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Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Design, Fireplace design, Kitchen Design

This Spanish Revival custom home built by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri sits on 5 acres wrapping around Hinden Lake in St. Cloud, Florida. “Architectural elements that imbue the home with Spanish Revival style include its whitewashed stucco facade, terracotta barrel tile roof, a tower chimney, and the trio of arches leading to the handcrafted wrought iron front door.  Inside we added decorative elements including handpainted tiles and ornamental ironwork,” Jorge says.  The home spans 7,500 square feet total with 4,700 square feet of living space under air.

Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri

Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri

“We designed the home to connect to the organic nature of its surroundings and capture lake views from the main living spaces,” Jorge says.

Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri

Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri

The single story custom residence has an open concept floorplan with three bedrooms plus a master suite and features the latest lifestyle amenities.

The great room opens to the outdoor living spaces with a 20-foot high ceiling and clerestory windows to draw in natural light from above in this Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

The great room opens to the outdoor living spaces with a 20-foot high ceiling and clerestory windows to draw in natural light from above in this Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

The kitchen is outfitted with Sub-Zero Wolf appliances and draws focus to a backsplash of hand-painted tiles in an open floor plan that connects both the living and dining rooms, all of which open up to the back patio.

The kitchen opens to the great room and features a brick and beam barrel ceiling with a contrasting ivory colored island and handpainted tile backsplash in this Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

The kitchen opens to the great room and features a brick and beam barrel ceiling with a contrasting ivory colored island and handpainted tile backsplash in this Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

 

A custom range hood crafted of precast stone coordinates with handpainted tiles on the backsplash of the range niche in this Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

A custom range hood crafted of precast stone coordinates with handpainted tiles on the backsplash of the range niche in this Spanish Revival Custom Home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

The kitchen is crowned by an undulating brick barrel and beam ceiling that pulls together the warm sand tones of the travertine tile. 

The granite island counter and granite perimeter counters with gray and white veining contrast with walnut wood stained cabinetry and travertine floors and backsplashes to give this kitchen its Spanish Revival style in this custom home by Orlando custom homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

The granite island counter and granite perimeter counters with gray and white veining contrast with walnut wood stained cabinetry and travertine floors and backsplashes to give this kitchen its Spanish Revival style in this custom home by Orlando custom homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

Throughout the main living spaces of this one story custom residence, 20-foot ceilings give the home an open, airy feel. The mission style fireplace features inlaid brick accents that compliment the brick barrel ceilings throughout the home. A 20-foot wide sliding glass door opens to the great room to the expansive outdoor living area.

The 20-foot fireplace in the great room features an inlaid brick design that echoes the home's brick barrel ceilings throughout.

The 20-foot fireplace in the great room features an inlaid brick design that echoes the home’s brick barrel ceilings throughout.

 In the master bath, travertine stone clads the tub and shower seamlessly tying in with the flooring throughout the home.  

The master bath is clad in travertine stone that compliments the home's flooring.

The master bath is clad in travertine stone that compliments the home’s flooring.

The master suite is trimmed with walnut stained wood moldings that echo the wood beams of the vaulted ceiling.

The master bath is clad in travertine stone that compliments the home's flooring.

The master bath is clad in travertine stone that compliments the home’s flooring.

Sliding barn doors attached to a beam with rustic hardware and opens to the laundry room.

White-painted sliding barn doors open to the laundry room conserving space in the hallway because they require no clearance to open up in this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

Spanish Revival architectural features include interior arches, a mix of tongue and groove and brick barrel ceilings and ornamental iron light fixtures.

Interior hallway with arches that open to the great room in this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

Interior hallway with arches that open to the great room in this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

Interior hallway with arches that open to the great room in this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

Interior hallway with arches that open to the great room in this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri.

Situated on 5 acres, the home wraps around a large outdoor space with a summer kitchen, pool, and spa.

Backyard view of this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri that wraps around a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and living spaces.

Backyard view of this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri that wraps around a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and living spaces.

The great room of this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri that opens to a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and living spaces.

The great room of this Spanish Revival custom home by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri that opens to a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and living spaces.

The great room seamlessly opens to the pool for alfresco enjoyment and entertaining.

Decoding Your Kitchen Style

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design, Uncategorized

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.

Florida-Modern Kitchens:

This Florida-Modern style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri mixes marble stone floors with quartzite double height kitchen island and white quartz counters on the perimeter. Espresso wood cabinets bring warmth while stainless steel globe fixtures bring a modern edge. White ledge stone frames the custom-colored blue range, drawing attention to the pop of color. for more go to www.imyourbuilder.com

This Florida-Modern style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri mixes marble stone floors with a quartzite double height kitchen island and white quartz counters on the perimeter. Espresso wood cabinets bring warmth while stainless steel globe fixtures bring a modern edge. For more go to www.imyourbuilder.com

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.

In this Florida-Modern kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri, white ledge stone frames the custom-colored blue range, drawing attention to the pop of color. for more go to www.imyourbuilder.com

In this Florida-Modern kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri, white ledge stone frames the custom-colored blue range, drawing attention to the pop of color. for more go to www.imyourbuilder.com

“A lot of my clients want a less fussy, sleeker, easier look, to match their lifestyle,” says Ulibarri.

Transitional-Styled Kitchens:

Transitional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri mixes warm espresso wood and natural stone with quartz countertops and stainless steel. Rustic touches such as the beams are counterbalanced with glass mosaics and modern lighting fixtures. www.imyourbuilder.com

Transitional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri mixes warm espresso wood and natural stone with quartz countertops and stainless steel. Rustic touches such as the beams are counterbalanced with glass mosaics and modern lighting fixtures. www.imyourbuilder.com

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.

Glass mosaic backsplash and stainless steel range hood bring modern elements into the design while ceiling beams and travertine floors counterbalance with rustic elements in this kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

A glass mosaic backsplash and a stainless steel range hood bring modern elements into the design while ceiling beams and travertine floors counterbalance with rustic elements in this kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

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.

This transitional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri is a lighter, airy interpretation with whitewashed brick accents, white and gray granite kitchen island top and white quartz perimeter counters counterbalanced with a rustic light fixture barrel travertine tile ceiling and breams. www.imyourbuilder.com

This transitional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri is a lighter, airy interpretation with whitewashed brick accents, a white and gray granite kitchen island top and white quartz perimeter counters counterbalanced with a rustic light fixture and barrel travertine tile ceiling and beams. www.imyourbuilder.com

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.

The appliance wall in this transitional style kitchen by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri showcases sleek stainless steel appliances accented with glass fronted and chrome framed upper cabinets for a modern edge. www.imyourbuilder.com

The appliance wall in this transitional style kitchen by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri showcases sleek stainless steel appliances accented with glass fronted and chrome framed upper cabinets for a modern edge. www.imyourbuilder.com

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”

A transitional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri that skews traditional with ornate cabinetry, travertine floors and wood beams. The white cabinets and stainless appliances temper the traditional elements. www.imyourbuilder.com

A transitional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri that skews traditional with ornate cabinetry, travertine floors and wood beams. The white cabinets and stainless appliances temper the traditional elements. www.imyourbuilder.com

Traditional-Styled Kitchens:

This traditional style kitchen pulls from Tuscan influences such as the copper rangehood framed by stone and kitchen island base cabinetry that mimics furniture with wood carvings and embellishments. www.imyourbuilder.com

This traditional style kitchen pulls from Tuscan influences such as the copper rangehood framed by stone and kitchen island base cabinetry that mimics furniture with wood carvings and embellishments. www.imyourbuilder.com

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.

A traditional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri draws the eye to the copper range hood framed in stone. www.imyourbuilder.com

A traditional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri draws the eye to the copper range hood framed in stone. www.imyourbuilder.com

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.

A traditional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri showcases an undulating barrel and beam ceiling crafted of travertine tiles and wood beams. The wrought iron double door pantry is another focal point. www.imyourbuilder.com

A traditional style kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri showcases an undulating barrel and beam ceiling crafted of travertine tiles and wood beams. The wrought iron double door pantry is another focal point. www.imyourbuilder.com

“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 

 

 

Lake Nona Residence

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design, Uncategorized

Jorge Ulibarri Custom Homes Introduces Its Latest Custom Residence on Beautiful Lake Hart in Lake Nona

 5,300 square foot custom home located on an envious waterfront lot on stunning Lake Hart in Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida. Designed and built by Orlando luxury home builder, Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

5,300 square foot custom home located on an envious waterfront lot on stunning Lake Hart in Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida. Designed and built by Orlando luxury home builder, Jorge Ulibarri.

This 5,300 square foot custom home is located on an envious waterfront lot on stunning Lake Hart in Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida. Designed and built by Orlando luxury home builder, Jorge Ulibarri, the home is framed by moss-draped oak trees in a storybook setting. The owner wanted to take advantage of the picturesque lake views by opening all of the main living spaces to the outdoors.  “I wanted the architecture to create a sense of arrival that feels as if one has traveled to the secluded beauty of a country manor or Tuscan estate. The home’s stone tower entry and precast accents, custom-made, wrought-iron, double door give it a sense of history and grounded character,” says Jorge Ulibarri, owner of Cornerstone Custom Construction, a luxury home building company based in Heathrow, Florida. Through architectural photos, we invite you on a tour of this 4 bedroom, 4 bath home with a style that respects Florida’s regional architectural language and infuses the latest looks in home interiors.

The two-story grand room opens to the kitchen with a double-height fireplace and wood beams in a grid design anchored by two geometric chandeliers in this home designed and built by Orlando Luxury Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

The two-story grand room opens to the kitchen with a double-height fireplace and wood beams in a grid design anchored by two geometric chandeliers in this home designed and built by Orlando Luxury Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

The ceiling treatment in the grand room draws the eye up to the grid of beams and two geometric chandeliers, an open hallway bridges the two wings of the home upstairs overlooking the tower entry and grand room. The home was designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

The ceiling treatment in the grand room draws the eye up to the grid of beams and two geometric chandeliers, an open hallway bridges the two wings of the home upstairs overlooking the tower entry and grand room. The home was designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

The kitchen in this Lake Nona custom home designed and built by Orlando Luxury Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri features a transitional design with gray cabinets and white quartz countertops that stand in contrast with the kitchen island crafted of espresso wood and gray and white granite. The kitchen features a barrel ceiling of travertine stone and wood beams and an eat-in breakfast bar. www.imyourbuilder.com

The kitchen in this Lake Nona custom home designed and built by Orlando Luxury Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri features a transitional design with gray cabinets and white quartz countertops that stand in contrast with the kitchen island crafted of espresso wood and gray and white granite. The kitchen features a barrel ceiling of travertine stone and wood beams and an eat-in breakfast bar.

The kitchen's gray and white color palette makes it feel fresh and modern with stainless steel appliances, fittings and fixtures. The home was designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

The kitchen’s gray and white color palette makes it feel fresh and modern with stainless steel appliances, fittings and fixtures.

A two-story tower foyer makes a grand entrance pouring in natural light from a crown of windows. The wrought iron staircase echoes the design of the custom made wrought iron and glass door in this home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

A two-story tower foyer makes a grand entrance pouring in natural light from a crown of windows. The wrought iron staircase echoes the design of the custom made wrought iron and glass door in this home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri.

The masterbath features a free standing tub that fronts a double-entry shower with gray base cabinets and white and gray granite countertops in this custom home designed and built by Orlando Luxury Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

The masterbath features a free standing tub that fronts a double-entry shower with gray base cabinets and white and gray granite countertops in this custom home designed and built by Orlando Luxury Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri.

The formal dining room in this Lake Nona home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri.

The formal dining room in this Lake Nona home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri.

Barn doors painted white with stainless steel hardware open to the media room and the hallway with a barrel travertine tile ceiling. The home was designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri. www.imyourbuilder.com

Barn doors painted white with stainless steel hardware open to the media room and the hallway with a barrel travertine tile ceiling.

Heathrow Woods Country Club Residence

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design, Uncategorized, Video Episodes | No Comments

Terra-Cotta Exterior & Tower Entry Gives Heathrow Woods Home Curb Appeal

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This 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri is located in the country club community of Heathrow, just north of Orlando, Florida. Curb appeal comes from its two-story tower entry, a signature of Jorge Ulibarri custom homes. The home’s exterior color of terra-cotta purposely makes a statement differentiating itself from the ubiquitous beige home exteriors in the neighborhood.

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The front door features solid distressed wood for an Old World character with wrought iron embellished windows. Specialty glass windows with wrought iron detailing crown the tower and cast a beautiful light grid on the interior entryway.

The front door to the tower entry is crafted of solid distressed wood giving this 6,300 square foot home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri curb appeal and Old World character. Two wrought iron embellished windows and a window arch infuse the space with natural light. A mosaic stone floor medallion adds to the grand entry and centers below a massive wrought iron chandelier.  Photo Credit: Harvey Smith

The front door to the tower entry is crafted of solid distressed wood giving this 6,300 square foot home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri curb appeal and Old World character. Two wrought iron embellished windows and a window arch infuse the space with natural light. A mosaic stone floor medallion adds to the grand entry and centers below a massive wrought iron chandelier. Photo Credit: Harvey Smith

The home’s Tuscan-inspired kitchen draws its character from its ceiling treatment of undulating barrels, beams and travertine stone insets. A bi-level kitchen island double tasks as the breakfast bar and a work area with stainless appliances to make it modern and of the moment yet in character with rustic accents such as the copper farmhouse sink and decorative copper insets.

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Another standout feature is the coffee station featuring a built-in espresso machine and service niche underneath with a microwave combo oven below.

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The kitchen opens to a two-story great room with a soaring fireplace and an 8-foot high niche made of precast stone. A wrought iron balcony walkway connects the two wings overlooking the family room below.

The two-story great room in this 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri opens to the kitchen and draws the eye upwards to a soaring fireplace with an 8-foot high niche made of precast stone. A wrought iron balcony walkway connects the two wings and overlooks the family room below. The ceiling treatment showcases a grid of wood beams. Photo credit: Harvey Smith

The two-story great room in this 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri opens to the kitchen and draws the eye upwards to a soaring fireplace with an 8-foot high niche made of precast stone. A wrought iron balcony walkway connects the two wings and overlooks the family room below. The ceiling treatment showcases a grid of wood beams. Photo credit: Harvey Smith

The wine room in this 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri is located beneath the floating staircase with a repurposed barrel serving as wine storage. The wrought iron door is custom made and imported from Mexico. The walk-in wine storage also has a cabinet and countertop for wine tasting.

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The formal dining room in this luxury custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri features a ceiling treatment with distressed beams in a crisscross grid with hand printed tile insets. Note the dark stained trim that contrasts with the white walls to give the home its Mediterranean flair.

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The owner’s suite features a barrel ceiling and master bath with a soaking tub that shares a wall with a shower on the other side built for two.

The master bath in this 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri features a barrel ceiling punctuated by an elegant wrought iron and crystal chandelier with a soaking tub that shares a wall with a shower on the other side built for two. The double entry shower features a wrought iron window overlooking the soaking tub. The master bath exudes Old World elegance with generous use of stone. Photo credit: Harvey Smith

The master bath in this 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri features a barrel ceiling punctuated by an elegant wrought iron and crystal chandelier with a soaking tub that shares a wall with a shower on the other side built for two. The double-entry shower features a wrought iron window overlooking the soaking tub. The master bath exudes Old World elegance with generous use of stone. Photo credit: Harvey Smith

Master suite closet with crystal chandelier in this 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri features his and her side with separate entrance.

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The hallway in this 6,300 square foot custom home by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri features a barrel ceiling embellished with travertine stone insets and lit by indirect LED lights.

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The barrel ceiling is echoed throughout the home adding curves to soften the home’s rusticity.

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The plaster walls in the office echo the home’s exterior terra-cotta color. Rich wood detailing includes the distressed double entry wood doors accented with wrought iron pulls, the wood plank ceiling treatment and custom built-in bookshelf. Click below to watch our video tour of this 6,300 square foot Mediterranean home in the latest episode of Trade Secrets by Jorge.

 

 

 

 

The Kitchen Island Curves and Wraps In 2013

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design, Video Episodes | One Comment

The Latest Trends in Kitchen Island Design Trade Lines for Curves and Mixed Materials for Monolithic.

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The latest kitchen design trend creating a buzz at the International Builders Show has to do with the shape and make of the kitchen island.

Kitchen Island Curves:

CurvedKitchenisland

Still a must-have in any modern kitchen, the island is softening its linear look with curves that allow for round-the-table seating instead of shoulder-to-shoulder.

Kitchen Island Surfaces Go Monolithic:

MonolithicIslandNewAmericanHome

Countertops that wrap around the island base are showing up in the latest kitchen designs. It’s an aesthetic known as Monolithic. You’ll be hearing that word a lot in 2013. Monolithic design is defined as a single material that seamlessly wraps around a surface, wall, cabinetry or any other feature.

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Some of the best examples are in the concrete surfaces of kitchen countertops, very on-trend this year. Concrete is a malleable material that can be sculpted and molded to create a seamless surface.

Kitchen Island Doubles Up:

HuntersKitchenRendering

The kitchen island is doubling up in some homes to offer more multi-tasking capabilities, surface space and storage. Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri says the double island is a great solution to a common kitchen design challenge: keeping the kitchen open while preserving storage space. “In one of my homes, the shape of the kitchen is square. Rather than enclose the kitchen with walls to create more surface and storage space,  I added the double island  to maintained the openness while providing this added functionality.”

In this example picture above,  Jorge designed two islands each with seven linear feet of countertop space that sit four feet apart.  The inner island, located in the kitchen center, will be monolithic, made of wraparound Carrera marble with white cabinetry underneath. The island facing out towards the family room features the same white Carrera marble countertop but with an espresso wood cabinetry base to compliment the floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the family room.

For more design ideas and money-saving new construction tips, subscribe to the video series, Trade Secrets, available on YouTube

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How to Add Glass Tiles for Today’s Shimmer Trend

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Fireplace design, Kitchen Design | One Comment
NKBA 2013 Design Contest Contestant "Mosaics Meet Their Match" , photo courtesy of NKBA

NKBA 2013 Design Contest Contestant “Mosaics Meet Their Match” , photo courtesy of NKBA

Surfaces with shimmer and sheen go perfect with today’s popular transitional style. 

Surfaces that shimmer are trending in home decor and that makes glass tile an ideal tool to add sparkle to any space. From kitchen backsplashes to bathtub surrounds, accent walls and pool perimeters, indoors and outdoors, glass tile is IN. The National Kitchen & Bath Association says the current look in the kitchen is all about surfaces with sheens that gleam alongside stainless steel appliances, capturing light and complimenting more traditional elements such as wood cabinetry. Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri uses a mixture of glass, stone and metallic tile mosaics in many of his homes.

“Travertine or stone mosaics work well in more rustic styles while the glass tile mosaics help fuse rustic and contemporary. It’s an affordable architectural detail when used in small, high profile areas,” says Jorge.

Glass Mosaic tiles frame a vanity built by Orlando Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Glass Mosaic tiles frame a vanity built by Orlando Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Glass tile is a timeless material adorning ancient temples, monuments and other great architectural works. Today’s modern twist on glass tile mixes it up in mosaic patterns with other materials such as stone, ceramic and metal.

Glass tiles come in many shapes, colors and sizes and are available in sheets of predesigned patterns. Prices vary from a low $5 per square foot  sheet to upwards of $15 to $30 per sheet. Although these mosaics may look like artisans painstakingly handcrafted each design, glass tile mosaic sheets are easy to install.  Here are some of the hottest looks for 2013.

Glass Stick Mosaics:

Glass tile backsplash in a Modern-Mediterranean Kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Glass tile backsplash in a Modern-Mediterranean Kitchen designed and built by Orlando Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Rectangular tile or glass stick  mosaics are popular shapes and patterns in modern home design.

The  larger rectangular blocks known as subway tile are surfacing in many kitchens where the aim is to incorporate simpler, more modern elements.  Shiny glass tiles combined with  stainless steel and industrial materials work to create a transitional style that blends traditional and contemporary elements.

White Subway Tile in the kitchen of The New Southern Home, photo courtesy of NWC Construction

White Subway Tile in the kitchen of The New Southern Home, photo courtesy of NWC Construction

Glass Mixed with Stone or Metal Mosaics:

Glass mixed with stone or metallic tiles in a mosaic lends itself perfectly to that Mod-Mediterranean style that blends Old World with modern design.

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Metallic tile alone can add an industrial edge to a room as an accent wall or niche backdrop. These mixed mosaics merge shiny and natural materials to pull together stone floors with beams and contemporary fixtures. As an example, Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri is framing a wall-to-ceiling fireplace with a mixed mosaic design of stone, glass, and metallic.

Glass and stone tile fireplace designed and built by Orlando Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Glass and stone tile fireplace designed and built by Orlando Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Glass Tiles for Sparkling Pools:

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Many of today’s pools feature glass tiles on the sides and bottoms to capture light and liven up the color of water. A blue or emerald-green glass tile bottom can make pool water mimic the azure hues of the Caribbean ocean. Because the glass tiles are durable, tough, and resistant to mildew and stains, they are ideal for embellishing outdoor areas such as water features.

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Glass Tiles To Infuse 2013 Color of the Year:

Emerald Green Glitter Glass SubwayTiles by Susan Jablon

Emerald Green Glitter Glass SubwayTiles by Susan Jablon

The new hue for 2013 as anointed by Pantone, the global color authority,  is Emerald. This jewel-tone hue is surfacing as color pops in home décor and fashion. Consider incorporating emerald glass mosaics to sparkle up a space.  Pantone suggests infusing its Color of the Year in emerald painted accent walls and home accessories as well.

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Check back soon for more home design inspiration and new home construction tips. I’m headed to the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas next week. We will return with the latest products, sources and trends in home design and new construction. I can’t wait to share with you more about what I discover. Thanks for reading.

5 Tips to Pick the Perfect Stone Slab

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design | No Comments

 

granite kitchen backsplash in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

granite kitchen backsplash in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Natural stone gives any room rich and timeless character but picking the perfect piece of stone for your kitchen countertops can be tricky business. Since it’s a natural material, no two lots or pallets of stone are alike. Each harvest from the quarry has its own unique characteristics and appearance. Selecting the ideal stone surface not only involves a good eye but a clear understanding of the material. Here are a few money-saving tips to help you pick the perfect stone slab for your home’s countertops and kitchen island.

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

 Pick the Slab Before Building the Kitchen Island and Counters:

A common mistake homeowners make is selecting a stone slab that doesn’t fit the kitchen counters and island.  Hakan Collu, Owner of International Tile and Stone, recommends that homeowners pick the stone slab first then design the countertops and island to fit the stone surfaces. “This is a big mistake that can cost money and detract from the look of the stone. Kitchen design should be collaboration between the designer/builder and the stone supplier to avoid waste and extra cost,” says Collu.  When the kitchen island is built too large for the stone selected, the homeowner has to buy an extra slab and ends up with an unattractive seam. Also, certain colors of stone are limited to certain sizes. To get the maximum use of the slab, pick it out first, then build the island to fit.

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Understand the Stone’s Durability and Limitations:

White Carrera marble is the popular choice these days for countertops; it’s also a stone that requires regular maintenance and care. “Homeowners need to understand the stone’s characteristics and limitations so there are realistic expectations about the stone’s durability.”   Marble is not as durable as granite; it stains, scratches and cuts.  Travertine, a type of limestone, is a softer stone and is more absorbent making it vulnerable to stains.

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Ask HOW the Stone is Priced:

Stone can be priced per square foot or by the piece.  It’s important to ask what is included in the price of the stone. Ask whether the countertop and island CAD design, the stone slab’s custom cut, and it’s installation are included in the price.

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Lay the Slab Down to See How Light Reflects:

Stone slabs typically are displayed standing upright. When looking at stone piece, lay it down to see how light reflects. This will give you an accurate representation of the way the stone will look lying flat as a countertop. It allows you to show the stonecutter the area of the stone you want highlighted in the custom cut. Also, this is a good way to inspect the stone for fissures that are harder to see when the stone slab is standing upright.

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Ask if the Stone Has a Sealer:

A quality sealer can extend the lifetime and durability of natural stone. The Marble Institute of America says that most granite countertops do not need to be sealed. Granite is stronger, more resistant to scratches and more durable than most stone surfaces. Most granite slabs are factory treated with a resin coating to fill in micro-fissures, indentations and other imperfections. Marble is a good candidate for a quality sealer because it is vulnerable to mild acids commonly found in the kitchen. If you do choose to seal the stone countertop, The Marble Institute of America recommends using a quality sealer that is resistant to water and oil and has a life expectancy of ten to fifteen years and

Look for Remnant Stone:

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

granite countertop in home designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Sometimes, great deals are available with remnant stone. This is stone that was leftover from a custom cut. By choosing stone scraps, you can find an exotic stone piece for a fraction of the cost. These stone scraps are ideal for small areas such as niches and half baths. For more money-saving tips and design ideas, subscribe to the video series, Trade Secrets, available on YouTube.

Designing a Light Bright Kitchen That Entertains

By | Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design | No Comments

Part 2 of “Design Tips for a Yummy, Sunny Kitchen”

Starting from Scratch

In modern home, the kitchen is the social hub where people spend the most time

Custom Kitchen that Entertains and Infuses Lots of Natural Light

interacting with each other. Today’s kitchen needs to have easy, open access and it has to be functional. All these factors play a big role in the design of the kitchen. Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri has designed and built kitchens in homes of all sizes and price ranges and says there are basic must-haves for any modern kitchen:

  • The kitchen must be near the garage for bringing in groceries
  • The kitchen must be open and accessible to the main living areas such as the family room
  • The kitchen must be oriented in the home to maximize views and natural light
  • The kitchen must balance open areas with linear footage of wall space for cabinets

Kitchen Placement:

When designing a new home, Jorge considers two basic criteria that define the placement and orientation of the kitchen: the view from each room and the natural light entering each room.

“When you think about light, you have to think how the whole house will be laid out to achieve the goals in each room. Light infused in one room affects the orientations of other rooms in the home.” For optimal views and natural light, Jorge advises that homebuyers select a wide, horizontal lot as opposed to a vertical lot. “If the lot is thin, all the rooms are stacked behind each other limiting opportunities for a view. A wider lot allows me to design plenty of natural light in the kitchen and other rooms.”

Balancing Cabinet Space with Open Areas

With any kitchen, Jorge says that windows are a challenge because they sacrifice cabinet space. Window placement depends on the size of the kitchen and the amount of cabinet space available. “It’s not always possible to place windows in the kitchen.  It depends on the linear footage of cabinetry. This is a perfect example of some of the decisions that a homeowner has to make- functionality versus aesthetics.”

In homes that Jorge has designed with 12-foot ceilings, he adds small windows above the cabinetry that are 16 -by 16-inches in size.  “I accent those windows with wrought iron details to give them an old-world flavor that ties into the design of the island light fixture. “

Another solution for infusing natural light while preserving cabinet space is to add a glass cabinet that does double duty as a window and storage.

Don’t Cramp the Kitchen

When Jorge designs a kitchen, he creates a minimum of three and a half feet

A kitchen designed with at least 42″ of space around the island for plenty of room to socialize and cook

clearance all the way around the kitchen island. “If you don’t have that, make the island smaller or reconfigure the kitchen so it’s bigger. Don’t cramp the kitchen; you’ll regret it. “ The island surface area needs to be large enough to accommodate seating so family members and guests can sit around it cooking and conversing.

Create Kitchen Focal Points

The kitchen is the most visited and visible room of the home so it takes priority in the budget and design. Jorge encourages homeowners to talk about accents, finishes, and features that pull the open spaces together. “Ceilings are an eye-catching opportunity to add architectural elements such as beams, barrel ceilings, and vaulted ceilings with arches. For ceiling finishes, I like to add travertine or brick to create rustic warmth and old world ambiance.”

The range hood is another high-profile feature that becomes an eye-catching focal

A copper range hood adds a stunning focal point to a kitchen

point. Jorge often puts copper range hoods in his kitchens and compliments them with copper sinks and copper accents on the backsplashes. Jorge says a copper range hood costs approximately $3,500.  The copper sinks runs about $800.

A more affordable option is a concrete precast range hood that costs approximately $900.  A designer range hood creates a kitchen that serves as a functional showpiece.

Throughout the kitchen, stone is an affordable architectural element that can integrate with the rest of the home. For example, the same stone used in a travertine backsplash and stove range niche can appear adorn the family room fireplace.

Choosing the cabinetry hardware is the final accent that ties everything together. Jorge suggests bold, heavy, timeworn hardware that compliments the old world feel. “When selecting the hardware for the cabinets, always go big. A homeowner can make a statement with the hardware and it’s worth every penny.”

Don’t Blow the Budget on Cabinets

When it comes to cabinetry, it’s all about maximizing the budget with strategic choices.  Jorge says it’s not necessary to spend thousands of dollars on high-end cabinets. There are quality lines that offer designer finishes and details without the expensive price tag.  “Don’t blow the budget on cabinetry. Cabinets are one of the first selections a homeowner makes and by the time, he or she selects the granite, there is little money left. “  Jorge suggests saving money in the budget for an exotic piece of granite for the island. “It’s worth the extra $1000 because it will turn the island into a conversation piece. It’s not expensive to upgrade the granite to a designer finished edge such as a double-edged, waterfall, or full bull nose.”

Homeowners can also take the savings on cabinetry and spend it on architectural

a well-designed kitchen balances cabinet space with windows for natural light

features such as stone, travertine and granite, ceiling treatments, range hoods, sinks and other kitchen features.

The kitchen has an energy of it’s own. Designing a functional kitchen filled with natural light that is comfortable, open and inviting will set the tone of a home’s lifestyle. A well-designed kitchen doesn’t have to be bigger to be better. It has to maximize space and natural light. For homeowners, the return on investment isn’t just monetary; it enriches their quality of life.

For more kitchen design tips check out “Trade Secrets by Jorge,” on YouTube and www.imyourbuilder.com

If you have questions or comments about your own kitchen design, post us a picture and write us on facebook

Design Tips for a Yummy, Sunny Kitchen

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design | One Comment

Old World kitchen designed and built by Jorge Ulibarri, Custom Home Builder

People gravitate to the kitchen no matter what the design and layout of the home.  The gold standard in today’s kitchen design is the open concept with family room and eat-in breakfast nook co-existing as one large social center. Gone are the boxed-in spaces that isolate the cook in the kitchen away from the chatter and activity in the home’s social spaces.  If your kitchen doesn’t open up to the home, then there are a few strategic tweaks you can do to make it appear more inviting and accommodating.

New Tricks for an Old Kitchen-

Let the Sunshine In

The easiest way to open up a kitchen is to infuse natural light to create the illusion of space. Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri says strategic use of natural light in a kitchen can create the perception of more square footage. He offers several tips for lighting up an older, outdated kitchen.

Open up a closed, small kitchen with plenty of natural light and windows

Add Windows and Open Up the View

If the kitchen has 12-foot ceilings, then it is easy to add windows above the cabinetry to infuse natural light. Jorge says depending on whether the walls are made of block or frame, the cost to add four windows that are 16-inch by 16-inch in size is approximately $2,000-$2,500 with labor and materials.  Another way to let the sunshine in is to enlarge existing windows that look out to a view.

For smaller kitchens, create the illusion of more space with a light colored backsplash

If the kitchen has a dark colored backsplash, Jorge suggests changing out the existing backsplash for one with lighter colors and textures. The backsplash offers an opportunity for a kitchen upgrade in architectural features. There are several affordable options including travertine mosaics, stone or granite.  Jorge says the cost is approximately $750 to $1000 for labor and materials to resurface a kitchen backsplash with quality materials.

Open Up a Wall with a Framed Arch

Open up a wall with a framed arch to create an open floor plan in the kitchen

An easy and affordable solution to a closed kitchen is to open up a wall adjacent to the family room or dining room to create an arched open space. “The framed arch adds character and light to the kitchen. However, one of the biggest challenges with this type of remodel is the loss of cabinet space. So, the homeowner has to weigh the benefits of opening the space with the loss of storage areas,” explains Jorge. He estimates the price to create an open arched wall is approximately $900 for labor and materials.

Creating the illusion of higher ceilings also works to lighten and open up the kitchen. Some older kitchens have soffits that tend to make the ceilings appear lower thus closing in the kitchen. Jorge suggests removing those soffits to add height and open up the area. “It’s a cost-effective fix to remove soffits and refinish the ceilings to add instant height to the kitchen. You can add beams or barrel ceilings during the renovation to update the space above as well.”  Jorge you can expect to pay at least $1000 for the removal of soffits.

Add beams, barrel ceilings and stone or brick to embellish the kitchen ceilings for a custom look

The kitchen has an energy of it’s own. Designing a functional kitchen filled with natural light that is comfortable, open and inviting will set the tone of a home’s lifestyle. A well-designed kitchen doesn’t have to be bigger to be better. It has to maximize space and natural light. For homeowners, the return on investment isn’t just monetary; it enriches their quality of life.

For more kitchen design tips check out “Trade Secrets by Jorge,” on YouTube and www.imyourbuilder.com

If you have questions or comments about your own kitchen design, post us a picture and write us on facebook

Check back for part two of this article as we discuss new kitchen design in our next installment of  Tips for Designing Yummy, Sunny Kitchens.

Smart Use of Small Spaces

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Strategically designed small spaces are the mark of a well-built home and can add a lot of character for minimal cost. Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri has designed and built many custom residences and in each one, he looks for ways to  maximize every inch of the home visually and functionally. “Small spaces hold tremendous architectural power when carefully crafted as wineries, niches, built-ins and  bar areas. These design elements assure that there is no wasted space in a home,” says Jorge, owner of Cornerstone Custom Construction, based in Heathrow, Florida.

Niche in Vestibule, an example of Smart Use of Small Space

Take a close look around your home, and perhaps you’ll discover that there are unused spaces with great potential. Here are a few ideas for turning those small spaces into beautiful features in your home. Consider a winery for your home. Jorge creates wineries in all of the homes that he designs and builds. A winery is affordable and easy to create because it requires a very small space, at least 18 inches.

a winery crafted from a recessed wall
a winery crafted from a recessed wall

There are several ways to find the right space for your winery. Consider an old closet or underneath the staircase or any room where you can bump out a wall to create an additional 18 inches of space. In one of his homes, Jorge created a winery from an oversized guest bath because it shared a wall with the formal living room. This made it easy to frame out the extra space in the guest bath and create access from the formal living room.  Once the 3-foot by 2-foot enclosure is framed and has drywall installed, you can embellish the winery with a wrought iron door.

Winery Featuring Barrel Holders for Bottles

Inside the winery, there are many options for wine racks including wood shelves, iron or wood racks, and wine barrels.  Finishes for the interior walls include options such as stone, brick or faux painting. Depending on the location of the winery, you can expect to pay anywhere from $4000 to $5000.

The niche is another great architectural use for small, unused spaces. There are many different finishes for the back wall of the niche including stone, tile or faux painting. Look for corners of the house that you can frame out or walls that you can thicken out to create a recessed niche. The cost is minimal, under $1000 to frame, finish, and embellish a niche. It’s a great investment that adds a lot of character to the house.

Formal Living Room Built-Ins
Formal Living Room Built-Ins
Built-ins are another way to optimize square footage in a home. When Jorge designs a home, he looks at existing walls of certain rooms where he can create a 24-inch recessed area. This recessed space has many uses depending on the room. For example, in a dining room, this 24-inch recessed space could be used for a built-in credenza with cabinetry.  Jorge typically creates an arch or wood beam overhead to highlight the space.  Another functional space for built-ins is in the office. In a 24-inch recessed space, Jorge creates a built-in desk and cabinetry. In several of his homes, Jorge has designed and built bar areas out of the recessed space.  These spaces are functional and can serve as architectural focal points. For additional design tips and money saving ideas, check out the videos series, Trade Secrets by Jorge, at www.imyourbuilder.com  For questions or comments, please post on to his Facebook page.