Updated: Friday, 14 Sep 2012, 4:17 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 14 Sep 2012, 4:17 PM EDT
Grand Rapids, Mch. (WOTV) - What have we learned about home remodeling during this most recent tough economic times? Value and need – not extravagant and excessive – is what families are now looking for. While it may seem like a downgrade from the lavish lifestyles of the mid 2000’s, it really is forcing everyone to reassess what is necessary and what is not. Here are some examples of this reassessment of value and need in home remodeling.
Think about where you enter and exit your home; probably through the garage, right? So wouldn’t a Mud Room/Drop Zone be awesome for keeping things organized and less cluttered? It will give your family a clear separation of inside and outside. AND keep dirt and mud from being tracked into the rest of the house. It could contain built in cubbies or colorful baskets for mail, cell phones, or school bags, hooks for backpacks and storage lockers for all that sports equipment. Benches are a must as is an easy clean floor such as tile or vinyl. That should help when getting ready for school or heading out to the game.
I grew up in homes with a formal living room – usually a room we weren’t allowed in except on holidays. Many homeowners today just say it’s just wasted space. The value and need response is to create an open family room. Typically this space is a combination of kitchen, relaxing and eating spaces. Each space can be defined with furniture, lighting or half walls. Décor is usually casual and informal while still having clearly defined spaces for reading, watching TV or family interaction. This open space also has a positive effect on using less heat or A/C.
While I didn’t grow up with a Jacuzzi or soaking tub, they used to be all the rage. (I think they were really more for show than use!) Today the value and need is all about a larger, more functional shower. Beautifully decorated ceramic showers with full size clear glass doors, benches, rain shower heads, multiple body jets or even steam showers – justified by their therapeutic value – are increasingly popular. Walk in showers – with or without doors – are both practical and luxurious. They create a universal design allowing homeowners to continue to use the shower as they get older and their mobility might become limited. To really kick YOUR shower up a notch or two, add thermostatic, programmable shower technology, chromatherapy lights and music. And believe it or not, you can still be eco-minded and conserve water by choosing the right products!
With all the ways of staying in touch – cell phones, Ipads, computers – it’s not uncommon to have a Command Central Station somewhere in your home. Typically this will be close to the kitchen or family room so parents can keep an eye on the kids internet use and make sure they’re doing their homework. It’s a great place for parents to work as well so they can stay connected to what’s going on in the family room. Enough outlets for all your communication devices are crucial in this space. Even though so much of this space revolves around mobile devices, always leave room for a bulletin board to post notes, grade A papers and favorite artwork. Combining a variety of functions to this area will reduce the need for a separate, formal office, too.
Today’s homeowners now consider “the back yard” as an extension of their home. Sliding or French Doors to access the outdoor living space is a must. Beautiful patios or decks make the house feel larger and can ease the crowd that always congregates in the family room or kitchen. Swimming pools, fire pits, grills/outdoor kitchens and dedicated play areas are increasingly popular, while adding tremendous value to your home. Pick a fun color to decorate and accent with and showcase it with pillows and cushions, outdoor area rugs, flowers and hanging baskets, wicker or colorful plastic chairs and finally with awnings or an umbrella for shade
Have fun, be bold. Remember this is 4 you.