5 Must-Have Design Elements for New Homes

A look at 5 important design elements to add when building new homes.

When designing and building a new home there’s a lot to think about. How many bathrooms and bedrooms should the new home have? Which kitchen layout do you choose? Do you go for something sleek and modern in design or something a little more traditional? When you’re thinking about the design for your new home, don’t forget to consider these 5 must-haves:

1. Lots of Storage Options

Kitchen Design Slide Out Cabinets

One thing everyone can agree on is the need for good storage options in their home. When building a new home you have the chance to make sure you have the storage space you need. It’s also a great opportunity to get creative – not all storage solutions need to look the same! The pull-out kitchen shelves in this home remodel project are just one example of creative storage solutions you could add to a new home design.

2. The Right Materials

When selecting the materials for floors, stairs, kitchen counters, and everything else inside your home, make sure you’re doing your homework. You might love the look of a certain kind of countertop material, but it may not hold up the way you need it to. Your architect or interior designer can help steer you in the right direction (like Charlotte Cooney of Domestic Arts in the above video about kitchen countertop materials).

3. Eye-Catching Design Elements

New Home Design Elements Stairs

Building a new house is the perfect time to include any special design elements you’ve always loved. Maybe you’ve always wanted a bay window reading nook, or a spiral staircase like in this Portland new home. Whatever cool design you’ve been dreaming of, now is the time to make it a reality.

4. Natural Light

New Home Design Natural Light

When building your new home make sure to think about how to use natural light as much as possible. The best designs make smart use of windows, glass doors, and skylights to “day light” homes and save on energy bills at the same time. If your home’s lot has views as expansive as this modern Portland home, you’ll want to make good use of them!

5. Thermal Performance

Daytime view of west elevation, new home, Karuna House, designed by Holst Architecture and built by home builder Hammer & Hand

Last but certainly not least, make sure to build a home that goes beyond the current state energy code requirements. Designed right, higher performance homes are more comfortable, efficient, and durable. Make sure your new home’s attic, walls, floor, and other areas are well-insulated, use high-performance windows, and avoid those pesky thermal bridges! If you want a really high performance home, consider building a Passive House, like the above Karuna House in Yamhill County, Oregon.

Any important new home design elements I missed? Leave them in a comment below!

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