Biophilic Design – Enhance Your Home, Naturally

The concept of biophilic design has been around for a few years, but has come to the forefront recently. Perhaps it was all that time we spent indoors during the pandemic – but folks are yearning to be “out”, and if we can’t be out, we want nature, “the out”, to be in our homes. Even before the pandemic people spent up to 90% of their time indoors, says Katie Gloede of Architect Magazine.

So What is Biophilic Design? River Breeze Signature Home Soddy Daisy Core Homes Chattanoogas New Home Builder

First made popular by scholar Edward O Wilson in the 1980’s, biophilia is the urge for humans to affiliate with other life. Bringing natural elements into your home, to be experienced with all the senses, has a lot of health benefits. Studies conclude that the incorporation of biophilic elements in our work and home:
1. Decreases stress, enhances creativity, and lessens recovery time for illnesses (that alone is reason enough to bring in nature)
2. Is not just plants – even though that is a good start – but also is about biomorphic patterns and shapes, and water features.
3. Maximizes natural lighting, which balances our circadian rhythm.
4. By improving air flow, which improves brain function.

Here is a quick video from HGTV that shows different ways to bring in biophilic elements into your home.
If you are ready to start bringing natural elements into your home, Better Homes & Gardens recommends this starter list of easy care plants:

1. Norfolk Island Pine
2. Dieffenbachia
3. Philodrendron – the ubiquitous favorite – extremely hardy
4. Snake Plant
5. Spider plant
6. English Ivy – in the Tennessee area, some folks see this as a pest plant rather than a desired potted plant
7. Jade Plant
8. Ponytail Palm
9. Schefflera
10. Corn Plant

BHG also offers advice on how to bring plants into every room in your home.biophilic blog image
Some great, biophilic friendly ideas are:

1. Surround seating areas, top to bottom, with plants.
2. Dress up your Dining Room with a potted plant instead of cut flowers.
3. Group closely spaced plants to create a focal point.
4. Go vertical with plants up a blank wall.
5. Put plants in unexpected places such as above a bedroom headboard or create a vignette of plants in a corner.
6. Succulents are great in the Kitchen.
7. Put statement plants in your main Living Areas – you want your guests to see the most beautiful plants in your home!
8. Put weather hardy plants in your Entry. They will be able to take the constant temperature changes of opening and closing your door.

biophilic blog post deck imageHave you ever been out west – to Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana?

Do you remember how s p a c i o u s it was? You felt that you could breathe? Maybe your heart rate went down a bit? You can mimic that feeling in your home!
When the weather is nice, throw open the doors to your back deck and open up your interior living area to include the outdoors. Decorate your deck with weather hardy plants, comfy furniture. The fresh air and sunlight will invigorate you even if you are indoors and your home will feel larger. Perfect for parties or game days. Or just spend serene solidarity away from the hustle of the work day.


Don’t let the word “biophilic” scare you into thinking it’s just too big a concept to incorporate into your home. Start small. Even the smallest changes, made with some thought, can make big changes to the feel of your home. Just take that first step and the next one will be easier!



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Your Guide to Hosting the Ultimate Appetizers Party in Your New Home

Serve delicious finger foods for an inexpensive, low-stress alternative to a sit-down dinner with these easy appetizer ideas and clever hosting tips.

If you’re new to hosting, live in a small space, or simply want an easy weeknight entertaining idea, this hosting menu is for you. Serve guests a spread of hearty make-ahead appetizers that require minimal prep the day of (aka warmed in the oven or poured out of a bag) and can be enjoyed while sitting or standing thanks to their small shape. Stock up on nibbles like mini quiches, nuts, meats and cheeses, cut veggies, and pastries, then add a few touches to make them look special. Garnish drink glasses with fruit slices, drizzle hummus with olive oil and a dusting of paprika, and display everything on pretty dishes. Break out the seasonal dinnerware or wooden serving boards to make it feel like an event, and you’ve got yourself a party. We’ll answer hosting questions like how much food to buy and when to shop, plus give you ideas to recreate this concept at home.

close-up party table with popcorn and charcuterie board
Planning Your Appetizer Party Menu

To guarantee a diverse appetizer spread, serve a combination of easy appetizers that satisfy several of the following food categories:

  • Garden: Typically healthy appetizers made with fruit or vegetables (raw, cooked, or stuffed).
  • Starch: Hearty, starchy appetizer recipes, such as finger sandwiches, pizza, and dumplings, are all part of this family. Bruschetta, breadsticks, crackers, and rolls are also mainstays.
  • Protein: Serve meat or fish dishes, such as meatballschicken wings, or sushi, to give your guests protein. You could also make an egg, cheese, or tofu appetizer.
  • Snacks: Easy appetizers to prepare, the snack category includes nuts, chips, pretzels, popcorn, and other mostly savory finger foods.
  • Dips and Spreads: Pair foods from various appetizer categories with tapenades, relishes, and other party dips and spreads.
  • Desserts: Serve mini desserts such as cheesecake, candies, and cookies.

If your guests have dietary restrictions, consider making an assortment of appetizer recipes that cater to their needs. Having vegetarian appetizers or gluten-free appetizers, for instance, might be a priority if you are inviting vegetarians or people with gluten sensitivities. To easily identify special food categories, for example, place everything gluten-free on white serving dishes

How Many Appetizers Should You Serve?

The number of party appetizers you serve depends on the number of guests you invite. As your guest list increases, so should the appetizer selections.

Here’s a quick guide to how many appetizers you should serve at your party:

  • 10-12 guests = 5 appetizer selections
  • 25 guests = 9 appetizer selections
  • 50 guests = 13 appetizer selections
How Many Appetizers per Person?

Running out of food and drink is a major bummer when you’re hosting a party. So we created this guide to answer your most common feeds-a-crowd questions, including, “How many chicken wings per person?” and “How many meatballs per person?” And we’re not talking about nutrition facts panel servings; this is the real deal of what a normal person eats as a heavy appetizer portion. Here are some amounts and recipe ideas for some of the most common party appetizers.

Jalapeño Poppers, Cheese Sticks, and Crostini

We’re lumping these diverse appetizer options together because the serving size is similar for items like mozzarella cheese Sticks, air-fryer jalapeño poppers, and sweet pea ricotta bruschetta. One is never enough of these savory snack recipes in our party hosting experience, so here’s how many appetizers per person to plan on:

  • One serving = 2 sticks
  • Party of 12 = 24 portions
Mix 'N' Match Chicken Wings
Chicken Wings

Forget the forks and dole out the napkins for a finger-food favorite: chicken wings! Tender and saucy, chicken wings are a must-have appetizer, especially when you spice them nicely (as in our Tandoori chicken wings and Thai-inspired chicken wings recipes). But how many chicken wings per person will suffice for your soiree?

  • One serving = 3 wings
  • Party of 12 = 3 pounds
Dips and Spreads

No party buffet is complete without non-cheesy dips and spreads to please the dairy-free diners and those who prefer something with a few veggies in it. Hot or cold , sweet or savory, the options are nearly endless. Your spread solution:

  • One serving = ¼ cup
  • Party of 12 = 3 cups
Cheese and Charcuterie

Curious about how many ounces of cheese per person will suffice? If you’re pairing your cheese board with meats, you’ll need less Brie, cheddar, and Gruyère than you would if you’re serving the cheese solo. Either way, a couple ounces per person is a satisfying portion.

  • One serving = 2 ounces (1 ounce each of meat and cheese)
  • Party of 12 = 24 ounces of a mix of cheeses and meat
Cocktail Meatballs

Meatballs are so easy to prepare and can often be made ahead or held in a slow cooker until party time, as these molasses-lime meatballs and saucy apricot ‘n’ spiced meatballs prove. (So helpful if you’re serving a huge crowd and doing the math about how many frozen meatballs for 50 or more people!) Here’s how many meatballs per person you’ll need:

  • One serving = 4 meatballs
  • Party of 12 = 2 pounds
Fondue and Queso

Perfect for dunking, cheesy sauces and dips like creamy cheese fondue and skillet queso make your party buffet more interactive and delicious. Here’s how many ounces of cheese per person you’ll need to feed the dipping masses.

  • One serving = ¼ cup
  • Party of 12 = 3 cups

Guests can’t resist a handful of flavor-packed, crunchy munch mixes. Noshing on nuts is a party idea that never goes stale, and it’s a terrific option that will please vegans, and gluten-free (depending on the recipe), Paleo and keto dieters all at once. Here’s how much you’ll need:

  • One serving = 2 ounces
  • Party of 12 = 1½ pounds
Stuffed Baked Mushrooms
Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are a perfect one-bite appetizer. Bonus: Party snack options like Greek-style stuffed mushrooms and chipotle-and-ranch-stuffed mushrooms are so quick and easy, they can be made up minutes before a party. Take note of how many appetizers per person so you don’t run out early:

  • One serving = 3 mushrooms
  • Party of 12 = 1½ pounds
Cheesecake Bites, Mini Cupcakes, and Bite-Size Brownies

No party menu is complete without something sweet! We like to share small desserts to fit the bite-size theme, to allow for sampling, and to offer an easy handheld package. Try Mini Blue Corn Carrot Cake CupcakesStrawberry Margarita Cheesecake Minis, and/or Peanutty Brownie Bites.

  • One serving = 3 mini treats
  • Party of 12 = 36 mini treats
The Party Planning Timeline

You want to relax and enjoy the party, too. So set your appetizer menu, and then develop a schedule for shopping for and preparing the appetizers.

Two weeks to a month before the party:

  • Create a complete shopping list, sorting the list by when you can purchase items (perishables closer to party time).
  • Shop for items with a long shelf life such as wine, soft drinks, crackers, nuts, and hard cheeses.

A week before the party:

  • Prepare any foods that can be made ahead and frozen.
  • Finish any party decorations that can be created in advance.

A day or two before the party:

  • Prepare any appetizers that can be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Pull out serving dishes and utensils.
  • Purchase flowers or other perishables.

The day of the party:

  • Buy ice and chill beverages.
  • Finish last-minute appetizer recipes.
  • Set the table.

Food Safety Tip: Many party foods taste better when served around room temperature (not piping-hot or ice-cold). However, perishable appetizers should not stand at room temperature for longer than two hours. Switch out serving plates, or serve them in heated servers or bowls of ice to maintain appropriate temperatures.

One of our Move-in-Ready Homes would be perfect for your next Appetizers Only Party!


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Most Popular Core Home Plans for 2022

2022 year image for Dec blogAs the Christmas season is fully upon us, we – like other folks and companies – are taking a breath and looking back at 2022. It was quite the roller coaster ride for everyone – especially for those of us in the homebuilding industry!
What did we accomplish? How did we grow? And what do we want to improve on in 2023?


So – what were the most popular Core home plans in 2022?
Below are the top three, determined by which plan home buyers chose the most.
And the winners are…


Chattanooga home builder Core Homes Willow home plan imageThe Willow
3 bedrooms 3.5 baths
2,702 sq ft
Oversized Formal Dining and Breakfast Rooms, Flex Space, Bonus Room, Large Porches on front and rear
If your home tends to be the “destination” of friends and family vacations to our Scenic City or all of the kids are still at home and desperately need their own spaces – The Willow home plan beautifully serves as the heart and hub of your life.
The Willow plan was developed specifically for the Hawks Landing community. Look for it to be a home buyer favorite when we open Hawk’s Landing Phase IV in 2023.

3 bedrooms 2.5 baths
2,716 sq ft
Open Concept, Large Bonus Room, Walk-In-Closets
So much space – so many possibilities for a personalized, unique living space. Upstairs in the more private spaces or down in the hustle and bustle of the main living area – The Foxglove home plan lets you “breathe” no matter where you are in your home.
The classically appealing Foxglove plan can be built in Hawks Landing in Apison or Lake Breeze in Harrison. Since both of those communities have new phase either now selling or planned in the future, we’ll be seeing a lot more of The Foxglove!

LL4 Victoria Chattanooga home builder Core Homes home plan imageThe Victoria
3 bedrooms 3.5 baths
2,652 sq ft
Open Concept Main Living Area, Bonus Room, Home Office/Flex Space
The grand dame of Core Homes’ home plans! This is an original! If comfortable chic is your style – you need to take a look at The Victoria home plan. The Victoria is currently being built on Lost Lake home site #37 with a third car garage. It’s also being built on Lake Breeze home site #133. Both homes are available to purchase!

These are just three of the three dozen home plans available at Core Homes. Take a look at all of the plans we offer, and we’re sure you’ll find one that fits your dreams perfectly!


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20 Kitchen Organization Ideas To Maximize Storage Space
Discover genius kitchen storage ideas

Temps are finally cooling a bit and thoughts are turning to pumpkin spice and cozy nights by the fireplace. Since you will be spending more time in your home, it’s time to spend some thought on optimizing your kitchen spaces. We found 20 great ideas from our friends at Architectural Digest.

Riverbirch Chattanooga home builder Core Homes home plan image

Written by Elizabeth Stamp and Kristi Kellogg, Architectural Digest. Originally published May 19, 2020

Get your kitchen cabinets and countertops decluttered once and for all with these smart and easy kitchen organization ideas. If it feels like you never have enough storage in the kitchen despite tons of drawers and cabinets, it may come down to how you’re storing things. All the storage space in the world won’t help if the items inside of it are totally disorganized.

Discover the best kitchen storage organization ideas that will help you make the most of your storage space and even create more. Try out these genius tricks to corral clutter and store cooking essentials to make your kitchen more functional and less chaotic.

1. Toss and consolidate
First things first: throw out everything that’s well past its expiration date, dirty, or stale. Do a deep clean of your refrigerator and cabinets (including the one under the sink).

2. Store utensils in a cutlery tray
You separate your forks, knives, and spoons, so why not your cooking utensils? Store spoons, spatulas, and whisks in separate containers so you never have to dig through a tangle of tools to find the right one.

3. Install hooks to hang mugs
Mugs are essential for morning coffee, but they take up shelf space and don’t stack well. A simple solution is to install hooks under a shelf or cabinet and hang mugs by their handles.

4. Get a cutting board that fits over your sinkstorage space saving cutting board
Counter space is always at a premium, but there’s an easy fix: Get a cutting board that fits over the sink to create an extra space for chopping. Many have built-in colanders to help make prep a breeze.

5. Decant bulk itemsbulk item storage image
Get organized with plastic bins or large glass jars. Decant bulk items into containers to keep ingredients neat and visible.

6. Add extra storage space to the side of your fridge
Besides being very, very easy to install (just…stick it there), a magnetic shelf is also, of course, removable.

7. Install a pot rack
Take advantage of vertical space by adding a pot rack to help store all those pans sitting on the stove or taking up space in your cabinets. If you have low ceilings, consider installing it over the kitchen sink.

8. Add dividers for lids, baking sheets, and pans
If there’s always a loud clattering or an avalanche of lids whenever you open the cabinet door, it’s time to organize those pots and pans. Install a few pan dividers and stack pots and lids within the cabinet. You can also organize baking sheets and pans by placing the dividers perpendicular to the shelf.

9. Use risers to get more storage in each shelf
Take advantage of that empty vertical space by placing risers in cabinets. This will help keep items separated so you don’t have to try to pick something out of the middle of a huge stack.

10. Get a drawer spice rack
All you need is a super-shallow drawer—and these perfectly ridged spice storage inserts from IKEA—and poof! You’ll never lose sight of your spices again. As a bonus, it fits those standard-size spice jars from the grocery, so no need to put them all in new containers.

11. Hang your stemware
This bartender’s solution keeps your stemware stored in style. You can hang it underneath a cabinet and showcase your wine glasses, or you can tuck it away inside for hidden storage.

12. Mount your dish rackstorage rack on wall
Spare what little prep area you have on the counter by adding a shelf above the sink for air-drying—even better if it’s actually a designated dish rack that props them upright.

13. Add a magnetic knife bar
This is a great alternative to a knife block, and another solution that saves counter space.

storage baskets14. Bring in baskets and bins
If you can’t keep things out of sight, at least keep them organized. Invest in some pretty baskets and containers to keep items on the counter uncluttered.

15. Make use of cabinet doors
The inside of your cabinet doors is filled with storage possibilities. Install hooks to store pans, lids, or serving and measuring spoons, or add a slim rack to stash pot lids or boxes of foil and plastic wrap. Sure, you might have to inch back the contents of your cabinets just slightly, but you’ll be happy to do it when you open the door and see this supremely organized situation.

16. Add rolling shelves
The downside of deep cabinets is having to practically climb in to get what you need from the back. Install rolling shelves with low sides to keep items organized and easily accessible.

17. Put a miniature lazy Susan inside a kitchen cabinet
Add a small-scale lazy Susan to the inside your kitchen cabinets. You can use it to corral spices and oils, or add it below the sink to store cleaning products.

18. Upgrade your fruit basket
This three-tiered fruit basket hangs from your ceiling—leaving you valuable counter space below. Plus, when the fruit is suspended, it gets more air circulation to help it ripe.

19. Line your shelves
Kitchen organization ideas aren’t just about creating more storage space—you also have to consider how to make the space fuss-free and easy to keep clean. Enter shelf liners. In addition to protecting your cabinet shelves, they can also brighten up the space. Shelf liners come in just about every color and pattern you can imagine, and are available in adhesive and non-adhesive styles.

20. Designate a place for everything, including your empty bags
Bags have a way of accumulating in various drawers and cupboards. Designate a bin or container just for those errant bags. You can even repurpose an old coffee canister. Cut a slit in the lid and you easily pull out the bags one at a time (and you can take the rest of your adhesive contact paper and cover the can to give it a refresh.

Many of Core Home’s home plans feature walk in pantries – great for storing large appliances out of sight! Check out our home plans at while you are enjoying your warm pumpkin spice latte!



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Down to Business – How to Make Your Home Office Space Work in Your New Home

Here are tips from Chattanooga area building and design professionals – each with their take on the home/work area.
(As printed in the CityScope Homes & Design 2022 Edition.)


Kensley downs home plan home office flex space of floor plan Lost Lake Core Homes of Chattanooga Apison Ooltewah Soddy Daisydual-purpose space

A little separation and privacy help keep the peace, and that has never been more true than in the post-Covid age where more people are working from home. Typically some of the first rooms to go when people are looking to downsize are the formal living or dining rooms, but those are some prime spaces that could be used for a home office. Another way to add workspace separation without interrupting the open concept or drastically increasing a home’s size is to repurpose primary closets to provide a dual function as a closet and homework location. Clients have raved about how well this dual-purpose space works for their home-life balance. MARCUS JONES, MAGNOLIA DEVELOPMENTS, LLC


Chattanooga home builder custom home builder Core Homes home plan imagepocket office space

It is important to have a separate workspace that is efficient and allows privacy but doesn’t take away from living spaces. A pocket office is a great idea and is a smaller space that gives proper room for work but does not have unnecessary wasted space. Natural light in the form of windows always lifts the spirits while working A glass entry door to dress up the space is a nice touch, but it also motivates you to keep the space decluttered since it is visible from the outside. A clean, decluttered workspace is an efficient workspace. When it’s time to shut work down and take care of yourself and your loved ones, you can put work out of sight and out of mind! LARRY WALDREP, WALDREP CONSTRUCTION, LLC


Riverbirch Chattanooga home builder Core Homes home plan image

flexible spaces

Creating flexible spaces is much easier with new construction, and one of the first things I typically do is group spaces by whether they are public or private. The first step in making an office space that works for you is to decide where you want your office to fall on that continuum. Do you want complete privacy and to be able to focus and immerse yourself in your work? Then placing your office deep into the private zone will probably work best. By contrast, if access to family and shared resources is more important, designing a space in an off-shoot or alcove of a public area is best. You can also create a more transitional workspace by placing it on the periphery of either a public or private zone. It all starts with deciding where an office space should be placed based on how it is used. JAY CAUGHMAN – CAUGHMAN + CAUGHMAN ARCHITECTS


Chattanooga builder Core homes marigold home plan bonus room of floor plansmall office on the main

When it comes to creating a home office that allows for focus time but is still near the hustle and bustle of family life, location makes a huge difference. Try placing a small office on the main floor near your home’s entryway. This way you are not far from the main living spaces, but there is often enough separation to provide an extra layer of quiet. This is also great for people who have a home office where clients come in for in-person meetings. Answering the door or running to the kitchen for a glass of water or cup of coffee is easy, but at the same time, your guests are not being asked to traverse through more intimate spaces of your home. DEXTER WHITE, DEXTER W WHITE CONSTRUCTION


Several of Core Home’s  floor plans already have a study or home office space in their layout. Most plans have rooms or spaces that can be easily converted to an office space. Look through are large library of home plans and we’re sure there is one that will fit your “new” normal wonderfully!
Remember, Core Homes is Chattanooga’s  New Home Builder. We want you to have a Home & Life – Well Lived.



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Chattanooga builder Core Homes Primrose home plan bonus room of floor plan

10 Creative Flex Room Ideas

You may have heard the term “flex room” before but may feel a little confused about what it actually means. What is a flex room, exactly? In short, it’s a space that can fulfill multiple needs. But the beauty of a true flex space is that even those purposes can change and grow over time. What is your nursery today can be your office space tomorrow. And if your job needs change, then perhaps your office can then be your music room. And if your hobbies change, maybe you can consider a library. If mom wants to come for a short-term visit, then the space can also be repurposed as a guest room. Flex room basics involve you being in touch with your space needs and what works best for you. For some helpful hints to guide you in the right direction, here are 10 creative and useful ideas that can help you create a flex space that suits your needs.

Chattanooga home builder custom home builder Core Homes home plan imageCreative Flex Room #1 – Your Home Office

In this sudden work-from-home era, perhaps the most common and practical use of flex space is the home office. Keep in mind that the term flex “room” doesn’t necessarily need to refer to a dedicated room. For many people, space is limited, and it’s necessary to craft flex space out of a room that doesn’t exist, by turning a nook, a corner or even a section of wall into a “room.” Your home office may simply be a dedicated space that you use to do your work. However, out of all the flex spaces, this is one where you might want more privacy to be able to work, video conference and make phone calls, so section it off as best you can with dividers, potted plants, furniture or shelving. If you plan to spend a good deal of time in your office, make sure you invest in comfortable chairs and aesthetics you feel are conducive to getting work done. If you have an extra room, using it as a home office is a worthwhile idea, instead of trying to position yourself in a type of open-air style.

Creative Flex Room #2 – Playroom or Study Area

If you have children or are planning to have children, create a flex space for kids. It’s likely that the nursery will become their bedroom, so having a place for them to play and learn as they grow is an optimal use for a flex space. When they’re younger, a playroom works well for honing skills, and many of these skills go beyond playing with toys. Envision a room with a small, indoor trampoline, bouncy balls and other things that enhance gross and fine motor skills. As kids age, this room can become a study area. Plan for flexing the room as they grow by having an open design playroom, which is more equipment-based than toy or furniture based. When it’s time to switch it to a study area, swapping in some light furniture, such as desks and chairs is no problem. Kids can help you pick which designs they’d like to keep or discard.

Creative Flex Room #3 – Flex for the Holidays

One of the better things about having flex spaces is the ability to blend flex spaces for the holiday. If you have multiple living rooms, you can blend these rooms together for an overall holiday feel. If you find your main living space too crowded with the Christmas tree or other holiday decorations, move it to the secondary living room, which gives you more space for celebrating with family. It also gives you more space around the tree to add special accents. Maybe this is the year for a Christmas train around the tree, or perhaps you can deck that entire room out in holiday spirit. Having a flex room around the holidays definitely has its perks. Another idea for a flex room around the holidays is making room for any visiting guests that may be coming. Before making a permanent purchase for a short-term need, consider renting your furniture. It’s a great, low cost, way to try out new furniture pieces and trends that you may want to incorporate throughout your home later on in the year.

Creative Flex Room #4 – Art or Music Studio

Whether it’s part of your career or it’s something you enjoy doing as a hobby, turning a flex room into an art or music studio is a terrific idea. Again, you don’t need an entire room, just a corner or nook to call your own. Set up an easel or sketchpad and chair and hone your craft. Or, you may find a pleasant corner by a window is a great place to create music and set up a guitar amp and a boom mic. If you’re thinking of dedicating an entire room, you can always consider soundproofing the walls for a music room, or creating a miniature art studio that’s all your own. Chalkboard-painted walls and other accents can add a personalized touch.

Creative Flex Room #5 – A Guest Room

Having a guest room is one of the perfect flex ideas because, when it’s not in use, there are so many other ideas to choose from. You can also have a guest room be an art studio, office, sewing room or one of many other different ideas. A room that has an extra bed is ideal for when family comes to visit — or maybe for just taking an afternoon nap. What’s best about a guest room is the fact that there are so many ideas for multipurpose use. Set up as a guest room, in case someone does drop in suddenly, but also use it for other things, such as storage, sewing, music, study or art. Make sure that your guest room is outfitted with all the necessities, such as fresh sheets and blankets, towels, a full-length mirror, alarm clock, tissues and toiletry basics.

Chattanooga builder Core homes marigold home plan bonus room of floor planCreative Flex Room #6 – Bar or Lounge Area

In a post-COVID world, having your own bar or lounge area really isn’t a bad idea at all. If you don’t imbibe, this idea can translate to a host of other ideas: Make this corner, nook or room a coffee nook, game room or entertainment center. Or, the space can be so flexible that you can enjoy your coffee in the morning and beers can flow for Monday Night Football on a large-screen TV. It’s your space, so you have full control over what to do with it. Of course, this space works best against a wall, so you can build your bar, whether you’re setting up wells for liquor, or espresso machines for coffee. Seating doesn’t have to be too complicated; several barstools work well against a small island or counter seating. If you have the room, lounge furniture offers a more comfortable atmosphere than typical bar seating. Depending on the type of setting you want to create, consider adding a pool table, darts or room for a buffet table if you want to hold get-togethers.

Creative Flex Room #7 – Storage Solutions

If you’re like many people, over time you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. While decluttering is big these days, there are some things you can’t get rid of, like your childhood keepsakes, holiday decorations or summer/winter clothes as you store them for a season. If you find that you don’t have room to store these in the basement, garage or other area of the house, perhaps your best flex idea is to have a storage room. This is a tough one, because you don’t want to walk in and immediately think, “ugh” when you see a row of boxes. To set up a storage room, find shelving that works for you and bins or other storage components that you like and meet your needs. Storage as decor (such as storage furniture) is also an option, depending on the number of items you need to store. Label everything, and set things up in a back-to-front manner. For example, you want your storage to be set up so that the next thing you need is in front. If those are window A/C units and your summer clothes, those should be in front, not in back. This way, you’re not digging through boxes every time you enter. Also, if there’s enough room, try to multipurpose part of the room if possible. Perhaps one corner can be a “second office” when the first office space isn’t available. This also helps you want to create order within this space, and not chaos.

Creative Flex Room #8 – Pet Playroom

There’s nothing cuter than a doggie or kitty playroom, and sometimes this can be a necessity if guests come over who are allergic to pet hair or your pet doesn’t do well with strangers or with young children. But don’t think of it as an isolation room — this should be a fun room that’s used often by your pet for play or comfort. For puppies, or even for kittens, this can also be a good, dedicated spot for the pet that isn’t housebroken yet. As they get older, set up the room with dog or cat beds, cat trees, toys and other fun items that your pet will enjoy.

Creative Flex Room #9 – Fitness Center

A home fitness center is another optimal choice in a post-COVID world. Not only does a home gym give you a place to work out where you don’t have to worry about wearing a mask, it offers you the flexibility to work out whenever you want. This is another type of flex room that doesn’t require a dedicated room .|If you’re only setting up one or two fitness machines, you can grab a corner of the house, or even the basement, and start exercising. If you have the space, add a few machines, including equipment for the kids, such as trampolines to get the whole family involved in getting fit. Think of adding weight balls, yoga mats and other equipment beyond fitness machines.

Kensley downs home plan home office flex space of floor plan Lost Lake Core Homes of Chattanooga Apison Ooltewah Soddy Daisy

Creative Flex Room #10 – Reading Nook or Library

Many people like to grab a book and enjoy it in their favorite chair, but there’s also something about having a reading nook or library space that’s perfect for the book lover. This could be a coffee corner or reading nook. If you have a picture window or a nook where you’d like to improve the design, this is a wonderful idea. Adding bookcases or book shelving on either side with a built-in futon makes the ideal space. Add a touch of home remodeling or simply add several bookcases and a chaise or lounge to a corner of a room. Or, dedicate an entire room as your library. This is another flex idea that could be multi-purposed, should you want to add a coffee bar or other embellishment to the library.


Have a look at all of Core Homes’ home plans while you strategize on how your new flex space will work for you. Here are even more ideas for transforming your flex space..


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What’s Trending in New Homes for 2022

Northwood great room Core Homes chattanooga builder What's Trending in New Homes for 2022 Northwood kitchen Core Homes chattanooga builder What's Trending in New Homes for 2022 Chattanooga home builder custom home builder Core Homes home plan image What's Trending in New Homes for 2022

So, you’re taking the leap to build your new home, congrats! Here is what’s Trending in New Homes for 2022.

It can be overwhelming to start from scratch when designing your new home build. We have some great ideas to help you get started.  If you are looking for fresh, new ideas for your new home project in 2022 we have some ideas for you:

  • Curvy Construction Elements- Curves designed for entryways, exterior archways, and windows add interest to any area.
  • Colorful Kitchens- Kitchen trends are leaning toward colorful kitchens – especially in shades of blue and green. Mixed materials like colorful cabinetry, black accents and appliances, and patterned tile flooring are replacing monochrome palettes.
  • Kitchen Islands- These are the centerpieces of the modern-day home, this is where everyone gravitates to for nearly every part of the day. Adding function and look is idea for planning out your kitchen island.
  • Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Living Space- From TVs, fireplaces, living rooms to kitchens, indoor-outdoor living spaces have become an extension of the home to fit people’s lifestyles.
  • Uncluttered Décor- Minimalistic design (with a less-is-more aesthetic) can be combined with natural looking décor to get the uncluttered look that soothes and de-stresses.
  • Unique Home Offices- trending in new homes for 2022 now more than ever! If you work from home or have a home office space consider a separate workspace. A dedicated space allows you to work comfortably with little distractions in your home, especially during Zoom calls!
  • Visit Houzz for more of what’s trending for  New Homes for 2022.
Let’s Build Something Beautiful Together!
  • There’s no time like now to start planning and coming up with ideas for your next home.We have a nationally recognized designer, Tony Thompson, who will meet with you to help you design your new home!Learn more about our current home plansavailable homes, or look through our gallery of images for inspiration. Feel free to call 423-643-2676 to talk with one of our New Home Consultants for the very latest information.We look forward to hearing from you!


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Home Buyers Want to Reconnect with the Outdoors

The pandemic is moving into its third year. Whether we want to admit it, or not, it has changed our lives – how we live and probably how we will continue to live. “Normal” will never be what it was pre-2019.But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Millions of folks have discovered they can work from home and aren’t tied to a geographical area defined where their job is located. Rarely used guest rooms and formal dining rooms are being transformed into home offices and “Zoom rooms”.

“Fresh Air is Intoxicating”

Another effect of spending more time at home almost 24/7, folks crave being outside even more than we ever have before. Last year The Washington Post noted that “any outdoor space is more highly prized than ever”. The outdoor fever is just as rampant here at home in Tennessee. The Tennessean, in their August 2021 issue reported that waterfront properties are spending less than 24 hours on the market.

Bringing the Outdoors into our Homes

Core Homes attended the Southeast Builders Conference in Orlando this past summer. One seminar entirely focused on the demand for home plans that effortlessly and beautifully reconnect home buyers to the outdoors – inside and outside of their home. This ranges from a bank of windows that bathe the main living area with natural sunlight to a wall of retractable glass doors that open to expand the living area into the outdoor kitchen and fireplace on the covered deck. Wow!

Covered and screened decks, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, multiple outdoor living spaces spanning the entire rear of the home – all of these are moving up on the list of home buyers’ “must-have” items.

Kensley Downs home plan outdoor living space of the floor plan Core Homes fo Chattanooga Apison Harrison Ooltewah Soddy Daisy  Kensley Downs home plan outdoor living space of the floor plan Core Homes of Chattanooga Apison Harrison Ooltewah Soddy Daisy  Chattanooga home builder custom home builder Core Homes home plan image

Core Homes Signature Communities

While all of Core Homes‘s communities feature larger-than-usual homesites and popular amenities, Core’s Signature Communities are designed and planned to take maximum advantage of the natural surroundings. 5-acre wooded tracts, some on the waterfront, will be offered at the Wind River community in Harrison starting this summer. Planned amenities include boat slips, pool and cabana, fire pit pavilion, green space park, and walking trails.

Our River Breeze community in Soddy Daisy has river bluff home sites available. The coastal-style vibe includes a community dock with boat slips, a sundeck, and gas lanterns for every home. Imagine walking this neighborhood at sunset!

Chattanooga builder Core Homes River Breeze community aerial view Soddy Daisy       chattanooga builder core homes river breeze       Chattanooga builder Core homes river life at River Breeze Soddy Daisy

Spending more time at home at work and at play is the new normal. Core Homes is designing their communities and homes to bring the outdoors into homes, naturally.


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