TNT Partners -- It's a great day to pick up the phone and call your experienced, talented, results-oriented high-end realtor! A realtor is trained to help you in every phase of finding a home in the best neighborhoods, scouting fantastic school districts, and keeping an eye out for all the features you want in your Dream Home.
And now for some tips and opinions from the world of high-end real estate. Take it from us, the family room is what most homeowners love about a great house! It's where everyone will hang out . . . . But why is that? Let's look at the majority of new family room contruction for luxe properties today.
We Are Family! Remember how we raved last week about notable gourmet kitchen features? One of the best . . . one feature realtors love to show their clients . . . is when the kitchen flows beautifully into the family room (or great room). The family room is where everyone congregates after they've visited the kitchen . . . so go with the flow. Maximize passage from one room to another. Family, food, fun . . . keep it all moving between these two vibrant home centers.
Repeating Our Message: We can't say it enough times. . . all our clients want a great family room just off of their kitchen.
Flow, Baby! The best family rooms are open from the kitchen. Some we love have the two rooms separated by massive columns. Stand in the kitchen, look through the columns, and see the focal point of the family room. POW -- there's a spectacular fireplace! WOW -- There's a cozy entertainment or home theater seating area. Remember . . . great flow!
But don't forget to continue the flow outside, too. One exit from the family room should be large French doors leading to a stone entertainment patio . . . or a great deck . . . that also flanks the kitchen. The outdoor footprint should reflect the great flow of your indoor rooms, and both kitchen and family room should access the outdoor entertainment area.
Bye-Bye Living Room? Many times the family room is substituted for a living room in a luxe home. We're told by realtors around the country that most of our clients rarely use living rooms these days. And buyers are willing to pay a premium for distinctive, well-thought-out family room details. Rooms with distinctive purposes are winning out over traditional rooms that were seldom used. And thank goodness we're maximizing use of the whole house again!
Let There Be Light (and Dark). Important . . . family rooms in luxe homes need windows . . . lots of light! The greatest family rooms have oversized windows. But here's a handy trick we've started to see a lot of lately. Some luxe houses have installed electronic curtains for a more dramatic movie-viewing experience. Lights dim, curtains soundlessly slide shut, bowls of popcorn and trays of piping-hot hors d'oeuvres pour out of the kitchen, ice clinks on cut crystal glasses and wine pours into elegant stems at the wet bar, movie images start to roll. Pure magic!
That's the Way We Like It! Luxe properties have family rooms with soaring stone fireplaces. We like the ones that include decorative brick hearths and oversized antique wood mantels. We love to see warm construction materials abound.
High-end homeowners often crave coffered ceilings with recessed pin lighting . . . the effect creates a more formal feeling. A great alternative is a dramatic two-story ceiling with a large rustic chandelier and lots of windows. Now your family room broadcasts a fresh, casual living experience.
Speaking of Broadcasting . . . The family room is where you will find elaborate flat-panel televisions and new state-of-the-art sound systems. Home theater systems . . . yum-yum! (TNT's mailing this month focused on new technology for the home sound system . . . get on our list today!)
Floored! Wood flooring in the family room? Yes, please! We love those wonderful old wood-plank floors . . . some come from Europe . . . pricey, but cannot be beat for the patina and texture. Some family rooms boast new wide-plank wood floors that look as if they have some age. Whatever you put underfoot, let it exude that rich Old World feeling. How luxe!
Now Serving . . . Wet bars in your family room. Insist on only the very hip ones with great wine closets, distinctive decorative sinks, and rich wood cabinets. Realtors love to show off wet bars with great artistic hardware . . . stone counters . . . some with metallic backsplashes . . . and great lighting.
Built-Ins! In today's luxe home, don't expect the same old cabinets of the past. Built-ins have to be oversized, custom, architecturally-detailed cabinetry. You want great display room for any collection, all those beautiful books, family photos, and treasures from your travels.
Clean and Sleek. Super-luxe contemporary homes sport superb clean lines in the family room . . . with the latest electronic toys, computerized lighting systems, sleek flooring. Fireplaces of stone or marble are the rage again for high-end homes in many parts of the country. Big $$$$$.
All this is the greatest backdrop for your oversized furniture . . . or your sleek modern Italian leather sofas and conversation groupings. Adapt the family room to your personal style . . . all put together from the ground up with the help of your favorite interior designer, of course. Design2Share . . . great family room ideas for you on this site!
Next Week: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh! We get so excited when we see something new, fresh, and fabulous for our clients. We can't wait to share what realtors are finding in the Best-Loved Master Bedroom Suites! Details to follow. Till next week . . . luxe houses are selling . . . there are more to choose from . . . all parts of the country are seeing better luxe properties available on the market than ever before . . . lots of value and beautiful bling! Clear your schedule, call us, and let's go New Home Shopping!
All our best till then,
TNT Partners: Julia, Wendy, and Steven
Photo credit: Muffy Kibbey from Sunset