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Upscale Touches Can Make Cookie-Cutter Homes Stick Out

While unusual elements may turn off some buyers, classic elements used in a unique way generally have mass appeal. One example: A herringbone-pattern wood floor.

NEW YORK – Cookie-cutter homes and apartments look similar to their competition, making it harder for a single listing to stand out. But developers and designers suggest some ways to make one abode seem better than its identical twins.

“Everybody’s looking at what everybody else is doing,” says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants, to The New York Times. An apartment can be “really nice and special and unique – and not dissimilar to the other five places you just looked at.”

To stand out, designers and developers use materials, finishes and tech they believe will get noticed, including:

  1. Herringbone patterns: Intriguing floors may be one way to lure buyers, designers say. Planks of wood flooring are often in parallel lines. But flooring installed in zig-zag patterns with herringbone or chevron details is getting noticed, as the look provides a flooring update, designers say. With herringbone, the ends are cut at a right angle and have a woven effect. The technique can be applied in other rooms, too, such as in bathrooms – or as an accent wall in the living room or even a backsplash in the kitchen.
  1. Marble: Marble is popping up all over homes, from kitchen countertops to stove hoods and bathrooms. “Calacatta, a gray-veined marble quarried in Carrara, Italy, remains the go-to-choice,” The New York Times reports. The polished stone is increasingly being “honed,” which has a softer sheen, making marble less flashy than it has been in the past.
  1. Smart-home tech: A cookie-cutter home with great technology stands out. Homeowners can check the temperature or security of their home from their phones. The lighting and curtains can be controlled through an app. A marketing team called Centrale is recommending Nest Learning thermostats for the apartments in Ceruzzi Properties in East Midtown, N.Y. The smart thermostats have occupancy sensors that will turn the heat or air conditioning on or off based on whether someone is in the room. “It doesn’t make sense to manually operate thermostats anymore,” says Tariq Mahmood, director of construction for Ceruzzi’s New York division.

Source: “Six Must-Haves Needed to Seduce Buyers,” The New York Times (Oct. 18, 2019)

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