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Design Lesson: 6 Things we can learn from The New American Remodel 2018

We recently toured The New American Remodel home at the 2018 International Builders Show, sponsored by the  National Association of Home Builders’, in Orlando. As owners of a business involved in interior design and renovations for over 20 years, we thought there would be at least one design lesson we could observe. And we were right! Here are a few of our favourite design ideas:

Design Lesson: Why have just one, when two are better?

Large, open spaces can be challenging to decorate. What works in more compact rooms doesn’t translate as well to larger ones. We had ‘double-vision’ in several of the homes’ key spaces.

Design Lesson: The kitchen featured two islands, as well as double pendant lights.


Design Lesson: The dining room featured two chandeliers, where one would have been insufficient.


Design Lesson: When it comes to architectural features, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself.

Creating a cohesive home, while still making each room interesting, requires that we repeat certain themes, shapes, materials or colours.  We saw several examples of this in The New American Remodel home.

Design Lesson: The home’s exterior repeated the roofline many times, to visually tie additions to the original structure.


Design Lesson: Ceiling details from the outdoor room were carried over to the adjacent family room.


Design Lesson:  Flooring need not be boring

Many of the homes we visit tend to have one or two flooring materials, repeated throughout. In this show home, flooring was used to delineate each space and make it unique, while adhering to an overall colour scheme of natural woods and pale tiles.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t distracting or jarring. 

Design Lesson: The living room floor of hardwood planks is adjacent to the office floor of herringbone made of old wine barrels.
Design Lesson: Hardwood floors in the dining room flowed into tile floors in the gallery, where wood and tile were used to create patterns.


Design Lesson: Create ceilings with feeling

Not only did the floors of The New American Remodel receive lots of attention — so did the ceilings. Lots of classic techniques were incorporated to ensure that each space was architecturally unique. We found it was a great way to add interest to neutral rooms, without being distracting. 

Design Lesson: The gallery ceiling pattern was repeated in the floor pattern, for double the impact.
Design Lesson: The ceiling of the outdoor room was a classic combination of wood panels and dark beams, with multiple lanterns for added impact.
Design Lesson: The office ceiling received a treatment of board and batten panels and grid moldings, with contrasting colours. It feels more like an outdoor porch, than a workspace.


Design Lesson: Even functional pieces can make an impact

The hardest-working areas of our homes are often the most functional, like the kitchen or bathrooms. Designing these rooms for both function and beauty has its challenges, but since we see them more than any other rooms, the rewards make it worthwhile.

Design Lesson: The kitchen hood was a stunning piece of hammered metal in shimmering silver. It was worth of its status as focal point of the room.


Design Lesson: Know what to change, and what to keep

Renovating a home requires hundreds of decisions and months of planning. Wish lists must be reconciled with realities of space and budget. It’s difficult to know which changes will transform your home, and which ones are less impactful. The New American Remodel home was not only renovated, but the original structure received new additions on either end.  We felt that the team achieved a cohesive whole. Not a lot of the original structure were maintained, but those that were were wisely chosen.

Design Lesson: The home’s exterior was originally all white stucco — very Floridian. The red brick was added, and we think it increases the curb appeal.
Design Lesson: Part of the charm of the exterior is the black ironwork. This was original to the home, and was refurbished rather than replaced.



Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors specializes in electric fireplaces and custom designs. Their Toronto-area showroom features all-electric fireplaces in complete wall vignettes, with all the materials and design expertise needed to finish the project. 

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