Ideal Home Design 101, Part 1

March 5, 2012

Ask someone to describe a new home, and she might say something about three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, a garage and a yard. That's a very basic description. But what goes into making sure those three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms and all the other rooms in a new home come together in a way that delivers good design, good function and good energy? Kent Dahl, Ideal Home's Director of Estimating and Design, shares his experience on the thought process that goes into every Ideal Home floor plan in this first of a two-part series, Ideal Home Design 101. Kent has lived in several Ideal homes across the Oklahoma City metro over the last few years, so his answers reflect both a professional and personal touch. Question: What makes Ideal's floor plans & home designs different from other Oklahoma home builders? Kent: Ideal Homes places high emphasis on design and functionality. While Ideal Homes tries to stay up-to-date on the latest design trends, we continually ask ourselves how this home is going to perform for the family living in it. For a single mother raising two kids and balancing a full-time job, we have to make sure the layout will make her life easier by providing open computer nooks so she can easily keep an eye on her children, mudrooms and drop zones where she can keep her kids' backpacks and school supplies ready for the next day, and a relaxing master suite where she can unwind at the end of the day. To top it all off, the floor plan must provide superior energy efficiency to ensure her monetary resources are going toward family needs and not high heating and cooling bills. Question: What design trends are popular right now? Kent: As far as layout goes, open floor plans with mudrooms, drop zones and kitchens that open to dining and living rooms are popular. On the outside, Ideal's home designs offering multiple textures like siding, brick, columns, large covered porches and varying setbacks and plate heights receive high marks. Question: When it comes to designing Ideal's floor plans, what are the three most important elements? Kent: 1. Will the home function/flow well and meet a family's needs? 2. Will the home show well, and does it have a unique appeal? 3. Will the home be energy efficient? Question: It used to be that women were impressed by a home's kitchen and master suite. Guys got excited about the garage and the yard. Have men's and women's hot buttons changed? Kent: Ha ha! Guys will always be guys. A nice garage for a workshop and tool storage along with a nice yard always captures a guy's attention. However, more and more men are getting involved in the home design. Whether they admit it or not, guys like to be pampered every now and then, so a relaxing master suite or an elegant kitchen where they can show off their cooking skills goes a long way. You'd be surprised how many men come in with their own design ideas. This is especially true with home entertainment. Many guys want to build that perfect environment where they can hook up all their fancy electronics so their home shows well and is something they can be proud of. Women have always been great about visualizing all areas of the home including the potential of the yard and garage. They may not show as much enthusiasm as the men about those areas, but they still pay attention. They like to have a nice yard where they can plant a garden or spring flowers to enhance the curb appeal of the home. However, the kitchen and master suite still remain their top hot buttons. I don't see that changing anytime in the near future.  
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