Some Builders Are Focusing On Women
A half century ago home builders often focused their products on the traditional stereotypical nuclear family: a married couple with 2.5 children. Now, some builders are focusing on women. As they should, because as Gil South staff writer at INMAN points out “… women directly purchase new homes or have a controlling influence on 91 percent of all sales.”
Yet the male perspective is reflected in the design of most houses because most architects, engineers and homebuilders are male.
With 15 percent of recent home buyers reported to be single females (compared with 9 percent single males) according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, homebuilders may want to try harder to appeal to women.
One firm in Omaha, Design Basics, did some research — including an online digital poll with 4,000 customers — and found that women’s preferences in home design were providing new solutions and opportunities for innovative, functional and modern living spaces.
Design Basics has shared ten design ideas it created after conducting its research talking to women.
- Tubless main bedroom suite. So long as there is a tub elsewhere in the home, the preference is for over-sized showers and no bathtub in the main bath. I’ve often wondered if the tub should go.
- Travel center. No more packing the suitcase on your clean bedspread. No more trying to remember where you stashed the suitcase. The travel center addresses all of these issues.
- Work-in pantry. Large, work-in pantries provide storage space as well as space for food preparation and typically include a sink and dishwasher.
- Chill ‘n’ grill. For people who love to barbecue but don’t want a full outdoor kitchen, the “chill ‘n’ grill” station is typically located just inside the door that leads out to the grilling area. It has an under-counter refrigerator, prep counter and storage for seasonings and grilling utensils.
- Rear foyer. The door leading in from the garage is used much more than the front door. The rear foyer entry deserves as much attention as the front entry foyer. And it is not a laundry room.
- Drop zone. An amenity found in the rear foyer that liberates the kitchen from clutter. When people arrive home, it is somewhere for the keys, mail, personal electronics and homework. One house I saw recently had individual wall mounted boxes for each member of the family.
- Shipping vestibule. The shipping vestibule offers a discreet area to place incoming or outgoing packages so that your schedule is not dependent on your shipping company.
- Laundry connection to main bedroom. What could be more convenient than grabbing clothes straight out of the dryer and hanging them in your closet with just a couple of steps in between?
- Pet center. Planning a new home to better address the realities of pet ownership — from kennels to feeding, washing and specialized storage — makes the home more livable and enjoyable for everyone.
- Pocket office. A pocket office is an infrequently used space for finishing work brought home. It is an area considerably smaller than a traditional den or home office, yet with all of the amenities and privacy needed to get work done efficiently.
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