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

 

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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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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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Why 2022 is the Year to Buy New

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The 2022 Choose Chattanooga Relocation Guide just hit shelves last week. You don’t have to be a Realtor or a home builder to know that the Scenic City has become a mecca for folks escaping the high costs of living, cold-weather, or impossible traffic.
The pandemic has changed how people live in their homes – and a lot have found their current homes can’t provide the flexibility and livability home life now demands. This blog, published on a fellow home builders site, emphasizes why building now is the best option to get the most function, enjoyment, and return on investment in a new home. Give it a read.

this post was originally published on dreamfindershomes.com
If you’ve been on the fence about buying a new construction home, there are plenty of good reasons to finalize your decision sooner rather than later. The main motivating factor should be that home prices are not expected to decrease any time soon; they are, in fact, projected to increase for the foreseeable future. Interest rates are also still low compared to pre-pandemic rates, though these, too, will begin to rise (as they have already).

Prices and Rates Expected to Climb

Going into the new year, there is certainly less volatility in the real estate market than we saw in 2020 and 2021. Then, prices were increasing at breakneck speed as demand shot up. All we heard were stories about bidding wars, waved inspections, and even waved appraisals as buyers brought cash to the closing table. Now, as demand cools, home prices are, too. But if you think they’ll start decreasing anytime soon, you may want to re-evaluate.

Zillow predicts home prices will rise 14.3% in the next year, and much of that has to do with the cost of building products and supplies. Lumber, while much more available than it was a year ago, continues to cost well above what it did pre-pandemic, and those costs continue to creep up. The same is true for just about every component of a home — from flooring to HVAC systems to paint. As with housing in general, the demand is just too high as manufacturers struggle to keep up, and prices reflect that.

Demand for new houses isn’t letting up anytime soon. The U.S. currently has under built housing by at least 5.5 million homes. Even as the pace of building picks back up, it will take five or six more years before supply and demand level out, continuing to buoy the price of homes.

Still-low interest rates are also a great reason to buy a new home now. Even with higher home prices, today’s low rates help to keep monthly mortgage payments reasonable for home buyers. And if you have a certain budget that you must stick to, the ability to afford a larger home is an added perk of low interest rates. But they won’t stay low forever, and are predicted to rise substantially in 2022.

Now is the RIGHT Time to Build

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If you’ve been in “wait and see” mode for the last few years, you’ve probably looked extensively at floor plans and chosen one or two that would be perfect for you and your family. And chances are you’ve identified exactly where you would build your new home. Now is the RIGHT time to start the process, while the communities you like still have availability and the interest rates are still low.

Connect with us to learn all about new home financing, our proven process, and how you can start building your dream home today.

 

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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!

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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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