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Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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POWER BROKERS What design trends are you seeing? WF: Especially at the higher end, tile is getting more important and more adventurous. As the world gets smaller, it's becoming easier to import beautiful tile. Quality stonework, in fireplace surrounds or on floors, is almost expected now in high-end homes. TS: Especially in custom homes, you're seeing beautiful mosaic tile patterns on floors and in entryways, posi- tioned on the walls like art. Nine-to-ten-foot ceilings in basements, mudrooms, and three- to-four-car garages, are all in demand. How important are the outdoor amenities? One of Benoit Mizner Simon & Co.'s listings in Wellesley. shining a light on the suburbs REAL ESTATE BROKERS WENDY FOX AND TRACI SHULKIN TELL US TO SAY GOODBYE TO JACUZZI TUBS AND HELLO TO HOMEWORK NOOKS AND LIGHTING ARCHITECTS. B C: The kitchen is still king when it comes to home sales. What else are buyers in the Western suburbs looking for? room. I've been seeing glass wine walls in lower levels. It doubles as a wine cellar without stealing precious real estate, and it looks gorgeous. I sold a house on Cliff Road in Wellesley where the owner wants to do a wine wall. Traci Shulkin: I'm seeing buyers hiring lighting architects, especially for clients with a lot of artwork. When it's done well, the whole system connects to the smart- Shulkin Traci TS: Patios are getting more beautiful and they have the added bonus of allowing for a built-in outdoor kitchen, which is all the rage now. In one house I sold this spring, it was a big selling point. The yard and landscaping are still huge factors, while a pool isn't for everyone. Clients are now asking for an outdoor fireplace. WF: The outdoors has become a new living space for most families. back. In New England, with decks you get wood rot—a patio is easier to care for in the long run. What about the extras? What luxury amenities are on buyers' wish lists? Wendy Fox: Wine storage, especially without taking up too much WF: Giving guests their own space, complete with en suite baths and private entrances, and the double laundry room—one on each floor. TS: I'm also seeing security screen camera systems, where owners can see what's going on in other rooms of the house from any television screen. In custom homes, the indoor sport court is still valued. house, so you don't have to go around turning When you live in the northeast, you need it in the off lights in all 10,000 square feet. winter desperately. WF: Yes, I'm seeing that too, and it's fabulous! WF: People love exercise rooms, saunas, Proper lighting can change a whole house. I've seen illuminated hanging bars in closets the locker space. They've evolved—their trainer comes to them now, which fits their schedules better. Home gyms are on the rise and getting more elaborate. to help tell the navys from the blacks. With the What's no longer valued in a home that once was? smart-house trend, we're also seeing more WF: Jacuzzi tubs are out. They date a house and are a maintenance issue. built-in docking stations—a section of house that's central for the whole family, often in the kitchen or right off an office—so you can easily see what's not plugged in. "Buyers are looking for beauty and depth." -TRACI SHULKIN TS: And in the upper price points, we're seeing What about screening rooms? Are they still important? docking stations morph into more personal office spaces and even homework rooms. They've grown from a desk in the kitchen to big- Clawfoot tubs are becoming statements and focal points in baths like fireplaces are in the great room. TS: Yes, homeowners are moving toward beautiful tubs, like soaking tubs. Buyers are looking for beauty and depth. TS: You still see screening rooms; buyers want them, but owners end up not using them. Or they use them for special events a few times a year, depend- ing on where it's put. Still popular, but no one uses it. ger nooks or a small office and a big office. For WF: From what I can tell home theaters are still important, but parents forgo kids, we're seeing their own computer room those chairs. They want really comfortable spaces. Wendy Fox, Coldwell where they all can share one room instead of being online in their bedrooms by themselves. Banker Residential Brokerage, 617-470-5033; Traci Shulkin, Benoit Mizner Simon & Co., 617-939-6309 BC 138 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM "Proper lighting can change a whole house. People are really outside a lot. I -WENDY FOX agree, the patio has made a come- " Wendy Fox PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC BARRY (WELLESLEY); DIANE ANTON (FOX); DARI MICHELE PHOTOGRAPHY (SHULKIN)

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