How designers are catering to your personality in what they design.
by Paul Foresman
Appreciating the fact that women homeowners make most of the decisions when it comes to remodeling or building a new home, embracing women’s needs and wants as well as taking the entire process from stressful to delightful are major steps in the right direction. But not all women are the same!
You may recall our research identifying four primary female home buyer personalities: Margo (modern, edgy, “My Home is unique”); Elise (traditional, family-oriented, “My home is my haven”); Claire (discerning, quality-oriented, “My home makes a statement”); and Maggie (casual, fun loving, “My home is carefree”). You can discover your new home personality by taking the 3-minute Finally About Me® quiz.
See how Design Basics tailored one home plan to match preferences of each of the four personas. In addition, learn how the product designers interviewed in “Design Reveals Desires” overlay their Woman-Centric approach to design with an appreciation for distinct personality preferences to create remarkable products.
The most individualistic of the four personas, Margo is also the most contemporary in her styling, finishes, and selections. Evidenced in the streamlined stone and stucco front elevation and specialty windows. In keeping with her modern bent, the galley kitchen will likely feature glass, metal and concrete surfaces—and probably not show traditional wood cabinetry. Notice that the pantry is not visible nor accessed directly from the kitchen. Five sets of triple transom windows further give this home it’s unique personality.
A lifelong learner and avid reader dictates a personal reading space, shown in the owner’s bedroom. In the bathroom, a simple large shower and private toilet area are secondary to back-to-back vanities, bathed in natural light. There’s the walk-in closet with direct connection to the laundry area, making hanging clothes directly out of the dryer a snap. Finally, a second-floor flex area makes the perfect guest bedroom or private home office.
Bath lighting. “Margo’s lighting choices will be driven by the bathroom design. Likely to choose square recessed cans, sleek sconces or unique pendants and LED lighting because it’s still relatively new and different. She’ll want accent lighting at vanities.” –Heather Thomas
Garage Doors. “Modern and sleek, Amarr’s Vista doors showcase a variety of translucent glass panels within a rugged aluminum frame for contemporary styling. Minimalist flush steel doors are also popular with Margo buyers.” –Vickie Lents
Closet Storage. “Our Margo clients prefer ‘organized-in’ in that they like things tucked away. Visually, she’s looking for sleek and minimalistic--nothing frilly.” –Amanda LaBlanc
Flooring. “Margo looks for individuality in her flooring. She may opt for ceramic tile, especially if transitioning from an adjoining stained/etched concrete floor.” –Elise Demboski
Translucent glass garage door courtesy of Amarr.
Contemporary bathroom lighting courtesy of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery.
“Wow!” That’s a word Claire will hear a lot living in the Presley. The front façade, with its repeating gables and artful use of stone and stucco, is truly elegant. Everything, from the eye-catching garage door to the arched and columned entry, is just right. Entry views take in the see-through fireplace and prominent great room with detailed ceiling and showy windows. To the left, stately columns define the sunny, spacious dining area. Often a person who enjoys hosting gatherings in her home, Claire will appreciate the chef-inspired kitchen.
Twin covered rear porches extend entertaining options outdoors. The owner’s suite presents a tall, boxed ceiling and lovely window grouping in the bedroom. The bathroom is also something special, with a corner tub at one end and oversized spa-shower at the other end—both enjoying natural light. Upstairs, a second bedroom or flex space is served by a full bath, and possible uses for the deep unfinished storage area are limited only by your imagination!
Hardwood flooring, courtesy of Mohawk Flooring.
Elegant wall sconce lighting courtesy of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery.
Bath lighting. “Claire will have done her research, is up on the latest in lighting technologies and is probably looking for a statement lighting piece for the bath, such as a chandelier over the tub. She’ll take great pride in ‘green’ lighting options and be sure to point them out to others.” –Heather Thomas
Garage Doors. “Knowing the garage door is the single largest architectural element of the front of her home, Claire will likely start her search from among the steel or solid wood carriage doors with designer patterns and add glass inserts as well as decorative hardware for a truly distinctive door.” –Vickie Lents
Closet Storage. “Touring Claire’s home? Expect to hear ’Come look at my closet!’ From beautiful lighting to automatic pull-down rods, Claire’s closet is a showcase for innovation in function and aesthetics. With Claire it’s more than asking her what she wants—it’s observing how she lives in her home!” –Amanda LaBlanc
Flooring. “Claire-type buyers are favoring hand-scraped wood flooring and porcelain tile that looks like natural stone.” –Elise Demboski
The Crocket’s eye-catching wood trusses in the gables and thick-columned front porch combine to give this home its curb appeal. Designed for Maggie, the home is casual and comfortable, while being flexible for her changing interests and needs. An island table in the kitchen becomes the home’s activity center— transitioning from baking prep to eating area to game table. This home presents a sunny patio as well as twin covered porches for spending time outside with friends.The Crocket’s eye-catching wood trusses in the gables and thick-columned front porch combine to give this home its curb appeal. Designed for Maggie, the home is casual and comfortable, while being flexible for her changing interests and needs. An island table in the kitchen becomes the home’s activity center— transitioning from baking prep to eating area to game table. This home presents a sunny patio as well as twin covered porches for spending time outside with friends.
The easy-living owner’s suite includes a doorless walk-in shower, so there’s no door to clean. The closet offers tremendous storage and a Maggie-inspired travel center for suitcase storage and packing, keeping you from having to pack the suitcase on your bed. Maggies crave a hobby or craft space in the home with plentiful storage where projects-in-progress can be left undisturbed, and you’ll find just such a space in the home’s oversized laundry area.
Bath lighting. “Maggie has concern for green products, energy efficiency and long lasting lamps. She will be familiar with the new kinds of lighting (CFL and LED). Recessed lighting is popular because there’s no fixtures to be kept clean.” –Heather ThomasBath lighting. “Maggie has concern for green products, energy efficiency and long lasting lamps. She will be familiar with the new kinds of lighting (CFL and LED). Recessed lighting is popular because there’s no fixtures to be kept clean.” –Heather Thomas
Garage Doors. “Busy and green conscious, Maggie will select low-maintenance, insulated steel doors and would love to find a door profile that’s a little different than what everyone else has, and perhaps a bit whimsical as well.”–Vickie Lents
Closet Storage. “Schulte’s Freedom Rail is ideal for Maggie with its adjustability and flexibility. Expect to see fun accessories and storage containers, and know easy access to everything is important. Maggie is also open to exciting colors within her closet.” –Amanda LaBlanc
Flooring. “Easy to clean and durable, Maggies will appreciate laminate flooring choices with the appearance of hardwoods or ceramic tile.” –Elise Demboski
Maggie’s casual bathroom courtesy of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery.
Art Deco glass panels in a Maggie garage door
courtesy of Amarr.
An established traditionalist, Elise favors simplicity and practicality with an eye towards value. Outside, it’s clapboard siding with stone accents, detailed, shuttered windows and twin dormers breaking up the expanse of roof. The entry foyer presents long, uninterrupted views out the back and positions a traditional fireplace in the corner. Elises looking for a formal dining room will likely utilize the flex room accordingly, but one recent caller talked about finishing the covered porch as her future formal dining.An established traditionalist, Elise favors simplicity and practicality with an eye towards value. Outside, it’s clapboard siding with stone accents, detailed, shuttered windows and twin dormers breaking up the expanse of roof. The entry foyer presents long, uninterrupted views out the back and positions a traditional fireplace in the corner. Elises looking for a formal dining room will likely utilize the flex room accordingly, but one recent caller talked about finishing the covered porch as her future formal dining.
With a door to the bathroom, the flex area is a natural secondary suite. But with access from the rear foyer garage entry, that full bath is equally well-suited for washing the dog. Lockers help keep everything in its place and the drop zone eliminates clutter from accumulating on the kitchen island. An avid fan of natural light, windows adorn two sides of the owner’s bedroom as well as the owner’s bathroom. There’s even a window in the walk-in closet, making it easier to discern navy blue from black!
Bath lighting. “Elise will go for functionality—easy cleaning of fixtures as well as easy bulb replacement or extra long life bulbs which rarely need replacement.” –Heather Thomas
Garage Doors. “Traditional raised-panel garage doors, perhaps with pretty glass inserts, or the new value-priced Carriage-style doors are fine with Elise.” –Vickie Lents
Closet Storage. “Elise is a fun person to organize, respectful of professional advice. She wants to be educated. An easy person to organize and someone likely to follow through with the organization.” –Amanda LaBlanc
Flooring. “Elise will love SmartStrand carpet, particularly Elises with pets as it has a extensive pet warranty, which many carpets do not.” –Elise Demboski
SmartStrand carpet, courtesy of
Traditional bathroom lighting bars courtesy of
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery.
Finally About Me® Resources
Product Resource for this Article
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
Finally About Me® - As the Woman-Centric Matters!® team at Design Basics has identified, women tend to exhibit one of four primary home buyer personalities. And it’s amazing just how much of our core personality is reflected in our homes!
Finally About Me® Quiz - TAKE THE QUIZ! What's Your New Home Personality? Would you guess that your taste in jewelry, flowers, or travel could also predict your preferences in your home's design styles and even product choices?
Finally About Me® Profiles - So you are a Maggie or a Claire, or a Margo or Elise. Learn more about your new home personality!
"What's Your New Home Personality?" Would you guess that your taste in jewelry…flowers...or travel could also predict your preferences in your home’s design, style and even product choices?
"Design reveals Desires" From the myriad choices available, the specific selections you make when you are remodeling or building a new home reveal a lot about you, your values and desires.