Designing a Model Home

This week, I finished a model home project for an active adult community in Montville, NJ (Briar Hill at Montville). It was a lot of work from inception through staging day(s), but also fun. When designing for a model home, you need to consider the age and lifestyle needs of your target market (in this case, upscale 55 years old up to around 80 years old, but with the majority of buyers likely to be in their 60s); the geographic area (upper middle class country/suburban in northern NJ); and the timeframe for getting the project done (originally about 5-6 weeks, extended to 10 weeks because of construction delays). I added more luxury touches with layered bedding, decorative pillows, and panel drapes, as well as valances in the dining area (drapes would be too formal for this eat-in area, the only dining area of the home). I chose oriental and classic acorn/fleur-de-lis area rugs to convey a traditional, classic look, but I went with transitional mid-century furniture to avoid the stodgy, out-dated look seen in many older active adult communities. The curved tables in the hall and living room, as well as the rounded edges of the dining room table, give a sense of relaxation and softness appropriate to a retirement community.

Dramatic front entry hall.

Light-filled living room with cathedral ceiling.

Kitchen island and prep area.

Luxurious master bedroom suite.

I also selected many of the finishes in this home — the ebony stain on the floors, the oil-rubbed bronze light fixtures in the main living areas, the granite, carpeting, and paint colors. The goal was to convey elegance and relaxation.

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