How to give new-builds a luxury ‘showhome’ finish

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Everyone loves walking around a showhome. Between the perfectly-made beds, the dining table that’s been elaborately laid and the crisp perfection of a house that nobody is living in, it’s easy to see why. Even though we know it’s all theatre, a glossy showhome makes us not only want to buy the house, but to buy into the lifestyle it’s selling.

Perhaps you’re a builder that’s taking on your first luxury development, or maybe you’re a homeowner that wants to give their home a high-end edge before putting it on the market for someone to rent or buy. Here are some of the key areas to focus on at each stage of the project, in order to achieve that ‘showhome finish’.

Building tips

The secret to a luxurious floorplan is to really understand what your potential customers will be looking for. Of course, there are some features that will always be welcomed (large windows, en-suites, double-height rooms), but it’s important that the elements you choose are appropriate to the property you’re building.

For example, a modestly-sized home that’s intended for a young family would be better off with a bathtub than an over-sized shower, so it’s easier to wash little ones. If you’ve designed a home with a large dining room and lots of space for entertaining, it might be prudent to install a double oven in the kitchen. Properties that are designed for young professionals don’t need to be exceptionally spacious – but you’ll typically find they’re happy to splash out on high-end amenities

Homeowners can apply the same logic to their existing property. Consider your target market before making major modifications – would a kitchen extension be more practical than a conservatory? Or should you just keep the garden space you have available? Would the third bedroom be better-styled as an office, or a playroom? Plan the most harmonious layout wisely.

Design elements

Showhomes are there to be a physical advert for the exceptional quality available in every home on the development. This means that every fixture and fitting should represent the best options that your customers could choose to have installed in their homes. This usually includes:

  • Premium materials used for kitchen cupboards, countertops and splashbacks
  • Top of the range kitchen appliances
  • Modern/upgraded bathroom fixtures
  • Better quality carpets
  • Alternative, “non-standard” light fittings
  • Preferred materials for plug sockets, door handles and light switches (e.g. chrome instead of plastic)
  • Security alarms
  • Media points/TV aerials and phonelines in multiple rooms
  • Turfed and landscaped gardens

When it comes to choosing a luxurious colour palette, opt for muted shades and subtle textures. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick to beige and cream – relaxing shades of stone, taupe and blue-grey work well, as do fresh pastels. When choosing tiles, wallpaper and flooring, a simple monochrome pattern adds visual interest without overwhelming the room.

Using the same colour scheme, patterns, textures and materials throughout the property will make it seem more like one coherent space, blurring the lines between each smaller room.

Finishing touches

An essential part of dressing a showhome is to use furniture that is in modest proportions compared to the room. Swallowing up the entire living room floorspace with a corner sofa doesn’t emphasise the square footage each customer is getting for their money. If in doubt, talk to a professional interior stylist who can source and loan the appropriate pieces for your space.

Another key area to focus on is making each room as light and bright as possible. Keep window dressings to a minimum and utilise plenty of lighting and mirrors to lift dark corners and shadows. Don’t underestimate the power of symmetry, either. For example, put matching tables and lamps at either side of a bed or sofa, and keep cushions balanced. Clusters of three are also visually appealing.

Finally, every property should also undergo a post-build clean, to make sure it’s spotless before the new owners move in. It’s important to keep your showhome looking immaculate for every viewing, but in order to promote a luxury reputation, every house you sell should be given a professional once-over before key release.

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