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Thoughtful Designs Can Differentiate Any Home

by HBA of North Georgia on 02/06/17

Attracting prospective home buyers involves more than touting quartz countertops and hardwood floors: Those types of features are expected. But homes that truly appeal to new-home buyers are those that infuse elements of the unexpected.

It’s no wonder that “60 Design Ideas in 60 Minutes” is consistently one of the most popular and well-attended sessions at the NAHB International Builders’ Show. Each year, several of the industry’s leading architects, designers and builders crank through more than 60 ideas that can differentiate a home—as well as its builder—from the competition.

“Today’s buyers are constantly receiving design inspiration from a variety of sources [online and on TV],” said the session’s moderator, Jamie Goldman of the Denver-based design firm Kephart.

“They’re looking for design that is well executed, adds convenience and gives them an experience, such as escaping to relax in a spa-like bath, or entertaining and connecting with friends. That requires thoughtful design, which is all about the details.”

Some key takeaways from the session:

  • Dining and entertaining — Bigger is better when it comes to doorways, especially those that open to outside dining and entertaining areas to blur the line between the indoors and outdoors. This form of “inside-out architecture” can create the illusion of space in smaller homes, and can be a wow factor in larger homes. For homes with no room for patios, creating a rooftop deck can be a huge selling point to maximize outdoor space.
  • Bathrooms — There’s no such thing as an over-the-top bathroom. That’s because everyone appreciates having a place of their own to escape and relax. Bathrooms most likely to get buyers ooo-ing and aww-ing should feature spa-like details such as a separate glass-enclosed shower alongside a soaking tub, automated and customizable lighting, and elements of nature like indoor plants and stone or pebble accents.
  • Bedrooms — Because this is where the most hours of the day are spent, look for ways to make the bedroom as functional and visually appealing as possible. Installing panels of wall art is one example of how to add elements of design, and many wall panels can double as a soundproofing materials.
  • Kitchens — Not all floorplans (and budgets) can accommodate an enormous kitchen. For tighter layouts, pull-out countertops stowed beneath the permanent kitchen countertops can significantly increase usable space. These can be ideal as an additional food-prep area, buffet space or eating location during large gatherings.
  • Materials — Characteristics of the modern-farmhouse design are among the most popular in today’s new homes. Going beyond the repurposed or unfinished wood features, “living wood” details on countertops, walls and sliding doorways can significantly augment a home’s rustic appearance.

Visit for a closer look at the latest design trends from some of this year’s BALA winners.

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