Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

One-Stop Shopping: Home Builders Help Ease Decorating Process with Design Centers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

One-Stop Shopping: Home Builders Help Ease Decorating Process with Design Centers

Article excerpt

Instead of running all over town to different stores, many area home builders now offer buyers one-stop shopping in an effort to ease the hassle sometimes associated with personalizing a new home.

Vernon McKown, owner and president of sales for Ideal Homes, said his company's new customer selection center at 9211 S. Interstate 35 allows customers the opportunity to select from many different displays of finishes and fixtures with three interior designers on staff to help.

Research has shown that the selection process is fretful, McKown said. We've created an environment that is more user-friendly. The old way was to run to the carpet store, then the lighting store and onward, but we go to market and boil it down to the hotter, more popular options. We make it fun for the buyer.

He said that by decompressing the process, home buyers get the opportunity to relax and focus while making important decisions when personalizing their home. The customer selection center has many different options in an array of prices allowing for buyers to keep within their budgets, and a mortgage lender next door lets the buyer know immediately if the new homeowner can afford those highly desired granite countertops.

What we've tried to do here at the selection center is to provide a nonthreatening environment where our customers can see, touch and feel their options, McKown said in a written statement.

Home buyers usually attend three appointments at the Ideal Homes' customer selection center. They can use the center's workstations and sample boards to see what different selections look like when combined. Once chosen, their choices are entered into a computer.

Customers have a lot of fun with this, McKown said. We try not to overwhelm people.

Options at the customer selection center range from bathroom and kitchen designs to doorknobs and flooring options like tile and carpet.

You can customize and build it as much as you want, McKown said.

The selection center also has an inviting area for children, where little ones can play and watch DVDs.

If there's a product out there, we offer it, McKown said. Our customers may take home sample pieces, too. We've had people come in and bring in everything from a piece of their china to pillow shams when making decisions about personalizing their home.

Anthony Mirzaie, a builder and developer of Westpoint Homes, said his company adopted the design center concept about 10 years ago, putting such centers in its model homes. The company has three model homes on display in Norman and is preparing to build a fourth in the Deer Creek Village development at NW 150th and MacArthur in Oklahoma City.

We show them what can be done versus what you can see in a book or a catalog, Mirzaie said. …

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