Buying a new home is like courting a new love. Some features you love right from the start, others grow on you, and some you simply can’t resist the urge to change.
But at least when you’re shopping for a home, there’s a bit more control over what you end up with.
Geranium Homes, the residential division of Geranium Corp., is seeing more and more emphasis on kitchen upgrades. From specially-designed pots and pans drawers, to built-in appliances, to upgraded cabinetry that includes valances and crown moulding, buyers are spending that little bit extra to get what they want, says Sue Webb Smith, director of marketing and sales, Geranium Homes.
“In many of our communities, we also offer buyers the opportunity to upgrade ‘behind the walls’ and enjoy the advantage of customizing the wiring in their home,” adds Webb Smith, noting that advanced wiring allows homeowners to take advantage of remote access from a smart phone to manage heating and lighting.
Jane Lockhart, television personality and principal designer of Jane Lockhart Interior Design, says there are several finishes, fixtures, floorings and other features warming the hearts of today’s homebuyer. Through her work on model homes for Kylemore Communities she has the opportunity to test a number of them. Here are some of the top characteristics she says are causing people to ‘fall in love’ with their new homes:
- Trim Work – Lockhart is seeing a movement towards bigger, thicker trim, wainscoting and crown moulding, a relatively simple change that adds richness to any room.
- Ceiling Design – They may not be dancing on it, but they’re definitely looking up at it. “People just love the idea of details on the ceiling, whether it’s a coffered ceiling or a raised ceiling,” says Lockhart. “It’s something people really respond to.”
- Countertops – Ceaserstone and granite remain the two most popular countertop choices. In general, people are gravitating towards thicker counters with more decorative backsplashes.
- Free-standing Tubs – Say good-bye to hard-to-clean jets and hello to soaker tubs in today’s spa-like ensuites, says Lockhart. “Even if people don’t take baths, they still love the idea of the free-standing tub.”
- Heated Floors – Once you warm your feet, it’s hard to go back. Heated floors are now being considered in a variety of rooms, but the bathroom remains number one.
- Fireplaces – “There’s no question people still like fireplaces,” says Lockhart. “They don’t necessarily turn them on, but they like them just for the appeal of having that cozy focal point.” Today’s fireplaces are sporting a cleaner, stone look with a slightly more modern feel, she adds.
- Over-sized Windows – Windows are a prominent feature in many new homes. Gorgeous by day, they can become “big black mirrors” at night, which is why Lockhart recommends dressing them with blinds and drapery.
- Hardwood – Laminated, engineered or real, hardwood flooring continues to outpace broadloom. Lockhart is seeing a trend towards lighter, hand-scraped finishes that are easier to maintain.
- Storage Space – From his and hers closets, to built-ins in the great room, to recycling/garbage pullouts in the kitchen and other smart storage solutions, people are placing more emphasis than ever on organization. “What’s the point of having a 2,500-square-foot home if there’s no place to put anything,” says Lockhart.
- Lighting – Adding pot lights and placing sculptural chandeliers in strategic locations to serve as focal points adds great energy to any new home.
What’s the best part about purchasing a new home? “You get to decorate every room in the direction you want,” says Lockhart.
Were you inspired? Take a look at eieihome’s directory of general contractors to get started on your own home improvement.