ROSEVILLE, MINN. — Today’s new home market looks quite a bit different than it did a decade ago. The boom followed by a steep recession meant builders, like most Americans, reexamined their priorities and their processes to be able to meet the new normal. In this Fall’s Parade of Homes, you’ll be able to see the results in several ways.
Space Planning Refined
Many of the homes you’ll see on this Fall’s tour have been designed to make use of every square inch of space. You’ll see plenty of features like bonus rooms over the garage, an upstairs loft instead of a high ceiling at the foyer, and multi-purpose spaces that can become anything from a den to dining room to play room. You’ll also see really creative uses for small spaces, like a reading bench on a windowed landing or a tuck-under bookshelf beneath a staircase or kitchen island. And everywhere you look you’ll find well-designed built-ins and cabinetry that makes short shrift of storing all that family clutter.
See this trend in action:
- Parade Home #163 by Pulte in Arden Hills: a tucked away planning center keeps things neat and the bonus room adds great livable space
- Parade Home #239 by Country Joe Homes in Lakeville: a bonus room is yesterdays family room, near the bedrooms and laundry, an out of the way space keeping your Great Room “Guest Ready”
- Parade Home #201 by Country Joe Homes in Woodbury: Windows seats a perfect spot for curling up with a book and the loft offers an out of the way space for video games and scrap booking
Bringing the Indoors Out
Maximizing livable space also counts outside. You’ll see plenty of decks and porches, but you’ll also find more elaborate outdoor rooms, too. Outdoor kitchens are huge, and boast features like pizza ovens, stone counters, mini-fridges, and of course, the grill. Screen porches are also hot, especially with a wood-burning fireplace for nearly year round enjoyment.
See this trend in action at:
- Parade Home #35 by Swanson Homes in Eden Prairie: the screen porch features an outdoor rated wood-burning fireplace that also can be quickly converted to a gas fireplace
- Parade Home #76 by Homes by Tradition in Golden Valley: this, one of our Dream Homes, features a screen porch and a barbecue porch
Move over Cherry
While you’ll still find kitchens with plenty of Cherry and dark-colored wood, we’ve noticed a definite blonding this year. Look for white or crème-colored enameled cabinets, light-painted islands, and lighter countertops for a brighter, cleaner finish that goes with today’s brighter mood.
See this trend in action at:
- Parade Home #151 by Pratt Homes in Hugo, white enameled island offsets the honey-toned cabinetry and floor
- Parade Home #226 by Pulte in Apple Valley, white cabinets, blond counters and a dark island create a bright yet warm look #48 & 49 by Lennar in Medina, both feature blond birch cabinetry, an ecru enameled island and cool beige granite countertops
- Parade Home# 29 by Lennar in Chanhassen, white raised-panel cabinets with the center island in a coffee knotty alder and ivory with specks of brown and black granite countertops
- Parade Home #17 by McDonald Construction in Chaska, white cabinets and medium-gray island
Saving energy dollars pays dividends every month, and is one of the best reasons to choose a new home. Today’s construction techniques and materials, like spray-foam insulation and high-efficiency windows, just keep getting better and better. And as more homes opt to be rated (see the Energy Efficient Home Tour) and certified MN Green Path, more owners will ask to see this valuable data about their home’s efficiency.
Ask to see the HERS score and Home Performance Report at:
- Parade Home #34 by JMS Custom Homes in Eden Prairie, with a HERS score of 58
- Parade Home #102 by K. Hovnanian Homes of Minnesota in Maple Grove, with a HERS score of 55
- Parade Home #189 by McDonald Construction in Woodbury, with a HERS score of 57