4-19-2013

 

Top Ten Not So Popular Things….
Over the years, we have spent a lot of time in these email newsletters giving advice on what to do in building a quality home, revealing our thoughts on popular trends, giving our advice on sustainable value, and pointing out quality benchmarks.  This time around, we thought we’d take a different approach and share with you things clients tell us they don’t like or don’t want in their new home.  These are intended as food for thought.  Your home should reflect your tastes, objectives, and style; not those of someone else.

 

  • Square Boxes.  While typically the least expensive thing to build is a square box with six parallel sides, it is usually not the most interesting…either inside or outside.  Our clients appreciate design that includes arches, niches, and curves.  It makes everything more interesting.

 

  • Flamboyant Lighting.  Our clients generally opt for subtle lighting.  Recessed cans both inside and out allow for efficient lighting.  With LED options, they can be soft or task oriented.  Decorative fixtures are usually reserved only for the dining room and perhaps the entry.

 

  • Formal Spaces. Great rooms with decorative features and easy traffic flow are generally chosen over defined rooms in our designs.  Intimacy can be achieved through an alcove that is part of a larger space.  Dens or home offices are chosen to capture private work space that can be closed off from the common areas of the home.

 

  • Bargain Appliances.  Clients are always looking for values, but appliances are usually off the table as a place to reduce costs.  Higher end appliances not only have that WOW factor, but also provide useful tools for family gatherings and entertainment.

 

  • Bold, Bright Colors.  Increasingly, interior wall colors are soft and neutral, sometimes with an accent wall.   The punch and color in a room is usually added through furniture and wall art that can easily be changed out.

 

  • Stairs.  Preferences are usually expressed for living spaces all on one floor, although the size and characteristics of the lot often dictates multi-level homes.  Where stairs are included, they often become a focal point of the house with decorative and curved open railings.

 

  • Prefinished Millwork.  While many homes are built with prefinished millwork, subtle but sustainable style is often achieved with site finished and painted millwork.  The process adds a few weeks to the schedule and a few dollars to the budget, but the ending result can mightily enhance the home.

 

  • Electric Forced Air Furnaces.  Every house has electricity and while it may seem easy to use it for the primary heating source, clients will typically find it not to be a very efficient option unless a heat pump is included in the HVAC solution.  Increasingly, gas providers will bring gas to the home for little or no expense if it is available in the street and used for multiple purposes.

 

  • Fixed Windows.  While HVAC systems allow for comfort within the home, it makes sense to have a sufficient number of operable windows to provide good cross-ventilation in the main areas of the home.  Fixed windows provide maximum viewing area and are a good use for large open areas.  Combining them with operable windows in key areas will allow you to add a spring breeze to your step on nice days.

 

  • Painted gutters, downspouts, and garage doors.  While the perfect color match might only be possible when you paint features in place, the long term implications of maintaining these surfaces can easily outweigh the initial appearance.  The color is always better if it comes from the factory even if there is a slight color variation.

 

This list is intended only to be food for thought and not to pass judgment on style preferences or choices that you might have.  We would love to work with you to achieve your dream look and function.