For years, the kitchen and great room have fought for prominence in the minds of house hunters, designers, and home builders. But when 2013 came around both spaces are pulling their punches.
New home construction is shifting away from the once-ubiquitous great room design. And that shift can make it a challenge to update or show a home that was originally focused around a large, open living space, says some realtors.
The downside to the great room house has always been that you walk right into the living space.The idea is to remake this room bt show homeowners "how to create a sense of entry." Some techniques for this include expanding the entry space vertically and creating a more classic foyer to better welcome visitors. Budget a problem? A rug, small table, and wall mirror can serve as an entryway focal point.
Besides often being an abrupt welcome to the house, great rooms tend to act as a centrifuge for all items associated with living. There is a desire among home owners to reduce this tendency. "They want to eliminate all that clutter," she says. "They just want to clean up their lives and simplify everything." Builders and designers are trying to meet those needs by integrating so-called "drop zones" into entryway design. They're adding nooks and tucking away storage where home owners can stow keys, mail, and all the other items that so easily fill up the living space when owners come home for the day.
Even in a small corner of a listing, you could put this idea to action. When staging the entryway space, use a small table with a drawer, a mail organizer, key hooks, and a charging station.
Still, not everything can be left in the drop zone. Instead of allowing the great room to become a place for everything, designers are trying to put each thing in its place. They're carving out small spaces such as homework nooks for kids, food prep stations in the pantry, and other spots that allow a delineated area for common household activities. Implementing these ideas can help break up a great room considerably .
Special Design Touches
Take it to the Kitchen, some ideas in your home staging and achieve a look of integrated spaces without extensive cost of remodeling. Use some common finishes across several rooms can help tie everything together. Use softer colors, like greys, beiges, a metal blacksplash or stains that match furniture to create a transitional space. But perhaps the most universally agreed upon change for 2013 kitchens is in the heart of the heart of the home: the kitchen island. Center island shapes are gaining variety, from retro, kidney-shaped workspaces to triangles that gesture toward other centers of activity. And material choices are opening up too, with new laminate options, solid stone, stained concreteand recycled items gracing work surfaces. What's out of fashion? Elevated bars that are trying to hide a sink. Sinks are beautifully today and have complete work surface while getting food ready. "You can't work at an elevated bar." The result: kitchen islands everywhere are flattening out. Many choices are trending everywhere from Pinterest to Restoration Hardware, to Pottery Barn. Meanwhile, builders are responding to universal design by differentiating countertop heights to accommodate all and offering many natural products.
A few gallons of paint can go a long way in making a home more chic—and the cost can't be beat. Covering a 12-by-12-foot room with two coats will cost you about $50 to $100, including supplies. A home's interior painted in a pale yellow, or even beige, gives possible buyers an idea what the can do with the space. Reserve darker or trendier colors for accent walls or to highlight details such as a fireplace or an arched doorway. Common color picks for accent walls are dark red, green (not lime green, though), or a stone gray. Or instead of introducing a new color, use the paint in the rest of the room as a guide, choosing a color that's three shades darker. .
Don't forget the Outside