How to Pick the Perfect Paint

How to Pick the Perfect Paint

Eggshell, satin, semi-gloss? What goes where?

Here’s a handy guide for what paint types work best in different areas of the home:

  • Flat: Best for ceilings and low traffic areas; a matte finish is best at concealing imperfections.
  • Eggshell: Best for rooms with moderate traffic; works well for hallways or formal living rooms. Eggshell has a slight sheen and gloss.
  • Satin: Best for moderate to high traffic areas; can usually be wiped clean easily, so it works well for children’s rooms, kitchens, or bathrooms.
  • Semi-Gloss: Has a slightly glossy appearance. Like satin, this is easy to clean so it works well for kitchens and bathrooms
  • High-Gloss: High shine – works well in areas with lots of light and is typically used to highlight interesting architectural elements; also good for painted trim (baseboards, moldings, etc.). Highest durability but lowest ability to conceal an imperfection.

Color Sampling

Photo courtesy of Samplize

Many companies provide swatches or paint samples for you to try out at home. Swatches tend to be too small to really get a real feel for what the color will look like in your space. And, paint samples are not always an exact match with the final product. Plus, taking the time to paint and waiting for it to dry to see the final color is time-consuming. Then, what to do with all the paint samples?

Samplize — A new, innovative peel and stick paint product keeps the process simple and efficient. According to the website, “The samples have the same effect as paint on a wall surface. They provide the kind of accuracy and texture that was only before achieved through purchasing sample paint and doing all the work in-house. Best of all, the samples eliminate environmental waste created by surplus sample paint, which is rarely disposed of in the correct way.” The samples come in 12′ x 12′ repositionable flexible decals, so you can use them on flat surfaces or wrap around corners.

(Product spotlights are for informational purposes.)

Memorable and Engaging Marketing

Memorable and Engaging Marketing

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted.

…the trouble is I don’t know which half,” uttered back in the 1800s by John Wanamaker, the Philadelphia marketing pioneer whose department stores ultimately became part of Macy’s; Wanamaker’s words still ring true today. Ironically, at the exact time prospective new home buyers are actively seeking information to help them make the best new home purchase, too many messages fail to engage.

Left-brain/right-brain theory suggests words and information reside in the left hemisphere of the brain, associated with logic and rational thinking. Sometimes called the “emotional brain,” the right hemisphere is home to pictures, feelings, and her sense of identity. And we know buyers buy on emotion and subsequently justify those purchase decisions rationally. I’m an avid reader of Motor Trend. Many of the car ads are predictable – a beauty shot of the automobile, some text… Would anyone really notice if you were to swap out the photo of the car and the manufacturer ID? However, Volkswagen’s ad for their parking assist was different:Volkswagen ad

This Volkswagen ad doesn’t even show the product! Rather, it addresses a feature (Park Assist), implies the benefit (making parallel parking safe and easy), and is emotional (humorous).

Okay, your turn. Much home builder advertising seems almost “templated,” focused on a beautiful photo of the home (exterior or interior), informative text meant to differentiate, and company identification. The beauty photo might attract attention, but is the ad memorable and engaging?

Alternatively consider:

Main visual: Worried, wide-eyed 8-year old. Headline: “Mom, have you seen my _____?”  Secondary visual: The lockers/cubbies in the rear foyer of your home. Secondary Rear foyer bench, cubbiestext: Cubbies/lockers provide organization, helping get everyone out the door on time in the morning.

Main visual: Woman wrapped in towel, smiling, standing in entry to door-less walk-in shower, holding squeegee. Headline: No door to clean! Secondary visual: Bathroom layout illustrating walk-in shower. Secondary text: Giving you back a little more time.

Main visual: Baby napping. Headline: Another reason to chose the “Serenity Package.” Secondary text: Peace and quiet is a beautiful thing. You’ll never regret opting for the Serenity Package with (highlight a few of the product upgrades included, such as quiet appliances, bath fans, garage door opener, etc.).

Main visual: Adorable, muddy dog staring up at you. Secondary visual: Your home’s optional pet center. Text: Appreciating everyone in your household.

Each of the above examples delivers on one of home buyer’s most-desired benefits – reducing stress. While most builders touting “quality-built,” “industry-leader,” and “customer-focused,” are essentially wasting their advertising dollars (what builder doesn’t say those things?). Ads focused on the concepts and benefits customers seek, without the overused exterior/interior beauty photos are emotional, engaging, and drive decision making!

In addition to innovative home plans, Design Basics can help you develop compelling ads that work. Let’s talk!

What Does Green Mean For You?

As a Nation, We Can Do Better

building green headerAccording to the U.S. EPA, the average home creates more pollution than the average automobile. It’s not surprising there is increasing interest in building environmentally responsible homes, and today it is possible to build “green” without sacrificing aesthetics or livability.

Following is a brief introduction to various aspects of building an environmentally-friendly home and links to helpful articles. Currently, there are several green building initiatives, but it appears consolidation is happening around the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Program. For more information, visit www.NahbGreen.org.

Reduced Energy Consumption

Perhaps the largest environmental impact is achieved by choosing to build an energy-efficient home. Better insulation, windows and doors can help you create a “tighter” home, reducing air leakage in and out of your home. Similarly, energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling equipment, water heating and appliances can significantly cut energy use. By building your home highly energy efficient, you can help conserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides) by thousands of pounds per year.

Homes designed with windows on two sides of rooms increase natural light levels and can reduce the need to turn lights on. Opening those windows ushers in natural cross ventilation, lowering dependence on air conditioning. Large covered porches provide relaxation and considerable shading, too.

Reducing energy consumption may also be one of your best performing investments. Often, spending a few dollars more per month in a tax-deductible mortgage payment can be more than offset by lower utility bills. And as energy costs continue to rise, your future savings will be even greater.

Resource-Efficient Product Choices

Choosing to build a home with engineered wood (e.g., I-joist floors, trusses, etc.) from managed forests instead of traditional lumber saves old-growth forests from being harvested. More durable products, such as siding and roofing backed by a 50-year warranty are also environmentally responsible, as they won’t end up in the landfill nearly as quickly as their traditional counterparts. Paying attention to product content is another important factor. Carpeting made from recycled plastic water/soda bottles is one example.

Homes can be designed around standard building material sizes to maximize efficiency. Carpeting often comes in 15’-wide rolls, so designing a family room to be 15’-6” wide means seaming two pieces of carpet together and often generates waste. Streamlined structural systems require fewer steel beams, structural headers, etc.

Water Conservation

A water-saving dishwasher can reduce water consumption enough to provide all of a household’s drinking water. Some clothes washers save enough hot water to accommodate your bathing needs. Water-efficient toilets and showerheads will make a big difference and “home-run”-type plumbing systems can deliver hot water faster, helping you avoid wasting gallons of water waiting for the shower to “warm up.” Another important consideration is landscaping. Choosing native and drought-resistant grasses and plantings can minimize water used for lawn irrigation.

Minimizing the negative impact homes have on the environment is critical. While home plans themselves are not necessarily ‘Green’, simple choices in the home’s design and selection of environment-friendly home products can make a huge, positive impact.

RESOURCES

building green page

Building Green

Green building can improve indoor air quality, an issue of particular concern to women because of its link to asthma and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in children as well as heart and lung problems, headaches, and blurred vision.

Read the article…

building green page

Life at Home
The Paybacks of Energy Efficiency

Totaling up the costs of building a new home can be intimidating. For most of us, it’s one of the most expensive things we will do in our lifetime. Consequently, it’s often necessary to scale back some dreams and make compromises along the way. But one of the places it’s important not to cut corners is energy efficiency.

Read the article

More Articles on Aspects of Green Home Building

tame your utilities

Tame Your Utilities

When you’re thinking about building a new home, the location of the plumbing, heating, and cooling systems probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second. But if easier maintenance, greater comfort, and lower energy bills sound appealing.

It’s worth giving some thought to where these systems go and how you’ll gain access to them.

Read the Article

silence is golden article

Silence is Golden

Your home is a factory. It has all the equipment and processes of almost any factory: fans, blowers, pumps, cleaning and laundering, waste disposal, heating and cooling, refrigeration, even accounting.

Unlike a factory, your home should also be designed to provide a calm, livable environment – one that maximizes comfort and minimizes intrusions, both from the outside world and from within the home.

Read the Article

breathe easier article

Plan Now to Breathe Easier Later

If you’re like most who plan to build a new home, you probably have specific ideas of what you’re looking for in an elevation, floor plan, amenities and even color schemes. But have you considered choices you can make now to ensure healthier air quality in your future home?

Read the Article

Resources

National Association of Home Builders National – https://www.nahb.org/

American Lung Association – Health House

Developer Services

Developer Services

Have you taken advantage of our many services we offer for developers? If not, now is the time to check it out!

Home Design

  • We offer over 2500 plans in our library!
  • Multi-elevation plan sets — a core plan with different elevation styles saves time and money.
  • Custom home design.
  • Plan alterations.
  • Promotional artwork — market the plan before purchasing the full construction set.

Marketing Materials

  • Streetscapes
  • Plat maps
  • Community logos
  • Community signage
  • Amenities artwork
  • Billboards
  • Lot Markers

Builder Programs

  • Builder-Centric℠ Preferred Builder Program — receive discounts and materials to help you sell more homes.
  • Woman-Centric Matters!® Builder Program — recognizing the importance of women’s preferences in the home.

Learn more with our Developer Services program, and contact us today!

Cooking without Grease Odor

Cooking without Grease Odor

From the company that pioneered mixing cutting edge design with innovative range hood technology, comes a new idea in stress-free cooking. Elica’s NikolaTesla induction cooktop is designed to make cooking and clean-up a hassle-free process. Elica incorporated the standard, highly desirable qualities of an induction cooktop such as rapid boil and easy cleaning, and took it one step farther by integrating a fully functional range hood into the cooktop itself. The central fan replaces the typical range hood and gathers grease and odors without compromising design. It also has a built-in double bridge function that combines two adjacent cooking zones to adjust for large pots. A 10-speed touch pad control system allows you to easily control the fan, so all you have to worry about is answering the doorbell!

Learn more about Elica NikolaTelsa induction cooktop, and other Elica products.

(Note: Product spotlights are for informational purposes only; we do not formally endorse any product or service.)

 

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