1. Metal Corbels and Handrails
Want to give your home a stylish accent that will separate your home from your neighbors? Erica says adding metal corbels and handrails are the latest spot where homeowners can get creative and show off their personal style. “This look is nostalgic,” she says. “I’m seeing a lot of people do this in wild shapes, and for this home, we added corbels and railings that give the home more of a cottage feel.” Erica and Austin are also adding metal accents to the brackets that hold up the front awning.
2. A Friend’s Porch
If you haven’t heard of a friend’s porch, you’re not alone. Austin says this is a newer feature homeowners are gravitating toward, but it’s functionality depends on your home’s lot. Since the Dream Home is on a corner lot, Austin thought it was a great opportunity to add this side-entry porch. “It takes you into the mudroom without going into the garage,” he says. “It is a more inviting entrance that works great on corner lots. It’s an element you see in more Southern homes, but we’re giving this house several Southern-styled accents, so it felt right.”
3. Coffee Bars
Austin and Erica are both seeing more homeowners embrace adding a designated coffee bar to their kitchen or living space. In this year’s Dream Home, Bosch donated all the appliances that are being installed in the coffee bar, which Erica is actually building into the home’s beverage station. “The coffee bar will be fully integrated,” she says. “The first step for building a coffee bar or beverage station is to take inventory of the appliances you use.” You need to measure the height of your coffee maker, grinder, syrup bottles… whatever it is you use to make sure all your supplies have a new home in the coffee bar.
4. Zero-Step Entry
Zero-step entries are the kind of feature you immediately fall in love with if… you’re struggling with a stroller, trying to move furniture or heavy objects into your home or are navigating a wheelchair or walker. Even if you’re simply walking into the house with your arms full of groceries, not having to navigate steps can be a real ankle saver. “This feature is universally appealing whether you’re 3 years old or 103,” Austin says. “I’m incorporating this design into more of my homes, but it really hit the market as a way to make homes more accessible to those with mobility needs.” Traditionally, most homes have one or two steps from the garage into the house. Austin says that’s because your home’s framing usually sits on your foundation. With the zero-step entry, there are no steps. “It takes more forethought and a little more work, but it’s worth it,” Austin says.