Custom home features can be found in many different homes. They are those special touches that make homes unique and compelling for others. Some may be very small and add convenience while others may be more noticeable and add flair that just does not exist in every home. Others may merely add a welcome and practicable touch. Some are merely trendy and short lived while others are timeless. They are only limited by your imagination to design and create.
Open Concept describes the overall feeling of openness in a home. This is a feature that contemporary home buyers frequently describe as one of their needs. Large open and inviting entrances leading to high ceilings in the main living and dining areas are often the centre piece of this particular feature. When the layout of a home is designed well with lots of natural light and an open concept in mind the result can be inviting and sometimes dramatic. The home “just feels right” is often the reaction from people who walk into these types of homes.
Main Floor Living
Increasingly many people, especially those more senior, are looking for the convenience of main floor living. This means having at least the great/family room, kitchen/dining, main bedrooms/bathrooms, office/den, entertainment/office areas and laundry/storage areas on the main floor. Not having to navigate up and down stairs each and every day and throughout the day is a feature that most people really enjoy. Ranchers offer this my design but many other styles of homes can also offer it along with added rooms on other levels intended primarily for guests.
The kitchen is often one of the most used rooms in a home so why not ensure that it is designed for efficiency. Layout should be first and foremost at top of mind. Where to place the stove/oven, refrigerator and sink so that the workflow makes sense should be a priority. The number of sinks and ovens (yes double ovens can be a great feature) should be next on the list. How many of the major appliances will be built into the surrounding cabinetry? Will there be an island, where will it be placed and how large will it be? Will the island house any appliances or just functional storage? Will there be a pantry or butler’s pantry with easy access to the kitchen. Will the cabinetry contain smaller features like on counter appliance garages, deep easy open and soft close full extension drawers, warming drawers, and pull out vertical drawers for spices? The list goes on and one. Other features like pot fillers also add convenience while at the same time making a statement about luxury.
Breakfast nooks and eat in kitchens are popular and they can be arranged in many different ways with easy access to the kitchen. Formal dining rooms are features that seem to come and go but they are starting to make a comeback as people slowdown from their hurried lives and look for ways to relax. When designing these areas consider how accessible they will be from a traffic point of view and also whether or not you will be able to see the mess created in the kitchen while you sit down to eat. Also consider how much light will be natural and how much will be added via light fixtures and lamps. Bright and airy should be the order of the day when it comes to these well used areas.
Family, Living and Great Rooms
Besides the kitchen the next most used room in the home is likely either the family, living or great room. Yes they are different and a home can have all three of them although one or two are more common. Let’s start with the family room. This is generally the room where you causally hang out with family and friends and the term to describe this room was introduced in 1945. The living room is generally used for more formal occasions. It can be used to entertain guests and as a parlor, sitting or reading room. This room may have a more formal entrance way (such as French doors) that can be closed off to other areas. The great room is a newer creation that appeared in the 1990s as higher end builders looked for a way to demonstrate affluence in the features of the home. This room is often distinguishable by its central location and high ceilings (11-12 feet and higher up to and including the upper level of the home) and windows. The room intends to generate spaciousness and exude a majestic and even opulent feeling in really high end homes. In theory the great room combines the family and living rooms but in practice homes can have one, two or all three of these rooms. Each may contain added features such as fireplaces. Casual, more formal or a great central room often describes the difference between the family, living, and great rooms. Family and living room combinations were often found in older homes while great rooms and living rooms are often found in newer homes. The next time you want to start a spirited dinner conversation ask someone to describe the difference between these three rooms.
Games (or recreation) rooms were popular for many years along with built in bar areas near the games rooms. Just like the name says they often were built to accommodate pool tables, shuffleboard, darts and Televisions. In recent years home theatre rooms have become increasingly popular in many homes. Entertainment areas can be found inside the home as well as outside. Outside spaces can take the form of open patios as well as covered and protected patio areas. These outdoor spaces can be protected by walls and covered by pergolas (or even full roofs) but they will generally still have open access to with nearby features such as gardens, BBQ areas, fireplaces, and hot tubs.
The interior finishing of a home is often what sets home apart from one another. Two homes covering the same spatial area can be valued hundreds of thousands of dollars apart just because of the type and level of interior finishing details of each of the homes. One home can be finished with basic trim while another can offer luxury and details that can best be described as uncommon and lavish. Where the home sits on the interior finishing detail scale will have a significant bearing on its market value. Wall, floor and ceiling finishes are but three example. Ceilings can have crown moulding, tray ceiling designs and finishing details that are more ornate and luxurious. Floor hardwood and tiling can vary dramatically in price and statement. Wall finishing can include wainscoting and even more elaborate covering. Built in cabinetry and other architectural features will add to the overall look and feel of a home.
It is in the Details
Many other features in a home can make it stand out when compared to other homes. Personal at home spas, wine cellars with tasting rooms, and full outdoor kitchens are but a few of the opulent additions that can be made. Solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling and smart electronic systems for security and entertainment are also steps that can be taken. Other things such as fire and water features, wet rooms, stone features and exotic wood, and high-end media centres can all be added to the mix. In the end it comes down to both form and function. What works for someone may not work for someone else because of that individually important factor called personal taste. If it feels right and you can afford it then do it. Your home is your castle and personal private space so it has to work for you.
The next time you want to change homes and either buy or sell contact the Brett Cairns Comox Valley real estate team for help