Since 1973, when Melbourne-based Joyal Homes began building across Brevard County, the company not only has completed more than 2,000 homes, but also has steadily risen up the ranks of the best homebuilders in the region.
And, through those decades, a dedication to honesty, integrity and on-time delivery has neatly complemented the homes’ physical style, setting and grandeur, as evidenced by both repeat customers and competition award winners.
During about the same time, Jeff Joseph, now the executive home designer, has crafted a portfolio of excellence at Joyal, along with a reputation for open-minded creativity. Similarly, interior designer Toni Mays has been on the scene, using a mix of planning brilliance and flair to bring Joyal’s model homes to life.
Coincidences in all of this? Hardly. Fact is, the successes are seamlessly intertwined.
Joseph, with Joyal since 1985, has been a foundational piece — pun intended — from his very start. The first Joyal home he designed, one year out of college, won a Parade of Homes award. As it turned out, that winner was merely one of many he would earn over the years.
In Joseph’s earliest days, Joyal was mostly a track builder. Now, Joseph typically customizes his design plans, with Joyal often tearing down homes and rebuilding grander ones in their place.
“Now everybody knows that [Joyal] can build a very high-end, very specifically tailored custom home,” he said.
Joseph is pretty well-known himself.
One recent example: the 2018 State of Florida Silver Aurora Awards, where Joseph was part of the winning team.
Joseph closely collaborated on the home’s design, ultimately helping to “accomplish what we wanted while remaining conscious of cost,” according to the home’s owners. The Aurora Awards, affiliated with the Florida Home Builders Association and the Southeast Building Conference, encompasses all facets of the residential, commercial and remodeling industries.
Joseph’s (and Joyal’s) styles range from Mediterranean, Tuscan and Coastal to Traditional and Modern. Many times, his work begins with simple photos provided by clients. Initial ideas then are developed into estimates, budgets and AutoCAD (computer-aided) designs. Joseph also creates three-dimensional, photo-realistic renderings using Google SketchUp, a program that enables him to create videos of his designs. Further, using the magic of Google Earth, he can drop designs onto a client’s property.
And it’s a process where patience plays a major role. “Listening to people is the key. … I take very copious notes in the initial meetings,” he said.
“You go back and forth, back and forth, until you come up with an agreement … It’s a lot of give and take, a lot of give and take, and I’m very patient with it.”
Joseph’s thinking: The home-design plans eventually will get there. Additionally, his description of the process comes with the words “flexible and deliberate, not rigid.”
“We’re really good with taking just an idea on a cocktail napkin through to the end of construction,” he said. “And do it on a turnkey price. … We can take a raw idea and turn it into reality. To be able to do that over the long run, that’s why I’m still here.”
“It has been a great pleasure working with Jeff Joseph over the past 35 years,” said Paul Joyal, one of the company’s founders. “His architectural solutions, tailored to our client’s lifestyle and modern desires, are a key component of our company’s quality and reputation. Jeff is not only a valued employee; he has become part of our family.”
With the average tenure of staffers at more than 20 years, many others also have remained with Joyal. Like Mays, who came aboard in 1994.
“Toni Mays has been serving a distinguished clientele of homeowners for many years,” said Joyal. “In that time, her work with Joyal Homes has been unwavering in her commitment to designs that genuinely reflect each individual that she works with.”
Her efforts start the moment a Joyal contract is signed by clients, which is followed by “multiple, multiple meetings” with them.
“We [her and the clients] go from vendor to vendor for [interior-design] selections. We discuss what is wanted, and the home evolves,” Mays said.
Mays added that she has evolved as a designer, too. “I don’t think you can succeed in this business if you don’t change with the times,” she commented. “Consumers are savvy. They’re very smart because of TV, social media, magazines. Not only do you want to give them what is current and edgy, but you want to give them what they’re comfortable with. You have to communicate and listen.”
In turn, Mays points to design versatility as a distinct strength: “I’m able to do any style — from most contemporary to most traditional and anything in between.”
Mays made the statement without a hint of boastfulness, noting that her greatest satisfaction, in the end, is seeing smiles from clients — “watching them as the home progresses and watching them as they finally take possession of their home.”
It’s no surprise, either, that Joseph and Mays are members of the mutual admiration society. Translation: They like and respect each other, and work especially well together.
“I kind of learned over the years to just give Toni some broad-brush strokes and then let her run with them,” Joseph said. “I very rarely disagree with her.”
Mays called him “the creative force at Joyal.”
No coincidence that through the years Joyal Homes has been the same … a force.