60 Design Ideas in 60 Minutes: An Overview

Out of 140+ education sessions at the 2018 NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) in Orlando, one of the Top 10 attended sessions was “60 Design Ideas in 60 Minutes.”

This fast-paced session is always popular because it is presented by industry-leading architects, interior designers and builders who share easy-to-implement design ideas that you can use to update elevations, renew floor plans, animate streetscapes and develop dynamic neighborhoods.

During the presentation, each of the six speakers were given just 10 minutes to reveal their top design trends for 2018. While we won’t list all 60 design ideas (you can view those on IBS Education On Demand), here are a few to whet your appetite.

Dave Copenhaver, AIA, of BSB Design provided ideas based on flexibility of space in design plans. He said, “Today, I want you to think about what’s the smallest change with the biggest impact.”

  • Morning Kitchen: This is a separate area off the kitchen where you house your coffee maker, smoothie machine and toaster. It’s also an area where kids can make their own breakfasts.
  • Participation Island: Islands are getting bigger – much bigger. Design them in a way that there can be multiple tasks happening on this space at the same time.

Tom Devine, AIA, of Housing Design Matters spoke on design ideas for active-adult homes. He stated, “It’s a move-down buyer, but they still have a lot of stuff and need a place to put it.”

  • Storage! Collectible Cabinets: These buyers have sold their traditional china cabinet; this is a great place to show off those treasures they’ve kept.
  • Dual-Use Rooms: A den can be transformed to a guestroom when needed with a pull-down Murphy bed. A laundry room can double as a hobby space or a place for the “grand-pets.”

Ryan Decker of Bassenian Lagoni offered ideas for changing aesthetics in design. He said, “Transitional design stems from the act of forward movement – whether it’s cultural, lifestyle or aesthetic preference.”

  • Rethink Traditional Forms: American architecture from the last few decades includes heavy trim, symmetrical windows, and traditional roof lines and materials. These can be transformed to include minimal trim, asymmetrical window patterns, non-traditional roof lines and the use of new material palettes.
  • Design the Details: This isn’t a new concept but building materials can be manipulated to achieve a new transitional design that stands out.

Dawn Duhamel, CSP, of Possibilities for Design talked about design trends specific to interiors. She noted, “People are hiving. They are creating a sense of community and an experience at home. This is a tremendous opportunity in the home building industry because their interior experience is more important than ever.”

  • Metal Mixing: This trend of mixing metals – black matte, polished chrome, brushed gold – is back. It’s okay to have it all in the same space.
  • Nature Inspired, From Raw to Real: The artisan movement is huge today, so builders need to bring outside elements into the interiors – wood ceilings; wood, stone and brick walls; and more.

Alaina Money, CSP, of Garman Homes & Fresh Paint by Garman Homes shared the ideas she had when she created something new – whole-home design packages – and tips for leveraging those new ideas in business.

  • Leverage Customer Pain Points: Ask, “How can this product address my buyers’ pain points?” and then design something specific for them.
  • Focus on the Feel: You can spend time developing something cool and special, but if your internal people and process don’t focus on making the buyer feel the value, it’s a miss.

Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki, BA, with TST-Ink, LLC provided ideas for how to create today’s community. “People buy a community before they buy a home,” said Teri. This shift happened a few years ago.

  • Embrace the Place: There are too many communities named Harmony, Stone Gate and Creek Side. Instead, find a story that is unique to the land and/or in the area, and maximize it to create a sense of place.
  • Create Engagement Opportunities: This allows the people in your community (and potential buyers) to discover something new. Some examples include a model home tour that includes samples from local businesses, such as craft beers, bakeries and local wares.In this session, the six speakers hit on some valuable tidbits for builders and architects alike for all buying age groups. They illustrated, using many examples, that it is easy to accommodate design solutions for different buyer types when you listen to what your buyers want and focus on giving them those options.


—Tess Wittler

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