Last month, survey results showed that 100% of respondents said they sometimes go to real estate open houses just for fun. It’s a great way to get new design tips for houses like yours. Last weekend I visited a new/old house that was just redone. It was formerly a 50-year old ranch house, but now is a completely new 3-story beauty. Talk about raising the roof! I have to admit, I was more impressed than expected when I walked through.The home beautifully incorporated many of today’s home trends. Three design trends that I particularly loved were the laundry room, use of contrasting neutrals, and the butler’s pantry. Does this look like the guest bedroom to you?
From the doorway, this looks to be about the size of my childhood room. Today’s builders are getting smarter. Laundry rooms are bigger, with natural light, and are smartly located next to the bedrooms, where much of the laundry is generated. Notice the high quality porcelain tile and warm paint color. The next picture shows the appliance side of the room. When the owners move in, they will likely add energy efficient appliances, cabinetry above the appliances, window treatments and accessories to make this room just as nice as the rest of their living space.
Trend number two is the use of what I call “contrasting neutrals”. Anyone who lived through the eighties might still be thinking in terms of beige for neutrals. But you can see in this shot of the master bath that by sticking to a single, natural color palate, the builder successfully brought in a strong neutral in the dark vanity, complimented with a medium tile choice and a lighter wall color. These are all technically neutrals, and I could make a case for decorating with either warm or cool accent colors. The new owners aren’t forced to pick just one color.
Similarly, in the kitchen, the palate consisted of all neutral colors, but they ranged from black cabinets on the center island to white cabinets to grey in the back splash tile to gold and grey in the granite countertop. This type of color selection in the finishes is ideal for a builder because it can appeal to a wide variety of potential owners, but still allow the new owner to bring in personal touches and color through accessories, if they want. A homeowner who renovates with these types of finishes has the best chance of a wide appeal at resale time, as well, without sacrificing style while they still own it.
The third trend in new or renovated homes is actually a nod to the past. Check out this butler’s pantry. While the kitchen is certainly an adequate size, by turning a few feet of hallway in to a butler’s pantry, the builder creates a wonderful space for today’s families. Many would use the upper cabinets to replace a traditional dining room hutch as a place to store fine dishes. Some would be reeled in by the possibilities of entertaining. Many would love to have additional “stash” space that isn’t in the high traffic areas for household papers that always seem to end up in the kitchen. A reach-in pantry behind doors faces the cabinetry, so everything is within easy reach of the main kitchen. What a dream!
This home, happily, sold the same day I previewed it. This is proof yet again that if you tap in to today’s trends and buyer desires, the right property will sell, no matter what the market is doing.
My thanks to Dan Cosgrove (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Visionary Realty Services, Inc. for allowing me to share these photos with you.