sophisticated, chic ambiance to outdoor living spaces captivating attention with understated water features, LED lighting and vanishing edge spas. In contemporary pool designs, curves are replaced with a combination of squares, rectangles and straight edges.
Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri recently designed a contemporary luxury pool for a new custom home under construction in a gated enclave of estate homes on Markham Woods Road in Lake Mary.
“The design challenge with contemporary luxury pools is to give the layout movement and depth without the use of curves, a more traditional feature. I designed the pool in a configuration of squares and rectangles tieing the shapes together for a balanced, beautiful and functional layout,” explains Ulibarri, who notes most lagoon- style pools rely on curves for flow and function.
Jorge designated different zones of the pool including a play area for kids, an entertaining area for adults and shallow water ledge for sunbathing. The kids play area is located in the center of the pool, spans 16 x 24 feet and is deep enough for children to jump in, splash around and swim. The sunbathing deck is submerged in shallow water on a ledge with pool lounge chairs. The pool’s focal point is a modern-style pergola with a rain curtain centered on the back of the pool and visible from the foyer of the home through the great room. The spa entertainment area has a vanishing edge.
“Choosing the right finishes is key to pulling off an urban look. Light-colored stone pool tiles, typical of lagoon and Old World style pools, don’t work with contemporary looks. I spent a lot of time searching for dark designer pool tiles and discovered the perfect option—a natural stone in black travertine for the pool coping and tied together with a 6 x 6 porcelain black graphite tile for the pool water line,” explains Ulibarri, who designed the Lake Mary custom home with a rectilinear facade accented with stacked ledgestone accents.
“I created contrast with light gray and black and glass mosaic tiles for a reflective element to define the shape of the pool emphasizing its silhouette,” adds Ulibarri. The pool deck is made of concrete pavers in glacier field to give the appearance of split granite, creating contrast around the pool. A border of black stone around the pool deck and the pool creates a dramatic outline. The pool integrates glass mosaic tiles in dark blue, light blue and platinum color on the spa and the pergola raised deck. The interior of the pool has pebble stones in a light gray to create more contrast between the dark border and the interior of the pool. For more design ideas for Orlando Custom Homes, check out Jorge’s video series, Trade Secrets for insider tips and useful information about luxury home construction.
Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri Introduces his latest project, a Florida Contemporary Estate in Markham Woods Enclave
Casa Del Sol is 4,900 square feet a Florida Contemporary home with natural materials used as architectural and interior design elements to create a warm, organic ambiance of wood, natural stone and glass counterbalanced with metal elements. Dramatic spaces include a wood and glass staircase that fronts a floor-to-ceiling wall of white ledgestone.
Located on 1+ acre site in the gated community of Markham Woods Estate on Markham Woods Road in Lake Mary, Florida, this exclusive community has only five estate homes and one lot remaining.
Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri designed the main living spaces with soaring two-story high ceilings anchored by sleek wood beams and sculptural lighting fixtures. The home’s fireplaces are crafted of white ledgestone that provides textural contrast with glossy marble floors. The gourmet kitchen will have white quartz countertops with white acrylic cabinetry mixed with espresso wood cabinets and a natural stone kitchen island with a base of white acrylic.
The two-story custom home has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a powder bath and a four-car garage. The resort-style outdoor living space wraps around a sleek, rectilinear shaped pool with various planes of rectangles and squares and multiple water features.
The home gets its architectural curb appeal draws from its slate roof and white stucco exterior accented with white ledgestone. For more information, contact Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri at 407-733-5500
Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri shares tips to choose the right floor tile for a luxury home
Ceramic and porcelain tile is enjoying a renaissance in high-end home interiors as large format installations that mimic wood, natural stone, concrete, and designer patterns from geometric to embossed elements. Thanks to advances in digital printing and performance properties, ceramic tiles are among the highest quality building materials for flooring with accurate renderings of natural textures, gradations and patterns found in stone and wood look. As an Orlando Custom Home Builder, I find more and more of my clients specifying large format ceramic tile because it works well with contemporary architecture and interiors.
As a design element, ceramic tile offers tremendous creative possibilities; however, the options can easily overwhelm. Choosing the perfect flooring for your new home requires a few important considerations. When deciding whether to go with natural stone or ceramic or porcelain tile, consider the following advantages and disadvantages to both materials.
Decide on Timeless or Trendy:
Remember the 12 x 12 and 16 x 16 tiles of the 90s, a once popular tile size that dates a home given the popularity of larger format tiles. Like most trends, ceramic and porcelain tile are not immune to the prevailing changes in tastes in home interiors.
Digital printing technology enables ceramic and porcelain tile to replicate just about any pattern and color imaginable. You can infuse the latest trends into your living space with of-the-moment looks in ceramic tiles or go with timeless natural stone. The decision to go timeless or trendy is an aesthetic choice that should also factor in the price of the material and the installation costs.
Know Hidden Installation Costs:
The installation of large format tile can cost double or triple that of standard size tile or natural stone. Factor into the price of your flooring both the cost of the material AND the installation costs. Also keep in mind that, larger sized tiles are not as forgiving of mistakes and imperfections in the installation process so you choose an installer skilled and experienced working with large format tile.
The installation or larger tile sizes is more labor intensive because the tile must be set extremely level. If the installation produces “kickers” (mistakes where the corners of the tile are at differing heights) oftentimes with ceramic tile, it is very difficult to smooth out those uneven spots on the floor.
As a flooring material, natural stone is more forgiving in the installation process. A “kicker” can be sanded down and repolished to even out the surface with natural stone. Unlike ceramic tile, natural stone does requires regular maintenance to reseal and/or polish the stone to make it look like new again.
Marble is a high-end stone that holds its value and exudes a luxurious look; however, it does require more maintenance than ceramic or porcelain tile. In one of my latest custom homes under construction, a 5,000 square foot Florida contemporary in Markham Woods Enclave, I chose white Carrera marble tile in an 18 x 18 format for the floors. It’s elegant, luxurious, contemporary and timeless.
Choose Rectified Tile:
When you are choosing your tile, make sure your select a product that the edges are rectified
Installing large pieces of porcelain or ceramic tile requires rectified edges that allow the installer to place the tile next to each other within an eighth or sixteenth of an inch separation between. Rectified edges create the illusion of a big slab or monolithic surface because there are smaller almost invisible grout lines. Polished stone can come rectified as well for the same look.
For more design ideas, inspiration and information to master the learning curve of custom construction, check out my website www.imyourbuilder.com
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