The Perfect Inspiration Home: 7 Essential Ideas to Bring to Life
If open, flowing floor plans tug on your heartstrings and spacious attached garages have you mapping out the perfect configuration of car-motorcycle-workbench, you’re not alone. Tennis courts and grand entryways aren’t the touches modern homeowners swoon over. Human-sized houses are in demand and the option to build a custom home can make your dream home a reality. From kitchen to the master bedroom, here are seven must-have features to bring your perfect inspiration home to life:
- Kitchen Island
A center island may be the best thing you can do for your kitchen.The Swiss Army Knife of kitchen features, there’s a reason center islands secure a spot on so many homebuyers’ “must-have” lists. Islands extend countertops and open up cabinet space, two factors that carry significant weight in kitchen design. Kitchen islands and peninsulas are extremely customizable, housing drawers or cupboards, shelves, and even sinks. Cupboards can be designed to be accessible from both sides and electrical outlets make room for countertop appliances. From dishwashers to refrigeration drawers and wine chillers, the amenities of a center island are as practical or luxurious as you want them to be.
With an added bonus of seating, islands create a versatile space that is often in constant metamorphosis: breakfast nooks give way to homework desks and a cocktail hour lounge doubles as a buffet during for your housewarming party. Though nothing makes a statement like a built-in kitchen island, mobile versions add variability in location and the possibility of becoming a continuous extension of a countertop. Center islands can be a different material or color than kitchen cabinets and countertops, adding tasteful contrast.
- Walk-in Pantry
Having too much storage space is rarely a concern, especially in the kitchen. The customizability of walk-in pantries rivals that of kitchen islands. Ample shelving means you can find food easily without having to dig through cupboards and a unique combination of drawers, cupboards, and hooks keep your specific kitchen organized. If you’re worried about kitchen storage space, always spring for the walk-in pantry; it’s a hyper-efficient way to utilize a small amount of space.
- Luxurious Master Bath
No dream home daydream is complete without a master bathroom that could pass as a spa. Get the feel with an extra-large tiled shower equipped with dual water-conserving shower-heads, frameless glass doors, and a separate soaking tub. Tile countertops surrounding his-and-her porcelain sinks can be accented by a matching backsplash and full-width mirrors. Secure finishing touches with a separate toilet suite.
- Comfortable Outdoor Spaces
There’s nothing quite like entertaining in a home’s outdoor spaces and with a few special touches, your dream patio will steal the show. Create a space to lounge with plush outdoor furniture like a sectional sofa dressed with throw pillows. An outdoor fireplace warms cool nights and makes the outdoor space feel inviting long after the stars come out. Energy-efficient folding doors make your dream patio feel like a seamless extension of the interior’s open floor plan. Covered patios protect outdoor furniture from sun and rain and create a comfortable space on even the hottest days.
- Walk-in Closets
Mondays are a bit less painful when your outfit choices are on display in a custom walk-in closet. Multiple walls of hanging space, dresser drawers, shelves, and shoe racks keep your wardrobe organized and create that forever sought-after storage space. Take it to the next level by creating a dressing room. A vintage vanity and plush stool will make your space feel royal.
- Energy Efficient Appliances & Fixtures
A home’s energy-efficiency is determined by a combination of factors that work together to create an wholly energy-conscious home. By choosing appliances that conserve water and energy, you’ll create an inspiration home that reduces both your utility bills and your carbon footprint, and may qualify for tax credits through energy.gov.
- Energy-efficient tankless water heaters heat water with copper heat exchangers that use 40% less energy than traditional water-heater tanks. They’re extremely effective in heating water as it’s needed—meaning energy isn’t wasted on keeping a water tank warm when hot water isn’t needed, and you won’t run out when it is.
- Heat recovery ventilation systems work with furnaces and air conditioners to pretreat air coming into your home so your main heating and cooling systems don’t have to expend as much energy to heat or cool inside air once the pretreated air reaches the air conditioner or furnace.
- High-efficiency gas furnaces keep 95-97.3% of heat generation in-home and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas a home emits into the atmosphere. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) measures a furnace’s efficiency in converting gas to heat energy. Look for furnaces with a high ratings–they’re the most efficient.
- Energy-efficient air conditioners use improved technology at every stage to use less energy than conventional air conditioners.
- Water-conserving faucets save an average family 700 gallons of water every year. Look for the WaterSense label when picking out a faucet for that porcelain sink in your luxury master bath. WaterSense certified faucets reduce water flow by 30% or more than conventional faucets helping you conserve water, as well as the energy it takes to heat hot water.
- No-Fuss Landscaping
A stunning landscape is the perfect pairing to your patio oasis, but a full-time gardener may not be in the budget. Low-maintenance landscaping gives you more time to enjoy your kitchen island and master bath and will keep the view from your energy-efficient picture windows pristine.
Thirty-percent of a home’s overall water consumption is used outdoors. Connecting your sprinkler system to an intelligent irrigation sensor will automatically prevent overwatering by shutting your system off when the sensor detects rain. Water-smart landscape designs utilize plants that are well-suited to the local climate.
For low-maintenance landscapes, use native plants abundantly and turf grass sparingly; not only does green lawn suck up the highest percentage of irrigation in lawns nationwide, it requires maintenance through fertilizer, aeration, and mowing. Swap a traditional lawn in favor of native grasses that thrive on the amount of moisture, sunlight, or draught typical to your climate. Sickly plants probably aren’t part of your low-maintenance landscape fantasy so avoid disappointment by avoiding plants labeled as being susceptible to disease, hard to establish, or needing frequent attention.