How To Create A Tactile Experience In Your Model Homes


Builder: Van Metre Homes Design Firm: Builders Design

Humans are born with five natural senses, and the nervous system has a specific sensory organ dedicated to each one. These senses connect us to the outside world, and although their primary purpose is to keep the body safe and healthy, our natural instincts also allow us to engage with both living and inanimate objects. In this article, we’re going to focus our natural sense of touch(scientifically known as somatosensation – but lucky for you, this is where the science lesson stops).

With the advent of iPhones, iPads, etc., the tactile experience that all consumers are drawn to is extremely limited, causing us to yearn for those materials that engage us on a textural level. This is why it is so important to create a tactile experience in your Model Home. It’ll spark an interest in homebuyers, and keep them engaged and present in the home longer, thus creating a lasting memory.

Textural surface treatments are influencing all trends happening in regard to your walls, floors, and ceilings. I know what you’re thinking – Floors and ceilings, what happened to the standard hardwood floors and crown molding. To put it in Millennial terms, they are so 1990’s.

Floors and ceilings have become the new focal point of design, as walls are losing space to windows. Natural light is one of the best and most impactful ways to illuminate a space. Even the kitchen backsplash is being used as an opportunity to let the light in by adding a decorative window in lieu of a backsplash.

Architectural details are a great way to embellish the surfaces of your home. A recent trend is taking a classic trim treatment, such as wainscoting or shiplap, and simply modernizing it. Clean lines and painted surfaces will make a shiplap treatment feel fresher, and if wainscoting is simply extended to cover a majority of the walls surface, it’ll streamline the design style.

Trim treatments can also add depth through color by painting the trim the same color as the walls surface. Not only does the tone on tone trim provide the open floor plan with rich detail, but this popular gridded pattern on repeat elevates the space and creates visual energy.

Attention to ceiling detail was another emerging surface trend this year. Raising sightlines through an unexpected architectural detail on the ceiling creates the illusion of higher walls, as well as a greater perceived value on the home. Examples such as, coffered ceilings, curvilinear trim treatments, or even applying a piece of wood that extends over 3/4 of the ceiling, are just some ways to raise sightlines.Let’s just say if you get a Millennial to look up from their phone for more than 10 seconds, you’ve mastered the trend of ceilings statements.

If you’re looking for ways to add texture, but don’t want the commitment or cost of an architectural built in, wallpaper is a great alternative. Wallpaper not only has texturized options, but they can also give the illusion of texture. Looking into 2018, a specific trend we’re seeing in wallpaper is oversized motifs, especially florals, for added detail and drama.

Tired of tile? I hope not. Tile has always been a popular choice of surface material for its durability, low maintenance, and swoon-worthy designs. Tile design has become so detailed that it can mimic the look of wood, stone, or other natural materials and have most people fooled (outside of the design industry). In addition to graphic patterns and metallic finishes, we’re seeing cultural influences from all over the world in tile design.

The best advice for decorating surfaces in 2017 and 2018, is to provide consumers with that tactile experience they’re yearning for. Designing with sensory elements will never fail to engage your homebuyers, because naturally we’re drawn to things that evoke our natural sense of, you guessed it, touch.


7601 Lindbergh Dr.
Gaithersburg, MD 20879



Washington, DCOrlando, FL
Richmond, VASarasota, FL
Greensboro, NCDallas, TX
Charleston, SCAustin, TX
Atlanta, GADenver, CO