Guest Post | Appeal to WomenJanuary 4, 2018
This week I’m excited to have Kim Jones from Kay Green Designs as the guest blogger for our #ThoughtfulThursday guest column. She’s chatting about how to appeal to women when designing homes. As she mentions, many things that are helpful to women in the home, just take a tad more consideration but can have a lasting impact.
The most recent data on women’s homeownership reveals that women’s desire to own a home is present and growing. According to 2014 Census Bureau data, there are over 18 million female homeowners in the U.S. Ten million live alone, 6.7 million live with relatives without a husband present and 1.3 million live in two-or-more-person households.
NAHB has long stated that women make 75% of the home buying decisions, yet women rarely build in space for themselves. We have a play space for the kids, family space, and a man cave for dad, but mom often gets delegated to the laundry room. This trend will likely change as we see home ownership rise for single women buyers. 25 million of single women (13 % compared to the 4.8 % of single males) are homeowners.
Many things that would be helpful to women just take a little more consideration from architects and home designers. Paul Foresman and Design Basics, an architectural firm in Nebraska, has a division that specifically caters to women and develops small ways to make their lives easier. Housing Design Matters is owned by Deryl Patterson who has also consistently been at the forefront of implementing innovative architectural details in homes that are focused on women.
Below are a few things that would make purchasing a more positive experience for women.
1. Make them feel safe
A woman’s home is her sanctuary and she needs to feel safe and secure. Protection is the most primal of our emotions. It takes us back to the fight or flight response that is part of every human being. Does a window look into a neighbor’s private space? We must consider those things when we are designing homes. Safety and protection is the most important and instinctual feeling to consider. Simply put: When people feel safe, they’re more likely to buy. Psychologically the bedroom is considered the safest place in the house and generally women prefer to have their bedroom toward the back of the house for safety and privacy reasons.
2. Storage! Storage! Storage!
With children growing, families blending, older children or parents moving back in there will never be enough storage to last the years in a home. However, builders can combat that by developing ways to add cost-effective innovative storage. By showing buyers that a specific feature is a solution to helping them live better, they will invest in that feature. Below are some examples of creative storage.
Coffee Bar/Beverage Station
Kay Green Design
Many homeowners often purchase an extra fridge for the garage strictly for extra drinks. Why not incorporate that into the kitchen and additional cabinets for extra appliance storage?
The Hammer & Nail, Inc.
Even if there isn’t room for a walk-in pantry, you don’t have to sacrifice much-needed storage. Embrace the height of the kitchen to create a fully functional pantry with cabinetry. No space is wasted with tall pullouts, drawers, and shelves of varying sizes which allow for a variety of food storage needs.
Private Cabinet in Bathroom / Toilet Valet
Making use of every inch of space is essential in any bathroom. This secret cabinet allows homeowners to keep personal items accessible but out of view. Adding hidden storage for private items is so brilliant we can’t believe it hasn’t been implemented in every home. Another big selling point in bathrooms for female buyers are functional shower features like, bench seating, built in shelving and nooks for toiletries and large rain showerheads.
3. Flexible Spaces
Rooms need to be adaptable and be able to grow with children and the family. Regardless of where women are in their lives, they like for all rooms to be multi-purpose. Women are multi-taskers and they need spaces that allow them to do multiple things at once. This room can be used for homework, crafts, a reading room, and a home office. Flexible spaces are key to creating a healthy home environment.
Kay Green Design
4. Pet Friendly
For many homeowners today pets are members of the family and deserve a place of their own. Small features like a built in pet nook, doggy doors, or a small pet shower in the laundry room are upgraded features that pull at pets owners heart strings.
Kay Green Design
Here at Kay Green Design we have an office full of women and in a casual survey of the women we work with we asked, “You can have any space in the home designated to you, money is no object, what do you want?”
The answers included:
- A Maid and a Chef.
- Large kitchen with ample store so that it can be well organized. Small spaces for specific items, ie, charging station and spice storage. Adding a six-inch cabinet between the fridge and wall for extra hidden storage in an otherwise wasted space.
- Space for hair dryer and curling iron in the bathroom that allows the appliances to stay plugged in but can be put away. Similar to a hairdresser’s station in a salon.
- Islands continue to be the heart of the kitchen. Kitchens are not only a place to cook and eat but also a place for kids to do homework, wrap gifts and entertain guests, so a large island is a must and butcher block or quartz materials allow islands to be multi-purpose.
- Big relaxing master bath with a large shower and large tub, double sinks.
- Outdoor entertainment space for guests.
About the Author – Kim Jones
Kim Jones has pioneered many important lifestyle-centric methodologies in the interior design industry including Accessible/Adaptable Homes and the first Electric Smart House with Kay Green. Kim created and opened the first Southeast Builder Design Center for International builder, Pulte Homes. As a recognized expert, Kim has a unique ability to meld architectural design, interior design, color and finish selections that target specific buyer demographics with stunning results. Complemented by a keen understanding of the construction process, extensive experience in builder merchandising, FFE selections for large international builders and renovations for homeowners, Kim serves KGD well as the firm’s Vice President.