Modern Home Collection 2017
Modern Home Collection 2017
One Stop Modern
As the local marketplace shifts toward a more European-minded, modern sensibility, the award-winning Murray Homes is both wholly prepared and excitedly ready. Clients that desire high-end, custom waterfront residences enlist the firm, which includes British father-son team John and Steve Murray, as well as a staff of experts. The Murrays have more than four decades of combined homebuilding experience in the United Kingdom and Florida, and their globally-minded outlook helps them stay ahead of design trends.
“We work with a multitude of architects to produce different styles and plans, and we have noticed that there has been a definite move toward a more contemporary, transitional style of house,” Steve Murray says. “It may be because people were so fed up with the Spanish Med style that they reacted in a very strong way to push it to a new style. More than that, I think what we’re seeing is a movement away from builders building spec houses determining what architecture should be. We’re moving toward custom clients saying, ‘This is my lot. This is what I want. And I’m going to find the best architects and builders to make it happen.’”
Those clients who want the best look to Murray Homes. The family-run firm (which has its own in-house realty department) uses the most cutting-edge, efficient technologies and building materials for renovations, investment properties and seaside homes. As a full-service resource, the firm identifies vacant land, negotiates lender financing, manages budgets, conducts feasibility studies, assists in design and construction, and even markets and sells properties.
“We’re currently building a Guy Peterson design west of the Trail and there has been a lot of interaction with Guy and Damien to define exactly how the house should be built. The owner is an architect himself, so there is a lot of very high-quality discussion that goes into the minor, as well as the major, details,” Steve Murray says. “We also have a 10,500-square-foot modern home we’re doing on Bird Key with CMSA, set to be finished in 2018. It’s the biggest house on Bird Key (very modern in nature) and the architecture extends from the main structure to the hardscape, pool-scape, landscape, fountains and ponds. It’s a very integrated design.”
Murray Homes is known for this type of integrated design, and perfecting the process has been years in the making. Steve Murray operated a construction company in London, England, in the 1990s before moving to Sarasota and launching Murray Homes. He then teamed up with his broker wife, Bev, and brought Murray Realty into the company. Steve Murray has since coordinated the bidding, billing and subcontracting for numerous new and remodeled homes.
“We stay within the Sarasota-Manatee area and have an operation in Lakewood Ranch, but the majority of our work is waterfront-based and around downtown Sarasota, Longboat Key, Lido Key and Bird Key,” Steve Murray says. “A big part of our business is also the renovation of penthouses (from kitchen and bathroom remodels to the complete gutting and reworking of 5,000-square-foot condos).” Whether the job is a redo or something brand new, Murray Homes is well-versed in how to proceed. They are currently working with Chris Leader on an ultra contemporary design in Long Boat Key and have just completed a beautiful Michael Bade modern home working with Punit Patel of Sawa for interior design.
“Having a realty company in-house is a fantastic opportunity for us to understand the marketplace, be available for clients to find land, and recommend the best places to buy and tear down,” Steve Murray says. “Really, what we have is the ability to find where clients want to build, help them design it and then build it. We cover all aspects.” To stay timeless, Murray Homes is always evolving and building structures with longevity in mind. In less than a decade, Steve Murray has watched the local marketplace develop a desire for the more modern look, which he has been happy to accommodate via angular, geometric designs. “There is a lot more awareness of European styles now—from appliances to tile to cabinetry to plumbing fixtures. Europe is a leader in most of those things and we’re seeing a lot more of that now accepted in the designs and finishes of houses. Coming from England, it’s nice to see that. I think it’s a cycle,” Steve Murray says. “I think there’s a national cycle where modern is becoming more popular, but more so in Sarasota because of the history with the Sarasota School of Architecture. When people see modern, they like it and they want it.”
“I think experience goes a long way. Working with the best professionals that produce the best-quality designs and architecture is important. Employing the best people to make those houses come together in the best way is important,” Steve Murray says. “There is a sense within our company of who we are and we take a lot of pride in what we do.”