Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

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As a designer, I know how crucial it is to get the basics just right.

The design should be functional, attractive, and fit with your family’s lifestyle. The materials used should be high-quality, long-lasting, and timeless. But what if we go beyond the basics? There are TONS of great add-ons and features you can choose for your new home, but which ones are actually worth the extra money?

I’ve put together a list of five different “nice to have” features to consider for a new home. All of these features appear in our latest home builds in the Twin Cities. Not only are our homes at the top of the industry for performance in energy efficiency (read about it HERE), they are also beautifully designed and made to include several extras that will add comfort and convenience to any family’s life.

Check out these nice to have features!

1. In-floor heat in the master bathroom

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If you live in a cold climate like we do, you know how nice in-floor heating can be! But did you know that it can also reduce your environmental footprint and save you money? That’s because using radiant floor systems helps to minimize use of a central air heating system.

BONUS: in-floor heating can help allergy-sufferers because central air systems have the potential to move dirt, dust, and other allergens through the vents.

2. Low maintenance landscaping

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In a place that has four seasons, landscaping can be a busy home owner’s nightmare. In our Edina home, we cut down on lawn area by using tasteful stone accents and building a pergola-covered patio area. An imbedded sprinkler system helps with watering during the summer months and the mature evergreens surrounding the house help ease the burden of raking during the fall.

3. Great storage layouts

Nice to have features in your new home, a blog post by MN interior design Samantha Grose

If you’ve ever lived in a home with insufficient or poorly-planned storage areas, you know the value of effective storage solutions! We make sure there are storage spaces throughout the home, wherever they are needed. We particularly pay attention to our closet areas and make sure every shelf, drawer, or bin is easily accessible. From spices to sports equipment to skirts, a well-planned home should have great options for storing a variety of objects.

4. Upgraded appliances

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We want home owners to fall in love with their appliances. Our latest project features attractive stainless steel appliances with several handy, modern features. The kitchen includes a convection oven, a microwave/oven combo, and a gas cooktop—convenient for cooking or baking multiple dishes at once.

5. Divided light windows

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As a designer, I am very particular about windows. Careful placement of high quality windows can boost sunlight throughout the home, save energy (and dollars!), and add sophistication. Divided windows have multiple small panes of glass that are separated by grilles and are known for both their timeless aesthetic and potential to be energy efficient.

It’s the little things that make difference! Pay attention to the “nice to have” features in addition to the basics and find a house that says “home.”

Samantha Grose, Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

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Author: Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.

Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.

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Written by Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the...
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