Must-Have Design Features For 2019 - From IBS

What if the houses you built and sold enabled your buyers to live easier? Wouldn’t that be a powerful sales tool? That was the premise the speech Kay Green and I presented at IBS 2019 in snowy (?!?) Las Vegas last month. Apparently, the topic resonated with enough builders and designers that we were asked to do an encore session. Here are some of the highlights from my portion of the speech.

Casual Lifestyle Living & Entertaining Kitchens

Making the homeowner’s life easier begins with the casual lifestyle plan that eliminates redundant rooms (think formal living and dining rooms). Who needs or even wants to buy, heat, cool, furnish and clean these rooms? Instead let’s focus our buyer’s resources to rooms they do use – like an entertaining kitchen. No, I don’t subscribe to this “new” thinking that the open kitchen is out. More importantly, neither do the overwhelming majority of home buyers.

You don’t need me to tell you that the kitchen is the center of the party. In addition, working families today find the time to prepare meals compressed into two time slots, before work/school and afterwards. A kitchen needs to be large enough for two cooks and they can be made enjoyable by connecting them to the family room, casual dining area and the outdoor living.

Daily Lifestyle Solutions

Time and energy are two of our consumers most valuable assets. Designing ways to preserve both was the motive behind create the Daily Lifestyle Solutions.  I know this one from personal experience. I often lament on Fridays (sometimes Thursdays) that I run out of energy before I run out of week.

Rejuvenating Bathrooms

When it comes to the master bath, the emphasis should be on the fixtures we use the most. Translation: not some oversized bathtub taking up half the room that never gets used. I recommend we consider the shower first and make it awesome. Only then, if there’s room and budget, you can splurge on a bathtub.

The old formula of a 60” by 42” tub and a 36” by 36” shower is not going to win over a prospective home buyer. Imagine dropping the soap in a 3’ square shower. You would have to open the door just to pick up the bar.

Closets to Die For

In last week’s blog, we talked about the importance of closet lighting – so you can actually see the color of pants or shoes you’re wearing before you step out into the world. But we should also consider the size of the closet. Is it big enough for the size and price of the home? We recommend starting with the 10% rule. A 2000 sq. ft. house should have 20 lineal feet of (single row) hanging. If you select one side for double row hanging, you will have room for shoe or purse shelving.

No more blue and black shoe confusion, carolina closets.JPG

Outdoor Living

I can’t stress this enough – outdoor living can no longer be considered an afterthought. We can do so much better than a 10’ by 12’ patio. When it comes to outdoor living design, three functions should be addressed:

  1. Cooking

  2. Dining

  3. Lounging

An outdoor TV is a must; a fireplace, a bonus. Think beyond the drip line of the home, and “design” outdoor spaces in the yard; with firepits and seating areas. Complete the sensory experience with the sound of water with pool or fountain.

Later this month, NAHB will post this presentation on their website and allow you to see the must have interior design features that Kay Green presented. I hope you will have a chance to view the entire presentation.

Rumor has it, Kay and I will be presenting a refreshed version of this speech at SEBC in Orlando this summer. I’m guaranteeing it will be warmer than snowy Las Vegas. I hope to see you there.