FINALLY ABOUT ME® What is your new home personality?

by Greg Dodge 28. August 2012 14:07

You and your friends walk into a model home with a gorgeous fireplace flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows at the back of a tall great room. “Wow!” remarks one of your friends. Another (who actually thinks the room is a bit predictable) is trying to envision a more contemporary fireplace and window grouping. Your best friend is thinking about all of the natural gas it takes to heat that space. And you’re wondering how you would ever clean those 17-foot high windows!


The example illustrates how your personality influences your perception of a home. As the Her Home and Woman-Centric Matters! teams at Design Basics identified, women tend to exhibit one of four primary home buyer personas. What’s amazing is just how much of our core personality is shows up in our homes! Once you’ve identified your strongest personality type, you, your builder, or your remodeling contractor can focus on things that will likely be very meaningful to you and avoid wasting time with things that probably aren’t very important. It’s fun…and more than a little revealing into why you like what you like!

We have several articles and a short 5-minute quiz elaborating on Finally About Me and your new home personality.  Read more . . .



Design Trends | Finally About Me

Tandem Garages - the new flex space?

by Greg Dodge 7. June 2012 14:36

While the debate rages on over garage size and placement (see this month's White Paper for solutions), an emerging concept is to design a tandem 3rd stall and show an option for finishing off that space. That way, buyers can understand the trade-offs: more storage or additional living space!


We would love to hear your feedback on a new plan we're developing, the Windsor Cottage, which illustrates this very concept.

Please send your comments to or post them here!


Without moving exterior walls, what would you design differently (for example, add window(s) in the dining/living room)?








Design Trends | General

Save your back and knees!

by Greg Dodge 9. May 2012 07:40

As I've aged my knees and back seem to be complaining more and more.  You'll be thankful if you look again at your dishwasher placement and the size & height of your toilets in new construction and remodeling.

Van Singel Lake traditional kitchenRaising your dishwasher

Raising the dishwasher has numerous appeals, which all end with "...and your back will thank you!" It may be to add storage under the dishwasher for infrequently needed items. Or, it may be to make the dishwasher more convenient and easier to load and unload for individuals of all ages and abilities.

If a raised dishwasher is in your future plans, think also about what goes atop the dishwasher. Set within an island, the countertop over the dishwasher may be flush with a raised eating bar (unless the entire island work surface has been raised.) Situated the dishwasher against a wall, other options, including additional storage, come more clearly into view.  Raised dishwasher ideas.

Different size bowls

It’s surprising how many people overlook the issue of the toilet size for their home.  Okay, maybe it’s not as fun as selecting lighting fixtures, but comfort is too important of an issue to forget.  As compared with standard round toilets, elongated toilets are about two inches longer, which many adults feel is a more comfortable size.  Petite individuals and children sometimes feel elongated bowls are too big.


There’s also the issue of hygiene, and men strongly prefer the elongated toilets.  Finally, consider space.  Some baths are designed with a little “room” within the bathroom for the toilet, and the extra length of the elongated toilet may interrupt the door swing into that toilet space. 


See Kohler's Highline Classic Comfort Height Toilet

Keep these things in mind and your knees and back with thank you!



Design Trends | Kitchen Design | Master Bath Design

Dual owner's suites

by Greg Dodge 9. April 2012 12:26

The popularity of homes with two master suites is growing rapidly.  Buyer profiles vary from households with aging parents or adult children sharing the home with you.  We recently spoke with an individual looking for a home with three master suites for three widows/widowers who wanted companionship and the advantages of home ownership!


Especially in homes designed for a basement foundation, or homes which can have additional bedrooms upstairs, expect to be seeing more dual-master suite homes coming to the market!

Example dual owner's suite home plans:

29354 the Welker
29353 the Sadie




Design Trends | Flexible Living Options | General

Design trends and things we get asked to inlude on our home plans

by Greg Dodge 28. March 2012 08:33

Every week we are asked about cool new design trends or about new features we are including on our home plans.  Today and in future posts I will explore some of the new design trends and features we see and are working into our new home plans.


One of the things we are often asked about is separate vanities in the owners / master suite bath.  Dual vanities or vanities separated by a stack of drawers or cubbies are very common.  The thing we hear is "I want my own space - separate and distinct.  An interesting design concept is to plan the two sink areas back to back. This provides a great sense of separation and can foster additional creativity in the bathroom's overall design.



Here's a couple of examples and a floor plans which incorporates the back-to-back vanities.


 contemporary bathroom design by phoenix interior designer Ownby Design 



Example Artwork Contemporary bathroom design by phoenix interior designer Ownby Design





    Example home plan -- 50031


Design Trends | Destressing | Flexible Living Options