Jewel Box Homes – Smaller and Custom

 Vintage Jeweled Frame

 

RISMEDIA, June 26, 2009-(MCT)-They’ve been dubbed “jewel-box houses” – small homes designed with top-quality materials, upscale detailing and custom built-ins.

Tailored to the owners’ way of life, smaller homes suit a variety of demographic groups, including newlyweds, young professionals, empty-nesters and retirees – the last two a fast-growing segment of the population. The current recession, the downturn in the housing market and the emphasis on energy-efficiency all are playing into the jewel-box trend – and are making it increasingly difficult for homeowners to unload “starter castles,” says architect Sarah Susanka, author of “The Not So Big House.”

For the past two decades, dream homes have assumed McMansion proportions, says Stephen Gidus, co-owner of PSG Construction in Orlando, Fla. Now, “downsizing” is the new watchword.

“Homeowners are taking that portion of their budget that would have been used for larger living spaces, and using it for better details in smaller spaces,” says Gidus.

There are signs the housing industry is heeding this trend toward jewel-box homes. Data collected by the National Association of Home Builders in 2008 indicates the average size of a new home in the United States is leveling off at just under 2,500 square feet.

One such jewel-box home belongs to Clifford and Krista Goeller, owners of Badger Welding in Orlando. Designed by Lucia Custom Home Designers and built by PSG Construction, the exterior features the Craftsman styling popular in the early 20th century, complete with a recessed porch, tapered-box columns and fish-scale siding. The interior has a contemporary open floor plan, but is detailed with traditional Craftsman elements such as wood floors with inlaid tile, an oak staircase and a built-in, furniture-grade entertainment center surrounding the fireplace.

The 2,300-square-foot home “suits our lifestyle and our taste,” says Krista Goeller, a transplant from Wisconsin. “Florida houses seem so big and cool and painted. We like the warmth and richness of stained wood. We wanted a cozy house, a house that looks as if it belongs among big old oak trees with moss hanging down.”

Huge houses with hotel-scale foyers, formal dining and living rooms, and vast master suites with spa-style bathrooms are out of sync with the informal way Americans live today, says Susanka. In most homes, the kitchen is the heart, the place where family and friends gather. Americans take quick showers, they don’t luxuriate in soaking tubs. So why not invest in areas we regularly use, and eliminate those that are mostly for show?

Not surprisingly, the home-furnishings industry is attuned to the downsizing trend, says Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president/marketing at the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

Increasingly, manufacturers are making furniture that is smaller and more multipurpose: love seats instead of sofas, expandable dining tables, home-office armoires with fold-down work stations, and compact corner units for big-screen TVs.

© 2009, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

http://rismedia.com/2009-06-25/jewel-box-homes-are-built-smaller-smarter/#ixzz0JjkvMwfR&D

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About Michelle Nantz

There are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional: integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, marketing savvy, effective negotiation skills, and a high-quality professional network ~ all of which are hallmarks of Michelle Nantz. In 2003, Michelle began her career in real estate, after a successful career in restaurant and hotel management with her last position as Regional Director of Operations running 56 hotels throughout two states. She owes her success in real estate and management to her expertise in people skills, managing, negotiating, and follow-up. However, it is Michelle’s dedication to quality service that she ultimately credits her success. Michelle shared, “In my experience as a Lake Norman real estate professional, I’ve found that providing the very best service is essentially about putting my clients first. This means keeping myself accessible, being a good listener as well as a good communicator, and responding quickly to their needs.” This “client first” philosophy combined with continual personal improvement and keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies is a cornerstone of both Michelle’s and Lake Norman Realty’s business philosophy. In addition to Michelle’s extensive real estate education and her experience in the local market, she is also an Accredited Staging Professional®, which brings additional value to marketing her clients’ homes. Michelle and her family have made the Lake Norman area their home for over 10 years. In her rare leisure moments, you’ll find Michelle with her three children and husband, or unwinding with gardening or reading. “I live and work in this community and only have the best interests of our community and its members in mind,” says Michelle. Her community activities include participation in Denver Days, Relay for Life and support for Christian Ministries and area schools.
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