Steve Feller: architect, aesthete, dancer

Steve Feller, a local architect, has helped Winter Park retain its charm by designing homes and renovations that are true to the original vision of our town.

Stately homes have dotted Winter Park since the town’s establishment in 1887.

The Palms, originally built in 1897,was remodeled in 1924 and again by Gamble Rogers in 1937.

The Palms, originally built in 1897, was remodeled in 1924 and again by Gamble Rogers in 1937.

James Gamble Rogers II designed Casa Feliz for Robert Barbour, 1932.

James Gamble Rogers II designed Casa Feliz for Robert Barbour, 1932.

The McAllaster house also designed by Gamble Rogers.

The McAllaster house also designed by Gamble Rogers.

“Winter Park is a city of about 28,486 residents located just north of Orlando in Orange County, Florida. One of Florida’s finest cities, it is famous for its stately trees, abundant parks, brick-lined streets, spectacular homes, museums, vibrant lakes and fine shops along Park Avenue. Chartered in 1887, the city was originally developed as a winter resort for wealthy Northerners seeking refuge from the harsh winters and a tranquil place to rest and relax. Fortunately, the city has maintained its natural beauty throughout the years.”

This is the description of my city as found on the City of Winter Park website. Winter Park is indeed a beautiful place to live with its trees and numerous lakes providing homes for exotic birds and other wildlife. Charming homes still exist in Winter Park but sadly few of the original ones. Some individuals are building attractive new houses. Architect, Steve Feller, is responsible for some of them.

Renovations by Feller are all over town.

Steve loves all types of architecture so consequently, he doesn’t have a “look”. He enjoys researching different styles so he can contribute appropriately to the project. He considers the house first and foremost and designs accordingly.

This house, built in 1949, was barely visible. Enormous landscaping hid the facade. All that was seen was the garage on the side.

Not only were the bushes removed, but also a pronounced entry, tile roof, shutters, and lighting were added.

A new carport adds charm. The garages received a makeover.

New landscaping and a paved driveway complete the look.

Steve designed an enormous addition to this 1925 Spanish-revival beauty.

The addition blends seamlessly into the original home.

Steve continued the feel of the original 1920’s home throughout the addition. Smaller windows on either side of the fireplace, lower ceiling height, textured stucco, 6’8″ French doors retain the scale of the 1920’s house making the new parts feel original. Steve, Frank Roark (the builder), and I collaborated on this dream project. It was a long two-year plus endeavor that resulted in a spectacular house.

Feller feels that Winter Park was lucky to have been established in an era of beautiful architecture. Consequently, his designs strive to continue that level of aesthetics.

This new Feller-designed home is an example. Diamond-paned windows and white-washed brick are romantic features seen on older homes.

The mix of materials feels like a home added onto over the years as was often the case.

Details are the key to his success.

Part of what makes Steve’s work so appealing is his attention to detail. A lot of thought went into this simple garden gate.

A lovely detail on a wooden beam borrowed from older architecture.

Herringbone-laid brick and Tudor-style beams on this home built about ten years ago.

Five fun facts about Feller.

  1. Steve grew up in Ohio where he worked for the “Gamble Rogers” of their city.
  2. Steve’s butterfly logo came from a found butterfly in amber from a renovation site.
  3. He doesn’t have a single favorite project but one of the best was building a barn in North Carolina for a longtime client.
  4. His plans are hand drawn, no CAD. Beautiful.
  5. He loves to dance with his girlfriend in the ballroom of her Feller-designed house.

He has the magic touch.

Steve has been called upon by many a Winter Park homeowner wanting to turn their frog into a prince. One of those people was me. He turned the 1961 home above into…

this California-inspired enchantress. Pulling into the driveway is so much nicer now.

Casa V collaborates often with Steve Feller to make Winter Park, and greater Orlando, more beautiful.