From NAHBnow.com – the official news blog of the National Association of Home Builders.

Looking for the latest “must have” design features to wow your move-up buyers? Experts offered the following tips during January’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas:

  • Kitchens that impress.“Kitchens will always be the center of the house. You can’t make an island too big,” said Dan Swift, president and CEO of BSB Design based in Des Moines. Double islands and drop-down islands that become a table are also popular options.
  • Laundry connections.Stackable washer and dryers in an upstairs bathroom where you can get light into the laundry space. “The laundry space is the ‘kitchen of the future,’” said Matt Sauls, vice president of marketing and development at Pardee Homes.
  • New technology.The latest homes are replacing traditional wall outlets with USB outlets and providing one cable outlet with Wi-Fi for the rest of the house, Sauls said.
  • Great rooms and open floor plans.“How do you make a smaller house feel larger? Break down barriers,” said Dave Kosco, senior principal and director of design at Bassenian/Lagoni Architecture in Newport Beach, Calif. People want to see from the front to the back of the house, he added.
  • Outdoor rooms.Good quality outdoor spaces are replacing formal living room and dining rooms. They incorporate glass door systems that create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor section of the home. Many of these outdoor outdoor spaces include kitchens with full amenities.
  • Spa master baths.They are characterized by light, open airy spaces. Many builders are getting rid of tubs in favor huge, luxurious showers.

“It’s all about how you manage the space. Features can be scalable and affordable,” Swift said.