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Connie Maynord recalls the “nightmare” experience of building a house and having to walk through a brickyard to select her new home’s exterior.
“They had all the red bricks in a pile,” she said.
Next came trips across town to other vendors, “the cabinet person, the tile person. You had to run everywhere,” said Maynord.
Thankfully, this time is different. When Maynord and her husband, Chris, decided to build a new Goodall Homes house in Hendersonville’s Millstone subdivision, they paid a visit to the company’s 2,100-square-foot Design Center Showroom.
They saw samples of completed brick and stone exterior walls, lighting, flooring, kitchen and bath fixtures and every other possible option for the design of their new home.
Design centers are the latest trend in home building. Goodall Homes
opened its facility in 2013 at 240 Great Circle Road, Suite 333 in Nashville’s MetroCenter office park.
The Jones Co.
opened its design studio in August at 91 Seaboard Lane in Cool Springs. Superior Custom Homes & Remodeling
has a design center at 7105 Moores Lane in Brentwood. Drees Homes recently opened a design center at 1651 Westgate Circle in Brentwood.
That has sparked a second trend. Because home buyers have the opportunity to work with interior designers and can see how their selections work together, they are making bolder decisions.
“Cutting-edge design choices like blue cabinets in the kitchen or custom wet bar, monochromatic chevron-patterned flooring and backsplashes, LED-lit cabinetry, waterfall countertop edges and ultra-light kitchen designs are becoming the new norm,” said Kelvey Benward, sales manager for Drees Homes
Knowing what their new home will look like gives clients the confidence to be more adventurous, said Jenn Chapman, studio manager and design consultant for The Jones Co.
“People are definitely more creative. It’s helping people make more fun choices,” she said.
That was Dana and Andrew McAllester’s experience when they became two of the first clients to visit the Drees Design Center. They are building a home in Nolensville.
“We had in our head our dream kitchen. When we walked in the door, Drees had that kitchen. We could see it all in one place,” said Dana McAllester.
During their visit, they selected upgraded granite countertops and surprised themselves by choosing brightly colored kitchen cabinets. They also customized the floor plan.
“I didn’t even know I wanted that until I saw it,” she said of their selections. “There were options I wouldn’t have even thought to ask about.”
Home buyers today are more design conscious thanks to websites like Houzz
and are willing to try new looks. The design center helps them achieve their goals, said Tammy McKinney, office manager for Superior Custom Homes.
“They see on Houzz what they want and bring it in and we can match it. Choices are very eclectic right now,” said McKinney.
For clients using the Goodall Homes Design Center Showroom, painted brick exteriors are the latest trend.
“Millennials in particular love it,” said Ashley Crews, the company’s vice president of operations.
For interior walls, neutral paint colors are still popular, but with a twist.
“Gray is the new tan,” she said.
At the Goodall Homes Design Center Showroom, Maynord surprised herself by selecting a large, single sink for the kitchen instead of a more traditional divided, double sink. Her new home will have a covered deck, a dishwasher with a stainless interior, arched interior doors and extra windows in the living room.
“I got to see what the house will look like,” she said. “It’s all there for you to pick, and the design center is gorgeous.”