VILLAMAR PALM BEACH
FROM THE $400'S
Choosing where to live and what kind of home to buy can be challenging enough, but buying newly constructed properties bring about a range of decisions on layout and finishes, which can be even more difficult and time consuming. Many homeowners may hire an expensive interior designer to source materials and create the look of their dreams. But a new community in South Florida is offering design consulting services right on the neighborhood property.
Cleopatra Dean is a design consultant at Akel Design Studio for Villamar at Toscana Isles in Palm Beach County. Dean brings 34 years of experience in home design to help homeowners create their dream homes.
“Many homebuyers come into our office liking pieces individually but without the knowledge of how well it would or would not all come together,” says Dean. “Having a consultant through the process can turn a vision into a reality, which can result in a truly memorable experience and stunning residence.”
Homebuyers are familiar with cookie-cutter subdivisions with homes that look the same on the outside as they do on the outside. Homebuilders save time and money by offering minimal options, but homeowners are left with a space that might not work for their lifestyle and finishes that might not appeal to their tastes.
“We want to give buyers flexibility to imbue their homes with their own personal creativity,” says Dean.
Akel Homes allows buyers to customize their future home by choosing each element rather than choosing from predetermined packages. Think of it as à la carte dining compared to a prix fixe menu. Instead of walking in and paying for the same meal as everyone else, you get to have exactly what you want, from soup to nuts.
Designing the home begins even before building starts. With the guidance of their design consultant, homeowners first review all of the available electrical and structural options since they must be approved prior to submitting for a building permit. Homeowners will take a short walk from the design studio to one of the finished home models on-site where they’re encouraged to think about how they will actually be using the space every day.
“After that, the fun begins,” says Dean. “We move on to selecting kitchen cabinets, countertops and flooring. Once these decisions have been made, the customer soon realizes that the process is much easier than they thought despite the thousands of options.”
The thousands of options for homeowners include lighting fixtures, window, flooring, closet space and everything in between.
Dean helps homeowners define their interests and sketch out their dream home designs based on a theme and color schemes. Through her work, she’s noticed a few trends that new homeowners may want to keep in mind.
When it does come to aesthetics, Dean advocates for colors and materials that are timeless to accommodate changing tastes, trends and needs over time. She also warns against homeowners who want to design based on their existing furniture. Current furniture may not be the right fit for a new home and can lead to outdated finishes for a new home. Homeowners seem to be favoring light-colored floors with high-gloss finishes. Dean attributes this to the fact that floors in that style can reflect more light and transition easily from a casual to more luxurious feel.
“Quartz countertops are offered in 20 colors and are very popular right now,” she says. “We’re also seeing 32-by-32 porcelain tiles being a favorite pick.”
With the rise in open floor plans, people are paying more attention to kitchens. Dean says tall backsplashes paired with Calcatta marble countertops are popping up everywhere. They provide a very sleek look and highlight built-in cooktops and hoods.
Ways to define space within those open floor plans is also important. Pendant lighting and strategic use of color are two ways homeowners are doing this. The use of primary colors and graphics appear to be back in style. Think bright pops of blue, red or yellow and repeating patterns to designate a dining or seating area.
Dean encourages homeowners to think practically when incorporating personal style. “It’s important that homeowners consider function just as much as they consider aesthetics. Your home should not only look beautiful but be convenient for you and your lifestyle.”
Design wheels turning? Visit the Akel Design Studio in the Villamar at Toscana Isles community in Delray Beach. The studio is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. where experienced design consultants can introduce you to the endless possibilities of your potential new dream home.
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