The New American Home™ 2022, featured at NAHB’s International Builder’s Show, is designed to impress throngs of building and design industry professionals who want a first-hand glimpse at the future of home design. BSB Design is honored to be the lead architect on this year’s home. As our fourth time leading the architectural design for TNAH, our team proposed a unique approach. In recent years, The New American Home™ has showcased expansive square footage in one-of-a-kind custom designs on premium lots. The homes are stunning but are likely unattainable for most of the industry professionals who tour them during IBS.
Our main goal was for this home to be scalable for different lot sizes and locations. It’s a luxurious home with top-of-the-line finishes and upscale but casual spaces for everyday life. Beneath all the glamour, though, this plan offers a realistic and manageable program that can be easily replicated for today’s production build environment. To illustrate this, we actually designed three variations of the home that target different consumers at different price points. As built, The New American Home™ show home represents the top tier. The other versions can flex based on location, lot size and price point to allow the home to be tweaked to fit into different conditions.
Since our goal was to emphasize the casual lifestyle throughout the home, we considered the realities of everyday life. Efficient storage is a crucial part of maintaining a relaxed feeling in the main living areas. Clutter is distracting and stressful, so we made sure TNAH 22 had a pantry with plenty of covered storage to hide away all of the smaller, daily use appliances that we don’t really want to see scattered across those gorgeous countertops.
For the show home, the pantry does not have a door to allow easy views into the exquisitely finished and appealing storage area. But a pocket door or integrated “cabinet” door can easily be added to the design to close off the pantry and keep messes out of sight and out of mind. In addition, the pantry location enables a larger L-shaped room where food storage and morning kitchen functions can be separated, but after analyzing the target buyer for this home, we repurposed a small amount of pantry square footage to include an elevator for easier access to the upper floors. In the smaller 2-story version of the home, the elevator is less essential – and typically not in the budget – so we offer the larger pantry layout instead.
First, we need to clarify which kitchen we’re discussing since TNAH 22 has a total of three: The main kitchen, a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen on the patio, and another outdoor kitchen on the roof deck. I’ll talk more about the outdoor kitchens in a future blog because the show-stealer is definitely the primary kitchen with its feature wall of glass-front cabinet doors. The kitchen design includes plenty of built-in cabinet storage throughout the kitchen and in the pantry, which enabled this great blend of practicality and visual appeal for a truly high-end display.
The oversized fridge and wine cooler provide additional dedicated space for food and drinks alike, which is helpful especially when entertaining. The kitchen is an extension of the main floor living space, and they work together to create a unique, entertainment-focused lifestyle. The spaces are separate but still connected, so they provide ample opportunity for multiple groups of people to enjoy separate settings while remaining all together in one big room.
The kitchen island is a central component of this connectivity on the main floor. We wanted the island to be as large as possible while remaining in scale with the room size. Doing so allows the island to become highly efficient and multi-functional as the perfect spot for a drink with friends, a homework station or a great place for take-out dining. We included a dedicated dining room in the design, but we did not want it to feel like a formal room used only during the holidays. The island serves as a central hub that bridges the great room/kitchen and the dining room to further enhance casual connectivity.
The main floor also offers multiple direct connections to outdoor space that further emphasizes its casual, high traffic, day-to-day livability. Easy circulation and lots of natural light maintain an open, airy feeling throughout. In the smaller version of this home, the dedicated dining space is located at the front of the home in a more traditional floor plan layout, and the outdoor area is expanded instead.
The 10 foot ceilings throughout the main level of the home help things feel spacious yet still cozy. We prefer high flats over vaults or two-story volume in a home that is so lifestyle-focused as TNAH 22 because the simple ceiling treatment and modest height really feels good in the finished space. The living room offers sightlines to the front door, the kitchen and dining room, and the entire area is seamlessly connected to the centralized outdoor courtyard via multi-panel sliding glass doors. This layout opens the entire first floor and essentially allows it to function as one big room. Easy circulation from one space to the next means the plan is highly functional for even the largest social gatherings, but it also maintains a very casual, personal scale that still feels like home.
In my next article, I’ll discuss our design decisions for the bedroom, bathroom and storage areas, and how these spaces vary between our three floor plan designs.