What Gives a Home Character?

People don’t just want to live in a house. People want to live in a home – a place that looks great and lives well.

Over the past year, our Charter Homes Design Team spent a lot of time listening to home buyers. One take away? People are tired of look-alike homes – they want to live in homes with character. Character (we call it Living Design) is at the core of every home we build. But let’s get down to it – how do we define homes with character?

It All Starts at the Front Door

Character, like many good stories, starts at the front door. Home buyers want to drive up to their home and think “Yeah. My home looks good.”  The home has to be well proportioned, with a timeless exterior that will still look as good 50 years from now as it does today.

Just check out our Wellesley home design below: we crafted this home to look like it could have been built today or 75 years ago, with a classic exterior and a focus on the entrance to the home, not the garage. We varied the sizes of the windows to keep the viewer interested, and made a bold statement by putting the hearth, a traditional gathering place, at the very front and center of the home.


Here’s another example: our McKinley townhome design. Rather than build a row of identical-looking, same-colored townhouses, we crafted buildings where each home makes its own unique style statement. By mixing up siding, brick, window placement, and porch types, we took our townhomes from “boring beige row building” to four separate, unique homes that feel welcoming and classic.


Focus on the Gathering Spaces

A home with character isn’t just defined by how it looks from the outside: it’s also defined by how you live in the home once you cross the threshold. With this in mind, our design team focused on making the primary gathering spaces more convenient, more attractive, and more livable.

We start with a basic question: where do people spend most of their time in their home? The answer? In the kitchen around the island, in the great room around a TV or fireplace and, of course, in the bedrooms and game rooms. Knowing this, we made it our goal to craft each of these areas as a welcoming, convenient space for gathering and relaxing.

The Kitchen and Great Room. Since no kitchen is complete without an island, they come standard in our home designs. The island gives people a place to gather, eat, prepare food, and just hang out. Even better? Our Kitchens are open to the Great Room which makes the spaces feel large and connected and makes furniture placement easier. This open take on the traditional floorplan means that family members can spend time together – even when they’re hanging out in different rooms! Here’s a peek at the the Davis Home design’s kitchen from the Windsor Meadows model home:


The Bedrooms. In the all important bedrooms, we focused on space – both in terms of square footage and in having enough wall space to place furniture. We believe the bedroom should be large enough to accommodate more than just sleep – the extra space to relax or read a book ensures this room will be a valued retreat. The master bedroom of the Davis offers plenty of room for rest and relaxation:


Our bedrooms are large enough to fit a bedroom furniture set and be able to walk around the room - because, seriously, who wants to squeeze around furniture in the dark?

The Game Room. Our design team loves to take traditional spaces and play with them in a way that makes them completely new and much more livable. Take our second floor Game Room, which is offered in many of our single family home designs. The game room space (traditionally relegated to the basement or in full view of guests on the first floor) has been lifted to the upstairs hallway, where it can serve multiple uses while being conveniently tucked away. Here’s a perfect example of a game room in the Cranston home design at the Bishop Woods model home:


Notice how bright and open this room is? We think an upstairs hallway can be more than just a passageway - which is why we add space and light!

Flexible, casual space. Our Game Room can transform easily between a second Great Room, a Library, a Playroom or even an upstairs Den. It’s a place where you can get away from the noise of the first floor, without being stuck in a bedroom. Many of our homeowners tell us they use it as a more casual Great Room, a place where the family can watch TV and relax without having to worry about making a mess on the first floor.

These are just a few of the many, many ways we design your home to look great and live well – which, to us, is what Character is all about. What do you think? What gives a home character, inside and out?