Finding the right house is
just the beginning. Tune into
what’s trending in design and
architecture so that you can
help sellers set the stage and
buyers transform the house
into their perfect home.
Be a “home maker.”
Carve Out A Truly Great Space . . . . . p. 22
Hot Color Palettes................... p. 24
Suite Interiors ...................... p. 24
Take It Outside. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 25
Cheap Home Remedies . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 26
22 REALTOR® MAY/JUNE 2013
By Meg White
Carve Out A Truly Great Space
After years of filling overwhelming great rooms and domineering
kitchens, designers are viewing the heart of the home in a more holistic
way. Make way for “lifestyle spaces” that are in better sync with how
people live today. Here’s how to make your listings fit right in.
For years, the kitchen and great room have fought for prominence in the minds of house hunters,
designers, and home builders. But 2013 is the year when 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 Heather McCune, director of marketing for the Newport Beach,
Calif.–based architecture firm Bassenian Lagoni.
“The downside to the great room house has always been that you walk right into the living
space,” says McCune. Her company is on a mission, she says, to remake the great room by helping owners figure out “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. Not in
your sellers’ budget? A rug, small table, and wall mirror can serve as an entryway focal point.
Shutting Down Clutter Central
Besides often being an abrupt welcome to the house, great rooms tend to act as a centrifuge for
all items associated with living. Lita Dirks, founder and owner of Denver-based design firm Lita
Dirks & Co., says she sees a growing 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 occupants
come home for the day. “A drop zone is a requirement in every one of our designs,” says Mark
Patterson, co-owner of PATCO Construction in Sanford, Maine.
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. McCune says these “lifestyle spaces”
help home owners break up larger great rooms into usable, well-defined areas.
Images by Cynthia Howe ©2013
See Space on page 25
Kitchens: The Heart of the Living Triangle
There’s nothing like an impressive kitchen to help sell a house. Jerry Gloss, senior partner of KGA
Studio Architects in Louisville, Colo., says his company’s designs integrate concentric circles of