The Top 10 “Must Have” Features In Today’s Homes

In an article just released, according to Market Watch, consumer experts told audiences at the Las Vegas Home Builders Show that homeowners here in the U.S want smaller homes and are more than willing to downsize from the McMansions of the past few years.  Today buyers are ready to be authentic – realizing how their families really live. Because of the uncertain times in this country staying home and nesting has become a booming business.  It’s important to find a sense of order from the chaos of the past years – and look to our homes to provide us with a sense of comfort, calm and contentment.  A more casual approach to family living, entertaining and gathering is ranking high these days. Here are the top 5 “Must-Have” features in both new and improved homes. 1. Large Kitchens, With an Island. The kitchen is the heart of the home and takes on several roles throughout the course of the day.  People love islands – it’s where we prepare meals, our families gather, homework is shared, emails are answered and our work is done.  Kitchen islands provide the perfect surface for all these tasks and more.  If you have the space, include an island in your kitchen plans.  A great kitchen should yield a return on investment between 75 – 100%. 2. Energy Efficient Appliances, Insulation and Windows. People want greener homes and product manufacturers are making it easier than ever for us to incorporate eco friendly materials appliances and windows into our lives. Whether your appliances need to be replaced or you’re purchasing for your new and improved home, Energy Star appliances lead the way.  Double and triple pane windows in all shapes and sizes immediately save you money on heating and cooling costs throughout the year. 3. Home Office/Studies. Homeowners are spending more time working from home, and with the homepreneur trend growing people are opting for an extra space dedicated solely to operating their home-based business. It seems that many folks would rather have a home office allocated and are willing to sacrifice a formal dining room if need be. 4. Main Floor Master Suite. Access to the main floor is gaining in popularity.  Empty nesters and others, who no longer want to tackle stairs, prefer to have the master bedroom and bath retreat on the main floor level of the home.  Immediate access to a gorgeous deck or patio outdoors also creates added living space and provides a quaint corner for morning coffee. 5. Outdoor Living Space. People want to spend more time outside and need a peaceful oasis to unwind. Outdoor living spaces naturally transition the interior to the exterior – instantly expanding your living space.  Growing in popularity are wood-burning fireplaces, casual seating areas, hot tubs and outdoor kitchens – all of which add to the “vacation home” atmosphere – and it’s all in your back yard. The remaining 5 “Must Haves” to incorporate into your home are: 6. Ceiling fans 7. Master suite soaker tubs 8. Stone/brick exteriors 9. Community landscaping 10. Two car garages I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc