home design

5 Ways to Make a Fresh Start at Home in 2017

by Shea Homes on December 29, 2016

At the start of a new year, it’s common to crave change or improvement. It’s the time of year many of us create goals for the next 12 months and envision what the next year will look like. And while some goals may be bigger, like saving to buy a new home, others may be a little more instantly gratifying, like finally organizing the garage or lugging all of your old clothes to the donation drop off. From big to small goals alike, we’ve collected 5 ways to help you kick off a fresh start for 2017.

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4 Tips for Maneuvering a Home Design Studio

by Shea Homes on June 1, 2015

Design-Your-Dream-HomeImagine — you’ve just purchased a new home and it’s time to start designing the house of your dreams. While some of us welcome the idea of building from a blank slate, for others, the design process can be a daunting task. At Shea Homes, we strive to make this process an enjoyable one with the help of our professional Design Studio Team.

Shea Homes designers guide buyers through the design process by asking all of the critical questions that will help you create a unique style for your home. Design Counselor Jaclyn Burrage says, “We want buyers to love where they live. We want them to feel like they were a part of the process and that they have their signature on their home.” Shea sets up a series of meetings where buyers work hand-in-hand with the design team. What happens thereafter is somewhat organic.

According to Design Counselor Holly Sanford, “It’s a very fluid process. When the buyers come to the Design Studio they see something they like and [the appointment] takes on a life of its own.” Burrage recalls buyers coming into the studio knowing that they wanted white cabinets, or falling in love with specific flooring in the studio, creating a sort of design “domino effect,” and from there, the design concept “would start to evolve.”

It’s easy to get swept away in the plethora of options and decisions to make your house your home, so we’ve prepared a handy graphic of things to consider before your first design studio meeting. Just click on the image below and print the worksheet out for yourself.


Tips to prepare!

1.    Get Inspired

Like most creative processes, it’s always helpful to start with some inspiration. Burrage notes, “We love having pictures. More and more people are coming to us with idea books and Pinterest on their phones. Then, we help them tailor these ideas to their home, lifestyle, and budget.”

Sanford says to ask yourself, “What have I seen that I really like?” And, just as importantly, “What is it that I don’t like?” Home design and decorating sites like Houzz.com can be extremely helpful in determining the look you are going for. Check out this and other design blogs and create a Pinterest board to help define the look you are going for. [Click to tweet this planning tip!]

2. Know Your Budget

“The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.”
– Jacob Lew, Treasury Secretary
[Click here to tweet this home design budget reminder!]

First and foremost, it’s important to understand where your newly purchased home is in the Shea construction process. This will determine what design opportunities are available. Sanford and Burrage recommend consulting the community representative to understand your unique model, what’s already included, and what elements you have the flexibility to change before getting started. Using your inspiration pieces, create a cohesive list of the design elements you think you would want in your dream home. From there, start to rank which elements are important to you. For instance, think to yourself, “I spend a lot of time cooking, so I definitely want a killer kitchen that has high-end appliances and countertops.” Asking yourself these questions, will help you prioritize your list.

3. Understand Your Lifestyle

Our lifestyle choices have many implications on what an ideal home means to us. The design team guides buyers through these questions, helping them think through these considerations and making design recommendations based on their answers.

Some considerations to think about before your design studio meeting may include:

  • Do you cook often?
  • Where do you spend most of your time in your home?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Do you have kids?
  • Will this be your primary residence, or vacation home?

Burrage explains, “A young couple with children and a large dog may not end up happy with a high-gloss hardwood floor in a dark finish, as it will show scratches far more prominently than an oil finish, hand scraped, or highly distressed hardwood floor.” She continues, “If a buyer spends a lot of time in the kitchen, or suffers from arthritis, we may suggest flooring products, like cork or hardwood, as it’s more resilient and softer underfoot than a ceramic tile or stone.”

4. Determine Your Home Maintenance Threshold

Maintenance is a major consideration when it comes to designing your home. Burrage gives an example, ”Someone who is not willing to clean their kitchen countertops during and after each meal preparation would be a better candidate for a manufactured stone such as Caesarstone or One Quartz. I would highly discourage a marble surface, as it’s very prone to etching, staining, and scratching.” While the design team knows the in-and-outs of the various countertop surfaces, flooring and other housing materials that can withstand the most wear and tear, what’s important for the buyer to understand, is if they will commit to the upkeep.

Once questions regarding lifestyle, budget, maintenance and the type of look have been addressed, then the real fun begins. “When we get into the creative stuff, like flooring and paint, that’s when it gets a lot more interactive because we are playing with samples and figuring out what their hopes are for their house,” Burrage divulges. If you are one who struggles with visualizing how the various design elements come together, then fear no longer! Sanford explains, “We build the entire look with samples at the design studio – the flooring, the countertop, the tiles, the cabinets – we layer them all together to show buyers the cohesive look.”

There you have it. What started out as a blank canvas has now become a home design masterpiece. Do you have tips for preparing for home design? Share them below.


There are a lot of things to consider when choosing floor plan options and when laying out your home furnishings.  Will the couch fit in that corner? Should this room be a guest bedroom or maybe a den or game room? Do we need another bookshelf for that wall?  Would this room work for the pool table?  Inevitably, you’ll probably change your mind about the layout at least a few times before settling on one that works best for you and your family.

But did you know that you can get a head start on planning your home layout using the Shea Homes SpaceBuilder?

SB1With the ability to visualize key features of your floor plan as well as place and modify furniture, fixtures and other aspects of the home, it’s sure to help prevent several hours of furniture shuffling.

To use the SpaceBuilder, just visit www.SheaHomes.com/newhomes/phoenix and select the community and floorplan you want to explore. Then click on the green, right hand icon that says “Explore this Floorplan.”

Here are ten things to try while you’re there: 

1)           On a Shea3D floor plan, see how a kitchen-centric, outdoor-centric and entertainment-centric MyPlan option would look for your floor plan.

2)          For most of our floor plans, including those that are not Shea3D plans you can also change some of the home’s features by clicking “Explore” at the top. Many floorplans have optional balconies, additional bathrooms or hobby room modifications.

3)          Check to see if the kids’ current furniture will fit in their bedrooms. Here you can input the measurements of their furniture and arrange it however you like. Just click “Space Planner” at the top of the Spacebuilder application.

4)         Rearrange your living room a few times—without having to actually move furniture.

5)          “Flip” the floorplan to see what it would be like as the reverse layout.

6)         Take a look at a variety of interior options such as kitchen cabinets and flooring by clicking “Gallery” on the left-hand side.

7)          Browse included features such as the look of your front door, ceramic tile countertops, etc. Remember, as a Shea Homes customer, you get to take a full in-person tour of our Design Studio to see all the options up-close and personal before you make your final choices.

8)         Dream about new furniture and fun home accessories, then check to see if a piece of furniture you would like to buy will fit in the spot you imagine it in.SB2

9)         Are there multiple family living  spaces in the plan you’re looking at? Use SpaceBuilder to help you visualize whether the extra room should be a game room, teen room, exercise room or anything else you can think up!

10)      After you decide where you want everything, save your layout for later or print it out to make moving day easier.

BONUS: Show off your plans or get feedback from friends and family by sharing your floorplan layout on Facebook and Twitter! Better yet, share your floorplans on our Facebook page or tweet it to @SheaHomesAZ. We’d love to hear from you!

Visit our website for more information about Shea Homes’ communities across the Valley or you can call us toll free: 1-866-696-7432.  To watch our informational videos, please visit our YouTube channel.  For more information on Shea Homes and what we’re up to in Arizona, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join us for some inspiration on Pinterest.


Innovation: How does it relate to garages and laundry rooms?

by Shea Homes Arizona on February 7, 2013


Historically, architects seemed to always put garages and laundry rooms on the back-burner of the homes they were designing.  These rooms simply served one purpose, and were built accordingly.  Today, we at Shea Homes execute a vision where these two rooms bring more to the table than just their obvious function.

In most of our homes, garages are designed to be larger in width and height.  Larger garage door openings are installed so cars don’t have to be squeezed into a confined space, reducing scratches on vehicles.  Customers have the option of upgrading to a fully-functioning garage workspace, perfect to store tools and with plenty of counter space to work on any project.  We offer some upgrade options on the size of your garage as well, including a three or four car garage or even our newest detached RV garage.

With the exceptional size of the RV garage, there are several options of how to design it, even if you don’t own an RV!  Some choices include an enclosed workspace complete with plenty of storage space and a bathroom, or a loft in your garage to be used as extra storage space. And for those hot summer months, RV garages can be equipped with A/C and even house a guest casita.

Laundry Rooms

Did you know that washers and dryers were once located in the garage of the home? More recently and still quite commonly, they are now found in a small room directly off of the garage.  We find that locating the laundry room in a central space where everyone in the family has access is efficient and popular with our customers. And, in some of our two story plans, the laundry room is located upstairs.

Since the average family does 8-10 loads per week (not including bedding), we believe that a large laundry room can make for a more comfortable, simple and therefore, happier experience. We provide plenty of counter space, upper and lower cabinetry, with upgrades including a sink so that you can fully function while performing this necessary task.  If you have kids, you can also opt for an expanded laundry room to function as a playroom, an arts and crafts studio or a study for after-school homework.

We pride ourselves on giving your garage and laundry room the attention that they deserve; with multiple uses and larger space, these rooms can really make for a truly functioning home.

Would you change anything about your current garage or laundry room? What would it be?

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