55+ Builders See New Housing Trends in Florida

Two busloads of 55+ housing industry members saw some of the latest in community models and plans last month at the International Builders Show in Orlando.

Each group of builders, designers and other professionals visited two area communities: the Twin Lakes, a Jones Homes USA community in St. Cloud; and Four Seasons at Orlando, a K. Hovnanian community in Kissimmee.

Living Large


The Jones Homes Sanibel model includes a study.

The six Twin Lakes model homes range in size from 2,003 to 5,143 square feet – demonstrating that not all 55+ buyers are downsizers. The square footage includes a covered outdoor room, a feature in every model. Ceiling height rises with home size from nine to 12 feet in the largest model, and all homes include a two-car garage.

Interior design and merchandising was done by Winter Park, Fla., designer and NAHB 55+ Housing Council member Kay Green. She opted for clever use of wood trim, molding and paint color to differentiate spaces and accent smaller spaces. A wide variety of finishes were used in the homes: One kitchen has dark cabinets, another light wood, a third bright white.

Twin Lakes plans to build a 20,000-square-foot lakefront clubhouse with fitness center and activity rooms, as well as a resort-style lakeside pool and facilities for bocce, basketball, tennis and pickleball.

Versatile Design


An expansive island in the kitchen in the Four Seasons St. Lucia model is proof that not all seniors are interested in downsizing.

The 55+ visitors also toured the just-opened Four Seasons at Orlando, a community just a few miles from the attractions and entertainment opportunities of downtown.

The community’s 11 home plans have an island vibe with tile roofs. They’re all single-level except one model which has an optional bedroom/bonus room upstairs. All models have the option of expanding the lanai/outdoor room in the back.

The models of homes range from 1,428 to 2,706 square feet. Two models included a “stuff of life” room – a flex room that can be a study, storage or whatever the owner chooses. HGTV designer Anne Rue provided interior design and merchandising for the models, which use a light sand and blue sea palette of colors.

She also used wood trim to highlight certain features. One of the visitor favorites was a great-room tray ceiling with a raised center area of contrasting dark wood strips set in a herringbone pattern.

Next year’s community tour in Las Vegas will show participants what features are new and exciting in the West. Hope to see you on the bus!



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