WESLEY CHAPEL — Custom home builder Jon Solomon is feeling generous these days.
After continuing to grow through a disastrous real estate slump, Solomon's Javic Homes earned an invitation to become a member of the prestigious Southern Living custom builder program. Since 2012, he has partnered with the celebrated magazine on a showcase of "idea" homes, with proceeds going to charity.
Beginning today, and over the next four weekends, Javic and Southern Living magazine will welcome the public for tours of a newly built home in the Brookside neighborhood of Wesley Chapel, next to the Saddlebrook Resort, benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children-Tampa and Operation Finally Home, a nonprofit organization that builds homes for disabled veterans.
"Every home we design and build reflects a Southern Living architectural style," Solomon said. "This year's house is traditional, with the latest advances in energy efficiency and technology."
Javic Homes, based in Tampa, broke ground last summer on the project, a 4,100-square-foot dwelling constructed for harmony with 50 unique Brookside residences. Building materials, elements, fixtures and finishing touches were crafted to combine beauty with durability.
Interior designer Missi McCombs, 47, and Solomon, 48, have created their "vibe of rustic glamour" for families or empty-nesters. The two-story, four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath home offers a bright open kitchen and family room area, along with intimate formal dining and living room spaces.
"We've juxtaposed bling with reclaimed wood," McCombs said. "The neutral color palette flows throughout the house with pops of purple and copper."
The all-block construction is faced with white-fiber concrete siding, protected by a metal-accented asphalt shingle roof, and the home is surrounded by walkways and a sweeping patio of stone pavers with a fire pit. Porches facing both the front and back yards offer wooded views of the nearly 1-acre site.
"This home is built to encourage family organization," McCombs said. "A bonus upstairs playroom has a large walk-in closet for crafts or sewing. And the mud room entering from the garage provides multiple-cubbyhole storage and laundry."
Interior elements incorporate: portobello stained hickory wood flooring; countertops of indestructible solid-surface quartz; maple cabinetry; porcelain tile; Thermador appliances; coffered beam 10-foot ceilings; Bottocino marble baths; and recessed can, crystal and metal lighting, with modern Schlage hardware and Moen plumbing fixtures. The oversized kitchen island consists of acid-etched granite with a leathery finish.
A state-of-the-art audio-visual system, with wired speakers and screens throughout, is another of the home's features. A huge glare-free, flat-screen television, with a streaming waterfall behind it, is mounted to the patio stone wall. Another conversation piece is the pickled cypress barn door, mounted in the foyer niche.
Priced at $925,000, Solomon expects to land a buyer for the spec home before the tours have been completed in April. Last year, his showcase Southern Living property sold within the first week.
With an MBA from Stetson University, Solomon moved from consulting for Arthur Andersen to the Tampa/Sarasota area.
"I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, not swinging a hammer at all," he said. "I run strategy, sales and technology."
He and his wife, Margarite, established and named Javic Homes after their two children Jacob, 14, and Victoria 12. Capturing a niche luxury market, Javic Homes has built 250 homes over the past 14 years and has grown to employ a full-time staff of nine, along with hundreds of subcontractors and vendors.
"It's a work-life balance that reminds me why I'm doing this," Solomon said. "We have always given generously both our time and funds to a variety of local charities — whether it's helping a local school with their Christmas tree lot, assisting with design/construction of improvements to schools and churches, or with the Southern Living showcase homes, where we donate the admission proceeds."