Friday, May 30, 2014

American Dream Builder w/ Nate Burkas ~ Week 10

Hello Friday! With gorgeous weather ahead, I am absolutely ready to enjoy spending my time outdoor.  Many of you are probably heading to the cottage this weekend.  I have one booked in mid-June, and I simply can't wait to just dive into the cool, crystal clear water during those hot summer days. 

Speaking about diving into the water, the final challenge for the two finalists of the American Dream Builders is to completely redesigned two neglected, disfunctional beach houses into the most stunning beach houses right by the shoreline.  The transformations are truly remarkable and it surely was extremely difficult for the judges to pick a winner.

image via American Dream Builders
First up is Jay's beach house.  It has phenomenal curb appeal, and the overall relaxed yet refined, elegant aesthetic is just perfect for a beach house.  After all, don't people just want to come in with their wet feet, sit on a comfortable lounger and enjoy a delicious cool drink?

image via American Dream Builders
The beach house has a cozy, coastal vibe.  Inspired by the beautiful ocean view, the living room is dressed in soft neutrals with an accent of ocean blue.  I adore the stone fireplace (reminds me of river rocks), the glass star chandelier, and a touch of nature via the sisal rug, the grass roller blinds, and the wooden side table.

images via American Dream Builders
This lounge area is to die for.  Consuming the entire length of the house, Jay's team has divided up the space into four different conversation zones.  From intimate chat in the cozy nook at the back of the house to a group of friends catching up on the latest in their lives by the sofa and fireplace, this light-filled, open concept sensation will surely be the most well-loved place in the house.  

images via American Dream Builders
A spacious master bedroom with pale blue walls, sand coloured upholstered furniture pieces + coral and turquoise as accent, what is not to love?  That chandelier is simply dynamite!

images via American Dream Builders
The all white kitchen with cottage chic inspired cabinet profile and pure white subway tiles going all the way to the ceiling is one great design trick to make this "smallish" kitchen feels much larger.  I will have to apply the same trick at my Dad's kitchen reno.

The farmhouse sink, the chalkboard for "Today's Menu", and the beautiful stone counter top, these are my favourite elements in this charming kitchen.

images via American Dream Builders
One of the many perks of living right by the beach is the luxury of having your private seaside sanctuary equipped with stylish and comfy sofa, chaises, and casual dining under the stars.  I am just in love with this space, especially with the choice of plant materials.  Love the container garden.

Though I have to say, I am not a big fan of those plastic looking chairs by the umbrella.  I think it should have been high style all the way.     

images via American Dream Builders
It is now Lukas' turn.  What a design statement with the bold choice of painting the entire house a dark charcoal grey.  It is very Lukas but as the judges pointed out, are we ready for such ultra modern design direction for a relaxed beach house by the ocean?  Well, I think you will have to come in for a look yourself.

image via American Dream Builders
What an exquisite living room!  Crisp white walls, contemporary windows and french door with black frames/trims, streamlined mid-century modern iconic furnishings, could you tell I am in heaven? To warm up this mod colour palette, Lukas injected natural wood through the coffee table.  The rustic yet refined mirror and the antique moroccan chair offer the perfect juxtaposition against the super modern fireplace.  #BRAVO!!

images via American Dream Builders
To fill the volume and to play off the incredibly high ceiling, Lukas custom made this dynamite lighting fixture from parts you can get at your local home improvement store.  Can you believe this is a DIY project? I am floored by Lukas' creative and visionary approach to high design. 

This is my favourite shot from Lukas' beach house.

images via American Dream Builders
The ultra modern, minimalist aesthetic continues into the dining room with this super long dining table and custom benches.  The judges were concerned whether the benches were comfortable and Nate had given his approval on both style and comfort.  This white box is complemented by the exotic wood on the credenza and the rustic wood bowl as accent.  The space-aged table lamp is an unexpected touch and I think it adds a touch of whimsy to this sophisticated dining space.

images via American Dream Builders
Off to the second floor and may I just say: I AM MOVING IN!!  The sleek black and white approach has completely won me over.  Instead of feeling stark, I find the space rather cozy thanks to the layering of textures and patterns.  I am crazy about the sheep skin on the coffee table, the painted panels on the walls, and the cluster of lanterns.  #genius!

images via American Dream Builders
A little kitchenette on the other side of the room and a sumptuous, restful bedroom next door. 

images via American Dream Builders
The modern, contemporary approach continues into the outdoor living space.  Streamlined, tailored, and mid-century classics, these are the key elements in Lukas' outdoor oasis.  Loving how crisp the contrasting piping on the club chairs.    

images via American Dream Builders
The judges had an extremely difficult time to decide on who would be the first American Dream Builder.  While Jay has delivered a spectacular beach house that everyone loves, the judges wondered if all the design choices were made by Jay.

In comparison, despite the fact that there were 5 other designed helping Lukas to revamp the beach house in 5 short days, the judges saw "Lukas" in every single space of the house.  However, the judges were concerned that Lukas' charcoal grey "burned matches box" look might be too conceptual and not appropriate (or at least we may not be ready for the look yet) as a beach front property.      

In the end, the judges were inspired by Lukas' vision, his signature style, his ability to change people's perception of spaces, and declared Lukas as the first American Dream Builder!

Congrats Lukas!   

image via American Dream Builders


  1. Hi Tim! Thanks as always for a great round up. I personally LOVED the look of Lukas's black exterior. I think it made such an impactful statement, and truly turned the house into a major piece of architecture that people will flock to look at. Did you like it? The only thing that I dislike about the black is that from a sustainability perspective, it will make the house very hot, requiring a lot of energy to keep it cool.
    His interior was, as usual, truly stunning. He really is a legend and I look forward to seeing his career really take off in the next few years!

    Jay's house was also incredible and he really evolved during this competition! He should be proud.

    1. it is so true that the black may just suck in all the heat. I like the modern look of the house but I am not sure if I am ready for a black beach house. I do like the energy it created against the white interiors.

      For sure Lukas is my favourite!!