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The latest trends in custom home design

One of the biggest advantages of working with a custom home builder is that you start with a blank slate and can specify many of the features that meet your needs.

“At Anthony Homes, we’re always happy to do whatever we can to meet clients’ specific requests. We also spend time following our industry to stay on top of current trends, so that we can provide this advice to our clients,” says James Anthony, owner of Anthony Homes.

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He says they’re seeing five trends in custom home design this year that add a practical or stylish boost to a custom home.

Home office

As we emerge from the pandemic, more people will continue to work from home at least to some extent. This has put a home office high on the list of must-haves. “More than simply adapting an extra bedroom, you can specify work-friendly features like built-in cabinetry and file systems, task-focused lighting, and a larger closet for work-related storage,” says James.

Built-in solutions

In addition to adding built-in cabinetry in the home office, clients that are building from the ground up are looking for custom-designed closets, media room cabinetry, and floor-to-ceiling living room shelving with integrated lighting and cupboards.

Aria vents

At last, the classic air vent can be a stylish accessory. Aria Vent is the first customizable vent cover and can incorporate any material to better match the floor that surrounds it, including ceramic or stone tile, hardwood, carpet, or drywall. It adds a sleek, modern design touch.

Finished basements

The effects of the pandemic, as well as the current challenges in attainable housing, are resulting in customers looking to maximize their living space. While many custom home buyers used to keep the basement unfinished and update it a few years after they move in, notes James, “more often than not now, we are finishing the basement during the main build.” Anything from media and recreation rooms to offices, extra bedrooms or even a self-contained in-law suite make the lowest floor an important part of the home.

High ceilings

A vaulted ceiling or even an extra foot of height can make a huge difference. They make a home feel more spacious, and small rooms feel a bit larger. They also make it easier to accommodate more dramatic lighting fixtures such as chandeliers.

When specifying a trendy feature, James encourages a long-term approach. “At Anthony Homes, we’re focused on our client’s current needs as well as their investment in the long run. When we provide our advice, we’re careful to walk a fine line between what might become a dated novelty like wood paneling, and the emerging trends that we think will last a while.”

Custom Home Building: From the Ground Up

Reflections from James Anthony of Anthony Homes

Working with a custom builder is an opportunity for you to ensure that your home meets your exact needs. Super-sized walk-in closet? Check. Hoping the kitchen counters can be lower or higher than standard? No problem. Looking for a rec room that can transform into an in-law suite? Achievable.

‘When we’re looking at the houses already on the market, it’s a huge feat to find a perfect home that meets all needs, and even renovating can usually only go so far in getting exactly what a homeowner might want,’ notes James Anthony of Anthony Homes, a Guelph-based builder who works one-on-one with clients to build their dream home from the ground up. As such, a custom home is a great solution for folks looking to ‘check all their boxes.’

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And while almost everyone looking to have a custom home built knows their budget, they might not know exactly what their money will get them. ‘We get stars in our eyes when we think ‘dream home’,’ James remarks, ‘so it’s important for us to sit down with our clients to let them know how we can work successfully within their budget.’ Here are a few things James and his team urge clients to keep top of mind: 

Prioritize your needs

‘It’s important to know your 'must-haves' versus 'what’s nice to have',’ says James. So he encourages clients to create a scoring sheet (or similar system) to keep track of what they consider most important – especially when more than one future homeowner is involved. As James posits: ‘Scoring sheets are a great communication tool to explore what matters most to you both.’

Have your financing in order

‘When you work out the project cost,’ James observes, ‘it’s important to know where the funds will come from.’ Have you been saving, or will you need to arrange for a mortgage or construction financing? Having your finances in order reduces the stress of planning the build. James adds: ‘We help customers discern what design features mean from a cost perspective and give them options to help stay on budget.’

Plan early with your builder

James’ primary goal is to draw on his knowledge and experience to provide information that will help clients meet their goals while remaining realistic about the journey ahead. ‘Every relationship is built on solid communication,’ he notes, ‘and working with a home builder is no different. We put time into conversations with clients – providing helpful, honest advice so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.’ Anthony Homes’ team of professionals starts working with customers at the design phase, ensuring all needs – as well as considerations such as municipal zoning bylaws and soil conditions – are accounted for from the beginning, to ensure the successful execution of your dream home.