Design Center Guide: What are the Hottest Design Choices for True Homes Buyers?

One of the most exciting parts about building a new house with True Homes is the design center appointment. That is when you sit down with a design pro to personalize your new home!

Charlotte Design Studio

This is one of the best parts, really, about building a new house as opposed to purchasing an existing house. Chances are, every existing house you ever looked at had something you thought you would have to change, whether it was paint, carpet, cabinets or light fixtures.

Instead of working around someone else’s choices, everything in your new house is created just for you. From flooring to lighting, kitchen cabinets to bathroom faucets, you get to design your new home to match your sense of style and take advantage of all the latest design trends.

To find out all the latest trends and the most popular items True Homes buyers are choosing for their brand new homes, we talked to Danielle Burch and Melissa Johnson, the design studio managers for the Charlotte and Triad markets.


In the kitchen

In kitchen cabinetry, True Homes customers are divided into two very different camps. One group is embracing the trend toward lighter, brighter colors and choosing white or grey cabinetry. The other group is choosing very dark stain finishes for “really rich feel,” Melissa says. Another common choice is to select white cabinets for the perimeter of the kitchen and then having the island cabinetry in a contrasting color, such as grey or even a dark stain.

Glass cabinet doors are very popular, too. Because of the expense of the glass panels, most people opt to use them strategically. Depending on the floorplan, customers often select glass-paneled cabinets for either side of the stove, in a corner cabinet or in the butler’s pantry.

Favorite cabinetry add-ons include roll-out shelves for pots and pans and trash cans and a tilt-out drawer for the sink base. The tilt-out drawer is a handy place to store dish sponges and it helps keeps the sink area free of clutter.

For countertops, granite is still a popular choice but so is quartz, which offers some benefits not available with granite. Unlike granite, quartz doesn’t need to be sealed, and since it is a manmade material, the color is more consistent throughout. Here’s an article from HGTV on the pros and cons of both materials. Melissa notes that many people are fans of the quartz when they want the look of Cararra marble, but not marble’s susceptibility to staining.

Even entry-level buyers with a modest budget for upgrades can get the sophisticated look of marble countertops, Melissa notes. True Homes offers a high-quality laminate countertop that emulates the look of marble or even soapstone at a much lower price. Here is a photo on Houzz that shows a marble-look laminate countertop.

For kitchen backsplashes, the designers say, it’s all about subway tile. It’s a great option because it fits with virtually any style.

What about sinks? True Homes offers single- and double-bowl sinks, with the single bowl being the more popular. And with good reason; they’re great for washing large pots and pans. True Homes also has just added a farmhouse sink option that the designers are very excited about!

Master baths

 The trend toward spa-like master baths continues to be strong. Granite and quartz countertops are a popular upgrade. One new option with those vanity countertops that is getting a lot of attention is a rectangular vanity sink.

Answering the age-old question of shower or tub, about half of True Homes customers get a separate tub and shower in the master bath. The other half just want a shower. Popular shower options include tile on the walls and ceiling, a tiled seat, extra shower heads, and an upgraded heavier glass shower door.


It hasn’t been that long since hardwood floors were the standard in new homes. Buyers wouldn’t even consider a laminate product. That’s all changed, Melissa says. Today, the vast majority of True Homes buyers opt for sustainable wood laminate floors in the entryway, living room and kitchen at a minimum, and some also add it in the great room and study.

“Sustainable wood laminate floors are just as good-looking as wood products with much better durability and higher warranties,” Melissa says. “Laminate has come a very long way since its early days; you wouldn’t know it’s not wood. A hardwood floor is wonderful, but there is a lot of maintenance with it. It dents, it dings, it scratches. When we rolled this out, it was a game changer.”

Customers who are watching their budget can get the look of hardwood in a vinyl.

“It’s uber hot!” Danielle says. “It’s textured, it looks great and it’s inexpensive. That is a huge trend.”

As for rooms that are carpeted, the big color trend in carpet is gray. That color is everywhere in the home; we love it here at True Homes! It provides a fabulous neutral base for all kinds of color palettes.

Grey is the most popular – nine out of 10 homes. Exterior – we offer grey exterior vinyl siding, then blues and greens. Inside home, some of the blue-grey granite, cooler tones being used on the inside and outside the home. That trickles down even to stone selection.


 Designers talk about lighting as the jewelry in a room, so it’s not surprising that lighting choices are very personal, Danielle notes. Today, True Homes clients most often are choosing styles from the industrial, country farmhouse and contemporary styles. “It’s more linear, not so many curlicues,” Danielle notes. Edison bulbs are very popular, especially now that they are available in LED. The designers say seeded glass globes on pendants are popular, as well as wire cages and lantern-type looks.

In finishes, brushed nickel and matte black are very popular, as are chrome and polished nickel, which are a perfect fit with the midcentury modern design style that is so popular right now.

Outdoor living

 Of course, here in the Carolinas, we all want to take advantage of the beautiful weather, so outdoor living options are popular with True Homes customers. Among the popular options are screened porches, built-in grills and kitchens, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces.

Speaking of fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling cultured stone fireplaces are very popular, paired with a cedar mantle. The designers also are getting requests for modern mosaic glass tile surrounds.

Believe it or not, those are just a few of the categories in which True Homes clients can personalize their new home. If you’re looking for True Space, Style and Quality in new real estate in the Carolinas, the only choice is True Homes. Click here to find out more!