ICI Homes customers have spoken, and they have done so by their design choices and preferences. Their decisions allow us to deliver a straight-from-the-source inventory of the most popular housing features while knowing timely trends makes planning your new home easier. Below are the 10 most requested modifications from ICI Homes customers. Use their brainstorming genius to help fuel yours!
Large, Open Kitchens
A large open kitchen doesn’t mean only large enough to open the refrigerator without banging into the dishwasher. It means large enough to cook and clean up in, with plenty of counter space and storage. Our customers say that gas cook tops, designer cabinets, wine closets, double ovens and large islands with an eat-in component are tops among kitchen upgrades.
Larger Owners Bathrooms
Gone are bathrooms that feel like shoehorned afterthoughts. Whether it’s a linen closet roomy enough to contain every household towel, or a shower expanded to accommodate a custom teak bench, new-home buyers want their owners bathrooms to be livable spaces rather than necessary caves.
Spacious Storage and Utility Rooms
Who wants to fold laundry in the garage? No one does. New-home buyers prefer to do utilitarian chores in spaces as thoughtfully designed and decorated as other rooms, not atop a washer and dryer stuck in the most unobtrusive place. Today’s utility rooms also pack a powerful storage punch, especially in Florida, where an active lifestyle often demands a hard-working cleanup area. Sinks, hand showers and pet-care areas all are popular utility-room components.
With a climate that encourages year-round outdoor living, Florida homeowners spend time on porches and patios, and in fresh-air kitchens. Pools, fireplaces and indoor-outdoor furnishings take the entertaining outside all year long.
No Formal Dining Area
It’s a design trend gone south (not literally)! Many Floridians embrace a casual lifestyle that no longer includes formal sit-down dinners. Instead, those occasions occur at an all-purpose table near the kitchen, at a spacious island or spread out on the porch picnic table. The former formal dining-room spaces live on, however, as home offices, thanks to the growing trend of work-at-home and telecommuting jobs.
Bonus rooms are exactly that — an extra room that a family can be outfit according to whim or plan and most range from 400-500 square feet and are configured as family game rooms or home theaters. Tack on a full bathroom and a wet bar, and you add an on-demand guest room in the same space. Just remind guests that those framed movie posters and sports bobble heads are off-limits.
This is a growing trend among home buyers who want to care for aging parents or give young-adult children a backstop before they launch into the world. Planning is paramount, so that floor plans can be tweaked to incorporate private living areas — usually on a ground floor.
It’s no longer dead space where the only thing happening is the front door opening or closing. Savvy new-home buyers are using that area as an attractive-yet-functional corral. Foyers are a spot where backpacks, keys, coats or bags can be dropped in decorative baskets or hung on pegs.
Rather than accept boring white paint and lonely light fixtures, adventurous homeowners and their designers are treating ceilings as blank canvases. Hand-painted murals, wallpaper and molding and trim are only a few decorative touches used to create custom artwork overhead.
You’re thinking, “how basic.” But an aesthetically pleasing exterior is always in style. Old-World Spanish, hybrid traditional and contemporary are home buyers’ top three exterior looks. Choosing one depends on taste and lifestyle. The Old-World Spanish choice nods to Florida’s history and tropical climate. Stucco facing, roof tiles and warm, earthy colors are its hallmarks. Excessive ornamentation is a no-no. Typical layouts include courtyards, fountains and small gardens, all of which extend living space.
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