30. December 2013 07:40
Published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, HER Home’s Thought of the Day is derived from our audience feedback as well as real-life experiences of the Her Home staff. This email series is designed to answer the question -- "I wish I had known about that!" This Monday, Wednesday, Friday email places in your inbox, solutions to common home building questions, design ideas, and insights into products to put into your new home or remodel project.
We had some great responses to our topics in 2013. Here is the 'Best of" for 2013.
All square feet are not created equal (part 1 of 2)
All square feet are not created equal (part 2 of 2)
The biggest architectural element on the front of your home...
The "disappearing" home office
Your walls will thank you
Why one-story homes usually cost more
Enjoy. Be safe. See you in 2014.
Subscribe to HER Home at Thought of the Day here.
3. December 2013 10:49
A man and woman walk in the front door to a model home. What do they see?Most men will focus on a singular, long focal point (such as a wall of windows at the back of the great room.) Most women will see much more, with women's heightened peripheral vision. From the flooring to the ceiling details, colors, textures and other amenities, she takes it all in. As a general rule, for men think "spotlight". For women, think "floodlight". The view from the front entry foyer sets expectations for the entire home. That's why so much emphasis is placed upon creating interesting entry views. Take, for example, Design Basics' Kenneth plan. Though just 2351 square feet in size, the home presents a spacious entry foyer leading to a stunning see-thru stone fireplace and great room with cathedral ceiling and dramatic windows! Upon entry, your home can visually say it is something truly special!View Kenneth home plan.
23. October 2013 10:39
MORE ABOUT REAR-ENTRY FOYERS
13. August 2013 07:19
The color you choose to put on the walls of your new custom home can speak volumes about your personality. Certain colors can portray different feelings, and visitors and residents can quickly pick up on these clues when they step into the room. If you are going to repaint or are moving to a new home, give the new colors some extra thought and decide what they say about you.
Your favorite color may speak to your personality, but it can also help you create a specific feeling or atmosphere. Here is a guide to help you pick your color scheme and create the feeling and mood you desire for your home.
Yellow and Orange
If yellow is your first choice, it shows that you enjoy learning and sharing knowledge. You tend to live on the happier side of the spectrum, and have a lot of sunshine to share. If you choose a warm color in the yellow and orange family, you will create a welcoming feeling. These are the colors of sunshine. They are bright and happy. The brightness is inviting and makes people feel welcome in the space.
Blue tones are for people how are reliable, sensitive, and strive for harmony. You tend to think of others and prefer things neat and tidy. It is easy to make the comparison of a cool blue with the blue sky. The colors you use are often associated with where they can be found in nature, which is why the comparison of a cool blue paint to the blue sky easily creates a calm, tranquil feeling. The space feels open and often larger.
Brown is the color of earth, and it shows that you are a good friend and work hard to be reliable and dependable. You’re not terribly interested in glittering, glowing things in life, and prefer the simple, direct route. Browns are also a warm tone which can provide a calming effect on you and your visitors.
Black can be a bold and stark color and can instantly add drama and elegance to a room. A lot of people are scared to paint black because of its’ boldness, but when done right, it creates an elegant and formal look. People who choose black are also very artistic and sensitive. They are commonly a little more closed off than others, but will share personal details when they’re asked.
This is the color we most associate with passion and other intense feelings. People who choose red tend to be very active and like to live for the moment. They can be very determined or very stubborn, depending on how you look at it. This is also not an easy color to use in a room, but with care it can be very attractive.
White is a difficult color. It can say a couple things about you. First, it might say that you are very organized and logical. You don’t care for clutter in your life and prefer a clean appearance. On the other hand, it may just say that you haven’t gotten around to personalizing you home yet and are fine with the stock color. Be careful with this one and make sure you are sending the right message.
It doesn’t matter if you are building a small home or luxury home. The right color of paint can really set the mood of your home.
24. July 2013 12:39
There are numerous benefits to having a front or back porch, and if you’re lucky enough to have both, that’s even all the better. A front porch gives you the advantage of curb appeal by highlighting your entryway. It can add an element of graceful style to your home, and it is one of the first things that a visitor or passerby will see. Back porches offer the bonus of a private space to relax or entertain, and will add to the beauty of your backyard. A nice front or back porch will increase the value of your home and any porch can be made more alluring with certain touch-ups or additions.
Add a Porch Covering:
Although a porch can be a nice feature on its own, if you don’t have a covering, it will be exposed to the sun and rain, and will be damaged over time. This also leaves you, your guests, and your entryway with no protection either. A covering is an investment that will save you from having to rebuild your porch prematurely, and will also make it a more enjoyable space for everyone.
Install a Railing:
Having a railing on your porch can significantly impact its appearance and give it a finishing touch that complements the other design elements of your home. A railing provides privacy without obstructing your view and will give your porch a more secure feel. This is especially important if you are going to have children playing on or around the porch.
Change your Décor:
The furniture you use to decorate your porch has a large impact on its look and attractiveness. Since these accessories are kept outdoors, it is likely that they will need to be replaced more often than your other furniture. Adding a rug can make the space appear larger and give it a cozier experience. The seating that you choose will also greatly affect the feel of your porch and should be considered carefully.
Add Finishing Touches:
Adding ceiling fans can keep you comfortable during warmer weather, and light fixtures or lamps, will provide both decorative and useful elements to your porch. Hanging plants, or sheer curtains, can add a nice touch to the space, and offer you more privacy without completely blocking t
he outside view and light. Finally, you will want to keep your yard maintained, especially around the porch as this reflects on the area as a whole.
Looking for homes plans designed with great porches? Craftsman style homes are famous for their large beautiful front porches.
6. June 2013 10:40
It's our current poll. It's a simple question. Do you prefer open floor plans?
Here's an example of a popular open format floor plan. It has lots of the natural light, ease of mingling with others and feeling like we’re all connected.
Sound travels in open layouts and I don’t want everyone to see my home isn’t always neat and orderly.
Each format appeals to different people. Each has great amenities. Each has drawbacks. Which do you prefer? Take the poll now!
23. April 2013 08:09
Whether we realize it or not, our bathrooms are very personal—which means if there are two of you using that bathroom, there’s a potential for misunderstanding and conflict.
Take the vanity and sinks. Years ago designers recognized the preference for his and her sinks in the master bath. That alleviated some of the schedule conflicts over who used the sink and when, but also led to more countertop clutter. His mouthwash…her make-up…sometimes it’s so crowded you can hardly tell what the countertops look like!
Splitting a single vanity with two sinks into two separate vanities, each with their own sink, is desirable.
Last time we discussed how having two separate vanities provides highly prized personal space in the owner’s bathroom, particularly eliminating conflict over countertop clutter. But what’s the most desirable layout for the two vanities? We show four options below.
Plan 50020illustrates the two vanities in-line, separated by a built-in dresser or linen cabinet.
Plan 50001 has the sinks positioned opposite each other. Some people really like the fact that when the two mirrors face each other, you can easily see how the back of your hair looks in the opposite mirror!
Plan 42158 staggers the two opposite-facing sinks, eliminating the likelihood of brushing up “cheek-to-cheek”.
And plan 50031 has the two sinks back-to-back, providing a true sense of “me” space.
Which is best? Only you can decide that!
1. April 2013 08:28
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Design Basics' "Hester" is a popular 3-bedroom family plan. It's also possible to build this home with a second master suite, shown as the "Sadie" plan. (Yes, the dual owner's-suite version does utilize storage space from the original design's garage, but if doing this conversion as a remodel, the contractor will build that closet floor accordingly.)
#29344 - Hester
Whether new construction or remodeling, dual owner's suites and independent in-law suites are increasingly in demand. It might amaze you to find out just how many committed, happy couples choose not to share the same bedroom. It could be conflicting schedules, medical conditions or simply snoring, but the need for getting a good night's sleep is paramount to a good life.
Plan now to stay in your dream home!
26. December 2012 16:33
Why buy new, now?Historically low interest rates expand your purchasing power significantly. For example, a $200,000 30-year mortgage at a 5% interest rate (APR) is $125 less per month than a 6% APRmortgage payment. Or, you could opt for a larger home or $20,000 in upgrades and still keep the payments lower than the 6% APR mortgage.
Lower total monthly housing costs. Land costs have eased as have prices for some building materials. Stiffer building and energy codes combined with product advancements mean cheaper utility bills and lower homeowner insurance rates.The financial implications are often the first aspect looked at, but there are lots of other reasons to look at new construction rather than an existing home, including:
Quality of construction. More stringent building codes are just one of the reasons today’s homes typically offer superior quality compared to older homes, making your new home more pleasurable to live in.Design flexibility. Some things that just aren’t feasible to change with resale homes, like garage size, basement ceiling heights, wider doors or open, entertaining floorplans.Product choices, advancements. When building new, there’s a gamut of products to select from in making your home uniquely yours, based on what’s important to you—such as quieter and safer products, high technology…healthy alternatives...new construction is a hands-down winner!Avoid maintenance hassles and cost.
New homes are typically lower maintenance due to the products used. Composite decking, tilt-in clad windows and laminate flooring, all give you back a little more time. Then there’s the expensive repairs associated with older homes such as replacing worn-out appliances, roof shingles, carpet and furnaces.Energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Homes built today are as much as 60% more energy efficient than homes built 20 years ago, contributing to a more comfortable home. Your energy efficient new home can help prevent the release of tons (yes, TONS!) of greenhouse gasses per year, while helping conserve our energy resources. Advanced building products such as engineered wood and recycled product choices such as carpet made from discarded plastic water bottles further help protect our environment.
Don’t settle for less. Finally, one of the most important reasons for buying new is getting exactly what you want in your new home.
9. October 2012 10:39
In the last decade, home design has undergone amazing change and innovation! Entertaining has taken on a new priority, but entertaining preferences are highly individualized. Builders need to understand your entertaining style. And you need to make sure your builder gets your style.
We've refer to homeowners who enjoy formal entertaining as "Claires". Sophisticated finishes and open layouts are preferred, but Claires look for a sense of room definition. Outdoor spaces are often considered an extension of the indoor socializing, so the indoor/outdoor connection is key.
"Elise" is the name we've given to traditional buyers whose entertaining style tends to focus on family get-togethers or having a few close friends over. Conversation is key, as is getting everyone together. Flexible, free-flowing eating areas which can expand by adding another table are favored (think big, family Thanksgiving dinner gatherings.)
Fun-loving, "Maggie's" entertaining style revolves around "doing". It could be movie night at her home, or cards or pool. It could be a scrapbooking party or other type of "girls' night out". Maggies may have trouble seeing themselves in your home until they know where the big TV goes. Then there's her kids' entertaining space to consider. When she's got friends over, where will her kids go if their friends are over, too?
From lighting to soundproofing issues, entertaining influences design more than most people realize.
To learn more about the buyer profile described in this post, read about Finally About Me and take the quiz to learn your buyer profile.