Letter From Home: Cannon goes for the art

John Cannon, a home builder since the 1980s, doesn’t seem to be getting tired of doing what he does best.

For the third year in a row, Cannon led the field in the 2016 Parade of Homes design awards competition with four “best overall” awards. We published the results in Saturday’s Real Estate section. They also are online at heraldtribune.com.

John Cannon Homes was the co-leader in both 2014 and 2015 with three “best overall” awards each year.

He said design success can be measured by emotion.

“You often can feel the moment you walk into a model home, it just feels good,” said Cannon in an email. “That’s important to me. I believe I accomplish that with our models. As the builder and the creative force behind John Cannon Homes, it’s important for me, when designing and building a home, to stay true to the proportion and symmetry of the home’s design, while maintaining balance and harmony throughout.”

He sounds like an architect when he says that. Indeed, usefulness, structural strength and aesthetics are the three pillars of good architecture, said the Roman architect Vitruvius (commodity, firmness and delight). Of course, the high-end houses built by home builders look much different than the one-off houses designed by most architects today, but there are commonalities.

“Integrating the use of colors and textures and determining focal points that are complementary to the design, whether it be the use of materials, the depth of a niche, or the curve of an arch, all add a sense of luxury to the home,” Cannon said. “I believe this adds value to the design, and we do this with not only our models, but with all of the homes we build.

“A home to me is a piece of art.” A functional one, he adds.

Memory point

I haven’t been in all 110 models on the Parade of Homes, but I have been inside a good number of them, and the most unusual feature I remember is in NWC Construction’s Hawks Nest model off Laurel Road in Nokomis. Newcomer Nathan Cross built it, and it is the event’s overall green-home award winner.

The house has a wall niche made of translucent Himalayan salt blocks. Behind the salt: four rows of lights.

I think this whimsical detail makes for a good memory point, and that is one reason why Cross built it. See the photo and judge for yourself.

This product, from a mine in Pakistan, is supposed to improve indoor air quality, which is another reason why Cross spent $35 per brick, or about $2,000, for that wall.

Cross, who has a strong dislike for most building and remodeling shows on cable TV, said he got the idea from “Treehouse Masters,” the one program he does watch.

More information is online at HimalayanSalt Boutique.com.

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