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What we learned about our homes in 2020


A quick glance at the calendar shows that 2020 is almost over. Many of you are heaving large sighs of relief. It’s been a year of unpredictability. Who would have thought last December that face masks would be a welcomed gift? As we get ready for 2021 to bring some positive changes, at Kettler Forlines Homes, we’re taking a look back to see what we learned about our homes in 2020.

The outdoor space matters.

There’s nothing like an overdose of togetherness to spark the desire for more space, inside and out. Urban dwellers have led an urban exodus to less dense areas, looking to put a little distance between them and their neighbors. Even suburban dwellers made the move for the same reason. 

Before we experienced this shift, Kettler Forlines Homes was committed to giving homeowners more space. As we’ve developed Brightwell Crossing, our community of single-family homes in Poolesville, MD, we chose to limit the number of homes in order to allow for larger lots. We’ve designed the neighborhood, including the last phase, The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, with homesites of a half-acre or more.

It’s not just a privacy feature. The large yards appeal to people who want to get outside for recreation, relaxation, or both. A big yard provides room for play structures and outdoor games. There’s enough area for an outdoor living space, a pool, and even an outdoor kitchen.

Toilet paper is a valuable commodity.

One of the strangest phenomena resulting from the pandemic was the sudden urge to stock up on toilet paper. Empty paper goods aisles in the grocery stores became a common site. So, with all of the inventory flying off the shelves, where does it go?

If you had enough storage space, the stockpile wasn’t the problem. But many homes simply aren’t equipped to handle a 6-month supply of toilet paper, paper towels, and other non-perishables. Garages and basements were used for the overflow. However, with people working at home and schools going online, “home, sweet home” was already getting a bit cramped.

While the lack of storage space wasn’t enough on its own to spark a move, the flaw was enough to bring attention to the other missing pieces in the home—like extra rooms. The desire for a dedicated home office, not just the dining room table, topped the list of needs. A classroom for the students in the house to focus on their lessons instead of the activity happening around them became another notable need.

With gyms closing, those members sought out a workout space at home. And a corner of the bedroom just didn’t cut it.

When all your daily living moves inside your home, you might need a new home. Maybe it’s not a bigger home, but one with a better layout. 

We took a good look at our floor plans and made some adjustments to allow for options. Most of our home designs already feature a walk-in pantry as well as a service kitchen, but we looked at how we could offer it in every plan.

You can finish a basement or reconfigure an area to allow for a home office. Many homes can convert the formal living room or formal dining room, but sometimes the location in the front of the home isn’t desirable as a workspace. So, we also worked on addressing the right location for a home office.

A not-so-empty nest looks different.

Some empty nesters were just settling into their newfound freedom when the pandemic created another shift in the American lifestyle. Aging parents were brought in to live with their adult children, a safer alternative than certain elderly housing choices. In addition, children who had recently moved away from home found themselves without a job. To save money, they moved back in to live with their parents.

It’s one thing to have a guest room for temporary visitors, but when another adult is added to the household, one room doesn’t suffice. Multigenerational homes need two (or more) suites to allow for harmonious cohabitation. A suite offers a bedroom with a walk-in closet and a full bath, at the very least. A sitting area is a nice plus.

In this situation, a first-floor suite is essential, avoiding the need for climbing stairs. Once again, Kettler Forlines Homes was ahead of the trend. For years, we’ve been building homes with what we called a “family guest home”. This area was a large living space within the home, not a detached residence. In addition to the basics of a suite, we include a laundry closet, living area, and optional kitchenette. 

But what if you need a first-floor owner’s suite for yourself and another for your parents? Kettler Forlines Homes floor plans like The Bradley and The Somerset feature a first-floor suite and offer the option to add a second suite on the same level. 

Did YOUR home measure up?

Looking back at the past 10 months, did your current home support your lifestyle? Have you found it lacking in some features? 2020 was eye-opening in so many ways. If your vision became clearer and focused on finding a new home, please take a look at Kettler Forlines Homes. For more than 40 years, we’ve built a reputation for quality homes and an equally high standard for working closely with each homebuyer. In addition to the homes at The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing, we welcome the chance to build your dream home on your land. Let’s get started by simply chatting about your ideas. Reach out to George Neill to learn more about our process, our homes, and our commitment to your satisfaction.