We’re rounding up ideas for custom home (or renovations) “must-haves” by Atlanta homeowners! As I have posted before I hear a lot of great ideas from friends, neighbors, and clients about what they have learned from their experience in building or renovating.
Some ideas come up during every discussion. Lots of deep drawers in the kitchen, for example, are easier to access and keep organized that traditional cabinets. So if I list a repeat here, it’s because it’s still a great idea that people keep talking about.
Whole home systems:
Whole home water and air filtration systems can protect your home from environmental pollution and allergens. With Atlanta’s mild climate, seasonal allergies can be more like year-round allergies and an integrated air filtration system can go a long way in easing allergy symptoms. A water filtration system helps filter unwanted chemicals out of water used for drinking and bathing and can address issues with hard water.
Homeowners continue to love whole home central vac systems, especially with kitchen kick plate openings to make clean ups quick and easy. Whole home automated generators are being talked about on almost every site I follow and the Nextdoor apps due to all of the storms recently its a key feature (and convenient) that everyone who doesn’t have one thinks about and those of us that have them thank our lucky stars every time the power goes out, which seems more and more often in Buckhead and Vinings with all of our large mature trees.
In the kitchen:
Appliances with professional features continue to be a popular choice. Homeowners love the quality and functionality of smart refrigerators, convection or steam ovens, and powerful cook tops. Back when Pirch was still in business I loved to see the demos of all of these fabulous new appliances and dream about upgrading my kitchen. The expensive ones that I know I’ll never be able to justify are the built in Cappuccino makers and the wine dispensers that allow you have a fresh glass of wine and not have to finish the whole bottle. The more attainable upgrades are the steam ovens. Miele was my favorite, but my clients still prefer the Wolfe professional ranges it seems. Steam has also been a hot (get it hot) topic with washers as well. With messy boys the boy Mom’s I know are always looking for new and creative ways to remove stains.
A pot filler was another great idea. Get one plumbed in at the stove during construction and you’ll never have to lug a huge pot of water from the sink to the stove again. Pasta night (or a shrimp boil) just got a lot easier! I always crack up at this one as you still have to lug the pot to the sink to empty and wash it. But from my clients I’ve heard they just like the look of them as well.
Separate drink stations or refrigerators have come up every time I’ve had this conversation for years. But a new twist on that idea is a full refrigerator in the pantry, great not only for the kid’s drinks, but as extra space for parties and holiday meals. Those of that have been using the “beer” fridges in the garage for years love the idea of having it built right in.
Careful planning for electrical outlets and USB outlets is important as technology becomes more and more a part of our lives. Many of our homes revolve around the kitchen but thinking about placement of USB outlets in the home office is important too; no more crawling under the desk to find a plug for your devices when they are planned at desk level!
Bed and Bath:
A new trend seems to be in planning ahead for one-floor living. Dual master suites, one on the main floor and the other upstairs with family bedrooms allows for parents to be close to children at night during younger years with a guest suit on the main floor, and then the option to move down to one floor living in the future. This also works well for families who have grandparents visiting frequently, giving them privacy and space without having to deal with stairs.
Several people also talk about dual laundry rooms if space permits. Depending on your needs, a main laundry room on the bedroom floor and a smaller stackable laundry unit on the main floor or in the master closet can be really practical.
Although soaker tubs are still popular, people are putting a lot more thought into their showers. From multiple shower heads, steam showers, custom sound and lighting and amazing tile finishes, showers are getting the attention they deserve.
One great tip is a heated bench seat in the shower. Think about how great those heated floors are, but for your tush! One person even mentioned a built in coffee mug or wine glass holder. Talk about taking a long shower!
We’re always looking for ways to maximize our space and a lot of people are planning pocket doors into their homes during construction for that reason. Pocket doors are one of the single best space savers in a floor plan! Thinking through these subtle, harder to alter details during construction can really help with long term satisfaction. It just takes a little extra planning!
Indoor/ outdoor living:
Atlantans love their decks and porches! We like to practically live outdoors during nice weather but there are a couple of tips that can really extend the outdoor enjoyment. Screening in porches (or at least part of your porch) creates a bug-free outdoor space that’s great for dining, a kid’s hangout, or a spot for coffee in the morning. Adding ceiling fans or wall mounted oscillating fans to a porch keeps you cooler and keeps bugs away!
Having either a mudroom or a bathroom that is accessible to the outdoors is a must-have for many moms. Having a place to clean up kids who are muddy from soccer practice, organize backpacks, or clean up dirty paws helps keep the rest of the house cleaner. Speaking of muddy paws, a dog shower in the mud area or garage keeps Fido out of your tub or shower too.
Garages should not be an afterthought! Measuring the depth of your parking spaces and the width of you door can save you so many headaches in the future. Believe me, you don’t want to find out you can’t fit your car into your garage space after construction is complete!
Planning electrical outlets and lighting in a garage are important too. We use our garages for so many things besides parking and having enough lighting is key. No one wants to search through ski equipment or lacrosse gear with a flashlight in one hand. And with electric cars becoming so popular, consider adding a high voltage outlet to charge your car.
And one last tip for your outdoor space: add faucets and hose bibs to every side of your home. Keeping a long hose under control while you drag it around your house to hose off porches or walkways is a workout. Avoid that hassle by adding shorter hoses (and their plumbing) to all sides of your home.
So, what would you add to this roundup? Any great tips or lessons learned during construction? Check out the link from the previous list as well.