The Marina Limited Partnership
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Staying in Style

Staying in Style in the "New Economy"

Economic hard times or not, new homes are still being built across the country and in our community. But housing industry and new-home style 'experts' have noted a change in how people are approaching those projects. The trend seems to be toward more conservative and value-oriented choices.

Custom home builder and remodeler Michael & Associates, has been paying attention to those trends.

"We are committed to be responsive to the needs of our homebuyers by being prepared to help make design selections or suggestions for their new home," said Michael Altman, president of Michael and Associates.

A few of the primary themes noticed include:

  • People are looking for American made finishes and quality products that will last longer and reduce energy and resource use. Homeowners want to lessen ongoing maintenance and replacement costs.
  • Given that higher-quality and resource-efficient materials and products may cost more, consumers are gravitating toward "minimalist" design schemes and a conservative color palette accented with a few bright, bold accessories.
  • We like our technology! New homes are a great way to accommodate greater and more convenient access to it -- namely, by providing an ample amount of wiring and cable (and multiple outlets) to plug in and recharge mobile gadgets.
  • Regardless of square footage, we see a call for greater storage capacity. Modular organizing systems for closets and garages expand the usable space of those areas. We've also investigated the need for an electronic "clutter closet" near the most-used entry door (sometimes from the garage) to hold -- and perhaps recharge -- a variety of electronic devices in a convenient, central location.
  • Grey is the new white ... at least according to some style experts. Grey-stained wood and fabrics represents the "back to basics" trend of the new economy.
  • Though not as opulent or outfitted as they were a few years back, outdoor areas remain a popular way to extend usable living space.
  • Home offices continue to be in demand, accommodating in-home businesses or telecommuting trends.

According to Michael and Associates, buyers of new homes and other consumer goods have altered their value systems toward more conservative, durable and space and resource-efficient products. To learn more about Michael and Associates, visit and be sure to tell them you heard about them from Lake Living Indiana.

Building Fact

Q: What is "low-e" in windows?

A: The term "low-e" refers to a coating or thin, nearly invisible film on window glass that lowers the emissivity or radiated heat through the window. The result is a cooler glass surface and a reduction in the transfer of heat into the living space, making it more comfortable and the home more energy efficient. Low-e glass is now standard on most windows or an easy upgrade on others.

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