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Key Elements of Stunning Modern Farmhouses

The idea “what’s old is new again” is being dynamically expressed through urban America’s renewed love affair with farmhouses. However, while they are inspired by the past, make no mistake: when it comes to quality, craftsmanship, features and finishes, today’s custom farmhouses are definitely built for life in the 21st century. Home design pioneer David Simonini, an advisor and consultant to The Simonini Group and winner of National Builder of the Year, America’s Best Builder, and National Quality Award — explores the key exterior and interior elements of stunning modern farmhouses that blend yesterday’s charm, with today’s sophistication.

Key Exterior Elements

According to David Simonini, key exterior elements of modern farmhouses often include:

  • Plenty of windows to welcome in rays of natural light — which is not just esthetically gorgeous and makes the interior space feel more spacious but is also energy efficient and can help reduce utility costs.
  • White or light-colored siding, which may be accented by natural wood. Some families opt for weathered siding to give their farmhouse a more rustic, authentic look.
  • A large, welcoming porch that is perfect for enjoying a morning coffee.
  • A dark A-shaped roof made of strong, weatherproof metal. The dark roof contrasts nicely with the white siding to create a sense of permanence and stability, which is a core characteristic of farmhouses.
  • Carriage-style garage doors that swing out vs. roll back and give way to an insulated space that can easily accommodate two (or sometimes more) cars, plus other items like lawnmowers, shovels, tools, and so on.
  • A large front door that is usually dark and compliments the dark-colored roof.

Key Exterior Elements

According to David Simonini, key interior elements of modern farmhouses often include:

  • Large, functional rooms with high ceilings that are designed for practical living.
  • Neutral color schemes that typically use white as the dominant color.
  • Muted, low-key finishes that echo a classic farmhouse look and feel.
  • Industrial-inspired accents, such as galvanized metal storage buckets, iron light fixtures, wooden mantels, and exposed brickwork that looks fantastic above a fireplace.
  • Natural flooring, such as hardwood upstairs and in the dining room, and bluestone tile in the kitchen.
  • Wood stoves that are both functional and beautiful.
  • A functional, yet eclectic mix of different furniture types that contrast bold colors, like navy blue and deep orange.
  • An Aga cooker, which is a farmhouse staple and an instant conversation-starter when entertaining.
  • Modern creature comforts such as plush couches and accent chairs, cushioned bar stools, and plenty of throws and oversized pillows to create a homey, comfortable ambiance that works throughout the year.

David Simonini on Looking Ahead

Indeed, what’s old really is new again as more families opt for a classic farmhouse design that reminds them of a simpler, slower, and more stable time. But as David Simonini quickly points out, kids who dread the thought of living “off the grid” should not be concerned: today’s stunning modern farmhouses are equipped with high-speed broadband internet and whole-home automation. So no, it’s not grandma’s house — it’s more like going back to the future.

david simonini trump opportunity zones

Three Key Beneficiaries of Trump Opportunity Zones

A key piece of the sweeping $1.5 trillion tax overhaul passed by Congress in late 2017 was the creation of Opportunity Zones (a.k.a. Trump Opportunity Zones). The program is designed to incentivize private investment and development in economically depressed areas, including some of the country’s poorest communities that have reported a poverty rate of at least 20 percent for three decades, and where family incomes are significantly lower than the area or state median. The Simonini Group has designed and built over five hundred townhomes and one thousand custom homes in greater Charlotte, NC.

According to David Simonini, a renowned advisor and consultant to the group, both folks on the left, the right, and down the middle of the political spectrum should be applauding the Opportunity Zone concept as one that — unlike so many programs that Uncle Sam spearheads — is poised help three key stakeholder groups win big: investors, workers, and families in areas that desperately need a long-term and sustainable financial reset.  

Tax Benefits

To start with, investors in Opportunity Zones are immediately shielded from paying capital gains taxes through to the end of 2026, or when the investment is sold (whichever happens first). Furthermore, capital gains on the initial investment are discounted 15 percent after seven years and are discounted 100 percent after 10 years. David Simonini points out that his home state of North Carolina has identified 252 potential Opportunity Zones from a pool of just over 1,000 potential low-income census areas. The 252 tracts represent over 1.1 million people, and nearly 45,000 families with children in poverty. The U.S. Department of the Treasury is currently in the process of determining how qualified Opportunity Zone funds will be certified, and officials are also working on a timeline for when capital will begin flowing.

An Increase in Employment

Another big winner in the Opportunity Zone program are workers across the country who will be tasked with bringing new developments to life, such as electricians, roofers, insulation workers, plumbers, pipefitters, ironworkers, and the list goes on. David Simonini also notes that there will also be a significant secondary economic benefit to supporting industries and businesses in the community — everything from cars and home furnishings, to restaurants and personal services — which will create even more jobs and support growth in areas that need it most.

David Simonini on Affordable Housing

And the third and ultimately the biggest winner of the Opportunity Zone program is the families who benefit from access to modern, efficient, well-made, and above-all affordable housing in their community. Comments David: “In the past, developers that wanted to help revive economically depressed areas were hamstrung by a lack of investor interest. However, the Opportunity Zone program is changing this. It is an incentive that should make a massive, lasting difference for families on all sides of the political spectrum.”

 

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5 Ways of Spotting an Expert Home Builder

Virtually all home builders in Charlotte, NC promise to turn dreams into reality. However, for home buyers not every experience is a success story. Some are cautionary tales that are regrettable instead of rewarding. To avoid bitter and costly disappointment, home design pioneer David Simonini, an advisor and consultant to The Simonini Group, shares five insights on how buyers can spot an expert home builder in Charlotte, NC.

Neighborhood Fit

An expert home builder goes above and beyond to ensure that the homes they build integrate seamlessly with the surrounding neighborhood. Simply put, they look as though they belong right where they are vs. were parachuted in from somewhere else.   

Complete Design Studio

An expert home builder provides buyers with a design studio where they can learn about their options, and pick and choose the ones that align with their preferences and needs. Says David Simonini: “It is certainly not enough for home builders to merely highlight options on a website or in a brochure. Buyers should be able to explore and learn about options at their convenience, and in a relaxed setting where they can make smart and satisfying decisions.”

Design + Sales

An expert home builder does not hand buyers off to sales representatives who work for a different company. Instead, they enable buyers to get their plans drawn and priced (based on the interior design options they choose), and then directly connect with salespeople in the model who sell to that neighborhood.  

Local Pride

An expert home builder knows houses that look great in California, Texas or Florida may not — and often do not — fit with Charlotte’s unique and rich design style and history. Says David Simonini: “Builders who take pride in Charlotte are not just making buyers happy by building outstanding homes, but they are developing the community and enhancing the area’s regional, national, and indeed international profile.”

Obsession with Quality

The internet is flooded with tales of woe, in which distraught buyers document the shocking ways in which home builders cut corners on quality and workmanship, and who failed to finish the work on time and in budget. To avoid being victimized, David Simonini urges buyers to be absolutely vigilant when it comes to choosing a home builder that is obsessed with quality. Buyers should look for a track record of proven and established success in the area, and they should also ask about industry awards and other recognition that speaks to their commitment to quality.

David Simonini on Trusting Industry Professionals

Says David: “I am delighted to be part of a company that checks all five of these critical boxes. Our goal at The Simonini Group is to turn dreams into reality. That takes world-class expertise, and we are proud to offer that to buyers in Charlotte who expect and demand the very best!”

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Adding More to Your Home Through Interior Design

Five Ways to Transform the Interior Design of Your Home

David Simonini is advisor and the Director of Creative Consulting for The Simonini Group. Currently living in Charlotte, North Carolina, he spends much of his time working and consulting with top designers in his industry, sharing ideas and exemplifying leadership as one of the best in the country. He has some suggestions for those who are considering some interior design work on their house.

Choose a Soothing Colour Tone

Choose colours that naturally relax you to decorate your home. Certain colours have been proven to evoke specific emotional responses such as tranquility, rejuvenation, relaxation, etc. These can be chosen and creatively woven into your interior design to add a positive psychological benefit to your home.

Consider A No-Technology Zone

Many people have become “constant checkers” of their phones, tablets or computers. All day long, dozens of times every hour, people find themselves turning to their device to see what might be new on social media or in the news. In a world of constant connectivity, some people are craving some time to unplug and relax, therefore a zone in your house created specifically for that is something to consider. This could be a cozy little reading nook, or a window space overlooking your property. Some people even designate their bedrooms to be a no-technology space, so that they are not sleeping with their phones next to them or falling asleep to the television. They often find that this increases the quality of their sleep.

David Simonini Recommends to Stay Organized & De-Cluttered

It’s hard to relax in a house that is full of clutter, or when it’s hard to find the things that you’re looking for. A big part of doing interior design projects is learning how to minimize clutter and maximize space, as well as utilizing organizational tips and tools creatively to help you stay clean and tidy. Getting organized can become a piece to your interior design project, as everything from your shelving to your boxes and bins can fit into the theme of the space that you’re working with.

Add Indoor Plants

There are so many benefits to adding plants and greenery to your home, aside from the beautiful decorative taste. Plants act as natural air filters and humidifiers. They have a calming effect on people and reduce psychological stress.

Tell A Story with Your Interior Design

The look of the room or the space that you are working on should tell a story about yourself and your home. It should reflect who you are, but also be functional and easy to live in. A space can welcome guests in and make them feel comfortable, but also give them an immediate sense of who owns the home and what their style and personality is – either as an individual or a family. An interior designer plays an integral part in getting to know the customer that they are working for to achieve this goal.
When David Simonini works with interior design projects, he is going over all these focuses to ensure that his customer is satisfied with the result and can be happy and content with their home each and every time they walk into a room. It is David’s goal to help bring a dream conception to life through the artistic and technical roles of interior design with The Simonini Group. In the trendy, fast paced and frequently adapting industry, David Simonini is a leader when it comes to creative design work and shares his wealth of knowledge for the purpose of enhancing the possibilities and results in each designed home.

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Four Steps to Your Custom Home Design

Building your dream home can be both exciting and fulfilling with the right team of people on your side. The finished product is reliant on having qualified professionals who can bring your dream design to life, with every detail well planned and executed. There are many factors to consider in the process as well as many questions to go over with your home builder before the process begins. Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, David Simonini is an advisor and consultant for the Simonini Group, and he suggests covering these four topics when considering your custom home design.

Location

Where do you envision your family living? Are you staying in the same area as you currently reside, or is it time to relocate to a new city or state? Many individuals prefer to be close to modern amenities and have quick access to their place of work. On the other hand, some individuals opt for remote locations just outside of the city.

Size and Property

Size will be a significant factor in the affordability of your project and may potentially affect zoning permits that you may need to obtain if you’re intending to purchase land for a specific use. David states that new home planning begins with a conceptual design phase where individuals determine their preferred style and vision.  

Timeline according to David Simonini

Building a dream home takes time to be executed properly. It is important to discuss what the realistic expectation is for your custom design project, and account for any possible setbacks to occur. This will help you plan your lifestyle while your custom home gets built, and to make other living arrangements if necessary.

Design Consultation

There are endless design possibilities and a qualified professional can help you navigate your options. It is imperative that prospective homeowners determine a timeframe and budget before construction ensues. It is equally as important to know what you are attracted to as well as what you are not, so that your team can get an idea of how to bring your vision to life. By the time your project is finished, you want to be in love with every inch of your home and property, so this step is an important one to spend an adequate amount of time on.

David Simonini consults and networks with many of the top designers and other leaders in his industry on all four of these topics plus many of the other focuses required during the custom home design process.

David Simonini has completed countless custom home design projects for many satisfied customers, helping from idea conception to project completion, and overseeing every step of the way. Raised in a family of builders, David understands what is required to build eloquent and innovative homes and is well established in the state of North Carolina with many ongoing projects as well as exciting futures ones to come.