Friday, August 29, 2008

Manufactured Housing Design Trends

It’s been a busy month! I’ve been traveling coast to coast to see the latest trends in housing, interiors, and furniture.

I get lots of emails about the differences in decorating a manufactured home vs a site built one, but truly there shouldn’t be any difference unless you are dealing with a manufactured home that has board and batten walls instead of tape and textured drywall. What’s amazing to me is how often manufactured housing drives or starts trends that then are used in site built homes. Due to the sheer volume of how many homes we build there is more of an opportunity to try out new things and see how they work.

One of the biggest trends I am seeing in manufactured and site built housing is islands in the kitchens that continue to grow in size and importance. Using a different stain or color on the island is a great way to make it stand out and to really add some impact and storage to a space. An area that manufactured housing has always offered more for your money is in the cabinets that are offered - many times you have twice as many cabinets in a manufactured home as what is offered in a comparable site builders home.

Stainless appliances have been around for quite awhile now, but they can also break the budget of many homeowners. What has become very popular are black appliances - they are usually priced more reasonably than stainless, I find them easier to keep clean than white or bisque ones, and they really can make a statement in any size kitchen.

Being a Lifestylist is all about understanding the lifestyle of a potential homeowner and what their needs are. Sharing what I see and learn is one of the favorite parts of what I do. I’m hoping to spend more time this year talking about upcoming trends and how they can fit into your lifestyle.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lifestylist Design - It's All about You

Happy Memorial Day! This was a wonderful family filled one for me - I drove up to Oklahoma City to spend the day with my parents, sisters, and their families.

This month I've been very busy doing model homes across the country for Patriot, and also working on my new Lifestylist Design products that will be launching in January. It's been really exciting to see the Lifestylist program come full circle, and to see how people have embraced the concept and made it their own.

My sister is the perfect example of what Lifestylist Design is all about. It should be about you - your life, your loves, your discoveries, not some designer or other persons interpretation of how they think you should live. I was finally able to get up here to see the new home that she and her family have been working on, and it's spectacular! And the best thing about it is that when I walk in the home, or even when I drive up to the home there is no question that this is an active outgoing family who loves life and are individuals. From the start my sister refused to get "typecast" into a specific style or theme. Instead she incorporated things that they saw on various trips, items that were gifts on very special occasions, and was wise enough to encourage her subcontractors to be partners with her on this journey. The result is a marriage of craftsmanship and character that will never be replicated the same way again, just as my sister is a one of a kind.

"Rules" are meant to be broken, especially in the design world. The next time someone tells you what you can or can't do with your home tell them that you practice the Lifestylist Design philosophy where what you love is never put in question.

Lifestyling vs designing

I'm in Tucson attending the annual Manufactured Housing Institute Meeting. It's truly exciting to hear about all of the opportunities that are in front of this industry, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

One of the best things about attending something like this is meeting new people and hearing about their life experiences. Tonight I met someone who used to have a potbelly pig, and we also discussed what we did as a career. When I explained that I was a Lifestylist he said what I do as a Lifestylist is the same as what a designer does. The night before I had dinner with two of Tucson's best Sales Managers, and the conversation that they had was how differently a Lifestylist merchandises their homes compared to a regular designer.

The difference between the two evenings is who had worked with a Lifestylist and who had not. Lana Howard and the team at Canoa Homes are the best! I loved visiting their communities while I was here and seeing their homes. Their new models at Sycamore Canyon had been merchandised by a Lifestylist and it showed - each of the three models had unique personalities, and appealed to a different buyer.

Why a Lifestylist over a Designer? The goal of a designer is to sell furniture, the goal of a Lifestylist is to sell homes. It truly can be that simple!