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Out With The Old, In With The New

Out With The Old, In With The New

Steve MurrayFor as long as I have been building in Sarasota, stretching back to 1995, architectural trends have been fairly staid and proponents of “evolution” rather than "revolution". The "Spanish-Med" style that has adorned so many of our new subdivisions and neighborhoods has finally been laid to rest. Almost. There are still some models and new construction homes that display the applied foam trim, earthy colors and Corinthian columns that is the hallmark of that style of architecture. But there is a new movement in Sarasota being facilitated by our local architects and being driven by our new buyers and residents. Contemporary Architecture.

Now before you say "I hate those lifeless square white boxes with uncomfortable sofas", let me explain what this new style incorporates. It includes not only the pure contemporary genre, some good examples being found on Lido Key, Harbor Acres and Siesta Key, but it also includes new offshoots including “Coastal Contemporary” of which the new Sarasota Yacht Club is a great example.

These designs are clean and simple, yet include traditional roof systems, window and doors and interior layouts and are bridging the gap between ultra modern and customary island style architecture. These styles are a welcome addition to our waterfront lots and add a new alternative to the homes that our local architects are currently designing.

I believe that in part, the reason why this style change is evolving is due to the increase in foreign money coming in to Sarasota. Europeans, Canadians and South Americans are buying our “cheap lots” and influencing the style of architecture on those lots. In addition, these foreign buyers are requesting that these new homes be designed as new “Green” homes.

Being English, I can identify with this new trend as I see old farmhouses, country homes or London apartments installing modern kitchens, exciting stylish bathrooms and advanced low voltage lighting. The combination of German engineering, Italian styling and British innovation produces a host of new products and styles that are finding their way across the Atlantic with these new buyers who are requesting that they have them included in their Long Boat Key and Bird Key homes. This is great news for the market, for the industry and ultimately for Sarasota. We were getting bogged down with tired, out-dated architecture that is not inspiring to the new generation of buyers in this economic environment. What we are seeing now is exciting and important as we continue to compete with towns such as Naples and West Palm Beach for new residents and clients. Over the next few years, we must establish our community as being vibrant, modern and able to change with the times in an effort to remain competitive and desirable…and that very much includes our architectural designs and construction techniques.

Steve Murray is the founder and owner of Murray Homes a residential construction company specializing in building custom waterfront homes on the Keys of Sarasota. He also owns Murray Realty with his wife Bev. Murray Realty is a full service real estate company offering customers a first class experience in finding, evaluating or selling houses and lots, primarily on the waterfront. Murray Homes is a Certified Building Contractor #CBC1250846